One Thing Is Needful
Mariah Schwartz, FBI ’13
In the Bible we are exhorted to desire the pure milk of the word. If that’s something you really want, than I would recommend this program. Living here gives you the opportunity to become utterly immersed in one thing, and if that one thing is serious heart-work and meditation on the Word of God, you can see a lot of growth occur. It was a time of transformation for me; it was only through the grace, love, and help of God (often experienced through the staff) that I made it through, because there were heart issues addressed that were beyond my ability to change.
Klara Holscher, FBI ’12
I remember after my first few months at Fairwood Bible Institute that I looked back at what I had learned and couldn’t imagine how I had really lived beforehand. There are vital truths of the Gospel that transform your life. Studying the Word of God and looking long and hard at the heart of Jesus undeniably changed me for the better.
On Healing & Mentors
Forest Howland, Former Student
My first year at Bible school was more than I ever imagined it would be. God taught me so much about myself that I don’t quite understand how I functioned before learning some of them. God revealed some wounds I had, and ways to heal from them.
My mentor Brandon was such a blessing to me. He helped me more than I can explain, and I am grateful to him more than I can express. I truly don’t know if I would have learned half of the things about myself without him helping me through them.
On Love & Practicality
Mary Sutton, FBI ’11
I attended Fairwood Bible Institute from 2008 to 2011. I had only planned on going for just one year, but by the end of my first semester, I knew I wanted to finish all three years. It was a great growing time in my life. Not only did I Iearn a lot from the classes, but I also experienced what Christian love was like. I had been a Christian since I was 11 and was raised in a Christian home, but it was from the people at Fairwood that I started to learn how we are to love as Christians.
I also gained more experience cooking, painting, stacking more firewood, and helping others with projects during our ministry weeks. The great practical skills as well as the spiritual training have helped me since. I am so thankful that God allowed me to attend FBI, which were some of the best years of my life. He has blessed me in so many ways and continues to do so. I’m excited how Jesus will continue to work in me.
Redeeming The Time
After talking about attending Fairwood for six years, I finally got here. Before sending in my application, I was pondering the Nazirite Vow; being fully dedicated to God appealed to me. I saw being a student at Fairwood as a way to be fully set apart for God.
Although I can’t really follow the Nazirite Vow because of the grape juice stipulation (just kidding), I desire a deeper relationship with God.
“I am thankful that in my youth, God has made me desirous of having a richer life with Him.
One way Fairwood has helped me is that I have become more disciplined. I am spending much less time on the internet and the computer, which has opened my life to other pursuits.
I appreciate the fellowship I have with the other students; they help me get closer to God when we talk about Him outside of class, and when I see them growing in Christ, it inspires me to draw closer to God. However, though this year I have dedicated more of myself to God, there is still room for much more. Sometimes, for various reasons, it’s not always easy, or at least seems that way.
I am thankful that I am not yet an old man, because if I were, I would feel like I have wasted my whole life, but I am 22. I am thankful that in my youth, God has made me desirous of having a richer life with Him.
How Jesus Became Real
Attending Fairwood was, arguably, the most life changing experience I’ve ever had. It sounds cliché but it’s true. When I left there I was a completely different person than when I arrived. God used the people, the place, and most importantly, His word to change me into the man He always intended me to be. Jesus used Fairwood to make me into His disciple, and I owe them deeply for that. When I think of Fairwood I think of a peaceful atmosphere, a loving staff, and a Bible centered school.
“Through all these things, the atmosphere, the people, and the classes, Jesus and His love for me became real for the first time in my life. Seeing people who genuinely cared, and taking classes that exalted The Truth is what changed me.
Upon arrival my first year I was a depressed, and angry, but searching individual. I had grown up in a Christian home, but the truth of Jesus’ love for me had never sunk in. My mom tried to her hardest to show it to me, but with an absent father I was never able to understand my Heavenly Father’s love for me. God, to me had always seemed distant and uninterested in my life, I was, in essence, a practicing deist. But I knew there must be more to Christianity than I had previously experienced, and so with an undeveloped thirst for more, I arrived at Fairwood.
One thing was clear to me, Fairwood was like no other place I had been to previously. It has an overwhelming atmosphere of peace. One that many have noticed upon arriving on the grounds. It was clear that God was present in the work that happened there. It was clear that Jesus was being honored there. Then there was the people, I don’t know if I ever saw so many genuine and smiling faces in one place. It became evident very quickly to me that the school was run out of love for teaching students about the Bible. The classes were taught in an unbiased, humble manner that was so moving to me. Through all these things, the atmosphere, the people, and the classes, Jesus and His love for me became real for the first time in my life. Seeing people who genuinely cared, and taking classes that exalted the Truth is what changed me. Those things that helped me find Jesus real.
Fast forward to my second year. I was excited to go deeper into God’s word and deeper into His truth. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I had past hurts that I needed to address before I could go further in my walk with Jesus. It was the (dare I say brilliant) mentoring system that helped me realize that I needed to forgive those who had hurt me in the past. With my mentor’s practical love and help, I was able to take my past hurts to Jesus to and give them to Him. During the hurdles of my second year I was able to find Jesus’ healing real in my life.
I went into my third and final year humbled and with open hands. I had learned that having an open hand before God was the best way to go into anything, especially Bible School. And God faithfully filled my hand. During that year I learned how to rely on the Holy Spirit to direct me in all aspects of life. I found power through Him to truly be a dedicated disciple of Christ.
Overall Fairwood helped me find three things real: Jesus and His love, His healing, and His power. And those are in addition to the stellar Bible understanding I received, the great work ethic I learned, and the deep friendships I developed with my fellow students while I was there.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Fairwood to anyone who wants to develop a strong Biblical foundation for the rest of their lives. It has served me well in tough times, and has done so to many others. The most important thing is this: Jesus is there, and He is speaking to each student that has ears to hear what He is saying. If you go with a humble, searching spirit, and willingness of heart, I do not doubt that you will be changed by His goodness.
Learning Endurance & Unconditional Love
My first visit to Fairwood was in September of 2014. I was here for maybe 15 hours, arriving not too long after sundown, just in time for the evening Feast meeting. When I heard Mr. Sandford exhorting the audience that the world needed to see something different (a true living faith) from Christians, my heart prayed, “I wish he could be my pastor.” Then, as scheduled, I returned to New York the following morning.
Until I became a visiting student in April of 2016, God inspired more prayers in my heart. I desired more structure in my life so I could function better than I had been, wanted to learn to cook and care for my immediate surroundings, hungered for more understanding of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and craved to be around mature Christians from whom I could learn much. Fairwood was God’s answer!
“At first, I was nervous about submitting to the guidelines, but God reassured me through his Word…
One would think I would have been overjoyed but I approached Fairwood with much trepidation because it required submitting myself in areas I was not ready to. It was one thing to visit, even move to NH and make it my primary church, but it was another to commit myself to the whole process. At first, especially at the age of 30 (I’m 32 now), I was nervous about submitting to the guidelines, that doing so would have been a step back for me and my development as an adult. God reassured me through his Word that it wasn’t and that there was much to be gained by being at Fairwood. He was right! I can say without equivocation that it hasn’t been a step backward but many steps forward.
A big area that needed change in my life was learning to live with other people. Back in New York City, where I had lived for 16 years, the temptation of isolating myself was ever before me. If I felt hurt by people, it was very easy to go to my apartment, close the door, and let problems fester. In fact, before my attendance at FBI, my tendency to seek God’s favoritism in response to real or perceived rejection led me to move away from the Gospel into serious error. The year prior to my arrival, I was rescued out of the ditch of legalism by his grace, but he had more in store for me in terms of confronting my tendency to respond sinfully to rejection. At Fairwood, shutting the door on people was not an option and I realize now that my dysfunctional and often sinful coping mechanisms were a way for me to shut the door on God from doing further work in my heart because seeking a god of favoritism is seeking a false god. Now, he’s training me to shut the door on this sin.
You will find here a community of earnest believers who stand up for the Truth yet continuously incline their hearts, minds, bodies, souls and spirits to what God has for them. There are no ego trips among the staff and that itself is a work of God. I am able to stand more and more firmly in the truth that because of what Jesus has done, I will always belong to God’s family, and that is because of my time at Fairwood, immersing myself in the classes, meetings, etc, where the ministry of the Holy Spirit meets me. I am able to take on tasks and projects without having old tapes running through my heart and mind reminding me of my past failures, and if you had known me before, you would know that that itself is a huge victory.
So if you’re interested, pray. If God is calling you to shut the door on the old ways to make room for the new, and that’s to take place at Fairwood, trust him.