My Free Biblical Learning Journey
Hello, my name is Garret Bolthouse, and I am receiving free Biblical learning at CLI. I am from Tucson, AZ and have a degree in Philosophy with a minor in Business from the University of Arizona. Currently, I am studying Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
My wife and I have served as ministers in our community for over a decade. We teach the Bible to middle school students in our church family every week. We mentor and lead youth and their families in our church’s student ministry. Furthermore, we actively support a well-founded community of Christians in the Tucson area. Tucson is an interesting but difficult place to minister. The city is culturally diverse and highly unchurched. The culture is largely oriented toward self-determination and personal fulfillment. Community and accountability are difficult concepts for those who have grown up in Arizona culture.
My Early Salvation Journey
I grew up in the state of Washington. When I was about seven, I came to Christ at a VBS. The man who presented the Gospel to us took a piece of flash paper and lit it on fire. He said, “This is what Jesus does with all of the sins in your life.” Then, I knew that I needed Jesus in my life!
God became very real to me as I spent time in His Word and developed a love for the stories of the Bible. The more I read, the more real God became to me. I did not realize until my early twenties that I probably hold closer to God than most people my age. It shaped and formed me into the person I am today. I am continually reminded of God’s grace to me.
My Spiritual Dream and Obstacles
My spiritual dream is to continue to serve my local community. Currently, I mentor many young people and disciple them to become ministers of the Gospel. I have a specific set of God-given interpersonal skills and a mind and heart that make me well-suited to be a shepherd in my community.
The first obstacle to maturity in my life have been thinking I am in complete control of my destiny. A second obstacle has been my failure to bear with the failings of those I believe are immature. God has reminded me repeatedly of these two obstacles. He shows me that I am not in control and putting immature people in front of me on a regular basis.
Free Biblical Learning at the Christian Leaders Institute
I hope to use my Christian Leaders Institute training to gain skills and knowledge and to form my understanding of the world in the context of the Bible. I studied the Bible for many years and learned much from it. Now, I can further my pursuit of God, the Bible, and His Kingdom through the free Biblical learning at the Christian Leaders Institute.
Free training is important and necessary for me because I have a large amount of debt due to my schooling. I would like to continue Biblical learning, but attending traditional Christian seminary would add to my debt burden significantly. thank you, CLI, for this free Biblical learning!