Not all of our Village Missionaries enter this ministry directly from Bible college. This story of Fred Tribble’s call to a second career with Village Missions illustrates God’s leading over the course of multiple decades.
In my early 20’s I was convinced that I should be in the ministry, so I went to Bible college. During that time I was a youth minister for a small church in Pomona, California, where I had a horrible experience and became convinced that I was not suited for ministry. Not wanting to have wasted my time or money, I continued on and graduated with a degree in Christian Education.
After college, God provided and I held a number of both large and small jobs which built to a 20-year career in the manufacturing industry. In the early part of my industrial career, I took a couple of years out to try Law Enforcement. God said no and that ended. God did lead me to join the California Military Department where I enjoyed a 26-year career as a reservist working with California National Guard, and I retired with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After 20 years in industry, God led me to switch careers, and I was hired by the California State University (CSU) system as a Business Management faculty member. I taught in both Management and Human Resources.
All during the time after college, God continued to bless my service in church. I was a Sunday School teacher for most of that time. Three times, my wife and I applied for foreign missions, but God said no each time. Later, I performed terms of service as Elder and also had a short time of pulpit supply when our church was doing a pastoral search. Progressively, the Holy Spirit was refining me through studies, trials and tribulations. I spent years in the spiritual desert of my soul where God’s refining fire was burning my dross. Slowly as one decade turned into another, I began to sense that there was something more important I should be doing.
I had a fine career with awards and recognition. I was loved by those I worked with and had a good reputation as an honest and hard worker in anything I put my hand to. I was given tremendous freedom to manage my own activities and eventually came to advise others in a variety of fields. But even with a successful career and the admiration of my peers, the nagging sense that there was something more important I should be doing was growing.
I married soon after college. We had three children – a boy and twin girls. We are very close, and I was filled with love, a peaceful home, a prosperous future, and a loving church community. And yet, after raising these children to honorable adulthood, there was that nagging sense that there was something more important I should be doing.
As my wife and I continued to pray, we both became aware that God was preparing us for something. Events in our lives were adding up to some kind of conclusion. We went to visit our grandson in Tacoma, WA, and stayed with a former pastor. As I discussed this feeling with him, he recommended we contact Village Missions. We went through the application process and within eight months, we were on the field serving our community as pastor and wife. We took the next step – a second career with Village Missions.
Take the Next Step: A Second Career With Village Missions
Fred and his wife Cinda have been serving in Endicott, WA, since January 2013.