Back in Maryland, Kevin worked in temporary jobs. He was accepted to Columbia Bible College (CBC) in South Carolina that December to begin studies in the fall of 1993. Kevin participated in a weekend ministry to a Jamaican Baptist Church in the Bronx. He also went on a short-term mission trip to a church in the Choctaw Indian Nation in Oklahoma.
He started his mission studies at CBC (whose motto is “To Know Him and To Make Him Known”) eventually centering his major studies on Biblical Languages and Biblical Studies. He was involved on several committees designing brochures and t-shirt logos. He also worked part-time with a missionary newsletter printing company and served as floor leader in one of the men’s dorms. As part of his curriculum, Kevin participated in prison visitations, led Bible studies, and was an English language partner for a few Kuwaiti students at the University of South Carolina.
Christmas of ’93 saw Kevin flying to Albuquerque to help his sister Karen drive her and the kids to North Dakota for milestone birthdays of their Dad and Mom. It was fun teaching the Ingram and Vite children how to hunt for snow snakes!
Kevin’s studies led him to pursue future missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. For his junior year at CBC (’95-’96), he studied in Jerusalem at the Institute of Holy Land Studies (now Jerusalem University College). While there, he was completely immersed in the culture and language of the land where the ancients of Scripture trod. Among his courses of study, two of his favorite classes were “Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible” (which included meeting and visiting with a Bedouin tribe) and “Physical Settings of the Bible” (which included six detailed field trips around the region).
Through class trips and weekend jaunts, he traveled throughout Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. For the winter semester break, Kevin participated on an archaeological dig at Qumran on the Dead Sea, went on a backpacking trek in Wadi Rum and Petra, and helped a Wycliffe missionary team in Cyprus with an Arabic translation project. He witnessed history in the making with the 3000th anniversary celebration of King David’s conquering of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Rabin’s assassination, and a few bus bombings. But most impressive, he discovered the genuine hospitality of the Near Middle Eastern people, both Arab and Hebrew.
He accumulated over a thousand photos, twenty-six poems, and hundreds of journal pages. While living in “The Land Between”, Kevin also discovered that there is so much more to the Bible than just simply the Western conservative traditions and interpretations. Having each of his five senses richly impacted by all that he had encountered, the Bible became a new living entity in his life.