What a joy the end of the school year was! We had 12 graduates, including four bachelor grads, who received a certificate or diploma. Many of the presentations in the Friday night Student Ministry Showcase were very inspiring, we had almost 20 alumni represented at our Saturday morning alumni breakfast, and Commencement speaker (and Navajo Nation Vice President) Jonathan Nez did an amazing job.
But the highlight was the Commencement testimonies of the four Bachelor graduates, pictured below with me. Here is some information about each one and their future plans (left to right in the picture):
Stephen Hunkup (Paiute/San Carlos Apache from Nevada): Stephen has been at IBC longer than I have! It took him 10 years to complete his bachelors degree, but what a change has taken place in his life! Stephen is hoping to work full-time in youth ministry at Broken Arrow Bible Ranch in Nevada.
Christina Tree (Navajo from Arizona): Christina was the female student chaplain this last year, leading her own discipleship group of freshmen students. She has a great desire to lead youth and children’s ministry in her home town of Dennehotoso, deep on the Navajo reservation. Unfortunately, there isn’t a team to support her there. Christina also has a passion for women’s discipleship, so she will be joining the IBC student life staff as an intern this coming year while she starts to build a team to support her in Dennehotso!
Efrain Saune (Inca-Quechua from Peru): Efrain arrived at IBC five years ago “running away” (his words) from who he was as an indigenous Peruvian. He had a tumultuous time at IBC and was under restorational discipline two different times. But in his final year he was the male student chaplain and had a great impact on the three sophomore men he was discipling. In his graduation speech, Efrain explained that when he came to IBC he was trying to run from his ethnicity, but in discovering his identity in Christ (a huge part of what IBC is about) he became free to embrace his ethnic identity for the first time! Efrain is going on for his master’s degree in business so he combine community and economic development with church leadership in his future ministry back in Peru.
Fredricka Toledo (Navajo from Arizona): Freddie’s roommate committed suicide in September, 2014 and she was devastated by this. But this last school year she attained to a marvelous amount of freedom, victory, and joy. For next school year she is will be in Alaska to be a part of the staff of Alaska Christian College in their work with Alaska Native students! She will be working in Alaska Christian’s residential life department.
Please pray for these four students as they launch out into ministry and further training. We are praising God that the other eight graduates are all planning to return in the fall for further training!
Also, Sarah and I are very tired from a long–but good–school year. Please pray for us as we get some rest and family time this summer.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer and financial support! Your sacrifices for Native Americans are bearing great fruit!
Jason and family