God is doing amazing things at the Indian Bible College! Here is a description of last month’s confession chapel (written by staff member Martha Gushee):
The room was darkened to help preserve a sense of security and anonymity, though every voice that spoke up was known to the entire group present. This was a closed chapel, open only to a limited number of staff and to the full student body. In keeping with James 5:16, and in order to demonstrate the reality of our claim to be a place of grace and truth where students feel safe within a caring community, we hold what has become known as “confession chapel” once each year. It provides opportunity for students (and staff, as needed) to clear the air, resolve interpersonal conflicts, be reconciled to one another, and allow others to share their burdens (Gal. 6:2). It takes place each year before the annual Ministry Immersion Trip in order that there may be no hindrances to an effective ministry.
All 28 full-time students were present, along with 3 off-campus mentors (including Sarah) and 6 full-time staff members. After singing several songs together there was a pregnant pause as the room grew still. Then the first student stood and boldly but sincerely shared some aspects of her personal struggle with sin and its effect on the community at large, expressing regret and remorse but hope in the knowledge that God was at work in her life. One by one all but 6 of the students shared, openly confessing pride, selfishness, anger, rebellion, luke-warmness, insincerity. And then the confessions became more intense as other students revealed sins and struggles of lust, a desire to inflict self-harm (including suicidal thoughts), and same-sex attraction. Each student was prayed for by other students and at least one staff member. Several talked nervously about the sexual abuse they had experienced in the past at the hands of family members and how those memories plagued them today. One spoke of the physical abuse his pastor-father had inflicted on himself and his mother when he was just a child and how he had forsaken God’s path for a number of years in order to express his anger. And how God had refused to let him go but brought him eventually to Indian Bible College.
The chapel lasted for four hours! Tears of remorse and shame gave way to relief in the extension of forgiveness. Possibly for the first time in their lives the guilt of harbored sin was released within a caring community.
Wow! Praise God for the transformation, freedom, and healing that He is doing at IBC!
Last month, I shared with you two prayer requests. Here is an update on each of them:
- Accreditation and Arizona House Bill 2302: Our trip to the state capitol was a huge success. While the bill narrowly passed the House of Representatives on February 20th, it was passed unanimously in the Senate just this last Thursday! Now it goes before the governor to be signed into law–please pray for favor for this last step.
- Expansion and the purchase of a building to be the new library and chapel: All the pledges mentioned in the appeal letter have been collected (close to $390,000 worth!) and an additional $75,000 has been given by God’s people so far! We close on April 27th–please pray for the the Lord to provide the additional $125,000 we need to purchase and renovate the property
One final prayer request: myself and eight other staff and students “hit the road” for our 60th anniversary tour on Wednesday. We will drive about 5000 miles, participating in 21 events in 12 days. Please pray for safety and meaningful connections with existing and new ministry partners of the school. Please pray also for strength for me, as it has been an exhausting semester already–and for the Lord’s care for my wife and kids in my absence.
Praise Jesus, the Risen King!
Jason and Sarah Koppen
Update April 20, 2018:
Thank you for your prayers for IBC and myself–they are powerful and effective (James 5:16)! Here are specific answers to your prayers:
- Praise God with us the the Arizona governor signed our bill for state authorization for accreditation!
- Praise God with us for an a very meaningful NW anniversary tour, where we connected with thousands of friends of the school (including many of you). Over $40,000 was given by God’s people in response to this trip!
- Praise God with us that, since I sent the last update, God’s people have provided an additional $20,000 (in addition to the above) for the purchase of the new building, meaning that we now have the entire purchase price of the building and are now just praying for the funds to renovate the building! Go here New Library & Chapel | Indian Bible College to see a video shot in the new building.