Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

This year’s “Thanksgiving edition” of my update is going to start with the prayer requests, then move to ALL the things I am thankful for.

In many ways it has been a hard semester:

  • The hours I’ve been putting in, now that I am back to covering three jobs again, have been excessive. And my family is feeling the strain. Please pray that the Lord brings a quality Academic Dean as soon as possible.
  • We’ve lost three (of our 35) full-time students due to defining sin issues. Pray that these seek the Lord and that the remaining 32 (and 10 part-time students) remain faithful and pursue integrity.
  • And for the last three weeks someone in our house has been sick or injured. Please pray for healing and health, especially for Sarah.

In the midst of these challenges, we are thankful for:

The 32 full-time students that are walking closely with the Lord. We are incredibly thankful for the staff that continue to faithfully serve the Lord by loving these students.

  • I am incredibly thankful for my beloved wife and children (latest family pic above). Their understanding and support through this busy season has made it possible to serve the Lord with joy and effectiveness.
  • I am thankful for my fall semester Human Relationships class, in which I am teaching 12 students about the biblical truths regarding the importance of our relationships with each other in the Body of Christ. I am currently teaching through the five IBC Core Values—you can explore the first four at http://www.indianbible.org/core-values/. The last one is coming in the spring newsletter.

  • I am incredibly thankful to have the chance to travel to Panama with Sarah earlier this month to meet with leaders in Christian education from all around the world (more information here: (http://www.iceteedu.org/). The picture above is with Sarah (in our new “Panama Hat”) with Panama City behind us.

This picture captures one of my favorite moments, where I participated in discussion with leaders ministering in Lebanon, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Uganda! It was such a blessing to see how many other schools are trying to figure out how to do transformational and holistic education!

  • I am thankful for the incredible blessing of being in our new Student Center this last week for our Fall Conference (Wednesday’s chapel pictured above). Our speakers were all alumni, and Preview Days for prospective students brought additional guests. On Thursday, we crammed 70 people into our future Student Lounge/Chapel room and it was so fun! We continue to work on getting city approvals for regular use.

Thanksgiving Day at the Koppens

Panoramic view with students in the foreground
Sharing time during the meal
Game (board and video) time after dinner

We are thankful for the 30 people we had in our home today for Thanksgiving! We delight to be a “home away from home” for staff, students, and anyone else who needs to be with “spiritual family” on this time for community and friendship. Ten Native students (from seven tribes and six states) joined our celebration and each one shared how much it meant to them to have such a welcoming place today.

Most of all, we are thankful for YOU, our partners through prayer, volunteering, and financial support! We wouldn’t be here without a might group of faithful partnerships with people like you! Thanks be to God for you!

3) I thank my God every time I remember you. 4) In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5) because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6) being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 1:3-6)

The Koppens: Jason, Sarah, Abby, Lizzy, Angie, and David