Dear friends,

The picture above captures one of my favorite moments of the semester: while teaching the Indian Bible College Core Values to the twelve students in my Human Relationships class, our new President’s Cabinet came into the class to help model our fourth Core Value (team leadership).

As these five IBC veterans—who make substantial sacrifices for IBC students on a daily basis— shared about the nature and details of team leadership. I couldn’t have been more grateful to serve with these heroes of Native ministry. I could see in the physical responses and hear in students’ questions their surprise—even borderline disbelief—at the unity of heart and diversity of ethnicity, gender, and generation of this group. It has been a really good semester, and the wisdom, humility, and sacrifices of this leadership team are a big part of the reason why. I am very privileged to lead this group of leaders. You can read more about the President’s Cabinet in the fall newsletter at

The picture to the left, taken just a week ago, captures a bit of the beauty of the home the Lord has given us. The snow surrounding, the mountains behind, and the sunset over our family’s home are all a reminder to me of the place of blessing—and sacrifice—that the Lord has brought us to. Flagstaff has truly become home, and we hope to spend the rest of our lives here serving Native people.

One of the great blessings of this semester has been the hiring of an IBC graduate—and one of Sarah’s best friends—as my Executive Assistant. Lanora Bigman (pictured to the right with Sarah) has been a tremendous help this semester in organizing my office, overseeing the IBC student “phone-a-friend” effort, and hosting guests on campus. Lanora will be helping me in the coming months with the
growing correspondence needs. If you would like to receive my monthly email updates, let us know at Enjoy reading Lanora’s part of this letter below!

John 1:4 says that when Jesus was born “the true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world…” Thank you for partnering with us in prayer and generosity to bring the light of Jesus to the Native peoples of North America!
Merry Christmas!
Gratefully and joyfully,
The Koppens!

Greetings my brothers and sisters in Christ!
I am thrilled to share a part of my life with you. It has been truly humbling to be part of the miraculous ministry God sustains here at IBC. My husband Luckie and I have personally experienced incredible transformation as a result of the impact of IBC on our lives. Starting out here as a student in 2012 I instantly recognized God’s love and power through relationships that allowed for transformation. It showed through the leadership among the IBC staff in their commitment to integrity within community, through genuine care for each other and the students, and in their striving to balance speaking truth into our lives while extending grace to each of us. The commitment that I witnessed as a student is still true to this day. Now, six years later, I am seeing more of the behind-the-scenes aspects of IBC. Seeing the extent of prayer, planning, thought and consideration that goes into making IBC work has been a beautiful encouragement.

In May of 2018 we graduated from IBC. I received my Associate of Biblical Studies, and my husband his Certificate of Ministry. We have two children: our son Camron (10) and daughter Madison (3). My husband and I are hoping and praying about the possibility of him joining the IBC staff someday. I am beyond grateful for the Holy Spirit’s help filling in for my inadequacies. In all honesty, in order to be used for God’s Kingdom I need to be reminded that I am completely dependent on my Savior for all things. My reliance on Him is imperative! It is an honor to serve here as Jason’s Executive Assistant. I have seen in even more depth his consistent passion for Native students to be healthy believers of Jesus and to become healthy leaders in their communities and churches. To sum up, my IBC experiences = JESUS’ LOVE IN ACTION through leadership, community and discipleship!

We could never say thank you enough for your love, care, support and generosity for the countless ways you are spurring us on as you honor our Savior in faithfulness and as we seek to live for His Kingdom in light of God’s truth and hope for us all within Christian community. We need you and we appreciate you. Know that you are impacting lives! Your kind hearts warm ours and I thank Jesus for each of you and for your lives. I pray you are encouraged and blessed in this season of reflecting on the hope of God’s commitment to us as His children through Jesus’ birth.

I am personally encouraged by your supportive, deeply caring hearts towards Jason and Sarah Koppen! They are two of the most influential and impactful people for my own family. Their friendship, along with us being able to share life together, brings us immense joy. What an amazing thing to see the students persevere and press in deeply to be closer to God’s heart, especially in facing their deepest wounds with their Savior and all because of the staff’s commitment to seeing them grow through the brutiful (brutal & beautiful) things in life.
Lanora Bigman