Aloha from beautiful Hawaii! Our sabbatical here has been a great blessing, and I was planning to tell you all about it in my first update in over two months; unfortunately the coronavirus crisis is pre-empting focusing on our personal matters, so I’ll send out more information on that next week
As I write this we are under a quarantine here in Hawaii. The mayor of Oahu has shut down all non-essential businesses and services until the end of April. Like most of the world, our lives have been significantly affected. We had planned to visit several of the island attractions in mid/late March; they are all now closed down. The college I teach at (Pacific Rim University) is going to purely online classes, and I teach the first time this way on Friday.
But we are doing well: we have a wonderful 1000sf home three minutes from the beach, and thanks to the internet are still having significant opportunities for homeschooling and connecting with those on the mainland. Yesterday I had a 90-minute virtual meeting with the Acting President and two Vice-Presidents and talked on the phone for an hour with the Accountant/CFO. Today I attended a board meeting via the internet. Most of all, we are grateful to have hope (confident expectation) in the Lord, to be together as a family in such a beautiful place, and to be living for eternal purposes that are not thwarted in the midst of challenge or inconvenience.
This week was supposed to be Indian Bible College’s last week of classes before a two week break, but we cancelled classes in response to the proclamation from the White House and of the Flagstaff Mayor. The annual Ministry Immersion Trip—this year planned for the White Mountain Apache reservation—was also cancelled. Most of our full-time students have chosen to remain on campus, either to continue working at their jobs, to keep from cross-contaminating to their family, or because home isn’t a safe environment for them. Our Student Life staff are keeping close contact with these students during this three-week “shutdown.” So far, to the best of our knowledge, no one in the IBC community has the virus. We will publish our plan for the rest of the semester early next week.
I’ve also attached a PDF of the newsletter that just went in the mail a few days ago; while it has some meaningful articles it was, sadly, printed before the COVID-19 matter reached a level of impact worth mentioning.
Would you pray for IBC students during this time? The relative isolation of “social distancing” and quarantine is very difficult for many of them, and can create an opportunity for the enemy to tempt and attack. Also, please continue to pray for my family, that we can get the full value out of our time here in Hawaii in the six weeks we have left.
What hope we have in Jesus! And what an opportunity we have to share that hope with the world in the midst of the panic of the world around us!
with Sarah, Abby, Lizzy, Angie, and David,
Dr. Jason Koppen
Indian Bible College