Dear friends and partners,
See below for the summer prayer letter that was put in the mail last month. It is a privilege to advocate on behalf of Native staff, and this summer I am sharing about Christina Tree-Lasiloo and her new support-raising efforts. That is below the letter.
A few current praises and prayer requests as we end the summer:
- We had a fairly productive summer with work teams helping with our facilities maintenance and improvements, but are not going to make our goal of having the Fitness Center completed. Please pray for continued progress in this area.
- Twenty-one staff attended the staff retreat in Prescott last weekend. I am so grateful for all the people that serve the Lord at IBC–and we’re adding more Native staff! Please pray for unity for the team as we head into the school year.
- COVID continues to discourage Native young people from going to college, but we have a lot of returning students, a handful of new students, and a few students that left under COVID that are finally resuming their education. All this makes it look like our enrollment will grow this year. Please pray for the last few applicants who are in the interview process and a few returning students that are struggling to come back, Student Leader training is August 22-23, New Student Orientation begins Wednesday, August 24th, and regular classes begin August 29th. Please pray for us as we get IBC’s 65th school year up and running.
- My family enjoyed some good vacation time together in July. We are fully settled back into our home after the impact of the fires. We are now dealing with significant flooding issues, however, and our property is being greatly impacted (the picture above was taken from what used to be the end of our driveway). Please pray for wisdom for us and protection for our home.
We deeply appreciate the generosity of God’s people through the giving of their prayers, time, and finances to support the Lord’s work of raising up healthy disciple-making Christian leaders here at the Indian Bible College. Thank you!
Dr. Jason Koppen
Indian Bible College
Summer Update from President Jason Koppen
The 2021-2022 school year came to a close late May. Commencement Weekend was a time of celebrating God’s faithfulness to the school and to our students – specifically the 12 who received diplomas this year (pictured above). Our four bachelor’s graduates (pictured below) represented four different tribes – Nez Perce, Yakama, Navajo, and Blood/Blackfoot.
These were our commencement speakers on graduation day, and all gave meaningful speeches reflecting on the growth and healing they experienced at IBC, as well as encouraging their peers to stay faithful to God’s calling on their lives. If you missed the ceremony and would like to see all or part of it, go to:
If you can’t watch the entire event, be sure to watch the final two bachelor graduate testimonies (Brina & Will) starting at 1:30:00. Praise God with us for His faithfulness in these students’ lives, and please be praying for these four graduates as they take their next steps in serving the Lord and their own people.
A few praises and prayer requests for this summer at IBC:
• Two major staffing needs (Registrar & LRC Director) were filled by students this year. Praise God for his provision in this area and pray for the Lord to fill the open position of Academic Dean.
• Recruitment efforts have been ramping up as we pursue our goal of enrolling 75 students by 2025. Daniel Esplin, Director of Admissions, has been planning and working diligently in this area and now has an admissions team of three other people, including two IBC students. Pray for continued faithfulness and energy for Daniel and his team (especially with travel) and for fruitful recruiting efforts.
• We are so thankful for the seven work teams that are serving here at IBC this summer! Pray for their health and safety, and for meaningful connections to be made between work team members and the students and staff.
• This July marks the end of my 14th year here at the Indian Bible College. I praise God for His strength to persevere over these years; please pray for me to continue to serve faithfully until He brings a Native American to replace me.
In the Senior Seminar class I teach, students write a Senior Thesis about what they’ve learned at IBC. The following paragraph is an excerpt from graduate Logan Davis’s paper about the transformation he experienced during his time here. Logan’s conclusion to his paper is particularly encouraging. As you read this, know that you have had a part in Logan’s growth—and his gratitude—through your prayers and financial support:
In closing, I want to say thank you to the staff and students at IBC who have helped me, prayed for me, and walked alongside me in all my years here. It’s hard for me to believe my time here as a student is coming to an end. I will always cherish my friendships here with students, both current and in the past. I will also hold the teachings and healing I’ve experienced here as a student close to my heart. I will also cherish the friendships I’ve established with the staff. You have seen me in my worst and my best. You have shown me it’s okay to fall, but it’s not about the falling part but how we get up from that and learn and grow from our mistakes. You showed me how to genuinely love and accept myself as a child of God. I can seriously say I love you all with the affection of Christ. Nitsiikohtahsiitaki (Thank You)
A few months ago, we did a “photo recreation” as a family. These pictures are seven years apart. I can’t believe how fast our kids are growing up! Please be praying for our family as we settle back into our home and try to regain a sense of normalcy following the events of the Tunnel Fire. The recent outbreak of the Pipeline Fire north of Flagstaff caused us to have to re-evacuate for several days, but we are thankful that our neighborhood was largely unaffected.
Also, please pray for wisdom and healing in our daughter Abby’s health challenges; she has had undiagnosed abdominal pain for over three years now, and we are prayerfully considering what is next in her treatment.
Another class I teach is the freshman Christian Family class. The final for this class has students come over for a meal, debrief, and then the final. This year, it was the first time we had houseguests after the first (Tunnel) Fire (pictured right). I am so grateful that the Lord preserved our home so we can continue to minister through hospitality.
I’ve included a letter and commitment card from Christina Tree-Lasiloo. Christina has been serving faithfully on staff in several capacities since July 2021 and is now beginning her support raising efforts. She is a compassionate and gifted Native leader; please prayerfully consider supporting her ministry here at IBC.
Thank you for your prayers and support for the Lord’s work at the Indian Bible College to develop Christlike Native leaders!
Gratefully serving Christ in anticipation of seeing Him face to face,
Dr. Jason Koppen
Ministry at Indian Bible College
Hello! I am Christina Tree-Lasiloo, Navajo from Dennehotso, Arizona,
but currently residing in Flagstaff. My journey with the Lord began with the powerful influence of my grandmother’s love for God. Her commitment and faith have impacted my belief in Him. When she passed during my freshman year of high school, it felt as though God’s presence left with her. After experiencing this loss, the abandonment by my mother, and the absence of my father, I fell deep into loneliness and depression. Invited by a youth pastor to Ron Hutchcraft Ministries’ Warrior Leadership Conference, I encountered Jesus personally and accepted Him as my Savior and Lord of my life! His love drew me in as He welcomed me with open arms and reassured me that I am no longer alone. Soon after, His calling became stronger as I served in our youth group and began my first year at Diné College. Attending community college for business administration in the middle of the Navajo Nation was challenging in all its ways, but the darkness that hovers over my people burdened my heart to the point I found myself on my knees crying out to God. My heart broke for my people and led me to Indian Bible College to be trained and equipped for His good works in me.
While attending IBC, I learned about the Word of God, and how to live it out in a safe community. It was challenging and life-changing. God’s Word helped me to recognize the lies about myself and others, and how to own my true identity in Christ. IBC offered biblical counseling called Mending the Soul, and through this difficult journey, God began the healing process of my painful past, freedom from my shame and guilt, and He broke bondages that kept me captive for years! Afterward, in my fourth year, I led first-year students through this same process, understanding their identity in Christ, learning to be good stewards, and engaging in spiritual warfare with scripture. By summer, I was facilitating Mending the Soul meetings, and walking alongside students through their healing journey.
When I completed my Bachelors, I was invited to join the staff to serve with Student Life in discipleship and mentorship, but I felt I needed to take a break. Therefore, I stepped back from ministry and worked in the health care field. A year later, after resting in the Lord, I had an opportunity to serve in a local native college ministry (OneTribe, NAU) where I would meet my husband, Luke Lasiloo. The closer our wedding day came, the stronger my desire to mentor and serve in a full time ministry grew and IBC was heavy on my heart.
In July 2021, Luke was working full time at Wholefoods Market and IBC helped provide a temporary home on campus, and I was able to join the IBC staff. I’ve been working part-time in the Business Office, while mentoring and discipling with Student Life about 20 hours a week. In the Business Office, I am currently serving as bookkeeper and learning new skills. I also get to serve alongside those who volunteer while hosting student lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am blessed and encouraged to see how the Lord continues to provide through generous hearts while serving in these roles.
While serving in the Student Life Department, the transitioning from a student mindset to a staff mindset was challenging but remembering why the Lord led us back here helped me to overcome these challenges. “IBC exists to disciple and educate indigenous Native Christians for lifetimes of biblical ministry and spiritual leadership to their people and the world.” This is my desire for my people, to walk in freedom and begin their healing journey so they can continue to break generational bondages and live abundant lives. The effects of abuse and sin continue to create strongholds in the lives of Native people, but by the grace of God, IBC exists to walk with them in their healing. It’s an honor that I get to encourage students to surrender and trust the Lord in their healing, while exposing the lies from the enemy and replacing them with God’s powerful truth.
For this reason, my husband and I believe we are right where God wants us to be, serving with Indian Bible College, but our challenge is affording our next home. As mentioned above, IBC has graciously provided a temporary home on campus, Luke is currently working full-time now at the Food Bank, and I am seeking to raise a part-time salary to cover the mentoring/discipling portion of my ministry (the bookkeeping role is a paid position) – therefore we need help in praying for the Lord’s direction and guidance, and finances to be able to afford living off campus by next year. Housing in Flagstaff has gone up so much that it would require both of us to be full-time employees. We would like to invite you to be part of our support team.
Ways we are asking for support:
• Will you be a part of our prayer team?
• Will you prayerfully consider supporting us financially?