From the Desk of the President
It is a beautiful October here in Flagstaff. October is my favorite month here in Northern Arizona, as the days are sunny and warm, the evenings cold, and the leaves changing colors are spectacular—especially the Aspen leaves.
At IBC we often joke about the “sophomore slump”. Students can usually put on a “good face” and keep up appearances during their freshman year, but sometime during the second year the masks come off and the brokenness–and sometimes sin–becomes really evident. However, it is rarely so evident as it has been this year: one sophomore we were expecting to return didn’t come back at all, one had a mental breakdown/broke the law/landed in jail, one is struggling with a perpetually bad attitude and is facing serious consequences, another lost a family member and missed the entire first week of class, and one other had to be helped through a serious set of life choices that caused heartache for himself and those around him. It has been a rough start to the school year for our sophomores! Would you pray for these students?
I have 13 students in my freshman Human Relationships class. We just finished talking about communication and conflict, and it is amazing to see their enthusiastic response to learning how to “love more like Jesus” (John 13:34-35). We talk A LOT here at IBC about Jesus’ character being full of GRACE AND TRUTH (John 1:14, 17). Grace says, “I
love you right where you are” and truth says, “I love you too much to leave you stuck there”. Loving graciously and truthfully like Jesus comes at a high price for our staff, and I am incredibly grateful for these prayerful and sacrificial folks. Please continue to pray for their protection and encouragement.
The students returned two weeks ago from the annual Kickoff Kampout. This is an important time to build a stronger relationship with the Lord and with the campus community. You will enjoy this video of the Kampout that was shot and edited by William Axtell (Nez Perce, staff) and Emmanuel Bryant (Navajo, student):
This Kampout was especially important to help bond the nine new students (some of whom are struggling to adjust to college life) to the rest of the IBC family.
We are praising the Lord that all four of our kids are at the local Christian school. As I mentioned in my last update, this has freed Sarah up to resume pursuit of her bachelor’s degree. When combined with me covering the Academic Dean role our family is busier than ever. Please pray for the Lord’s strength and rest for us during this challenging season. Of course, please continue to pray for the Lord’s provision of an Academic Dean. There are a few possibilities “in the works”, but for now I am struggling to keep up with the duties of husband, parent, president, pastor, and academic dean…
Next week I’ll be participating in my second accreditation site team visit at an ABHE school in Vancouver, BC. As a part of this trip, I’ll speak in a supporting church, meet with a mentor, drop my daughter Lizzy off with her extended family, and meet up with a like-minded Native ministry organization. I don’t sleep very well when I’m traveling, and I think I’m currently fighting off a bug. Would you pray for healthy, effective ministry, safe travels, and good sleep on this trip?
Finally, IBC is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. We have a local conference (with celebration banquets) in November (info to the right) and are in the early stages of planning a road tour through the Northwest in early March 2024. We hope to see many of you during this year of celebration of all the Lord has done over IBC’s 65 years.
Thank you for your investment into and partnership with the Lord’s work here at the Indian Bible College! Pray with us that Native America will “cease to be a mission field and become a missions force” someday soon!
Jason & Sarah Koppen
For my 50th birthday in July my parents and sisters all came together in Flagstaff for the first time. It was such a blessing to have them all in our home for a few days!