Dear friends, God is doing amazing things at the Indian Bible College! Here is a description of last month’s confession chapel (written by staff member Martha Gushee):
|January and February have been two of the busiest months we’ve had in a long time! Here is a glimpse—through pictures—of what has taken place: In early January we planned a trip to Phoenix to pick up a potential staff member from the airport. Sarah and I drove down separately, and the school minivan she (and the kids) were in broke down north of Phoenix. Most of the school vehicles are older with high miles, so have “old vehicle issues”.”The day did not go as planned, but thankfully we were able to get the van “towed” (pictured here) and still pick up our new friend from the airport!|
Happy New Year to all!
Jason has asked me (Sarah) write the update this month so I can share with you about the family and some of my ministries. I thought I would take you through a typical week for our family.
Beneath a warm autumn sun IBC students and a few staff leap from the school van and file expectantly into the imposing church building cowering beneath the mountain. Only returning students have an inkling of what is about to take place. Staff who have arrived earlier to prepare
welcome them at the door with handshakes, smiles, and verbal greetings.
Inside the building there are seats for 34 of us around a horseshoe formation of tables decorated for fall. In the center sits a smaller table carefully holding a wine goblet filled with juice, and an unbroken loaf of bread. Welcome to our annual Lord’s Supper Chapel. Do you smell the pork roast?
The atmosphere is a bit subdued as we anticipate the meal. Teaching is given from I Corinthians 11 on the Lord’s Supper; did you know that our Christian gatherings can do more harm than good (v. 17) if we are being selfish instead of loving (v. 21)? Wow! What does that mean for our gathering today?…for the gatherings as the church?
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!
The semester is going very well! We are thankful that we are on pace to see all 23 of our full-time students finish the semester—a rare occurrence, given the incredible spiritual and cultural pressures they face to drop out.
Happy new school year!
As I write this letter, IBC is in the throes of a new school year. The staff is busy teaching new classes (including two extension classes), establishing trust in new discipling relationships, and training student leaders. Most of last year’s students have returned and we have some great new students! We are excited for all the Lord has in store in the new year!
From the Desk of the President
New student orientation is underway and regular classes begin Monday! We have NINE exciting new students that arrived on campus yesterday. This may be the most motivated and ministry-minded freshman class I’ve seen in my 9+ years at IBC! You can begin praying for them right away…
What a joy the end of the school year was! We had 12 graduates, including four bachelor grads, who received a certificate or diploma. Many of the presentations in the Friday night Student Ministry Showcase were very inspiring, we had almost 20 alumni represented at our Saturday morning alumni breakfast, and Commencement speaker (and Navajo Nation Vice President) Jonathan Nez did an amazing job.
The end of the school year is upon us! You’re invited to join us for the celebration—see the picture below. Pray that all these events are honoring to the Lord and that all those joining us (friends, family, IBC partners) will be blessed and encouraged.
This word permeates the good news of Jesus Christ: that our Creator came to earth to live a sinless life and to die in my place–and yours—so that we might have eternal life and a right relationship with God. It is almost impossible to reflect on the events of “Holy Week” in anticipation of Easter and to miss the central aspect of sacrifice. Philippians 2:5 tells us Christ’s mindset is to be our own; sacrifice is to be the way of life of the Christian (a title which means “little Christ”). To be like Jesus (Romans 8:29)is to be a person of sacrifice.
BC Staff Standing in Recognition of Candidate Status
It gives me great jot to announce that IBC was awarded Candidate Status by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) on February 7th! Thank you for your prayers for this.
The Spring 2017 semester is already in its fourth week of regular classes and we are having a great time! Some highlights:
Use this link to view a .pdf file of the Koppens’ Christmas letter!
Thank you so much for your prayers for the Site Team Visit October 18-20! The team was extremely positive about IBC and it is looking very promising that we will be able to step into the next phase of accreditation in February 2017. Our staff and students did a great job hosting the team.
On October 27th we dedicated the new entrepreneurial training workshop. Members of the community (including the Chamber of Commerce) came for the “ribbon cutting” and I was able to share God’s view of work and of our need for Christ with several non-believers. Pictures will be coming next month.
Greetings in Christ!
The semester is going very well. The 38 full- and part-time students are an incredible group. You can see how to pray for the full-time students by going here: IBC student photos and bios 2016
It is monsoon season in Arizona, and so Flagstaff has been receiving a tremendous amount of rain over the last few weeks. Rain in the (high) desert! What a beautiful reminder this is of the Lord’s grace and provision for us in the difficulties and challenges of life.
Dear friend of the Indian Bible College,
What a year we’ve had, filled with challenge and opportunity, struggle and victory, weakness and strength! In II Corinthians 12:9 the Lord tells Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul goes on to say that he will boast about his weaknesses and delight in insults, hardships, and persecutions. We’ve definitely seen our share of struggles this year: staff unity challenges, walking several students through the intense “Restorational Discipline” process, and even the loss of several students and a few staff. But through it all, the Lord has been strong and gracious! We persevere because of Him!
Summer is here! We had a great end to the school year with Celebration weekend, where we do “four in 24” (four events in 24 hours): the Student Ministry Showcase Friday on Friday night and the Alumni Breakfast, Graduate Lunch, and Commencement Ceremony all on Saturday. Praise the Lord all the events were well-attended and God-honoring and the student presentations were fantastic! Since then we’ve had a week of inservice staff meetings, begun the annual staff evaluations, and I taught a one-week block course on Christian Family.
Biblical. Relational. Transformational
From the Desk of the President
May is here! The end of the school year is here! How did it get here so quickly?!? We have just two more weeks of regular classes and then a finals week followed by our Celebration Weekend, including the Student Ministry Showcase and Commencement (see attached for an invite to these two events). Many students invite friends and family to these events—some that don’t know Christ. Would you pray with us that they are God-honoring events that clearly declare the good news of Jesus Christ? Please also pray that students end the semester well, especially for the nine students that have a chance to receive a certificate or degree?
Last week was the 10-year anniversary of Sarah and I moving to Arizona. We’ve been Arizonians for 10 years now! The time has flown by.
We are in Phoenix this week and visited the church that we helped plant 10 years ago and MY how things have changed. The leadership is different, the name is different, the building is different, yet we see the impact of the lives we invested in all those years ago. We came away reflecting on the fact that everything we enjoy in this life was paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of others, most of whom we will never know their names. Thankfully, we know the Name of the One who paid his blood, sweat, and tears for the purchase of our salvation! I pray that your celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is continuing, now that we are over a week away from Easter Sunday.
Thank you for your prayers over the last month. I can literally tell people are praying. Here are some praises and answers to prayer:
IBC’s self-study was just approved for our October ABHE accreditation site visit! This is the last step before we can be accepted into candidacy status. What a thrill to be getting so close to completion of the first phase. Our students need this for us to offer them the best possible education we can give them. Now to figure out how to pay the $10,000 price tag for that visit…
Thank you for your prayers for the January board meeting! We had a very meaningful two days together, discussing such exciting matters as a master facilities plan for expansion, how to help Native staff raise support, and aggressive plans to grow the size of the board with gifted individuals able to help IBC move into the future. Of course, there were also the more mundane (but important) matters of approving the annual audit, approval of staff salaries, and the editing of policy. One of the highlights for Sarah and I was when the board prayed for my family. I greatly value the blessing of submission to authority (Hebrews 13:17) and to have the prayers of my leaders was a great joy. Please continue to pray for the growth of our board.
Greetings in Christ and Happy New Year!
I hope that you had a great time with your family and friends over the holidays; Sarah, the kids, and I had some very meaningful family time. Thanks for your prayers for a restful break.
We’ve been back in the office for two weeks now (since January 4th). We’ve had four block classes, three of them taught by out-of-town instructors. Last week I spent three days at events for Native ministry leaders and this week I have been teaching my Human Relationships class to our two new full-time freshmen students in a block-course format.
Serving as the President of the Indian Bible College is one of the greatest privileges of my life. Many days I am amazed at the humbling responsibility the Lord and His people have entrusted me with: leading a ministry served by close to 200 people a year, many donors, and thousands of prayer partners. It takes a small army to run this small Bible college! IBC exists for the glory of God, by His blessing, and through the partnership of His people.
I’ve served as the leader of IBC for almost seven years and hope and pray for many more; yet I long for the day when I can hand the presidency to a Native man. Pray with us for longevity and for the provision of that Native leader to take my place someday.
Here are praises and prayer requests for our four initiatives:
September’s accreditation visit
Our ACCREDITATION self-study was turned in to ABHE Monday! It was around 190 pages plus hundreds of pages of supporting documentation! Please pray for favor for the self-study from ABHE so we can proceed with the October 2016 site team visit.