Dear friends,

Have you ever been sick and returned to work refreshed?  That is exactly what happened earlier this month; I spent several days in bed really sick but when I was “back in action” (just in time for our semi-annual board meeting) I was somewhat renewed and excited to get back to it!  As many of you know, I have struggled with exhaustion and burnout in wearing too many hats, and isn’t it just like our gracious God to use the flu to help provide the grace and encouragement needed?!?  Thanks to all of you who prayed for us in our infirmity; your prayers were definitely answered.

 

Every Tuesday night I am teaching the Christian Family class from 6:30-9:00PM.  I have a great passion for this class, as troubled families are one of the greatest challenges that Native people face; abuse and/or abandonment are prevalent.  We are studying singleness, marriage, and parenting.  We have 20 students crammed around tables in the chapel; 15 students taking it for credit and 5 spouses and/or guests from the community auditing the class.  I am having a great time with the class.  So far we have done a biblical survey of passages related to family, examined the biblical design for singleness (I learned this “the hard way” through spending all my 20’s as single), and examining biblical decision-making as it relates to decisions about marriage and parenting.  The students seem to really be enjoying the class and I am hearing some great feedback from students regarding the impact it is having in their lives.  It has been encouraging to hear a couple of sophomores, who took the class last year, identify that the Christian Family class is still their favorite class at IBC!

I am working hard to delegate and prioritize this semester and am finding the Lord blessing those efforts so far.  I was also in contact this last week with two prospective staff people, including a possible Academic Dean!  Please pray for the Lord’s direction for Reah and Paul.

Please be praying for a couple of upcoming trips:
  • The board passed a resolution last month to wholeheartedly pursue accreditation!  February 13-16 new staff member Jeff and I will be in Orlando, FL for the annual conference of the Association of Biblical Higher Education, which will be our accrediting body.  Pray that our time at the conference would be productive in helping us prepare for the accreditation process and that Jeff and I would get to know each other better through traveling together.  Pray for the family here in my absence too.
  • We will be on the road for three weeks again this spring raising support for the school (March 1-20).  (We are thrilled that it is only half of the duration of last year’s 6.5 week trip!)  Please pray that we will be healthy before we leave this year and that we will make meaningful connections for the ministry.  Our primary speaking schedule:

    March 3–Calvary Community Church; Albany, OR (phone number 541-928-7904)
    March 10–Wapato Valley Church; Gaston, OR (http://www.wapatovalley.org/)    
    March 17–Valley Bible Church; Spokane Valley, WA (http://spokanevbc.org/)

Thanks for standing with us in prayer!

The Koppens:  Jason, Sarah, Abigail, Elizabeth, Angela, and David