Alumni Weekend 2022 Recap
Thank you to everyone who came out to this year’s Alumni Weekend! I hope you enjoyed seeing friends and possibly family as much as I did. Despite having many students and staff feeling under the weather it turned out very well! We had close to 190 alumni and kids of alumni attend! We had soccer and basketball, the silent auction, coffee house, craft, Alumni Reconnect, worship night, talent show, Obah Night and many more activities. Thanks to the workshop leaders, Morgan Allen, Jorden Bergen, Lorenda Friesen, Melisa Willson, and Makenna Abrahamson for your preparation and willingness to teach. The hard work of the staff, students, and alumni is the only way these events are able to happen!
The Reconnect meeting was filled with very important and entertaining information! We were able to recognize our Alumni of the Year through the two awards, “Dedicated Service to NBC” and “Faithfulness in Ministry”. Respectively Kendell and Melisa Willson, and Ed and Ruth Peters. Our Alumni Executive election resulted in Ben Theissen as the new Alumni President and Jeralee Hamata as the new addition to the Alumni Executive. We voted on this years alumni projects with the winner being NBC Events Package (new stage lighting and 40 vinyl mattresses). Our goal to fundraiser for that project was set at $9000. I am very grateful to announce that we were able to exceed our goal for that project and raise a total of $10961!
I am looking forward to continuing to participate in the work that takes places at NBC and I would encourage you to come and see how God is using this place. It would be excellent for the new Alumni President and Executive to have an abundance of willing Alumni to continue to make Alumni Weekend a success! I challenge you to ask God what you can do to support the ministry at NBC and then be willing to listen to His response!
- Joshua Lees -
2022 Alumni of the Year
2022 Alumnus of the Year Award for Distinguished Service to NBC: Kendall & Melisa Willson ('96)
2022 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry: Ed & Ruth Peters ('84)
To read the bios for Kendall & Melisa and Ed & Ruth, go to the Alumnus of Year page.
Alumnus of the Year Awards 2021
Serving NBC comes in all shapes and sizes. For each full or part time staff who serves our students together here, there are faithful alumni - like you here today, praying, giving, recruiting, joining hands with us in the effort to continue developing passionate followers of Jesus Christ with a heart to serve.
I’ve often found it easy to fall into a thinking that I’d be more of a blessing if I had more money to give. Or if I was spending 4 hours a day praying instead of 20minutes, or if only I was a more effective communicator, persuader, recruiter. But when I look at this individual we honour today I see a man being intentional simply, with the talents he has been given, investing into kingdom at NBC.
A word I would highlight with this gentleman is this: intentionality. He came to NBC in 2010, a farm kid through and through. Familiar with cattle, grain, the weather and the land, and the hard work necessary to earn a living on a farm in Saskatchewan. Not an academic by any stretch, there was one way for him to earn passing marks in all the reading, writing and other classroom expectations at NBC. Hard work and intentionality.
Our lives overlapped first when he returned for a 2nd year at Nipawin, and I came to work here in the fall of 2011. If there was ever a Misc Crew dream team at NBC with our students - he was a vital part of it along with 1 or 2 others during his time here. Need a side walk shovelled? Trees moved? Make shift back of 1/2ton hot tub created? Any maintenance done at any time of the day in any spot on campus? He was always there.
Since Stephen finished his 2 years as a student, he has maintained connection here through his intentionality. Even as there is only 1 staff member still here from his years. He has attended Alumni Connect nights in his area, has regularly come out to Alumni Weekend, and he regularly makes sure to come and talk to me about the specifics of NBC. How are we doing? How is the student body doing? How is the staff? What are our long term plans, and what are needs on campus?
Stephen has gone out of his way to bless the staff here. One time after an alumni connect night he came to in North Battleford a few years ago, he asked me which direction I was headed from there the next day. He arranged to meet me in Glaslyn on my way to Meadow Lake, telling me he had something to give me. I didn’t know what to expect, but when we met on the side of the highway, he gave me a couple boxes of freshly frozen steaks to bring back to NBC for a staff BBQ in the spring.
For years Stephen has made available for our staff to get 1/4 or 1/2 beefs at reasonable prices, and this fall he phoned me to see how the new 4plex was coming along and was there a specific way him and his family could contribute to the project.
We are so thankful for alumni like Stephen Epp. For his interest, for his concern, for his ongoing giving and contributions, for his intentionality, we are pleased to honour Stephen as our 2021 Alumnus of the Year Award for Distinguished Service to NBC.
Following the Lord’s direction in ministry can be described as a journey of trust, one where you know you are called to serve - but don’t know completely what the future holds and what God has in store. These two students came to Nipawin Bible Institute in the late 1980’s. Marrying after their second year, they graduated one year later in the spring of ’91. Sensing God’s call toward missions, they began their training together just a few years later with New Tribes Mission in southern Ontario. Along with two small children, they headed for Papua New Guinea in January 1997.
God brought them to a remote mountainous area of the country to live and serve among the Wusuraambya people. Two years after arriving, child number 3 came along. God worked in and through them - living without the everyday conveniences we take for granted, learning a different language, and serving with a small team of other missionaries, they saw many people place their faith in Jesus Christ and a thriving church that grew in maturity.
God would have them serve with Wusaraambya people for 11 years before leading them to the next place on His journey for them. In 2008 Terry & Rosie moved to a more central area support centre to help take care of new missionaries and be mentored into the leadership team. Serving in this location meant the Banman’s took on new responsibilities to support missionaries living in remote language groups. It meant serving in capacities like security coordinator, orientation coordinator, public relations, and member care. God was faithful to provide as He called them to serve.
Life brought change as it does with passing years. In 2015 the Banman’s went back to PNG without their oldest 2 children, who had both graduated and stayed in Canada. After 2 more years, their youngest graduated, and they came back to Canada for a year long home assignment. This was a great time to deal with weariness, health issues with parents, and receiving a first diagnosis of the early onset of Parkinson’s with Rosie. God’s faithfulness in the timing with that home assignment was clear.
Still, they were eager to return to PNG for the next chapter…this time, without any kids. Terry & Rosie had always sensed God’s leading to serve overseas. God continued to do amazing things as they served, even as it became evident over time that because of health, God was beginning to close the door on overseas ministry. It became clear they would not be able to continue travelling back and forth to PNG and by 2020, they knew their time had come to a close. In the same way they had walked by faith to go overseas some 23 years earlier, it was time to trust God and obey in faith as He brought them back to Canada. Proverbs 3:5,6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
The Lord has placed the Banman’s in the past year in a role of Church Relation Reps for Ethnos here in the Western Canada. They’ve settled back into Manitoba, and the Lord has even placed their 3 grown children (and now 2 grandchildren) within driving distance of them for this time. They regularly travel around the prairies, and Terry continues to preach and bring mission awareness wherever he can.
At Nipawin Bible College, we are so thankful for how Terry & Rosie Banman have followed the Lord’s leading in their lives, and we are pleased to honour them today, with this 2021 Alumnus of the Year Award for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry.
Alumni Weekend Recaps
Hello Alumni! In case you were not able to attend this last year’s Alumni Weekend I hoped to share a few highlights.
We had a good turn out this year and raised a total of $9,738.50 toward this years Alumni Project: 4-plex cabinetry. We are grateful for the alumni who came and gave toward NBC. We had excellent speakers, drawing from our newer staff members at NBC.
Many Alumni stated that the newest activity, “The Alumni Network” was a very useful and enjoyable part of the weekend. We split up as small groups, according to years attended, to talk intentionally about what is going on in our lives. Struggles and joys were brought forward with time to pray over each other. This activity encompassed what we as the Alumni Executive get excited to hear about and we are glad it was taken advantage of by the Alumni in attendance.
I want to acknowledge our Alumni of the Year awards for 2021. We recognized Stephen Epp (NBC ’10) for Dedicated Service to NBC, and Terry & Rosie Banman (NBI ’88) for Faithfulness in Ministry. Thank you to all Alumni who are persistent in using their God-given gifts in service to Him."
Josh Lees, Alumni President
Though our 2020 Alumni Day looked different than previous Alumni Weekends there is much to be encouraged by! Thankfully it took place just before even tighter Covid restrictions came into place - with roughly 40 alumni in person (and a handful tuning in online) for the events of the day.
Julie Fehr, our Alum Exec Vice President led the Reconnect Meeting. Jason Elford (Staff Liaison) performed a plethora of duties as he always does, also navigating the difficulties of streaming the Alumni Day for those who could not attend but still wanting to take part in the day. The other Alumni Executive (Crystal Pelletier, Joshua Nickel, Jordan Lepine) also helped the day come together with planning, brainstorming, and hands on work.
The Alumni Project chosen was a much needed Paper Folder for the NBC office. And despite a small group compared to normal years, we were able to raise $3400!
We thank Crystal Pelletier for her investment as she finished her time on the Exec this November. The alumni voted for Anne Giesbrecht to join our team. Anne brings a wealth of experience, passion for NBC, and some history, having attended NBI in the early 80’s.
I would like to give a summary of this year’s Alumni Weekend that just happened November 22-24. First, I’d like to thank everyone who was involved helping. This was done through preparation for leading music and workshops, helping decorate, making desserts, setting up chairs and tables for workshops and Obah Nite, organizing various activities, and so much more! Second, thanks to those who donated time, money, and items for the silent auction. Lastly, thanks to all who attended and for your effort to reconnect with the NBC family. We had about 160 registrations for the weekend! Without the Alumni’s prayer and desire to see God’s work done, this weekend would have been fruitless. Personally I was challenged and encouraged through the weekend and I hope that was the case for every attendee.
A tangible way we can praise God is for $15 000 raised to fund our Alumni Project.
This will cover replacing all the 21-year old mattresses in both dorms! What a blessing to students for years to come. It is exciting to see that accomplished through the generous giving of the Alumni who have been moved by God to give. Let’s not limit our giving to merely Alumni Weekend. Even small monthly donations to NBC’s general fund are pivotal to the provision of the quality education that you may have experienced as Alumni and for NBC to continue to serve its students moving forward. Perhaps you’d consider joining Many Hands this year?! Perhaps there are practical hands-on ways you could bless NBC this current year if you have time, skill, or ability to serve that way. Reach out to NBC and let them know you’d like to serve. There is no task too small or donation too little to honour God and bring Him glory.
Please reserve the later weekends of November 2020 and plan to attend Alumni Weekend next fall! Here’s the new Executive who will work to plan next year’s event — Joshua Nickel (’08), Crystal Pelletier (’01), Julie (nee Desharnais) Fehr (’15) Jordan Lepine (’14), and myself (’15). Jason Elford (’95) continues to serve as liaison between NBC and our Exec.
I would like to thank everyone who showed up for Alumni weekend November 23-25. With over 160 alumni registered, in my understanding it may have been the largest regular Alumni Weekend we’ve ever hosted at NBC. Facilities manager Kendall Dyck has even been considering if there needs to be some sort of cap for the weekend moving forward — what an exciting problem. Space and numbers aside, I hope it was rewarding and refreshing for those in attendance. For those unable to attend, here were some of the highlights.
The last regularly scheduled weekend hockey challenge happened this year. I know that’s maybe a bitter feeling for some. But with the numbers of students who play hockey each year dwindling (even with full capacity student numbers) and the fact that Alumni Weekend often attracts more recent alumni, we were faced with a reality of the hockey teams getting smaller and smaller each year. With an announcement of this being “the last annual game” numbers were up significantly, and there can likely be a game inserted from time to time over future years. It felt sweet to see the Alumni team to the last challenge.
The soccer tournament was well received and many played Saturday morning. We had well attended workshops which were each practical to life and spiritual growth, and the Saturday AM craft was so well received (wooden signs) we’ll need to move it to the library next fall to accommodate for space. Obah night on Saturday saw a gym full of 260+ people (with alumni, students, staff, and lot of children!) and a great meal enjoyed together. The “President’s Pie Challenge is part of that and I ended up losing and finding myself with a face full of whipped cream from Interim President Jason Elford. That’s the second time I’ve been pied as Alumni President and never once was I able to enjoy pieing someone else in my 4 years, but who’s keeping track?! I’m excited to share we raised enough money over the weekend to pay for replacing the original Hobart mixer in the kitchen - which was on its very last legs - for a cost of roughly $12,000. On Sunday morning, Larry Rempel preached from Hebrews about finishing the race well as we wrapped up the weekend! You can read weekend details and Alumni of the Year write-ups (Dennis & Hannah Kroeker and Darryl & Denise Rice) at www.nipawin.org.
This is the last letter as Alumni President. as Josh Lees officially takes over the role. It’s been a enjoyable and rewarding experience watching the sacrifice of students, staff, board members and alumni serving at NBC. I encourage you to welcome and help Josh Lees in his new role, along with Crystal Pelletier and Allan Klippenstein who will be joining Shelby Desharnais and Joshua Nickel as the current Alumni Exec. I wish you all a Happy New Year. Remember to keep the NBC in your prayers as January is always a month full of students travelling for their ministry practicums.
Highlights of the weekend:
1)Raised a record $20,495 alumni projects for the year:
-Replacing the 57yr old main range hood and oven
-Replacing the 16yr old main Hobart dishwasher
4)Dave and Sharon Dyck were main speakers
5)Alumni of the Year for 2017:
-Manfred and Stella Neff for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry
-Dave and Marsha Reimer for Distinguished Service to NBC
6)Well attended and relevant workshops, incredible afternoon coffee house run by Reneil Larson and the overtime win by the NBC staff/students hockey team.