Alumni Weekend 2023 has wrapped up. Thank-you to all in attendance for a great weekend!
Alumnus of the Year Awards 2023
Like many other young people, this couple began their first foray into ministry working at Bible Camp, Winkler Bible Camp to be precise. Although they worked at the same camp it took until their second summer before they really began getting to know one another, and eventually entered into a dating relationship.
Following their second summer of camp ministry they both went off to Bible school in Saskatchewan, however they attended different schools; Tony chose to attend Bethany College, while Janet chose Nipawin Bible Institute. While they were both happy with the schools they were attending, maintaining a dating relationship while attending different schools, largely through phone calls with the in-dorm pay phones, was a challenge. Tony saw great things happening in Janet's life at NBI, and so he made the decision to switch schools for his second year, allowing them to be together for the remainder of their Bible school education.
Prior to their second year of Bible school, Tony and Janet returned to camp ministry for the summer, however this time Janet worked at Pine Ridge Bible Camp, while Tony returned for another summer at Winkler Bible Camp. It was at Pine Ridge Bible Camp that Janet remembers an interaction with campers who had no basic knowledge of Bible stories, making her aware that right here in her “backyard” there are people who were completely unaware of the Gospel message; this experience gave Janet a sense that God was leading her to some form of ministry right here in Canada. During this same summer, Tony was witness to a transformative change in the attitude of a couple of First Nations campers who attended on leave from a halfway house, leading him to feel called into some form of ministry among Canadian First Nations people.
Following their summer at camp, they returned to NBI for their second year of Bible school. During their time at NBI, further interactions with representatives of NCEM, particularly Bud Elford speaking at Missions Conference, led them to make the decision to take NCEM’s summer program Northern Missionary Training Camp. Following graduation, in the spring of 1988, Tony and Janet joined the program. Recently engaged, they were assigned to the furthest apart locations. They chose to reject Bud Elford's offer to marry them immediately in order to go to the same location for training.
After getting married, Tony and Janet joined a church plant in Ontario with EMMC, where they served in youth ministry before reconnecting with NCEM in 1991 and relocating to their first mission field in Pelly Crossing, Yukon. They served faithfully in Pelly Crossing from 1992 until 1998, when they felt God leading them, along with their four young children, to Whitehorse. They served in Whitehorse until 2008, when they moved to Lac La Biche, Alberta, to serve at Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute, an NCEM Bible School.
After serving at Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute for several years, circumstances led to the closure of the school, leaving Tony and Janet looking to what God had for their future. Although there were many options, and suggestions, for where to go next, they had a peace about returning to their ministry in Whitehorse, so in 2013 they moved back to Yukon. They had visited many times while serving in Lac La Biche, and maintained connections there, allowing them the ability to “hit the ground running” when they returned.
Ministry for Tony and Janet is multi-faceted, as with most people involved in ministry, but their years of faithful service has afforded them many opportunities that are only possible due to the relationships they have fostered over their time in the Yukon. Tony has been involved in prison ministry for many years, and recently become the part-time chaplain at the prison. Through the relationships developed over the years of faithful service, Tony is also called upon to perform many funerals, for which Janet is often involved as well. One on one visitation is also a key aspect of their ministry for both Tony and Janet. They also serve together in a “Grief Share” initiative in Whitehorse, through the support of their church, that Janet felt a strong need for in the communities. They are also involved in candidate care with NCEM, providing support for NCEM candidates.
Tony and Janet’s encouragement to you: “There are lots of people out there who are serving their churches faithfully, may not be as up-front, but they are faithfully serving the Lord. If there has been someone who has been an encouragement in your life, in your walk with the Lord, try to let that person know how much you really appreciate that. Encourage your encouragers”.
Nipawin Bible College is pleased to recognize Tony and Janet Ens as the 2023 Alumnus of the Year for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry.
Tony & Janet's Response:
Hi everyone. It has been great to reconnect with NBC through chatting with Ben Thiessen, the Alumni president, and we were blessed in our interview with Michael Rowland. We hope you are having a wonderful Alumni Weekend. We aren’t exactly the alumni that would be recognized for faithful attendance at Alumni Weekends, 1991 was the last, and only, Alumni Weekend we attended. We really appreciated our time at NBC; it provided friendships, some which have lasted for 38 years now. It also helped set a foundation in God’s word to prepare us for living for Jesus Christ and serving in His name.
It’s an honour to receive this award, and we thank you. We also thank the Lord for the many NBC alumni whose service in their churches and communities is so important to what God is doing around the world. We give the glory to Jesus Christ for the work He is doing in and through our lives. Grace and peace to you all.
If you spent some time on NBC campus over the summer and fall of 2023, you may have met, or been witness to the work of, Stan Masich. Stan and Janet, despite living 3 hours away in Saskatoon, have been an enormous blessing to NBC as they have consistently given of their time and resources, showing extraordinary support for the ongoing ministry of the college.
For those who do not know Stan and Janet, their story is one of ongoing service everywhere the Lord has led them. Stan became a Christian as an adult, in 1986, and was married to his first wife, Doris, that same year. After getting married he attended school to become a machinist and welder, a career he continued in until retirement. Stan was involved in the International Christian Bikers Association and served in facilities with his church, Diefenbaker Drive Community Church.
Janet came from a family with long ties to TRBI/NBI and chose to continue that heritage by attending NBI herself. While at NBI she began dating a young man named Dwayne and they married following their time at NBI. Once married, they together went into pastoral ministry, serving first in Midale, SK and then as church planter of Living Hope, in Saskatoon.
In 2005 Dwayne passed away, leaving behind Janet and her two children. Just a few months later Doris passed away, leaving Stan and his two young children. Thanksgiving weekend of 2006, Stan and Janet met, and in 2007 were married, bringing together their two young families. As with any newly married couple, there were many decisions and compromises to be made, and at this time Stan chose to leave Diefenbaker Drive Community Church to begin attending the church where Dwayne and Janet had been pastoring. Unsatisfied to simply attend church, Stan took on the role of overseeing facilities at that church as well.
Throughout several moves and changes in life, Stan and Janet attended a few different churches, however in every church they attended it was important to them to be fully “plugged-in” and involved, using the gifts God gave them to serve others. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Stan and Janet have been actively involved in providing support for displaced peoples, hosting them in their home and helping them get settled in Canada.
It is this servant heart that has been witnessed here at NBC. Beginning in 2022, Stan assisted in the new construction on the fourplex, and then later on in laying the sod. During this last summer, Stan and Janet spent time camping in Nipawin while Stan was involved in the renovation of one of the staff houses. When NBC had issues with the old zero-turn mowers, Stan hauled them away and performed maintenance and repairs. When NBC made the decision to demolish house #12, Stan took the time to come to NBC on more than one occasion to play a crucial role in that project.
Although Stan did not attend NBC himself, he became familiar with the college after meeting Janet and making the trip to Nipawin to visit. With Marlow, their youngest son, currently in his third year of studies, they have become more closely connected to NBC as of late, and we have been blessed by their seemingly endless generosity.
Nipawin Bible College is pleased to recognize Stan Masich and Janet Harms Masich as the 2023 Alumnus of the Year for Distinguished Service Toward NBC.
Stan & Janet's Response:
Thank you so much for the honour of receiving this award, but let’s be honest, it’s Stan that does all of the work. I merely try to coax him home once in a while!
When Stan and I were preparing to get married we quickly realized that many compromises would have to be made as we joined our families. It was during that time that I read Romans 12:1 during my devotional time, and I happened to read it in The Message. It says, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Stan and I are ordinary people with ordinary lives, and we try to take these ordinary things and look for ways to use them to say ‘yes’ to God.
Stan had really enjoyed working on campus. The warmth and camaraderie of the students is fun to be a part of, and they always help Stan to feel like he is one of the group. Stan also really appreciates the time and passion that Jason Elford brings to his role as president of the college. Jason is quick to respond to texts, to check in with Stan as he works on projects, and to make sure that the details are being taken care of so that Stan is able to use his time and abilities to their fullest while he is there. Thank you Jason for the way your serve God at NBC. You have made it a joy to come along side you in ministry.
Alumni Weekend Recaps
Firstly, I would just like to offer a huge thank you to all of the alumni that attended this year’s Alumni Weekend. We saw about 190 alumni and alumni kids storm NBC campus, and enjoyed a fantastic weekend of activities and visiting. I would also like to thank all those alumni who helped make the weekend a success. Set-up and clean-up before and after various events was smooth, thanks to a lot of willing volunteers.
Throughout the weekend we were able to hear from a variety of speakers. Dean Block (Chairman of NBC board) and Natalie Driedger (senior student) shared their testimonies during Friday’s worship night. In the workshops on Saturday we had the privilege to hear from Wes Fehr, Lindsay Anderson and Jordan Bergen as they spoke on their respective topics. Wes Fehr also brought the message during our Sunday morning service. We also enjoyed the musical talents of Wyatt Reader, Cydnie Klassen, Darwin Harder, Campbell Tieszen, and Reagan Harder as they lead music during the weekend.
Each year, three projects are selected, representing needs found on the college campus. Alumni vote on a project to “purchase” for NBC and all fundraising from the weekend goes towards that end. This year’s projects were new windows in house #11 ($3000), furnishing the lounge in the new Snider Hall ($10 000), or the primer, paint, and ceiling texture for new Snider Hall ($8000). Alumni in attendance this year blew us away, raising a total of $17 740 throughout the weekend easily covering the widows, the lounge furnishings and leaving a considerable chunk to go towards painting the new dorm. Thank you to everyone who helped make that happen, and praise God for generous the hearts he has placed in the alumni of NBC.
Alumnus of the year awards were given to Stan Masich and Janet Harms Masich for Distinguished Service to Nipawin Bible College and Tony and Janet Ens were awarded the Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry Award. For a bio on each couple and their response, please visit the Alumni page on nipawin.org.
Finally, I want to encourage alumni to pray for NBC. Pray for the staff as they run the college and teach the students God’s Word. Pray for the students as they learn, that it will impact their hearts as they learn to live for Christ. Pray for the Board of Directors as they prayerfully seek to lead the college and make decisions for the future on NBC. Lastly, pray for fellow alumni, and encourage each other in the Lord. See you all again next year!
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.
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.