[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Alumnus of the Year”]
This award is given each year to alumni who contribute extraordinarily towards the ongoing work of NBC and/or as a token of recognition for a life given to faithful ministry or servanthood. Please contact NBC or the Alumni Exec if you know an Alumnus you feel deserves to be given this honor.
[toggle title=”2016 – Barry & Reneil Larson” open=”false”]
First, the 2016 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Service to NBC.
If there were separate world for all the giants of servanthood, I envision both this man and woman would be in that world. First meeting as students at Nipawin Bible Institute around the mid 80’s, they got married in 1988 and began life together. With 5 children by 1994, I can only imagine the juggling required when Reneil first served on the Alumni Executive in the late 1990’s. I have seen this couple’s faithful involvement in their own children’s lives and also with their home church, just a couple of other reasons why I find it so neat they have also taken intentional time to squeeze in serving faithfully as they’ve been able at Nipawin Bible College. Though you might not see HIM at the front of a room or auditorium, Barry is a valuable contributor of getting the necessary things done. In 2012 when we renovated Rempel Auditorium and finished this Student Lounge, Barry and his work-crew (a substantial portion of which were his children) were such a valuable asset to NBC in adding eavestrough to the exterior of this building. Just this past summer 2016, his crew was at it again – they were in and out so fast most of us staff missed even knowing they were on Campus. However, as quick as they left, they left us with 2 dorms which for the first time in almost 50 years, had eavestrough all down the sides. For her part, Reneil has served on the Alumni Exec at least 2 different times, most recently from 2011-13. In 2010 when it appeared no one would let their name stand to be the new Alumni President, she was willing to volunteer her name spur of the moment to be considered for filling the role. This weekend Reneil has given of her time to lead a workshop this afternoon on a topic near to her heart — that is sharing her passion with us as Alumni to strive for God-honouring and thriving marriages. The Larson’s have been part of NBC’s Many Hands team for years, and both Barry and Reneil are an inspiration, encouragement, and example to me. In my opinion, they don’t just serve faithfully, they also have a deep LOVE for the people they serve. The 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award for Distinguished Service to NBC goes to Barry & Reneil Larson.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”2016 – Kendall & Amanda Buhler” open=”false”]
Now, the 2016 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry.
In 1993, this gentleman came to NBC as a young, fuzzy faced Freshmen. Leaving after a year, he ventured down various paths including a small chapter as an live auctioneer. Called back to NBC in January of 2000 he began his 2nd year and by God’s providence crossed paths with a certain lady who happened to be a freshmen that year. In 2002 this couple were married and since it appears I decided that this year we’d give the Alumnus of the Year awards to people with lots of children 🙂 they started on a journey towards the 6 they have with them here today. After 2 years of pastoral training in Yorkton, they moved to Ebenezer, SK where Kendall took on the pastoral role at the Baptist church. A long-term commitment to a specific ministry inevitably results in seeing many triumphs, celebrating milestones, and experiencing the joys that come in seeing life-long growth in many you have crossed paths with or directly invested in throughout the years. Of course, it also usually comes with living through various disappointments, unexpected let-downs, and enduring through a number of hardships. Over the past 10 years at Ebenezer, Amanda has served in a number of capacities at the church including women’s ministry and discipling, and music ministry — this along with home-schooling the children as they reach school age. Apart from his role as pastor, Kendall has also served alongside Good Spirit Bible Camp for a number of years in roles including staff training, and one-on-one mentoring with camp leadership. In 2013 Kendall joined NBC’s Board of Directors, becoming Board chair 1 year ago. Kendall and Amanda are a part of the NBC Many Hands team, are Christian leaders and examples to many, and we are pleased to extend to them today the 2016 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”2015 – Ryan & Pam Jansen” open=”false”]
The 2015 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Service to NBC goes to Ryan & Pam Jansen. Ryan was thrust into the alumni spotlight unexpectedly, allowing his name to stand on a spur of the moment nomination in 2010 to become the President of the Alumni Association when no other people had let their name stand coming into that Alumni Weekend. His position on the Alumni Executive soon led to an invitation to serve as part of the NBC Board of Directors. During Ryan’s time on the board he began to envision a new potential for NBC. In 2013 he brought his proposal forward to see NBC run completely by solar power. The process came together quickly and in June 2014 the project started with construction, eventually coming online in December, with a grand opening in April 2015. Without his company’s contributions and his own continual provision of time and expertise NBC would not have been able to complete the project at the cost we did. Alongside Ryan, Pam has also served faithfully. Shortly after becoming Alumni President, Ryan & Pam had their first child, and though the demands of time and this new experience were part of their life, Pam regularly hosted the alumni exec in their home for Alumni meetings, designed and made Alumni Weekend posters, and graciously allowed Ryan to travel to NBC for various meetings and Alumni Weekends, coming along as much as she was able and they regularly opened up or offered their home as a place for NBC staff or tour teams to stay on the road. Ryan & Pam continue to serve and bless NBC through faithful giving and his serving as part of the Board. We are honoured to have them as Alumni and to recognize them today.
Ryan & Pam Jansen RESPONSE
We are truly humbled to be named alumnus of the year, and sincerely thank you for this honor. We are sorry that we are not able to be with you today.
I (Ryan) attended NBI for one year in 2002-2003 directly after high school, as I was both: looking to build my life on a firm, Biblically-based foundation, as well as find a wife! God used the school to completely put my life on His track, and ingrain in me a clear direction and purpose for my life. Thus, accomplishing one of my goals… God had other ideas for providing a wife!
I met my beautiful wife, Pam, studying Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan, while she was studying Commerce. Two years later, we were married, and we now have been married for 9 years, and have been blessed with two children. We attend Asquith Baptist Church, near Saskatoon, and are involved in many areas of leadership there.
Although I only spent one year at NBI as a student, God has called me back, and allowed me to serve as Alumni President for a 4-year term, and to continue serving as a Board Member. We are so grateful for the impact that this school has in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world. We never cease to be amazed at the quality of students and staff that the Lord brings to NBC, and we are truly blessed to be a part of His plan here at the school. Thank you.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”2015 – Gordon & Val Rowland” open=”false”]
The 2015 Alumnus of the Year award for Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry goes to Gordon & Val Rowland. Gordon and Val exemplify well the NBC Mission statement we seek to ingrain with our students today…
“Developing passionate followers of Jesus Christ with a heart to serve”.
Not only are they passionate followers of Christ serving faithfully, through their pastoral work over 35 years they have sought to invest themselves into congregations and individuals to see others grow in passion for following Christ in faithful service.
A long-term commitment of service to a specific ministry or organization inevitably results in seeing many triumphs, celebrating milestones, and experiencing the joys that come in seeing life-long growth in many you have crossed paths with or directly invested in throughout the years. Of course, it also usually comes with living through various disappointments, unexpected let-downs, and enduring a number of hardships.
Gordon & Val have served with Village Missions for over 35 years now in 5 mostly rural churches. They give faithfully through ‘Many Hands’ and were glad to see 3 of their children attend Nipawin. We are honoured to have them as Alumni and to recognize them today.
Gordon & Val Rowland RESPONSE
It is hard to believe that it is getting close to 40 years since Val and I left the campus of Nipawin Bible College. I (Gordon) attended from 1974-77, and Val attended from 1976-78. That year we were married and one year later began our ministry with Village Missions. The Lord has been good to us, leading us to serve in 5 churches, including the Clive Christian Fellowship in Clive, Alberta, where we have been now for 14 years. Over those years, along with the ministry, God has blessed us with 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
It is a real honor and very humbling to be named alumnus of the year. We feel that our contribution to the school has been rather limited over the years, although we did send 3 of our children to NBC. After a few years in ministry I attended another prominent Bible College for one year to complete a degree program. However, I have always considered Nipawin Bible College to be “my school.” I want to thank NBC for the role they have played in my life, and for their faithfulness in continuing to train men and women to serve Jesus Christ.
We thank you with all of our hearts for recognizing us with this award. We are so sorry that we cannot be there in person. It is our desire to continue faithfully serving our Lord as long as He gives us strength to do so.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”2014 – Adam & Eleanor Dyck” open=”false”]
Adam & Elly have 3 children, Cole, Riley, and Megan.
Adam graduated from NBC in 2011 completing a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Leadership. He came with a background in construction, framing houses before and after his time at NBC.
While at Nipawin Adam was very involved, especially in music leadership. He appreciated how the staff helped him form his theology, without forcing their views on him. But he admits that he was forced to become better at resolving conflict.
They stay connected to NBC in a number of key ways:
– bringing their youth group to three60five every year
– hosting tour teams in their church and at their home
– promoting Bible colleges with the youth in their area, especially NBC!!
– there are current NBC students here as a result of that influence.
Adam & Elly felt a call to some aspect of church ministry even before coming to Nipawin. After doing his internship with Youth For Christ in St. Pierre MB Adam worked with them for another year before sensing God calling them to work with the youth at Grunthal Abundant Life Fellowship Church.
Elly is a vital partner in the ministry, and increasingly so as their kids get older. She has an important role with their small group ministry and especially connecting with the girls.
Adam & Elly are committed to serving God faithfully, with a heart to do so for the long term. In this they exemplify well the mission of NBC which is to passionately follow Jesus Christ, with a true heart to serve.
For Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry, today as a College and Alumni Association we recognize Adam & Eleanor Dyck as one of our 2014 Alumnus of the Year.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”2014 – Tiffany Barkman” open=”false”]
Tiffany spent 1 year at NBC in 2001-02. After her year at NBC, and after much prayer and searching she embarked on a 6 month overseas trip in India with Lorilee, an NBC classmate of hers.
After coming home Tiffany worked for 2 years as a personal care giver for adults needing support to live in their homes. But after getting her TESOL certificate she felt God nudging her to be involved overseas again, which led to work overseas in 2005. Tiffany would tell you that she did not want to return to Asia at that time, mainly because she wanted to sweep her way around the globe to other continents. She was placed, by the organization she went with, in “OGC” , the Asian country she least wanted to go to of those offered. But God burst upon her with a great love for the people and country, surprising her in how quickly her heart was changed.
Upon returning she explored linguistics at the Canada Institute of Linguistics and then a year of study at Steinbach Bible College. Much prayer for God’s leading brought her to join a translation organization in 2008, and finally landing her in Chiang Mai, Thailand en route to a future focus with OGC.
There were many influences God used in her choice to serve overseas. From the words and encouragement of an NBC faculty member, Lorilee who she went to India with, to parents and friends, Sunday School teachers who gently invited her from a young age to know, love and serve God. And not least, the people who were there for her when she returned from OGC the first time, confused and somewhat lost — people who prayed with her and challenged her in ways she didn’t always want to hear.
Tiffany will testify that it is in the most discouraging and low times that she is most aware of the need to persist — in the battle of where she invests her time, energy and thoughts. “Will I turn toward more desperate dependence on God? Or will I rationalize that I can do it myself, or will I just give into negativity or hopelessness?” She is one our most faithful Alumni in communicating with friends and supporters including NBC, with detailed newsletters sharing often of how we stand with her in ministry. We have been blessed to have her in chapel twice over the past few years when she was on home assignment.
For Distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry, today as a College and Alumni Association we recognize Tiffany as one of our 2014 Alumnus of the Year.
[toggle title=”2013 – Jason & Anita Boucher” open=”false”]
It seems like just yesterday when I attended their wedding – Another good NBC wedding story. Boy pursues girl. Girl is unsure at first, but soon enough comes to realize that this is who she has been waiting for, and things proceed from there.
They married fairly young, perhaps in some people’s eyes, but this couple jumped right into life together, serving well in any job or role they had – living first in Nipawin, and then up in the Meadow Lake area for a time. Though they didn’t necessarily have a distinct strong calling from God in those early married years to go to the mission field, or be a pastor, or jump into some line of full-time ministry, there were people around them that God was directing to speak into their lives at just the right times, which in God’s perfect plan led them to also join Northern Canada Evangelical Mission. It’s fun to look back and marvel at God’s sovereignty and how he can take plain clay vessels like us and do such great things. Almost any person I’ve ever met who has filtered through Big River Bible Camp in the past 10 years cannot find a shortage of good things to say about these Camp directors. Their heart to see kids come to know Christ and then, not to stop there, but to see them grow in depth of relationship with the God of the Universe and a Saviour who dearly wants to mold each of us in His image, is evident.
The amount of youth who have come to NBC as students after spending time as a camper or staffer BRBC with Jason and Anita is noticeable.
The Bouchers have also worked with NBC quite regularly for a number of years as we sent freshmen students to them each January to get a taste of cross-cultural ministry as part of our annual Freshmen Ministry Practicum.
May you be inspired and challenged this morning by this story – about a couple who don’t feel anything special about themselves is what qualifies them to serve faithfully in ministry. What qualifies them to serve faithfully in ministry are hearts that feel an urgency to share the love they know that’s found here (hold up Bible), with boys and girls who need to hear and see that love lived out towards them. Jason & Anita, don’t grow weary in serving well.
It is with great privilege that we as an Alumni Association recognize Jason & Anita Boucher with a 2013 Alumnus of the Year plaque for distinguished Faithfulness in Ministry.
[toggle title=”2013 – Gary & Wanda Brown” open=”false”]
I don’t even remember the first time I met this couple. I remember knowing them, before I knew NBC. In fact, and probably because I was a child, I didn’t know they were NBC alumni until I was a student here, but I saw them faithful in ministry already during those childhood years. This couple met here on the NBI campus in the late 60’s. After they met a stereotypical bridal college fate like a number before and many since, it wasn’t long until they were involved in full-time ministry. They served with Northern Canada Evangelical Mission for decades in a number of capacities including flying and at the headquarters in Prince Albert, and more recently have also played roles in other organizations such as Bridges for Peace. In the early 90‘s they had involvement with the NBC Alumni Executive, and were committed to support NBC as they were able, even as we know full-time missionaries are not always the ones who can bless others with their pocketbooks – especially when compared to many others in our rich western culture. These days, Wanda faithfully stands by Gary and works hard at supporting their three adult age children as she and Gary continue to both live out Christ’s love towards those three. Their passion for NBC is clear – Gary regularly gives me names of high-schoolers he’s working on recruiting, and I know he and Wanda both are faithful in regularly praying for God’s work here. As their life paths have found them lately in less in “full-time” vocational ministry and spending time a bit more time with a construction company among other things, their hearts of generosity toward NBC have been clear. They are every-day people, like you and I, and I am encouraged by them and what it looks like to be Kingdom minded in life and daily focus. It is with great privilege that we as an Alumni Association recognize Gary & Wanda Brown with a 2013 Alumnus of the Year plaque for distinguished service to NBC.
[toggle title=”2012 – Randall & Darlene Dyck” open=”false”]
It is my privilege to recognize the Alumnus of the Year for 2012. Many deserving alumni have been given this award over the past couple decades, and it is a testament to the heart of our Alumni Association that we are able to find people each year and ask ourselves, “how have they not been awarded this before?” This year, we recognize humble, faithful service once again.
Think small-town Saskatchewan – a young man and woman, each come to Nipawin Bible Institute in the fall of 1982. He from east of Saskatoon, her from southeast of Moose Jaw. I’m sure there are at least a couple of you here that could tell us the expanded story – but by the time those NBI years were over, “bridal college” had worked its magic.
This young man got his first taste of extra involvement with NBC after being voted onto the Alumni Executive as president in the mid-1990‘s, in fact my freshman year I believe, in 1995/96.
Over the years since that time on the executive, both have grown in involvement and commitment to seeing the work of NBC continue and grow. After a season of life in BC, they returned to Saskatchewan where both their boys graduated from high school and attended NBC.
In addition to regular attendance at golf tournaments, Alumni Weekends, and almost every other single school event year round, both have shown a sacrificial willingness to commit their time to lending a helping hand around NBC where needed. They’ve been a steady part of “Many Hands” for years, and it just seems whenever we issue a fundraising challenge they’re always at the front of the pack to help and lead the way.
During my time as Alumni Exec president I saw Darlene’s desire at work to see more of their classmates and peers back at NBC for Alumni weekends or other events. Randall was invited to join the Board of Directors as an Associate member while he served as President of the Alumni Association. 17 years later, he never left, being the longest serving member currently on the Board. This summer Randall volunteered time doing electrical work on this student lounge we enjoy and dedicate today.
Randall and Darlene had the unfortunate circumstance of having to suffer through 7 days in Jamaica this week – but I assured them I’d hold on to this and give it to them when they got back. This morning I am honored to announce Randall and Darlene Dyck as the 2012 Alumnus of the Year award receipients.
[toggle title=”Previous Alumnus of the Year” open=”false”]2011 – Peter & Linda Enns
2010 – Ray & Esther Larson
2009 – Ken & Lina Yadlowsky
2008 – Matt Thiessen
2007 – Allan Kreller
2006 – Brad Steppan
2005 – Brian & Judy McArthur
2004/05 – Wes & Diane Fehr
2004 – Dennis & Hannah Kroeker
2003 – James Anderson
2001 – James Anderson
2000 – Darrel Teichrob
1999 – Jake D. Ens
1998 – Lois Jansen
1997 – Gordon Koop [/toggle]