Northwest Roots Change the World
Tom was born and raised in Africa (Zimbabwe and Zambia respectively). After returning to the United States for his final two years of high school, he attended Multnomah and the University of Washington. During those years, he met and married Bonnie who was born and reared in Spokane, Washington. She attended Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington also. Following their marriage, they moved to Africa and served with the Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) from 1970 to 1986.With the exception of one year in Swaziland, they lived in South Africa and were involved in establishing Theological Education by Extension centers for church leadership training. They also served on the faculty of the Johannesburg Bible Institute and helped found the Christian Training College just south of Durban. During, and following, their years in Africa, both completed advanced degrees through Western Seminary in Portland, OR and the University of South Africa in Pretoria.
Between 1986 and 1991, Tom and Bonnie served with their mission’s USA office, first in the northwest then in Boone, NC. Both have taught at Multnomah since 1991 where Tom is the current professor and chair of the Intercultural Studies Department and director of the annual on-campus Global Ministries (Missions) Conference. Bonnie teaches courses in the Educational Ministries Department, teaches and directs the student-career development program, and is a frequent conference speaker.
Home and Africa Again
Tom and Bonnie recently tendered their resignation from Multnomah to re-enter global missions. As of Jan. 2012, they will be serving with the Paraclete Mission Group. Because evangelical growth has been spectacular in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia, discipleship and leadership development are regarded by many Christian leaders as the greatest and most crucial challenges facing the Church today.
Consequently, Paraclete is specifically recruiting “seasoned” and committed workers to step through a unique door of opportunity to encourage the exploding global church by passing along reproducing skills and insights cultivated over years of worldwide ministry experience. The Kopps are stepping through this door to strategically equip and develop both missionary and national leaders in the global mission community. They will address topics related to cross-cultural living and ministry, leadership and team development, spiritual formation, and mission-church partnerships.
Message of Encouragement
If they could pass along a message to Multnomah’s alumni, it would be that “the distance you travel from home does not count as much as how close to the Lord you stand.” Martin Burnham, a former missionary abducted with his wife, held prisoner for a year, and subsequently shot to death in the rescue operation, said, “I was not called to be a missionary, I was not called to the Philippines, I was called to follow Jesus and that’s what I’ve been doing.” At all costs and under every circumstance, “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph. 4:1). That calling is TO JESUS! Follow closely!!
Tags: Africa, bonnie kopp, cross-cultural, Educational Ministries, Global Ministries Conference, Intercultural Studies Department, leadership, mission-church partnership, Multnomah, tom kopp, Zambia, Zimbabwe