Sunday, December 31, 2006

Updated PIBC Web Sites

Just wanted to let you know that the PIBC web site http://pibc.edu is updated and new. If you have not taken a look at it lately you might want to click over there. Also, if you would like to keep up with what our Yap Mission Team is doing, one of our students, Mac Alfonso, is blogging about it with pictures. Here are a couple more pics of our vacation time with Michael, Samantha and Titus.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Vacation

We are enjoying our Christmas vacation (PIBC shuts down all its operations from December 24 to January 2 to give the faculty, staff and workers a much needed rest.). Of course we have spent most of it just spending time with Michael, Samantha and Titus. But we have got out of the house a little. On Christmas afternoon Michael and I went over to the school to enjoy a couple hours of pick up basketball with Guam Palauan Evangelical Church group. It was good to burn off a few of those Christmas dinner calories and have some good fellowship. We spent the afternoon at the beach the next day with the PIBC gang, BBQing and swimming. It does get colder on Guam in December. The temperature drops into the low 80's. Last night I had the opportunity to perform a wedding for some old family friends - the Mendiola's - that go back to our Yigo Baptist days. I am hearing a lot of feedback from people who want to see more of Titus so I am trying to include him in all the pictures. I am still working on putting video on this site.

Monday, December 25, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


We pray that you have a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas from the PIBC family and from Dave, Joyce, Mike, Samantha and Titus. Join us today in enjoying this day as we celebrate that "the Word became human and allowed God's glorious presence to live among us" (John 1:14).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Vacation Begins

We picked up our son Michael, his wife Samantha and our grandson Titus at the airport on Thursday. For me that was the beginning of Christmas vacation. They are missionary-teachers at Emmaus High School in Koror, Palau where Joyce and I started our missionary service in 1984. We have had fun getting reacquainted with Titus. He has grown so much since October. He is now looking at everything, figuring out that he can control his hands (and all the people around him) and making lots of noise.

We will finish up a little Christmas shopping today. Yesterday we went to the Christmas program at Little Lambs pre-school. Joyce's 2-3 year olds did a great job and were very cute as little melting snowmen with funny hats. The pre-school is a great opportunity for Joyce to minister the gospel to her kids and their parents. We are planning to go to the Bayview Baptist Christmas eve morning service and then see the Covenant Players Christmas Eve presentation in the evening. We will then have a late Christmas Eve dinner with our friends Tony and May Vigil and many other friends. Most of us are far apart from our families so we become each others' families.

Thank you for praying for our situation with the Chuuk State Scholarship. The Chuuk officials have told that the money was redeposited into the account and we have redeposited the checks. Please pray that everything works out and the students get their much-needed funds.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Two Prayer Requests

Please pray for two issues for us...

1. We just received notice from our bank that all the checks from the Chuuk State scholarship fund bounced. Basically, this removes over $20,000 from our Guam campus account and places a great hardship on our Chuukese students who were counting on that money to make ends meet, including some who were hoping to use their refund to pay their airfare to Yap for the missions trip (See below). Pray that we can work this out (several students have already received refunds from PIBC and spent the money for personal needs) and that somehow Chuuk can find what happened to the money and fix the situation.

2. 10 students and 3 staff members will leave for Yap tomorrow to do ministry with youth and children there and help the Yap church with Christmas ministry. Pray for them that God will use them in a big way and that people will understand and respond as the Gospel is preached. Also pray that the group will be an encouragement to the Yap Evangelical Church and that this will be a "stretching" experience for all the students involved. Also pray that they will be able to raise the additonal $750 needed for the trip.

I promise pictures with the next post!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Last Day of the Semester

Today was the last day of the semester before Christmas Break. My Old Testament class took their Final exam last night and our Cults class had its last discussion meeting this afternoon. Joyce closed her semester by presenting her linguistics class (pic below) project. I will be spending my Saturday tomorrow grading exams and papers to be ready to have my grades in by next Friday. My cults students still have until Wednesday to submit their assignments to me. It will be nice to have a couple quiet weeks and enjoy some time off. I know the students had a relieved look on their faces this evening.

Of course the bad side to all this is saying goodbye to the students as they leave for the holidays. Most of them are coming back, but two have finished their programs. Philemon Ngirakel has been at PIBC for five years and we have enjoyed his positive attitude and ever-present willingness to help. He went back to Yap yesterday afternoon where he will work with Asael Ruda in the Yap Evangelical Church. Jafflyn Poll (pic above) transferred to the Guam campus from the Chuuk campus a couple years ago and has been a real leader among the students. It would not surprise me if she is the governor of Chuuk some day. We will miss them both, but will get to see them when they return for graduation in May. I also had a chance to pray with the 10 students who will be leaving this week for a PIBC mission trip to Yap. Please pray for Hiob, Hollie and Ned as they lead the students in this ministry to youth and children on Yap.


Prayer Update: Thank you for praying for the revision to our grant proposal. It was approved this week. Praise God! We can now go out and get the equipment we need to really run our distance education program.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fall Semester Prayerful Review

As we head into the last week of the semester I thought it would be a good thing to look back and praise God for some of the exciting things that have happened at PIBC over the past few months. Please join us in thanking God for …

The great progress in the student outreach to the University of Guam. The Guam Evangelical Church has changed into the “gathering,” a student-led relational outreach to Micronesian students in the dorms at UOG. I am especially thankful to see the way the students involved in the ministry have grown. As one student said, “I hated (at first) to go to the ministry at UOG, but through praying to God for help I came to realize (that I needed to) accept God’s call for me to help reach others… and not give up doing my ministry at UOG.”

The growing openness among the students to share their heart issues with us and trust us to help them.

The great unified team spirit among the faculty and staff.

The successful launching of our distance education program. Students from Palau and Guam interacted with one another and, I think, learned a lot in our first ever Distance education class – “Cults, Sects and Heresies.” This Spring we plan to include students from Chuuk and Yap with those from Palau and Guam in “Survey of Wisdom Literature.” I am really enjoying having the opportunity to teach and fellowship with the students in both the actual and virtual classroom.

God’s wonderful provision of a new dorm room and kitchen dining room (Quik space cargo container conversions), dorm furniture (from a sale at the Hilton), and other assorted physical needs being met at very low cost to us.

Provision for the financial needs of the students, especially the recent reception of the Chuuk State scholarship checks for most of our Chuukese students.

Prayer Requests

1. For good rest for students, staff and faculty over the Christmas break.

2. For the student mission trip to Yap to lead children’s ministry. 10 students and 3 staff members will go there over Christmas break.

3. For the acceptance of the revision of the “scope of work” list for our distance education grant from the USDA. This would provide all the equipment we need to make all of our sites into distance learning centers. This would be the first step in our plan to have a center in every island group for Bible and ministry training.

4. Many of our students struggle with family issues, addictive behaviors and other such problems. We will be starting counseling/accountability/encouragement groups on the Guam campus in January.

We appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry. We will be back in the mainland from around June 1 to August 9. It’s not too early to schedule us to speak in your church, Bible study, mission group or just to hang out together and fellowship.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"Guambiance"

Last night as Joyce and I went out to get a Christmas tree we coined a new word. (At least I think it is a new word. If I heard it before I apologize to the person who thought of it.) We drove through Hotel Row to enjoy the new Christmas light displays. Though there was a lot of traditional Christmas display - reindeer, Santa Claus and elves, Nativity scenes, Christmas stars and winter snow scenes - the displays also worked in coconut trees, latte stones, Santa and elves in tropical wear - shorts and zorries- and starfish. Both of us commented on how much we enjoyed the Christmas season on Guam. There is a traditional, but different, island feel all at the same time. I said, yes, Guam has a very different ambiance and Christmas - in fact it is a "Guambiance."

Here is how I define "Guambiance." Guambiance is the atmosphere that produces the feeling on Guam that "this seems very familiar, but there is something different here." It is produced by the influence of the traditional American/European celebrations with the added influences of Chammorro, Filipino, Micronesian and other Asian and Micronesian cultures. It somehow makes the parts of the celebration that should be out of place on a tropical island seem to fit in perfectly.

I guess the best way to define it is to describe it. Guambiance is ....

Going to get your Christmas tree after an afternoon at the beach, still wearing your swimming stuff...
Playing in the snow, inside the mall...
Hearing familiar Christmas carols in unfamiliar languages...
BBQing your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner....
Turning up the aircon "so it feels like Christmas."
Riding on a Christmas Carabao ...
Explaining to the procession in your neighborhood that you do not want to "kiss the nino" because you are not Roman Catholic, but giving candy canes to the kids in the procession...
Seeing "sponsored by Miller Lite" signs in people's home Christmas displays...

I could go on and on but you get the picture. It's different, but we love it and would not want to celebrate Christmas any differently (except we'd like to have all our family with us). Please pray with us that more people here will really get to know the Jesus they celebrate this season.