Friday, May 30, 2008

Baseball in San Diego

We are enjoying our time in San Diego. Today Joyce and I went with Matt (Matt and I are pictured here) and his friend Carlos to an afternoon game between the San Diego Padres and Washington Capitals. We were sitting only 10 rows off the field part way down the left field foul line so we had a great view of the action. It was a very well-played and well-pitched game which the Padres won 5-2 on an 8th inning 3-run homer. I also enjoyed the train ride from the Fashion Valley Mall down to the stadium. Petco is in the Gaslamp area of San Diego which is also an interesting place to walk through. Yesterday we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. It stretched credibility even more than the others in the series but it was still a fun movie to watch. I would recommend it.

I am enjoying the rest time a lot. I will be heading back to Guam next Wednesday. My summer class will start on the 9th and I will be spending most of my time in June getting ready for the June 24 board meeting in Palau. In the meantime I have a couple more days to relax at Matt's place.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Owen Adventures in California

After returning from Hawaii both my and Joyce's parents met us in La Mirada. It was great to see them and have most of the family together. We all went together to church on Sunday at Michael and Samantha's church and enjoyed the worship service very much. (Picture here was taken in front of the church) After church we all went to lunch together and then drove down to San Diego to Matt and Kristin's place. We were able to have a family dinner with everyone there except Missy, who couldn't get away from work in Texas. We missed you Missy!

On Monday we celebrated Matt's graduation. He now has his master's degree in information science from Cal State. It was great to meet Matt's co-workers in the library at San Diego Christian College and many of his friends. It was also great to see some of Kristin's family at the party. We had a Guam BBQ with kelaguen and red rice ordered from a local Chammoro restaurant. Yes, there is one in San Diego. We planned to have the party at the lake but it is so cold in San Diego that we had to have it inside Matt and Kristin's apartment. It was still great. The picture on the left is of 4 generations of Owen men. We are also very excited that Matt now has a faculty position at SDCC.

Today (Tuesday), Matt (pictured here with his wife Kristin and somehow Titus seems to get in most of the pictures) arranged for me to meet with Dr. Paul Ague the president of SDCC and some of their top administrative people to discuss a possible partnership. They were very open to working with us and we are hoping to have a group from SDCC come out as early as May of 2009. I am praying that God will continue to raise up partners for us to do the work that needs to be done in the Pacific Islands.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hawaii Seminary Graduation


I am in the Honolulu airport as I post this getting ready to fly back to Los Angeles. I have been spending the last three days with the people at Hawaii Seminary continuing to explore our partnership with them. I attended their graduation banquet (pictured here) and graduation ceremony. I assured them that we would do what we could to help them. In addition to the festivities I had a good opportunity to meet with Annie Foerster the HITS administrator and Randy Furushima their president. I think we made good progress in developing our partnership. The graduation speaker was Dr. Roger Beckwith from Oxford, who had been tutored in his student days by C.S. Lewis and had met with the Inklings. We had a very enjoyable conversation around the banquet table. I am very thankful for the wonderful Aloha hospitality of all the people at HITS and plan to see them again soon.

I am headed back to LA to resume my vacation. We will be heading down to San Diego to celebrate Matt's graduation on Sunday. More later...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More from La Mirada

We have been enjoying our week here with Michael, Samantha and the kids. Please forgive us for putting up a lot of pictures of the grandkids! We have been helping them slowly move to their new apartment. We take over 3-4 loads a day from the old to the new apartment. They have until next week to get moved in. Today was the first cool day since we have been here. It has been in the high 90's to low 100's since we have been here. Last night it cooled off and today's high here was in the 70's, which feels very cold to us.

We went with Mike and Sam on Sunday to the Grace Evangelical Free Church. They have been going there since before they were married. They are active in the Grace groups and kids ministries there. Titus was right at home in Sunday school and in the nursery. We had one of those weird coincidences happen during the service. A young woman sat in front of us who looked familiar for some reason. When she introduced herself we found out that she was Abby Wright, the daughter of old friends and long time supporters of our ministry, Randy and Julie Wright. Small world! We enjoyed the service and meeting some of Mike and Sam's friends.

Today I met with Dennis Dirks the Academic Dean at Talbot Seminary to talk about some possibilities of PIBC and Talbot doing ministry together. We had a good meeting and are continuing to explore the possibilities. Please pray that we will pursue this according to God's will. It would be great to have a partner like Biola/Talbot.

I will be heading to Hawaii tomorrow to attend the Hawaii Theological Seminary graduation. I'll be there for three days. We are still working on a partnership that would establish a PIBC site in Honolulu. I would also appreciate your prayers on that. I will come back to California on Saturday for one more week of vacation.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We are in La Mirada

After our 18 hour flight the next morning after graduation we arrived early Wednesday in La Mirada. We tried to avoid sleeping that day to get used to the time but both Joyce and I took little naps. Joyce has been holding Courage pretty much all the time, but I do get to hold her a little. Titus and I have taken a walk to get coffee every morning since I have been here and we go swimming together every afternoon. I bought him the toddler's basketball hoop that I promised him. He will only shoot the ball when his hands are right above the rim and he can dunk it. This gives him a high shooting percentage and the word "dunk" has been added to his vocabulary. We also enjoyed going with Michael this morning to Titus' gymnastics class. We are enjoying spending time with Mike and Samantha and I think they are enjoying having a little help with the kids. Tomorrow we will help them begin their move to a bigger apartment which is also a little closer to the school. It is not all play as I am trying to take advantage of being in an apartment full of Biola grad students to do a little teacher recruiting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Guam Campus Graduation

Tuesday afternoon we held our graduation outdoors on the Guam campus. Though we prayed for weather like we had two years ago when we held our last outdoor graduation, we got a pretty good deluge for about 20 minutes. We were thankful for the canopies so that we didn't get too wet. 22 graduates marched across the stage to get their bachelor degree diplomas. In this picture I am awarding a diploma to Smileen Dobisch as the other students wait to get their's.




Our main speaker was Pastor Yosta Lodge, the campus director on our Chuuk campus. He preached on the theme verse 1 Corinthians 15.58 urging the students to stand firm because of the resurrection. Our valedictorians Twinsanne Sam from Chuuk and Joy Hosei from Palau spoke together about their experiences at PIBC and urged their classmates to continue pursuing relationship with Christ.

We had a much larger attendance at this graduation than any I have experienced on the Guam campus. It was almost as big as what has been regularly experienced on our Tol, Chuuk campus for many years. The graduates closed out the ceremony by singing their class song which was written by a few of the graduates.




After graduation came the traditional time for congratulations, giving leis and taking pictures. Here is Joyce and I with Happiness Lodge and his mother Maggie. Many of you may remember Happiness from his touring with us last summer as we visited our supporting churches. Happiness has a couple options for his future. Long term he wants to attend seminary and possibly go into missions. In the short term he may be teaching in the PIBC "Bridge" program teaching remedial english in Chuuk.





This picture poses one of our Yapese grads, Mac Alfonso with Joyce. Mac is already working in Yap as the Youth leader for the Colonia, Yap Evangelical Church. Some day Mac is also planning on going to seminary. The other picture poses me with several PIBC alumni pastors. Yosta Lodge and Johnny Sam (on the left) are both graduates of the old Micronesian Institute of Biblical Studies in Chuuk and fathers of current graduates. John Jim Phanchy, 2002 PIBC graduate, (in the middle) pastors a Chuukese church in Agat, Guam and Hedrick Kual, PIBC 2005, (next to me) pastors in the Koror Evangelical Church in Palau.

So now we all head out for summer support raising or prepare for summer activities at PIBC. I am in California right now but will be back on Guam in a couple weeks to teach summer school. We are thankful for a great school year and are looking forward to a great summer - we are teaching 5 courses on the Guam campus - and a great 2008-9.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baccalaureate

I am posting now from La Mirada, as we made it OK to Michael and Samantha's house this morning. Before I start posting on that though I will get caught up with the events of the last couple days on Guam. Sunday was the baccalaureate service for the Guam campus. We had the service at Faith Presbyterian and Reformed Church. As you can see in the picture (taken while the faculty group was singing) we had a very good crowd for the service. New faculty member, and now dean of our new seminary, Eric Sorenson gave the graduates a stirring sermon that emphasized the great value of the skills they had learned at PIBC and encouraged them to use them. Our salutatorian, Jayvina Chimwitew, also gave an excellent address. We were proud of her.

After the service we had a good time of fellowship with parents, alumni and students. We went home and tried to go to bed early, since we were picking up Yosta and Maggie Lodge coming in from Chuuk at 4.00 on Monday morning. Yosta is our Chuuk campus director and was the speaker for the Guam campus graduation. Yosta and Maggie are the parents of Happiness Lodge one of our graduating students. Of course we didn't go to bed early, but my sometimes trustworthy San Francisco 49er helmet alarm clock woke me up and I was able to get them at the airport on time. Yosta was coming up right after the Chuuk campus baccalaureate service, which we heard also went very well. We slept in a little, but not much, because we had a lot to do before graduation and getting ready to leave...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Graduation Festivities Begin


The PIBC Guam graduation festivities began on Friday night with the student sponsored banquet for the graduates. The lower classmen plan, serve and provide the entertainment for the banquet. The staff and faculty also provide some of the food. There are always lots of songs, skits and other entertainment. This year the Yapese (with a few Palauans and Chuukese helping as "honorary Yapese") student group performed a traditional stick dance. Traditionally these dances remember past battles or come out of pre-Christian beliefs, but the PIBC students are trying to redeem this cultural practice. The dance they invented commemorated the entrance of the Gospel to Yap. I am hoping they will do more of this in the future. The Chuukese guys did a Chuukese stick dance and there was some good Chuukese singing too. More latter on the baccalaureate service and the graduation ceremony.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mothers Day to our moms from Joyce and I. We love you and could not be doing what we are doing without you. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Joyce's Last Day at Little Lambs

Friday was Joyce's last day at Little Lambs Pre-School. In addition to a going away party for Joyce they held a pre-school graduation in which two of Joyce's students graduated to kindergarten. Joyce helped start Little Lambs two years ago and has really enjoyed her time there working with the children. She has been able to (amazing to me) teach those 3-4 year olds the beginning steps of reading and have real impact on their lives. She also has been able to build relationships with their parents and share her life with many of them. She was honored by the school's recognition of her service and enjoyed the feast in her honor.

Next year Joyce will be teaching English a few hours per week at the Japanese school. She see this as a real opportunity to be an influence for Christ in a place where his name is not often heard. This will involve less hours than she was putting in at Little Lambs so Joyce will also be able to teach a "community ESL" course at PIBC. She will also continue to work on finishing up her BA degree at PIBC. Right now she is looking forward to seeing Michael, Samantha, Titus and Courage on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Almost Semester's End

I am sitting in my General Epistles class as my students are taking the first half of their final. They have done well this semester and I have been encouraged by their insights into the Word as I read their papers. Their essay question today is to discuss the 4 major interpretive schemes of Revelation and show me how each one would interpret certain passages. Friday they will analyze the messages of one of John's epistles and of the book of Jude. I have also been correcting the onslaught of last minute assignments in my on line Genesis exegesis class. It is always nice to get some feedback on the class from a student like the note I got on the bottom of one of the homework assignments, "I want to tell you that I learned so much about this class, I hope what I learn will be application to my life too, forgiveness, confrontation I am working on it a little, and having faith in God."
We are also getting ready for our
baccalaureate service on Sunday the 11th and graduation on the Tuesday the 13th. All of these are a lot of work, much of which is being done by the graduates. We are having graduation outside so please pray with us for a dry day. In the meantime, we have grades to get in, reports to make and for me, preparation to do for the June board meeting. Joyce will have her last day at Little Lambs on Friday. We have to get it all done by Tuesday because we will be headed to Southern California for a couple weeks on the 14th. I have a meeting to attend there (as well as the Hawaii Seminary graduation) and so we will take our vacation and visit our new granddaughter while we are there. It is not all work as we had a birthday party this week for Barb Bouma (group pictured) our library volunteer.

One more thing. We have 24 graduates on the Guam campus. The most ever from Guam. We are excited about the potential God has placed in them for His kingdom and ask that you pray for them and their futures. (Ethel Laco our assistant women's dean is pictured here helping Graduate Twinsanne Sam try on her graduation gown and cap) If you want to get an idea of how God is working in the hearts of our graduates check out some thoughts by going to the blog of graduate Happiness Lodge.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

I am sitting in my office - got here before everybody except Cheryl Boydston - preparing for my week, while listening to the A's game on the internet in the background and I thought I'd post a couple things I have been thinking about.

In about an hour we have our meeting to prepare our 5 Year plan for presentation to the board. We had the first half of the meeting last Thursday. These meetings alternately get me excited and depressed. There are so many things that are happening at PIBC. We have some really wonderful opportunities to make a real difference here. On the other side each opportunity takes money and more people and we wonder where all that will come from. I am very thankful that our Sunday night prayer meeting put both of those back in perspective. We meet to try to discern (which we also do imperfectly) what God is calling us to do and He will provide for what He leads us to do.

This morning Joyce, on the way to school, made the observation that "dry season" is really here. The jungle is looking pretty brown. The funny thing is that it rained last night and a couple times this past week. It just is not enough to keep the jungle green. We really don't have a dry season here. I would call it a "less wet" season. I heard that one news commentator said that the turnout for the Guam democratic caucus would be low because it was hot here. It is always hot here but the daylight temp rarely goes above 90 or below 80.

I was a little surprised by Obama's victory on Guam, even though it was by only 7 votes. Over the last 10 years the Clinton's have worked to develop the kind of political relationships on Guam that tend to get one elected to high office. Thus the victory may be more significant than the margin.

This is the last week of the semester and so everyone is busy getting things wrapped up. My students are feverishly working (at least I hope so) to get done the work they put off to the last moment. Please keep them and us in your prayers as we try to end well.

We are looking forward to a short vacation to see the grandkids. Of course we can hardly wait for our first glimpse of Courage.