Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interesting Day at Show and Tell

Joyce has been teaching the PIBC community adult ESL class this semester. The class meets on Monday and Friday mornings. Yesterday was "show and tell" and Joyce was encouraging the class to teach us something about their own culture. I visited the class because Joyce thought I would be interested in what one her students, Pastor David Wu, from Taiwan was going to talk about. First he brought some brochures and pictures about the indigenous tribal peoples of Taiwan. He explained to us that there are 12 different tribal cultures in Taiwan, each with their own language, customs and style of dress. Pastor Wu's tribe is the Amis. Wikipedia has an interesting article about the indigenous peoples of Taiwan.







The 2nd item Pastor Wu had was even more interesting to me. He showed us a coin (pictured) that his seminary professor in Taiwan had given to him. He said that all he knew about it was that it was a Jewish coin from around the time of Christ. He asked if we could figure out what it said and what it was. The script looked to me like Hebrew but it was hard to read because of the wear on the coin. I could only make out one word on it - Kadosh or "holy." However, we were able to find a picture of the coin on the internet. On the left (it was really worn and hard to see) the coin has a picture of a branch with three pomegranates. The inscription says "Jerusalem the Holy." On the other side (right) is a picture of a chalice with the inscription "shekel of Israel." According to Wikipedia and the USC web page this was a coin made during the first Jewish revolt in 68 AD. This is the revolt that led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The coin date is there above the chalice (shin-gimel meaning Year 3 of the revolt). I have to admit that it was pretty cool to hold in my hand a coin that was circulating when the New Testament was being written.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Owen April-May Prayer Requests

This is from our email prayer letter which we send (semi)regularly to our supporting churches and individuals...

Greetings from sunny Guam where dry season (also known as less-wet season) seems to have finally begun. We are moving toward the end of another school year and getting ready for our reaffirmation of accreditation evaluation visit in a month. We have been feverishly working on manuals, assessment of learning and long range plans. While I would rather be spending time in the classroom I understand the need for someone to do all this stuff to support what is done in the classroom. We are blessed with a great faculty-staff here that pitches in to get this stuff done and at the same time stays engaged with the students to minister to them. I know we are all going to take a very deep breath after the semester’s activities are all over May 21. I am wrapping up my seminary class (OT Survey) with three more Saturday morning sessions to go and then Finals. My Genesis Exegesis students are working hard to get in all their on line work to me by May 8th. Joyce is finishing up her PIBC class work and the PIBC ESL class she is teaching (In the picture she is guest teaching in the elementary ed. class). Her semester at the Japanese school won’t end until the end of May.

Here are some of our prayer requests…

Praises

  1. On May 12th 9 students will graduate. A few of them will be getting married this summer, one the weekend after graduation.
  2. We are expecting our 3rd grandchild at the end of May – We would appreciate your prayers for Matt and Kristin and the yet unnamed child.
  3. PIBC got some good publicity as I, and one of our students was interviewed on the local news station show, KUAM News Extra.

Requests

  1. Please pray for students and staff to end the semester well
  2. We are already getting in some applications for next year. Please pray that our admissions committee will have wisdom to admit the students God wants at PIBC
  3. With the many changes that have to be implemented for next year – name change is only one – we would appreciate your prayers for the many transitions that need to take place
  4. We have an urgent need for an experienced CFO and Executive VP – we are losing a good portion of our administrators as missionary terms end.
  5. Our Thailand Mission team is raising financial and prayer support for their summer mission trip. Here is their web site for more info: http://pibcthaiteam.blogspot.com/
  6. PIBC is beginning a campaign to raise $500,000 in annual support (mainly to employ needed teachers and staff) and $5.5 million in capital funds (mainly for building an academic building, dorm expansion and staff housing) through private donations and foundation and government grants.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Date Night at Chili's

Joyce and I have a goal to go out, or do something together (non-work related), once a week. Lately, we have not been able to meet that goal so we felt that last Saturday night was a good time to rekindle the flame. Also, since we have a new Chili's Restaurant on Guam we thought that it was a good time to go out to eat for date night. Our plan was to go to the 4 PM showing of a movie and then hit Chili's for dinner. Matt called just as we were going out the door so we missed the afternoon show time for the movie so we had an early dinner at Chili's. We enjoyed the meal (only a little more expensive than a Chili's on the mainland.) and the service was very good. I had the mushroom-Swiss burger which was great and Joyce had a fajita pita. Next time I will try the fajitas. I have missed being able to get a good fajita.

After dinner we went to a later showing of "State of Play." It was over two hours long but it was so intense that I didn't even notice the time going by. The movie had an intricate plot with a few surprises and kept you into the story with a well-written plot, interesting characters and good acting without the slam bang special effects and gratuitous sex and violence. Russell Crowe and Robin Wright (the Princess Bride and Forrest Gump's Jenny) were very good and even Ben Affleck did some real acting. We had a great time (also hit Ross to pick up some more stuff for the grandkids) and it was nice to get out for a relaxing Saturday evening.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PIBC Segment on Kuam News Extra

I had an opportunity tonight to be interviewed by Sonya Artero on the local news show Kuam News Extra, along with Elilai Haruzi one of our PIBC students, about the new programs and growth at PIBC. You can see the web archive of the program at http://www.kuam.com/kuamnewsextra/extra-thursday.wax. We are the second half of the program after a segment on the hospital volunteers. It will be up on the site for about a week if you want to see it. It was a great opportunity to allow PIBC to be better known around the island and we thank God for it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

California Trip - Still

As I mentioned in a previous post we headed down to LA on Monday April 6th. After our lunch meeting with Kevin we motored over to see Michael and Samantha's house to see Titus and Courage. The kids were excited to see us and we spent a very enjoyable afternoon. Mike and Sam are both taking classes at Talbot to prepare to come back to Guam and teach at PIBC. They plan to graduate in May of 2010 and we hope to have them back on Guam in the Fall of that year. Please pray for them that they will be able to manage family, school and jobs and be able to raise the support they need to join the faculty at PIBC-PIU. The highlight of our day was taking Titus and Courage to the park to feed the ducks and play on the playground equipment.

On Monday morning we met with two potential missionaries, Jen Rydzik and Eddie Chern. Jen would be coming as a remedial English teacher and writing tutor while Eddie would be working in our development office. They both are finishing up their bachelor's degrees this May. Please pray for Jen as she is already in the support raising process and for Eddie that God will give him direction as to whether PIBC-PIU is the place for him to minister. One of my goals for the next couple years is to develop a younger staff and getting a few 20 and 30 somethings to PIBC would be a big help.

After meeting with Eddie and Jen, we gave Mike and Sam a day off from the kids by taking Titus and Courage with us to visit Matt and Kristin (a big sacrifice on our part you know). They are expecting their first child in late May-early June. We had a great day just hanging out with them and relaxing. Titus always enjoys going to Uncle Matt's house. After we went out to dinner at the Soup Plantation (It was good. I had never been there before.) we drove back up to Mike's place through the rain. Yes. it was raining in Southern California. Joyce then got on the plane to return to Guam. I came back the next day.

Overall I think the trip went well and was very productive. Please pray along with me that God will supply the needed people and resources for PIBC-PIU to accomplish what he is calling us to do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Palauan Susanville Conference #2

The main events of the conference took place on Saturday the 4th and began with a prayer time at 7 AM. The group from Houston and Killeen Texas had been driving since Thursday morning and arrived just in time for prayer and immediately joined right in. Breakfast (and all the meals) were prepared by the Susanville FSBC locals. It was a little weird to eat so much American food at a Palauan conference, but it was excellent. That was a great time for me to see several old friends and students from when we lived in Palau (see below) and to meet many new friends.

The morning meeting began at 9 AM (that was the scheduled time. It actually began at 10.30). After Jake opened with prayer the music started. Several groups came up and shared musically. We were in an American setting but the culture and music were definitely Palauan. I was then able to share with the group a little bit about the changes and growth at PIBC-PIU and invite the young people to take school materials. I gave out all my brochures and applications - they also copied several more applications and handed those out. I am not really sure how many took them. I spoke on making God's mission our mission as we reach out to represent God to the world in our daily lives and minister his blessing (Gen. 12.1-3).

I also introduced the Palauans to Jeff Brashears from Shasta Bible College. I invited him up to talk with the Palauans about training opportunities there. Of course, I want most of them to come to PIBC-PIU but I recognize that many of them have jobs and family on the US mainland and cannot come to Guam or Micronesia in the near future. As I mentioned in the previous post, there is a huge need for biblically trained leaders to disciple the many Palauans in the US who are trustiing Christ. There was a lot of interest in both schools.

One of the best things about the day was seeing many of my old students. Besides Jake who is pastoring I met several other Emmaus grads and heard about many more from their relatives. In the picture here, I am with Clifton and Fred. It was really encouraging to hear about how many of them are continuing to walk with God and have raised godly families. Many of them have had a hard time but God has not taken his hand off of them. Even some of the students that were expelled from school for various infractions back in the 80's said that it was the Bible verses and principles they learned at Emmaus that God had used in their lives to bring them to Him. One student even mentioned to me how God used what he learned at our high school basketball practice. It was good encouragement to keep spreading the Word because you never know what will stick.

The evening service went from about 7 PM to 12.15 AM. Again, there were many songs and testimonies, but the highlight of the evening was to watch Jake baptize 11 Palauans and hear their stories about how God brought them to commitment to Him. I got an opportunity to share with them about being disciples that follow and imitate Jesus. The service ended with long, but powerful testimony from a young man from Vancouver who shared about God's power over addiction and pride. It was about 15 degrees outside when the service ended but we went back to our rooms with a warm feeling. There were a lot of possibilities to think about as I headed back to El Dorado to my parents' place on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joyce in California

The original plan for this last trip to California was that I was going by myself. The plan changed when Joyce found out that her parents had sold their house in Shingle Springs and bought a house up in Redding California. We had enough frequent flyer miles to get her there and seats were open on the flight so we got the tickets and she was in California from March 24 until April 8th. It was perfect timing because the Japanese school on Guam was also on vacation. Most of the time there, she was at the Shingle Springs house getting everything boxed up for the move. She did get to go up to Redding on the day the Cundalls signed the papers for the house (right) and was able to see it. The picture left is of her in the back yard of the house. I know she got a lot of work done there and she also had the opportunity to speak at the evening service at Gold Country Baptist on Sunday the 29th of March.


I joined her on March 30 and we flew down to LA on April 6th. Between those dates I saw her only a couple days because each of us was pursuing our own business there, but we were able to spend one day together in NorCal. When we got down to LA we met with Kevin Elwell at the Denney's restaurant right next to LAX. Kevin taught all three of our kids at Trinity and GICA on Guam and was the youth pastor at Yigo Baptist when I was pastor there. He is now the youth pastor at the 1st Baptist Church of West LA. We were excited to hear that he is bringing his youth group to Guam this summer to do a VBS at Bayview. Later that afternoon we got over to Mike and Samantha's place and got to spend some time with the grandkids. Joyce flew back to Guam on the 8th and I flew back the next day. I think it was good for her to get away, but now she is trying to find a way to get back this summer to see Matt and Kristin's new baby and to see Missy in Texas.

Susanville Palauan Conference #1

The other main reason for this trip to California was to speak at a Palauan church conference that took place at the 1st Southern Baptist Church of Susanville. The pastor there is John Murdock, who led a mission trip to Palau last summer, and his daughter, Daisy, is a student at PIBC. Palauans from all over the Western US came to the conference. I thought it was odd that so many Palauans live in a cold place (It was 15 degrees outside after the end of the Saturday night session at 12.15 AM, note the snow on the mountains). Many of the Palauans came to Susanville to attend Lassen Community College and many more came there to join family members. Now the Palauans are a significant minority population in the area. I saw several of them working in the hotel where I was staying. They like the rural, friendly atmosphere in the area and the Baptist church has certainly been a good host so that the Palauans have been well-integrated into the congregation.

After driving up from Sacramento, I was met in Susanville by Jacob Ngiraiblosch. Jacob was one of my high school students at Emmaus in Koror back in 1984-5. Now Jacob is the traveling pastor for the Palauan fellowships around the USA. He travels to oversee congregations in Susanville, Sacramento, Stockton, Portland OR, Vancouver WA, Killeen, and Houston TX. It is a huge job and they are looking for some more people who can lead. There is a bit of a revival going on among the Palauans on the US mainland and they are looking for some people who can disciple all the new believers. I am hoping that some of our PIBC grads may be able to help there. Pray for Jake as he leads these groups and as he makes plans to finish his bachelor's degree to get more leadership training. I also met Felix Alib who serves as a pastor to the Palauans in Oklahoma and Texas. He was one of the speakers for the conference and spoke with a great deal of entusism and deep commitment. I was encouraged to hear his stories of Palauans (many of whom I knew) coming to Christ in the US Midwest. Felix also desires more training. The picture here is from our dinner together on Friday night. I will talk about the Saturday events in another post.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Development Planning Meeting

A few months ago, our PIBC board made a decision to hire Mickey Beckham as a consultant to develop a fund raising plan for the school. Mickey came well-recommended from our accrediting agency, TRACS, has been in the educational fund raising business for many years and has raised raised a large amount of money for several schools. Over the last few months he has been interviewing people that are closely, or even loosely, related to the ministries of PIBC to determine whether or not we are a good candidate for this type of fund raising program. The need is for both capital funds and regular annual fund donors. Originally, Liebenzell Mission International put about $1.5 million in to start the Guam campus. The campus has now grown way beyond the original plan in both numbers and program so a new infusion of funds for expansion is needed. In addition, we can no longer completely staff the campus with missionaries raising their own support. We need to have funds available to pay, especially local, staff and faculty.

So last Thursday and Friday, Steve Stinnette (our VP of Advancement) and I met with Mickey near the Sacramento airport to go over the rough draft of his final report. Mickey was very excited about our potential to raise funds from several sources and gave us a plan to do it. Most of our students (from Guam and Micronesia) are from under-served minorities and so we qualify for some types of government grants. We will also be applying for foundation funds. Our most immediate need is to find donors to raise an annual fund that would be mainly for the purpose of paying the faculty and staff we need to maintain and expand programs. Our goals will be to find enough donors to raise up $500,000 per year in annual funds over the next five years. Our capital funds goal will be $5 million over the next five years. I laugh (see Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17-18) as I write this, thinking about the enormity of the number. But, the need is definitely there, I believe this is what God is calling us to as a school and He is able to do the impossible, and now we have a strategy to do our part in what He is leading us to do.

Thank you, Mickey for your help and we would appreciate your prayers as we move forward with this plan.

Monday, April 06, 2009

California Trip Post #1

I haven't had time or access lately to update the blog on what I am doing so the next few posts are "catch up." I left Guam Monday the 30th and arrived at Sacramento airport at about the same time. Joyce and my parents picked me up at the airport. She had been there already a week helping her parents get ready to move - thank God for all the airline miles we accumulate, they paid for her trip. After a day of rest (I got about three hours of sleep during the 20+ hours of flight and airport time) we went the next morning to meet old friends Ang and Steve Leuice at Starbucks in Placerville. Steve and Ang were co-workers with us in Palau in the 80's and on Guam in the 90's. Our kids pretty much grew up together. Steve pastors Camino Community Church, one of our supporting churches. I guess we had a lot to catch up on because we talked for about three hours without even realizing that that much time had gone by. We were glad to hear about what God is doing in their lives, although I must admit, I did try to recruit them to come back to Guam.