Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tuesday May 14th we set loose 16 more PIBC graduates, 15 bachelors of arts in Bible and 1 associate of arts in Bible, to go out into the world. Of course we are excited and proud to see what they have accomplished; we enjoy the celebration and anticipate that God will do great things through each one of them. Even so, we are sorry to see them go. Many of this group started at PIBC in 2003 when Joyce and I returned from furlough and I became president of the school, so we have grown very attached to them. Nevertheless it was great to celebrate this achievement, meet their families and hear their plans.

Our graduation speaker this year was Kuniwo Nakamura former president of Palau. He stressed to the students the importance of using the education they have received to serve their home islands and the importance of having biblically trained people who can lead churches and communties from a Godly foundation and moral base. I was also thankful to hear him express his personal desire to help PIBC grow and develop. Our valedictorian was Sonny Kenbaroy from Yap. He mentioned that his original intent was to just spend two years at PIBC to learn the Bible before he went on to do something more "practical." However, he saw the impact that the Bible was making on his life and he felt that maybe God was calling him into missions so he completed the Bachelor's Degree. He thanked everyone who helped him get to this point, especially Elilai, his fiance, (now his wife as of Saturday - I'll do a post on the wedding too!)

Joel and Percia (left) both started (if I remember right) at PIBC in 2002-3. Joel is from Peleliu in Palau and Percia is from Yap. I remember having both of them in freshman OT History which was one of the first Bible classes a student took then. Since then I have had them in a few other classes and it has been wonderful to see them both develop their biblical knowledge and theological minds. I also got to shoot a few hoops with both of them and I will miss Joel violating the eighth commandment every time he covered me on the court. They plan to get married later this summer and serve in the church in Peleliu.

Of course there was a lot of celebration, traditional leis (flower, money and candy varieties), posing for pictures, and plenty of dessert. To the right you can see Lydia (Yap), Mesikt (Palau) and Percia posing with their leis, marmars and flowers. In the picture on the left, we are with Darwin Joker who persevered through many years as a part-time student, working full time to support his family and taking 1, 2 or 3 courses per semester.

This year, with Sonny's wedding coming up and so many Yapese graduates we had a large contingent of Yapese attend the graduation. Many of them we have known for a long time from when we pastored the Guam Evangelical Church and from our ministering in Yap over the years. We hung around with our Yapese friends for about an hour after the graduation and got caught up on what everyone was doing.

We would appreciate your prayers for these graduates as they move on to the next phase of their lives. We are thankful to our prayer partners and our financial supporters who make it possible for us to minister at PIBC. Thank you. You helped make this possible!

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