Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Funny Guam Sign


Hmm. Is this just an unfortunately named coffee bar or an avenue to heaven, "a glorious caffeine fix," on earth? But I do love coffee....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

These are two words that missionaries have to say quite often. Summer seems to be the time of transition with this summer being no exception. So...

We said "Hello" to Dr. Gary Barnes from Dallas Theological Seminary. Gary is a faculty member in the Biblical Counseling Dept. at DTS. He was out here to do a week-long marriage seminar for military families. John Tomada (PIBC alum now attending DTS) gave me the "heads up" that he was coming out and Gary joined us for Sunday worship at Bayview Baptist (pastored by Mike and Judy Albin, also DTS alumni and pictured with us) and lunch at a Thai restaurant afterwards. We enjoyed getting caught up with what is happening at DTS along with other good conversation. I hope to meet up with Gary again this Fall when I stop in at DTS for faculty recruiting.

We said goodbye to Hiob, Leah, Micah and Jirah Ngirachemoi. Hiob has been our Dean of Men at PIBC for the last 3 years. We enjoyed a going away party for him at our house and then another one at the Palauan Evangelical Church of Guam. As you can see from the picture Joyce made sure Micah is properly armed for the trip back to Palau. We will miss Hiob's pastoral care for the students here at PIBC but we are excited to be able to continue working with him as Pastor of the Koror, Palau Church. I will also miss our discussions which ranged from missions strategy to theology to basketball and baseball. We had a good time watching the NBA playoffs together.

We said hello to Rob Watt as he comes to PIBC-Guam to be the new VP of Student Life and Dean of Men. Rob is not new to PIBC. He has been out TF Palau coordinator for the last 4 years. I guess we are kind of making kind of a trade as Hiob and Rob switch places. Rob has been up for a month teaching a summer class here. We have had several opportunities to discuss "stuffs" and I am looking forward to working more closely with Rob this school year. Hopefully we may even get out together to the golf course once in a while. I plan to watch a little football with him, and I'll even let him wear his Steeler helmet inside my house.

Hellos and goodbyes seem to be part of this job. Sometimes it is really hard to see people go, but hey, we have friends all over the world!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update on the PIBC Thailand Mission Team

On a recent post On the PIBC Thailand Team official blog, the team posted some prayer requests including Friday night chapel services, team relationships and health. We are thankful for the answer to your prayers for Erten. He will be getting his cast off next week. Melissa Heck, PIBC Dean of Women and one of the team leaders is asking for prayer for the "Eternal Friends Camp" that our team would be bold to invite friends who would say "yes" to the Gospel.

One of the student team members, Meluat, is also blogging about his experiences in Thailand. Meluat is a 2nd year student from Palau. His latest post, Challenges and Blessings, includes the story of the team leading a Thai student to Christ. He, and we, are thankful for your prayers for the Thai team. Please keep them in prayer over these next couple weeks of ministry. For more complete information on the Thai team click on the links in this post.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some New "Stuffs"

I have not posted lately. Things have been a little busy around here as I work on our PIBC/PIU response to the 39 TRACS recommendations. Many of our staff and faculty are on vacation or on support raising furlough. But here are a few updates...

Chuuk Trip: I just returned last night from Chuuk. I met with several church leaders and was encouraged by their good attitude about the changes we are making there. We are trying to set up a distance education facility there to meet the needs of the current PIBC students who cannot come up to Guam to finish their education. In the Fall we will offer three courses that will be fully distance education. If this goes well we hope to offer more full DE courses and some hybrid courses.


Our new grandson Milo: Matt says that Milo is growing every day. He is now over a month old (born May 16th). We really enjoy getting to talk with him and see him on Skype. He is constantly moving and noisy. Matt says that he is even noisy when he sleeps. Joyce will be getting to see him in person sooner than me as she will take off for some time on the mainland on July 24th. She will go to Missy's place first and then meet Matt, Michael, Kristin and Samantha and the grandkids a week later. In the picture Titus is lovingly holding his new cousin.




New PIBC Office Manager: Last month we hired Celia Atoigue to be our new office manager. As we reorganize our office she will also be our donation fund manager and take up a few other duties. Celia is a Guam local, and has worked for a long time for a local insurance company. She is a member at Agana Heights Baptist Church. We are thankful that God brought her to us and are enjoying getting to know her, even though she is a LA Laker fan.






Little Brown Bunny: It turns out that our "little brown bunny" belongs to our neighbor's kids. They bought it as a baby and then it ran away. They were surprised at how big it was when we found it. It must have escaped again because Joyce saw it on our back yard again last night.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June Prayer Requests

It is pretty quiet here at PIBC/PIU in June. There are just a couple students living in the dorm and only a few taking summer classes. Many of our staff and faculty are on vacation and/or raising missionary support. We still are keeping busy and have a few things for which we would appreciate your prayers.

Here are some things you can be praying about for us this month.
We had one student couple get married last month, Sonny and Elilai, and we just returned this morning from the wedding of Merong (PIBC 2008) and Joan. One of the most important things we do at PIBC is help provide the foundation for godly marriages and families. So please pray for these to be godly, exemplary marriages. They are much needed in the islands.

Financial Needs: We continue to trust God for the large amount of capital and operating funds needed to develop our facilities and bring in the people we need to do what God is calling us to do at PIU. Steve Stinnette is on the mainland right now working on fund raising and I hope to go to Palau within the next month or so to meet with some foundations there. We are still looking for 500 people to give an average of $1000 to our annual operating fund. This will enable us to hire local teachers and other needed people that would have a hard time raising missionary support.

We have many more Personnel Needs than this, but these are our main needs right now: 1) Experienced Administrator 2) Chief Financial Officer 3) Librarian 4) Elementary Education Teacher.

God’s Guidance and Wisdom as our administrative staff and I respond to the 39 TRACS recommendations. This needs to be in to TRACS by August 15 and then we will go before the commission in November for reaffirmation of our accreditation.

I have about 15 students in my class, Exegesis in Wisdom Lit. I am doing the class as a non-academic freebie for the community to try to get local Guam people interested in our programs. Pray that we will see more students from the local Chamorro, Filipino, military and other Guam communities.

We have new missionaries (Jen Rydzik, Sarah Cain) trying to raise support to be here by August and some veteran missionaries (Plaxtons and Sorensons) trying to raise their support to needed levels. Pray that God will direct them to people he has called to partner with them. We need all these people to be here in August!

We are working on agreements with some other mission organizations to provide theological training for Asian nationals to prepare them for Bible translation work, pastoral and other church leadership roles. They picked us because of our proximity to Asia, our missions emphasis and our low costs. Please join me in praying for God's guidance and provision for this. It is the support of churches and individuals for our missionary teachers and administrators that enable us to keep costs down enough to do something like this.

We appreciate the prayer and financial support that enables us to stay and minister here on Guam. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another update on Erten and the Thai Team

Our Pacific Islands Bible College Thailand Mission team is continuing their ministry at Maejo University, where they are hanging out and meeting students, building relationships through which they hope to introduce the students they meet to Christ. You can follow their ministry on the Thai Team blog

I received the following email update on the team from Melissa Heck...

"Thanks for your prayers..... Erten is home (back together with the team in Thailand). Doctors expect a full recovery. We expect he will be resting for most of this week. He will return to the hospital each day to have the wound cleaned and re-wrapped. He is in good spirits and said he didn't even need his pain medication today."

This is indeed an answer to prayer. The only thing I would ask from Melissa is to include his other hand in the picture! :) Please keep praying for the Thai team and for PIBC.

New Email Address

Just thought I should let everyone know that the "mailto" on my blog has changed to dowen@teleguam.net. We switched our internet provider at home so that we could bundle phone, internet, and TV. We have the Guam Telephone bundle now. After we have it a while I will let you know how we like it. My PIBC and Gmail addresses have not changed, at least yet. We are in the process of changing the PIBC web site and email servers to a new piu.edu domain. I'll keep you updated on that one as it happens.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update on Thailand Mission Team

Just received this from Melissa Heck this morning...

Just wanted to send a quick update....

Erten is still in the hospital but will be coming home tomorrow. He will need to have the hand cleaned each day of the week for a week. I am told he is in good spirits but when we went to visit he was tired and seemed sad. Kalvin (our other leader ) is staying with him. We will be excited to have him back tomorrow.

Some good news is that the medical bills will only be in the neighborhood of $1200 which we have. It may leave us a bit short at the end but we are trusting that God will provide for our needs.

Another good news is that the doctor believes the surgery was successful and Erten will eventually have full use of his hand.

Please continue to pray for God's provision and protection.

Also pray for some Thailand Campus Crusade staff in the south park of Thailand. A van with about 7 - 8 people had an accident and are now in the hospital.

These things are not positive but have put us in a position where we are forced to rely on God... and we know that He is good. We are all thankful to be here.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Blessings,
Melissa

Please join with us in keeping Erten, Melissa, Kalvin and the team in prayer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

PIBC Thai Missions Team Urgent Prayer Request

We just received the following in an email from Melissa Heck, PIBC/PIU Dean of Women and one of the leaders of the mission team. She says....

Although it is hard for us to understand exactly what happened one of our team members, Erten, walked into a glass door and it shattered severing the tendons in his hand and severing two veins. He was rushed to the hospital where he needed surgery to repair his hand.

He is in the hospital recovering --- should be ok but is in a lot of pain.

Please pray for Erten's recovery.
Please pray for the medical expenses to be covered some how.
Pray for God's protection over the rest of the team.
Pray for God's wisdom and discernment in the ministry. The spiritual battle here is fierce.

Thanks.... Melissa


We would appreciate your prayers for this situation. You can follow the adventures of the PIBC Thai team on this blog and on their official blog.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The PIBC Thai Team is on Their Way!

Early Monday morning, the PIBC Thailand Mission Team lifted off from Guam. Except for a thunder and lightning storm which set off all the security systems in the Guam Airport, the trip went well and they arrived in Bangkok without incident. They had a six hour layover in Tokyo and another seven hour layover in Bangkok before they fly to Chiang Mai. You can follow their actions and get their latest updates on the Thai team blog.


On Sunday night Joyce and I, along with Brad and Cheryl Boydston, went over to the campus to say goodbye to the team, encourage them and pray with them. They have been team building by working with the Lutheran Mission Team from Albuquerque renovating the school perimeter fence and doing painting and maintenance on the dorms in the morning and then preparing and practicing for ministry in the afternoon. It was easy for us to see that the team has done a good job of building unity and they seemed well-prepared as they went over their testimonies and performed a couple of their skits. This is the 3rd year we have sent a team to Thailand to work with the Campus Crusade group there.


The team is going out this year still a little short on financial support. They are confident, however, that God will supply their needs. If you would like to help with this you can still donate to the team by sending a check to PIBC with a note that it is for the Thailand mission team. Please join me in prayer for the team as they minister in Thailand over the next six weeks.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bible Study on the PIBC Campus

This summer I was scheduled to teach the Exegesis in Wisdom Literature Course. This is a 400 level course designed to test if a student has really met the objectives of our Bible program. Thus, it is a pretty tough course with a lot of work to be done. Perhaps this is why no program students signed up for it. We had several audit students sign up, but no one was required to do the work. This is why we have decided to change the course into a Bible study. The study will meet on Monday nights this summer from 7:00-9:00 PM. Each week we will be going through a passage in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or Song of Solomon showing the "nuts and bolts" of the passage. We will talk about how one goes about understanding a passage in wisdom literature, understanding the poetic structure, interpreting the metaphors and other figures of speech, developing a word study methodology and analyzing the pieces of OT Wisdom Literature. Then we will put each passage back together to determine theological principles that can be derived from the passage, pull out its teaching points and discuss how it can be applied in our lives today. You can work through the passages together with the other students on the PIBC distance learning site during the week or just show up and see what we do in the class. There is no charge for the Bible study and you can come every Monday or show up when you are able. Of course we are hoping that people will enjoy the study and sign up for a PIBC or Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary class. Come join us this Monday at 7:00 PM as we look at Proverbs 1-2.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Little Brown Bunny

Joyce was gardening last Monday night in our back yard and noticed that she had a little visitor. This little brown bunny was in the yard and watched her for a while and then slipped out underneath our fence. Wednesday, when I came home from school, the bunny was in our drive way munching on some of Joyce's flowers. It ran off into the jungle when I drove in. Yesterday it was seen again by the Boydston's who are staying at our house. Joyce has been feeding it and trying to get it used to her so she can catch it. We are hoping to get it to a safe place before the neighborhood dogs get to it. Bunnies are not indigenous to Guam so it had to come from somebody's rabbit hutch close by.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Flame Trees

The flame trees have been blooming on Guam the last couple weeks. Joyce thinks that this is one of the best years for the flame tree blooms, so today we went out to take some pictures of the trees. We wonder if the "bloom increase" has any connection to the fact that we are also seeing more birds, or that maybe it is just because we have not had a typhoon hit Guam since 2002. This flame tree on the left is in Tamuning behind the Lone Star Restaurant. The one below is in front of the Alupang Beach Tower hotel. I took it from the car window as we drove by on Marine Drive. It is great to see the beautiful red blooms back again contributing to the tropical color palette of our island.