Monday, July 20, 2009

Palau Trip

I am back and pretty much recovered from my Palau trip. (It is not being in Palau that wipes you out. It is the flight back which leaves at 2.30 AM and arrives on Guam at 5.30 AM.) I would say that it was a productive and enjoyable trip. My main purpose in going last week was to meet with the Palauan Evangelical Church leadership and discuss how PIU will do distance education at the teaching facility there. The discussion was very helpful and not only included how we would take care of the current semester, but also included some visionary long-range planning for the PIU program in Palau. For the coming semester we will continue as planned, offering three distance education courses from Guam while making available our computer lab at Palau Community College to our students. I was encouraged to meet several new students who will begin their PIU studies in Palau. If things go well this semester we would offer more courses by DE and mixtures of traditional classroom instruction with DE options in the Spring. We will continue to plan what the Palau TF will look like in the future and have a proposal to submit to the PIU Board in March. This DE plan will need to be coordinated with what we plan to do in Chuuk and Yap too.

The meeting was not the only reason I was in Palau. The first night there I attended the combination installation of Hiob Ngirachemoi as pastor of the Koror Evangelical Church and good-bye party for Liebenzell Missionary Rob Watt (both pictured above). Hiob was our PIU Dean of Men for three years on the Guam campus and Rob pastored the English service of the KEC along with serving as the PIU Palau TF Coodinator. So, I guess it was sort of a trade but there were no draft choices, players to be named later or salary cap issues involved. The celebration was fun as I got to meet many old friends and the food was superb.

I also met with a man whom I am hoping to hire as our PIU Director of Institutional Effectiveness. Our accreditor identified our lack in this area as our most critical deficiency that we need to take care of. It seems that the Lord has dropped in our lap a guy who is very skilled in this area. I would appreciate your prayers as we work out details, especially immigration issues, to bring him to Guam.

In a couple weeks I will be going to Chuuk to finalize our plans for distance education there.

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