Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PIU Days - Day 2 Hupomone

The second day of PIU Days began bright early on Saturday morning as we headed over to the athletic field at Bayview Baptist Church for the track and field events, cheering competition and various other games. After lunch we headed back to PIU to continue the basketball and volleyball tournaments. Team Perseverance was in charge of the evening service. Here are some pictures from Day 2....

The day started with my annual speech about the history of PIU. My main point was that the great people of the past were innovators and we honor them by making sure that we make the innovations necessary to make us successful in the present. The audience was happy that the speech was very short.

The little kids always know where to find the grandmas

The staff 100 yard dashes. Notice the Owen's in last position in the men's staff and women's staff race. 

Here was the race that was really a dash. There was some speed on the track. 

Joyce prepares to return the serve. I think our team managed to lose every volleyball and basketball game this year. But the scores were always close. 

Jen Rydzik skillfully hits the ball in the wrong direction as her Team Paideia teammates look on. 

Ben poses with another group of lovely ladies. 

Day 2 Master of Ceremonies, Meluat, begins the evening worship service. 

The Hupomone trio presents a song. Team Hupomone did not have a "fourio" singing group. 

Mondale provided the message. 

It was a long day. The guys had an opportunity to mess with Ben while he takes a nap.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PIU Days - Day 1 Paideia

Our Easter vacation began, according to long-standing tradition, with our annual celebration of "PIU Days." PIU Days honors the founding and history of Pacific Islands University with three days of sports and spirit competition, feasting, special worship and displays of student talent. The whole campus is divided into three teams for the event. The theme verse for this year's event was Hebrews 12.1-3, so the three teams were named discipline-paideia, perseverance-hupomone and witness-martureo. The teams not only competed in sports events, but each team was responsible for one of the evening services. This year Joyce and I were on the Paideia team and our team was responsible for the first night's worship. Here are some pictures of the first days' events...

T'nel was the master of ceremonies for the evening.

Jen, Steph, and I starred in a skit about how important discipline is to success and spiritual maturity. 

The second skit emphasized that discipline is achieved by keeping one's eyes on Christ. Our math and science prof, JC Yoon, played the part of Jesus. 

The ladies provided a hula worship dance. 

Doug provided the evening's biblical teaching.

The team paideia girls 

Why am I smiling in this picture?

Each team provided refreshments after the evening service. Here Daisy, Joyce and I enjoy some ice cream. PIU Days #2 will be coming soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Travels - Teaching and Preaching in Palau

While Joyce was enjoying running around Palau, I was there to teach my PIU class. This would complete the second of two sets of four two-hour sessions for Old Testament History. The class has 8 Guam students (who have two sessions still to go in April) and 5 students in Palau. It is a "hybrid" course with 8 two-hour traditional lecture-discussion class sessions combined with on line threaded discussions, quizzes and reflective journals. All the projects and homework assignments are handed in by e-mail. I have been impressed with the depth of insight the students have into the books we are studying and I very much enjoy the unique perspectives the students from the different sites bring to the discussion, especially the applications they make to their own situations. This time we discussed the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. The students also took Joyce and I out for a great lunch on Saturday. In the Fall I am scheduled to teach the book of Romans in the same format.

On Sunday we also had the privilege to speak in both the Palauan and English services at the Koror Evangelical Church. Dwight Alexander translated for me in the Palauan service. The Gospel Kindergarten, where Joyce taught back in 1984-8, was doing a program in the Palauan service (2 PIU alum's are teaching there). They did a very cute musical about Jonah in which Jonah was energetically spewed from the mouth of the whale. I was inspired by it to change my message and preached on Jonah, relating it to being obedient to fulfilling our calling as a church. I preached on Samson in the English service.

It was a lot of fun to go to Palau with Joyce. I always miss her when I have to travel alone. We also appreciated very much how generously the people there took care of us. We look forward to going back again soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March Travels - Joyce's Adventure in Palau

This last week I traveled to Palau to teach the classroom sessions of my Old Testament History class and to meet with church leaders there. This time Joyce got to travel with me. While I was in class and in meetings she got to travel around, see the sights and hang around with our friends. People tell me that i don't put enough pictures of Joyce on this blog so here are some pictures of her adventures...

On the first day there she visited the Palau monoliths site on Babeldaop

Here she poses on the wall of the old Japanese lighthouse on the Northern end of Babeldaop

Another view from the Japanese lighthouse

Joyce sits in front of the Ngardmau waterfall. Matt and I visited this spot in 1987. It was a little harder to get to back then. 

Another view of the waterfall. Joyce was able to get around the whole island of Babeldaop in one afternoon because of the road that was recently completed. It used to be that if you wanted to go to these places you had to take a boat and then hike inland. I have seen tremendous changes in Palau the last five years because of the road. 

Joyce enjoys her Udong noodles at the Rock Island Cafe in Koror. Palau has a lot of great restaurants, especially if you like Asian and island food. 

The best part is seeing old friends. Left to right: Prima Kual, Joyce and Leah Ngirachemoi. 

Joyce and EJ - EJ is the son of PIU Board member Marcellus Ngiraingas

One more picture with the kids. A couple years ago these were the PIU Guam campus kids and now they are back with their parents ministering in Palau. (Jireh Ngirachemoi, Miget Kual and Micah Ngirachemoi).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Travels - Chuuk

Last week (March 12-15) Steve Stinnette, our PIU VP of Advancement, and I headed down to Chuuk to meet with potential PIU students and church leaders there. One of our main goals for the trip was beginning the process of establishing a working agreement with the Logan Memorial Church and Mizpah Christian High School to host our Pacific Islands University teaching facility and distance education center. We met with their board on  Saturday morning and worked out the basics of what our relationship would look like. I was very happy to see the excitement of church and school leadership to work with us and that we were able to work out the basics for our agreement. We have been sharing the computer lab with Mizpah High School this year and I am happy to see the progress made toward making this a more permanent relationship.

We were also there to recruit students.  On Saturday afternoon we gave the PIU entrance test to seven students and then Steve was able to meet with the Mizpah seniors to help them make their college decisions. We were also able to meet with officials from other local high schools. There was enough interest that we will send a PIU representative to Chuuk in April to administer the PIU TOEFL test again.

Probably the best part of the trip was meeting with PIU alumni. Here Steve poses with Steioshy Manuel (Mizpah principal and PIU alum) and Paulynn Benjamin (Mizpah teacher and PIU alum). When I preached at Logan Church on Sunday, I shared the pulpit with PIU alum Dave Souleng. Dave had just returned from a mission trip, sent out by Logan church, to the island of Ulul. We were all blessed to hear what God has been doing through Dave and Bruce Danis on this island and that the church has already raised money to send them back to do more ministry there.

Please keep praying for our teaching facility in Chuuk. We are looking for someone to coordinate PIU activities, teach classes and work with Mizpah and Logan there in Weno. We are also looking forward to continuing to serve the Chuukese people by meeting the need for accredited Christian higher education in Chuuk.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Prayer Requests and Some Guam Scenery

We are having beautiful March weather here on Guam (not too hot with occasional cool rains and breezes) and have hit the mid-point of the semester. Normally I post prayer requests at the beginning of the month but have just now been able to get to them. I better do it today because Joyce and I will be heading to Palau tonight. So here are our main prayer requests for the month of March...

  1. Our students seem to hit a slow spot every year this time of the semester, right before Easter vacation. Pray that they will be able to keep their excitement and discipline going and avoid the temptations that often seem to come after them at this point.
  2. Our Voices of Micronesia traveling team is raising support for their summer trip to the US Mainland. They have been doing yard work and house repair along with performing at several Guam churches. They need to get the support raised for their airfares by the end March. 
  3. We are working on re-establishing and/or growing our Teaching Facilities in Chuuk, Palau and Yap. I was in Chuuk last week (another post on that will be coming) with Steve Stinnette last week and we made some great progress on getting our facility going again there. Joyce and I will head to Palau tonight to meet with church leaders there and I will teach 4 sessions of my Old Testament History class. I plan to go to Yap in April to work on the planned grand reopening of our site there.
  4. This may be the most urgent prayer request of the month.... We are interviewing candidates for our VP of Finance and Operations position. We need prayer for discernment to find the person for this key position with the right skill set combined with the desire to minister to staff and students. We are taking a big step of faith here, trusting that God will enable us to raise the money to pay this person, but we believe that God is leading us to hire a local person for the job rather than fill the position with a missionary. 
We appreciate your prayers and interest in what Joyce and I are doing here in Guam and Micronesia through Pacific Islands University. May God Bless!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Pictures of Southern Guam

After church on Sunday morning we took our nephew Ben on a tour of the Southern half of the island of Guam. We took about 5 hours to introduce Ben to the sights there. Sometimes I forget, sitting at my desk in my office, just how beautiful this island is. I guess I need to get out more. So here are a few pictures. Come out and visit us and we'll give you the tour too.

Ben, on the left in Agana Heights overlooking the view of Agana Bay

Ben and I at Latte Stone Park in Agana

Out to sea from the beach in Agat.

Ben standing in front of the Spanish Bridge in Agat

Joyce and Ben overlooking Ceti Bay. We pose every one of our visitors right on this spot. This could be you!

Replica of the old fortress in Umatac

Ben in front of Umatac Bay. This is where Magellan landed in 1521.

View across Umatac bay from the guard tower in Fort Soledad

Of course Ben had to ride the carabao

Ben poses with Big John at Fort Soledad

Ben looks out toward Cocos Island

Ben enjoyed the swimming and diving. On the left he leaps into Priest's Pool. On the right he impresses all the locals and Japanese tourists at Inarajan Pools with a ... well I am not sure what that was!

I am pointing to the ancient paintings in Gadao's Cave

Talofofo Bay. 

Looking toward Mangilao and the University of Guam. Back to the center of the island. 5 hours later we are a little sunburned and tired but had an enjoyable day.