Monday, May 31, 2010

Travel Days - This Week's Schedule

Here is the Voices of Micronesia schedule for the upcoming week May 31-June 6:
Monday May 31: Travel from Susanville to Redding
Tuesday June 1: Shasta Community Church Evening
Wednesday June 2: Glenburn Community Church
Thursday June 3: Travel from Glenburn to Santa Cruz
Friday June 4: Baymonte Christian School Chapels 9AM to Noon
Saturday June 5: BBQ at Jo Romaniello's House  2 PM
Sunday June 6: Gateway Bible Church Scotts Valley Morning Service
                        TV Taping in Santa Cruz  3-6 PM
                        Collide Church Scotts Valley 6 PM

This past week we encountered some real contrasts in California weather. We stopped by Moro Bay on Tuesday afternoon to visit the tidepools and experience the colder side of the Pacific Ocean. On Wednesday we drove up to Susanville. On Donner Pass the students got to experience a snowfall. For many of them it was the first time they had ever seen snow. The next day they took a drive up to Lassen to play in it. We are thankful for travel safety in all situations so far. Here are a few pictures of the trip.


The team enjoys the scenery at Moro Bay

It was a little cold there, but most of the team still stayed in the shade. I did not and got a pretty good sunburn

Joyce was sorting rocks I think

The cliffs and rock formations were pretty spectacular

It got a little colder as we headed up the mountain. 

Cici got out of the van and laid in the snow

Let the snowball fights begin!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

VOM Presentation in San Luis Obispo

Monday night the Voices of Micronesia did our first full one hour performance in the Laguna Lake Mobile Estates Club House in San Luis Obispo, CA. There were about 75 people there and they clearly enjoyed the performance with many of them saying, "if we had known how good this was we would have invited all of our friends." After the performance we stayed for about an hour or two talking with the people and enjoying getting to know new friends. We spent the rest of the evening with local host families before we piled in the vans the next morning to head for the Bay Area. Here are some more pictures and comments about our tour...


Eric Sorenson our Seminary Dean served as the MC for the evening

The worship dance is always one of the highlights of the presentation

The guys also get involved in the worship dance

The "Graces," MayMay and Jaynee sing "Prayer for the World"
Joyce and MayMay (wo)man the PIU table before the presentation. 

The girls head to the house where they will spend the night

And here they are with their gracious host

Joyce is on the phone arranging van pickups, home stays and where we will eat our next meal

Leeman and the guys pack up the van as we get ready to head up the Coast

Kita is packed and ready to go


Saturday, May 29, 2010

VOM Presentation in Santa Barbara

Last Sunday the VOM team had the opportunity to share with the Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara California. We not only got to meet some great people there, but also got to tour a beautiful (but still a little cold for us Micronesians) city. Joyce and I, with Jaynee and Jayleen, stayed with Doug and Marian McKenzie and had a great time getting to know them and the many interesting friends that they have. Actually, one of the best parts of the trip is the home stays, where we get to really share with and get to know people and they get to ask questions and really get to know us and the ministry of PIU in the islands. Here are some pictures of the presentation at OHCC and our tour around Santa Barbara...

Jayleen and the rest of the women perform a worship dance

Hands are raised in praise. 

VOM sings about the beauty of God's creation in Micronesia. 

 Esther, the sister of PIU English teacher Jen Rydzik, met us at the church in Santa Barbara.

Part of Santa Barbara's beautiful coastline

Joyce, Jaynee, me and Marian McKenzie

Jaynee, Doug, me and Jayleen

Joyce enjoyed spending a little time at the beach

Jaynee preferred the warm pool water over the cold Pacific Ocean







Jaynee and I are ready to head down the road to the next destination

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spending Some Time With Our Kids and Grandkids

One of the side benefits for us for in beginning the VOM tour in Los Angeles is that both of our sons and their families live in Southern California. Mike and Samantha were our host family in La Mirada and we were able to break away for one afternoon on Saturday to go to Milo's 1st birthday party down in San Diego. Here are some family pictures from our time in Southern California...


Titus and I run an NFL scrimmage in the living room. 





Joyce enjoyed putting the kids to bed and reading the bedtime stories.








Courage helps us out at VOM practice

Matt and Milo enjoyed dinner at Soup Plantation

Milo liked to push Courage around the room

Milo enjoys his swing

Courage helps Milo open his presents

Milo liked his presents

Joyce and Milo enjoyed working in the backyard. 

This was the first time for me to see Matt, Kristin and Milo in their new home in San Diego

Grandma got to spend a lot of time playing with Milo

Milo had more fun pushing Courage around the yard.




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pasadena Performance

Last Tuesday night we traveled up to Pasadena, to William Carey University, to fellowship with the ANCC group. This is a mostly Chuukese group pastored by MIBS-PIU alumni Paul Otoko. Unfortunately, Paul was in Guam while we were there but we had a great evening of fellowship with the rest of the group. We ate plenty of good island food, played basketball and volleyball, shared songs and dances with each other and prayed together. I was able to share with the group about educational opportunities at PIU, both undergraduate at PIBC and graduate at PIES. We are hoping to see some of them in July in San Diego or in Texas and, hopefully, we will see a few of them as students on Guam in the near future.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week at Grace EV Free and This Week's Schedule

We have completed the first full week of our tour now. Our plan was to spend the first week at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada practicing our program and doing some cultural orientation. The Grace people graciously allowed us to use own of their auditoriums for our daily practice sessions, including the kitchen and dining area and church members housed us for 9 days. We are very thankful for that. Grace became our base to do presentations in the LA area and for everything else we did there. Last Sunday we ministered in the morning children's service and then met in the evening with Mike and Sam's grace group and sang for them in the backyard of one of their homes, shared our stories with each other and prayed together. It was a great time of connecting with good people. We are also thankful that Grace will be supporting Michael and Samantha as they come out to teach at PIU this Fall. They have raised about 1/2 of their needed support. Here is our schedule for the next few days...
May 23: Morning Service at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara
May 24: 7.00 PM Community Center in San Luis Obispo (I can give you directions if you email me at dowen@piu.edu)
May 25: Staying in Castro Valley
May 26: Driving up to Susanville California
May 27: Activities and Practice
May 28-29: Palauan Conference, Susanville, all day
May 30: Morning and Evening Service - 1st Baptist Church Susanville

Here are a few pictures of the team at Grace EV Free....

VOM sings a greeting song for the Grace children's service

Leeman and Meluat sing a Palauan song for the Grace group by the pool

Leaders Delight and Evelyn Suda discuss a very important issue during the team practice.

Jake and Jayleen enjoy their practice time