Sunday, October 31, 2010

On the Road in Texas

My second stop on this year's Fall trip is Dallas Texas. I met Joyce at DFW on Sunday afternoon, we got our rental car and headed to Missy's house. After a relaxing Sunday evening of watching Sunday Night football Joyce spent Monday helping Missy get ready for the wedding while I tried to get caught up on PIU business. We are in the process of getting our annual report in to our accreditor and get our new AA in Liberal Arts program going. I spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday at Dallas Seminary trying to recruit new teachers. I met several interested people and distributed a lot of PIU published materials. It was also good to see Mike and Libby Stroh and John and Lisa Tomada there. Thanks to Mikle for an excellent presentation at our PIU brown bag and to John and Lisa for setting up the display table - with candy even.

Joyce and Missy took care of cakes, pies and other food, flowers, dresses and tuxes, reception favors from sun up to sundown. she also took the picture here of Missy and Cliff getting their marriage license signed (above) and ready for Friday. Next post will have some wedding pictures.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On the Road in Colorado

I have been in the US Mainland for a week now on my annual Fall recruiting tour. My first stop was in Colorado. I stayed with Joe and Cathy Wise (left), parents of PIU staff person, Stephanie Wise. It was great to get to know them. I enjoyed the walks around their beautiful neighborhood at 7200 feet in elevation. I was breathing pretty hard walking up and down those mountain roads. Joe also makes a great cup of hot chocolate. On Saturday I went down into Englewood, Colorado to speak to a Palauan church group. The Palauans are beginning a new fellowship in the Denver area and about 200 Palauans came in from California, Oregon and Texas to celebrate and to get the new fellowship off to a good start. I enjoyed seeing several of my former Emmaus and PIU students there and had a good opportunity to recruit new students. In the picture on the right I am standing next to Jake Ngiraiblosch pastor of  the Palauan group and a former student from Emmaus days. It was a wonderful day and the BBQ was good too, of course. On Sunday I flew to Dallas...

I got to share in the evening service on Saturday with the group. Thanks to the whole group for a great evening!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I am in the US for my annual Fall recruiting and fund raising trip, with this year's added bonus of Missy's wedding (more on that in a later post). The day before I left I was able to attend the first day of the PIU annual Fall Spiritual Emphasis Days, now known as "Koinonia Squared" or K2. We take three days, dismiss all classes and close our office to focus on prayer, worship and seeking God's direction. This year's theme was "Sacrifice" with Luke 9.62 as the theme verse. Our guest speaker was Kenny Clark from Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada CA. The first day was great and the feedback I am getting from the students and staff was that it was a very meaningful time for everyone. I am posting here a couple pictures I took on the first day and a couple others that I "borrowed" from students' Facebook pages...

 Our team "Gibborim" discusses personal application of Luke 9.62

All the teams work on their team building exercises.

At the pre-chapel we got to know Kenny and prayed for the retreat

Joannie shares with the group. After I took this picture of Joannie, Courage demanded that I take a close-up of her too.

K2, as most activities at PIU, involved the whole PIU family. Mike and Samantha and the whole family (well maybe not Titus here) enjoyed the retreat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Other Things We Do On Guam

Most everyone who reads this blog knows that Joyce and I do teaching, ministry and administration at Pacific Islands University. I spend a lot of words here talking about the basic duties of those jobs. There are a few things we do (work and fun and lot of times both of those together) that I don't write about much so I thought I would talk about those activities a little bit today.

Occasionally we run errands for the school. Joyce does this one a little more often than I do. She made the bank run today. The school is a few miles away from the main downtown area so all of us occasionally make runs to do something. Saturday since we were downtown anyway we went to the Continental office to pay for tickets for our librarians to go to a conference to Chuuk. We took two of our students, Julie and Inca with us. We ended up waiting in line for about an hour to make the payment, but as you can see from the pictures the ladies' made good use of the time by posing for pictures.

We also occasionally get to meet up with old friends. Guam seems to be a cross-roads for travel and people we don't expect to see come through and give us a call. Last week we met up with Matt Garman. Matt was the youth leader at Yigo Baptist back in the mid-90's and had our Matt and Michael in his youth group. It was great to see him and get caught up on what had happened in the last 12-15 years. Matt, you look exactly the same as you did then!

Of course one of our favorite duties is babysitting the grand-kids. In fact we are doing it tonight. Having Mike and his family back on Guam this year has been great and it is really nice for me to have the kids around as an occasionally needed diversion from school business. Titus, Courage and I played a little tackle football in the living room and tonight while I was feeding Serenity, she gave me the big smile she usually only gives to Joyce. No matter what else has happened earlier that makes for a great day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tide Takes First Loss in the GCBL

Yesterday the PIU Tide took their 2-0 record into the contest with Abundant Life Church, hoping to stay undefeated , but instead received their first setback 48-44. PIU took an early 10 point lead and maintained it into the early part of the 2nd half. However the team came out a little flat in the 2nd half and the ALC team kept chipping away at the lead until they tied the score with about 2 minutes left. ALC took a brief lead at 42-40 with a minute left but Mike Ihpa re-tied the game with two clutch free throws. ALC scored the game winners on a break away layup and two free throws of their own. The second half was an exciting back and forth contest that kept us on the edge of our seats.

The half time show this week was particularly entertaining as Michael (Phil and Celia's grandson) and Titus put on a basketball skills demonstration. Courage ran around and showed us some very athletic moves but nobody is sure about what game she was playing.

Win or lose it is always fun to go to the games and hang around with the students and staff. You can see that we all have our game faces on. Next week PIU will try to get back on the winning track against Touchpoint at Noon at the Tamuning gym.

Annual Micronesian Island Fair

Joyce and I always make it a point to get down to the Micronesian Island Fair on Guam every year. It takes place every October and showcases arts and crafts, music, dance and, of course, food from each Micronesian state. So last Friday night we picked up Jake and Inca (students who are part of our discipleship group) and headed down to Ypao Beach for the fair. The picture here is of us posing in the re-created ancient Chamorro village. You never know what you will see down there but there is always something new and interesting. We always see old friends there too. The food is a bonus - this year I went for the BBQ chicken and pork on a stick. Joyce also was able to buy some cool things for Missy's wedding.

This year the new thing for us was to get up close with a monitor lizard. There was a guy there letting his pet lizard crawl around on the grassy area. So, as usual, Joyce wanted to get a closer look. Most of the time animals go to Joyce and leave me alone, but this lizard took a special interest in me. The handler thought that it was because the colors of my island shirt made the lizard think I was a tree and would provide some camouflage. Chili (that was the lizard's name) was certainly intent on getting himself up and on to my shirt. Those things have very sharp claws and I was surprised how strong they were. It had to be pried off of me. It was a bit of an odd feeling to have that thing crawling up my leg. We tried but we couldn't get Jake and Inca to let him climb on them.

Joyce also wanted me to take a picture of this guy with his very interesting walking stick. The stick is made out of hardwood but the vine that had grown into it gave it a very unique look. I wish we could have afforded to buy it. The Micronesian Island Fair is one of those things that makes Guam such an interesting and great place to live.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PIU Tide Post Second Win

The Pacific Islands University Tide rolled to a 2nd win in the Guam Church Basketball League last Saturday. We led most of the way and then held off the Bayview team at the end for a 63-55 victory. Even though the bigger Bayview team dominated the boards, the much quicker PIU team used an effective press to force multiple turnovers leading to several easy fastbreak points. The Tide were led to victory by Justin and Jake, who were named athletes of the week for Guam by Kuam news. You can watch the video of their interview at the Kuam multimedia web site. Just click on "athlete of the week Justin and Jake."

The Bayview team spent a lot of time on the free throw line. Note the number of fouls in the 2nd half on the scoreboard picture above. Hopefully next week we will cut down on the fouls a little. Perhaps it is just aggressive defense? Coach Daisy will have the team working on good defense this week I am sure.

The fans, as you can see here were going wild. 

We always have a good time playing with the Bayview guys. Good sportsmanship and fellowship.

Next week we go up against Abundant Life Church at 11.00 AM at the Tamuning gym. The uniforms came in this week so come and see the well-outfitted Tide run and gun again.

Belated Post of Titus' 4th Birthday Party at PIU

A couple weeks ago I uploaded pictures of Titus' 4th birthday party to my Facebook page. I realize that not everyone got to see that so I thought I should upload at least of few pictures of the auspicious event to my blog as well. The party was held on campus on his birthday in conjunction with a birthday party for Eli Collins, son of our librarian Lisa, and we invited the students, along with faculty and staff and their kids. It was a rainy day but everyone seemed to have a good time.

  I led a couple games while the kids' sampled cake number 1.
Joyce took care of Serenity

Courage, Eli and Titus enjoy the desserts.
The students also enjoy the festivities. Of course, since there is food involved!

They pose with Mike and Samantha

Then Titus gets to open presents.

Mom and birthday boy...     and Titus shows his gratitude for all his gifts.

PIU Teaching Facility to Reopen in Yap

I am just back on Guam after spending a few days on Yap. I had just been there a couple weeks ago and needed to follow up on a few things from the previous trip. We have had tremendous response from the news that we will re-open our teaching facility in Yap in January. I had some more good meetings with government, business and church leaders in Yap. I also got to preach at the English evening church service on Sunday.

Monday afternoon I met with several interested students and their parents. We went through the application and financial aid process and talked about college life on the Guam campus and how things would work at the Yap TF. A few had taken classes before, when we had a missionary-teacher stationed in Yap, but most were new students. It looks like we will have at least two new students from Yap on the Guam campus in January and I would anticipate about 10 students taking classes in the Yap Teaching Facility when we begin in January. The courses there will be either completely on-line or "hybrid courses" which have a week of intensive classroom sessions with a visiting teacher from the Guam campus and the remainder of the course on-line. We have a lot to do to get ready. I bought 10 chairs and one folding table for the classroom. We will need more chairs and tables, a desk for our new TF office manager, Charity Sam, library shelves (we have about 800 books in storage for the Yap TF), computer and printer tables, whiteboards etc. We will also need to bring down our already purchased computer equipment from Guam to Yap. Hopefully, we will be able to connect the ADSL internet in early January.

Here are a couple things to pray for as we prepare to resume classes in Yap...
  1. Pray for Charity as she is here on Guam for three weeks for training. She will need to know a little about everything: library, financial aid, finance, academic advising etc. to run our office.
  2. Our biggest need is for a Teaching Facility Coordinator who is qualified to teach for us in Yap and develop the facility.
  3. Please pray that PIU students from Yap will again become eligible to receive the Yap State Scholarship. We anticipate this being approved before the end of the month. This better enables students from Yap to afford room, board and tuition at PIU. Since it was taken away two years ago we have not had one new student from Yap.
  4. Pray for our Yapese alumni who are now serving as pastors, public school teachers, church kindergarten teachers, hospital administrators and other key positions in Yap government, businesses and churches.
We are excited about being back in Yap and look forward to serving many Yapese students.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Last week Steve Stinnette, the PIU VP of Advancement, and I headed down to Yap to talk with church and government leaders, alumni and potential students. Steve and board member, David Mayer had been to Yap last summer and there seemed to be a lot of interest in PIU re-opening the Yap Teaching Facility there. We have been working on renovating a new Yap TF building for the last two years. The old building was flooded during Typhoon Sudal in 2004 and we determined that since it was at sea level right on the lagoon we needed to move the TF building up the hill. The building was finished last year by the group from Gateway Bible Church in Santa Cruz and my nephew, Ben Boudreault. As you can see it is still empty. We will need to get class and computer room furniture and library shelving. So Steve and I headed down to begin the process of getting things ready for opening the teaching facility next January.

Steve had already received an enthusiastic welcome from government, business and church leaders last summer and we wanted to follow up on that. In the Yap education office we were able to meet with the Director of Education who gave us a list of 54 names of interested students. We were also encouraged to hear that the Yap State Scholarship would be again available to PIU students from Yap. At the Yap legislature we met with the speaker of the Yap legislature, Senator Chieng who stressed the importance to us of Christian character building in education and provided support and encouragement to us.

Of course, the support of the Yap Evangelical Church has been tremendous in this operation. The church is donating the use of the building and area to us for the teaching facility. I appreciated the gracious cooperative spirit of the church leaders as we met with them to discuss the operation of the facility. We are planning to serve the church with seminar training in addition to our regular accredited PIU programs.

We also had the opportunity to see several of our Yap alumni. I am pictured here with Mac Alfonso. Mac is now teaching full time at a public elementary school in Yap. The Yap education department has hired several of our graduates to teach in their school system and I was very proud to see how well our grads are doing there and how they are serving in the community and church.

We also went to Palau on this trip, but, for some reason, I forgot to take any pictures there. We did have a productive time there meeting with church leaders, alumni and our teaching facility students. I had the opportunity to preach Sunday in Airai. While there I was very pleased to hear the parent of two of our alumni say "Thank you so much for what you did for my children. They have good jobs and they are serving in the church." That is what it is all about!