Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preaching Conference at PIU

Last week the Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary of PIU hosted a 3-day preaching conference at the Reef Hotel on Guam. Our main speaker was Dr Mark Mitchell from Central Peninsula Church in Foster City, California. Our seminary dean Dr. Eric Sorenson also spoke for one session and served as the MC of the event. The conference was designed to provide basic training in how to prepare biblical sermons or lessons for people who regularly, or occasionally, preach or teach from the Word. We had about 75 people attend the event and most of them were enthusiastic that we should follow up with another conference soon. It was great to see so many people from so many of the local churches and ministries attending. Our desire is that PIU and PIES become a valuable resource to the churches of Guam and Micronesia.
One of the best parts of the conference was to be able to sit and interact with people from various churches. I think it was great for the pastors who need to prepare something every week to get some other perspectives and input. 
The PIU faculty and staff enjoyed lunch with Mark out at Jeff's Pirate Cove. They still make a great fish sandwich out there. 
Eric, Samantha and Celia did a great job planning the conference. The conference was a great way to introduce our seminary to the island. We had several attendees say that they were seriously considering taking some courses at PIES in the near future. Hopefully, I will see some of them in my Basic Bible Exegesis course in January. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Dave and Joyce

Happy Thanksgiving from the Owen's. We have already enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner and taken our afternoon naps. We had a great Thanksgiving service at PIU today. Here are a few pictures of faculty, staff and students enjoying the festivities, especially the feast.

Delight and Joanie get to the front of the buffet line

About 100 people enjoyed the feast

Charles, Sousou and Xyanne show off their full plates
Here is the correct way to eat turkey
A group of very serious eaters
Kevin and Josh survey the food choices
Serenity enjoys her first Thanksgiving
Everly and Mike pose for the camera while Larry is intent on getting to the turkey
Joyce and May pose in front of the desserts
Daisy and Iotaka demonstrate the proper way to make a multi-layer fiesta plate
Titus models his Thanksgiving shirt as he trolls for more food
Samantha, Lisa and Mike make a second run through the food line
Everyone left the room with a full stomach

Football in North Carolina

After the TRACS conference I stayed in the Greensboro area to see my long-time friend and colleague Ernie Ladd. Ernie and I worked together in Palau back in the mid-80's, and Joyce and I have remained in touch with him and his wife, Annette. Ernie has assisted us many times in the past by helping us with logistics for my mainland trips. Ernie and Annette are now also PIU parents since their son Josh enrolled as a student with us this semester. One of the fun traditions we keep is that, when schedule permits, we attend a football game at Ernie's alma mater North Carolina State. We have been doing this several years - see last year's post - and I think NC State should fly me out for all their games because their record in games I have attended over the years is 7-0. I enjoyed spending the weekend with Ernie and it was a nice break to focus on college football watching for a day before I headed back to Guam.  The pictures were taken from our end zone seats about 12 rows up from the field. NCS beat Wake Forest 38-3.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TRACS Conference 2010

One reason that I do my annual trip to the US in the Fall (besides the fact that it is a great time to recruit teachers) is that the annual TRACS Conference is always held in the Southeastern US in the first or second week of November. TRACS stands for "Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. TRACS is recognized by both the United States Department of Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, as a national accrediting body for Christian institutions, colleges, universities, and seminaries. TRACS is also a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education. TRACS is a voluntary, non-profit, self-governing organization that provides accreditation to Christian postsecondary institutions offering associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees." (from the TRACS web site) We have been accredited by TRACS since 2004 and, at this year's conference, PIU was recognized for achieving our first reaffirmation of accreditation as a Category III (college and seminary) school. I am very thankful for our staff, faculty and administration who all worked hard to make this happen.

This year's conference was held at the Grandover Hotel (pictured) in Greensboro, North Carolina. I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the presidents and other administrators from other Christian colleges and seminaries with similar problems and opportunities to what we have. The seminars are also helpful. This year I especially enjoyed seminars on helping students with credit transfer issues and teacher training and development. And yes, the desserts they served were amazing again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Recent US Trip: More Adventures in North and South Carolina

I have been back on Guam for almost a week now and am pretty much over the jet lag. I did want to wrap up a few posts on my recent completed recruiting and fund-raising trip to the US mainland. Even though I enjoyed my time there, you can see from the picture on the right one big reason I was glad to get back to Guam. I experienced the first frost of the year in North Carolina and it got a little cold in South Carolina too. I know all of you in places like Montana and Alaska are thinking I am a bit of a baby, but it was really great for this island boy to pack away my coat and sweatshirt in anticipation of enjoying our mid-80's November and December temperatures.

As Steve and I headed down through South Carolina on our way to Columbia International University to recruit English and Bible teachers we stopped off in Rock Hill to see our good friend Mickey Beckham. Mickey serves PIU as a consultant for our Advancement department and helped us set up our Rising Tide Fund program and has worked with us on getting grants and foundation funding. Mickey encouraged Steve and I that the resources we need are out there and that we need to keep asking. We also enjoyed a Southern style meal at the Front Porch Restaurant and always interesting conversation about the history of area. We are hoping Mickey will come out again to Guam and visit us soon.

Later that evening we pulled into the home of Don and Melissa Howell, who graciously host us about this time every year, as we spend a couple days recruiting at CIU. This year we spoke in two of the TEFL classes of professor Joe Letexier there (graduate TEFL class pictured here), and then met at Don and Melissa's house with several interested seminary students. We had several interested in our open positions for teaching facility coordinators/Bible teachers and ESL teachers in Yap, Palau and Chuuk. This year we had more serious discussions with possible teachers than in any of the previous years I have been at CIU. Please pray with us that God will direct these needed teachers to PIU. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hi! Here are some of our prayer requests for November ....

  1. We have had several students make first time commitments to Christ and re-dedications of their lives this semester as a result of our spiritual emphasis retreat (pictured left) and ongoing discipleship ministries. Pray for their growth as they seek God's will in this new direction for their lives.
  2. As the Spirit moves the enemy also moves. Please pray for strength and discernment for our Student Life team as they deal with some difficult personal and discipline issues in the lives of some of the students.
  3. Pray for me as I follow up on contacts made on my recent recruiting and fund raising trip. There were many potential teachers, students and donors who are very interested in PIU. We are trusting God to bring in the personnel and financial resources we need. (Let me know if you would like more info on exactly what those needs are)
  4. We are thanking God for a great preaching conference (right) this week with over 70 participants. Please pray for God's blessing on Mark Mitchell, our speaker, as he returns to California and for good results from the relationships that were strengthened and from the teaching. Also pray that we will see some of the participants become students at Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary.
  5. This week we will be having our 2 day Thanksgiving break. It will be a nice break before we head back into the last three weeks of school. My seminary class (Survey of Gospels) will start back up next Tuesday and will meet twice a week in December. We will be going through the Gospels of Luke and John paragraph by paragraph.
I do appreciate your prayers for us. God is working here at PIU.

Courage asked me to take this picture of her yesterday. She was standing right in the spot of sunlight and I thought it was an interesting shot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Recent Travels of Dave

After Texas I headed to Phoenix. Brad and Cheryl Boydston provided me with a place to stay. I also got to meet with old friends Bob and Lanette Barrett and Matt Augee. Sorry, no pictures. I think I forgot that I had a camera while in Phoenix. Matt and I spent a lot of time working on a plan for cooperation with his ministry RecFX. I appreciate the help and support of all the above named people and their partnerships with PIU. From Phoenix I headed to North Carolina. I was supposed to go through Newark, but was re-routed through Chicago (pictured). I did finally make it to Greensboro just before midnight.

The first order of business in NC was, after a day of errands, a meeting with the building committee of the PIU Board of Directors. New EPA rules on Guam have forced us to make new plans for the campus and we have many options to consider. We are planning, with our new programs, on increasing the size of the school to about 300 students over the next 5 years and the board needs to consider some new properties and other options for the growth of the campus. It was a good meeting and I think we have a good handle on the options and will be ready to present them to the full board in February. It was also great to spend some time with Howard Merrell and David Mayer, PIU board members. Katherine Currie, our grant writer was also in attendance. Thank yous to the Mayers for hosting the meeting and providing a place for Steve and I to stay in Winston-Salem.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Other Things I Did in Texas

After the wedding I stayed in Texas a couple more days. I took Joyce to the airport very early in the morning on Sunday and then headed over to Redeemer Bible Church in Dallas. The VOM performed at Redeemer last summer and the church is one of our Rising Tide supporters. I was able to speak in the morning service for a few minutes about new things happening at PIU and got to meet quite a few people there. We are planning for the church to send a ministry team out to Micronesia in the near future. On Monday morning I headed down to Temple, Texas to speak to the Junior and Senior classes at Central Texas Christian School. From the school sign, you can see that I was not the most famous guest that day! It was fun to interact with the high school kids and several of them were interested to "learn about missions while you are on the mission field."



After driving back to Dallas in the afternoon, I met John and Lisa Tomada and Carissa Ash at the Cafe Brazil. I am hoping that Carissa will be coming out to Guam to teach for us in our seminary when she finishes her doctoral program at Dallas Theological Seminary. After going home and watching the Giants win the World Series (never thought I'd see that in my lifetime, smile) I prepared for my early flight the next morning to Phoenix Arizona. More on that later...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day After The Wedding

I guess this will be my last wedding post, unless I get some more pictures. On Saturday morning all the family met together for breakfast with Cliff and Missy before they headed away for their honeymoon in Colorado. We then went back to their house to see the happy couple take off. Spent most of the rest of the day taking people to the airport. We wished the week didn't have to end but it did finally come to an end. At least we got some good pictures.

It was so great that David, Katelyn and Lilian came down for the weekend 
Grandma Joyce got to spend some quality time with Milo
Cliff's truck was properly decorated
Missy and Cliff pose for another picture before they leave
As did the whole family that was present
Even Milo didn't want Uncle Cliff and Aunt Missy to go
But they got in the truck and were on their way
And they headed down the road

Wedding Reception

Here are a few pictures from the wedding reception. The reception took place on the same venue as the ceremony. It was a nice set-up, right above the gazebo where the ceremony took place. They dinner was an excellent selection of Texas barbecue. It was a great ending to a wonderful day...

Here are a couple more pictures of Milo

It was also a good time to get caught up on all the Cundall and Owen family news

David, Katelyn and Lilian enjoy a family dance

Joyce enjoys her babies
Missy and Joyce dance with the kids

We ended the evening with sparklers!