Friday, April 29, 2011

Pacific Islands University Senior Chapel 2011

Today was the last chapel of the Spring 2011 semester and, as is our custom for as long as I remember, this chapel is set aside as the "senior chapel." Each graduating senior is given an opportunity to address the students, staff and faculty and talk about their experience at PIU, their future plans, give advice to the audience and share how we can pray for them. Most of them were very nervous, but all those that could be there (a few of the off-campus graduates were unable to be there) gave at least a brief speech. It is very encouraging to us to see and hear how God has worked in the lives of the students during the years they have been at PIU. The chapel always ends with a prayer time for the graduates and the upcoming ceremonies. Our graduation will be on campus at 4 PM, Monday May 9th. The baccalaureate will be Sunday the 8th at the Onnuri Church in Mangilao.

Jake James (left) let the other students know that "if I can do this, all of you can." Jeremiah Sound (right) persevered to get his AA degree despite some physical difficulties and I am pleased to see him complete his degree. Both plan to go on to further study.

Peng Li (left) from Harbin China is our first MAR graduate from the PIU PIES Seminary. Gloria Ikea graduated with an AA and plans to continue on to get her BA.

Erten William (left) completed his BA at PIU and plans to be a teacher. Davy Welle talked about how God used discouragement in his life to mature him. He plans to move on from his AA and finish a BA in Biblical Studies at PIU.

Grateful Nokar is one of our valedictorians and asked for prayer that he would be wise in choosing from the many opportunities he now has before him. Our other valedictorian Xuefen Mei was unable to attend the chapel.

Machinta Yos (left) said that she was still unsure what she would do with her BA degree. Javrin Fritz was thankful for how God worked in her life during her short time at PIU.

Joyce shared about how she decided to become a student at PIU 8 years ago and worked toward her BA degree one or two classes per semester. She said that she got a good husband from her first try at college at Biola, but this time she managed to get her degree. She urged everyone to keep studying because you are "never too old to learn." Yes I am pretty proud of her! Quite an accomplishment considering everything else she does.

Melody Plaxton, PIU Academic VP preached about Jesus "first words" in Matthew and Mark, "Repent!" and emphasized that repentance is not just feeling sorry for sin and trying to make ourselves better, but is instead, a turn in the direction of our life toward Jesus and willingness to let him change and empower us. 

The chapel ended with the faculty and staff leading a prayer time for the graduates.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

PIU Completes Accreditation Response

This week PIU received notice from our accreditor TRACS that we have completed our response to the recommendations made by the TRACS team in May of 2009 during their reaffirmation of accreditation visit. According to the letter from TRACS president Paul Boatner, "At the April 11-13, 2011 TRACS accreditation commission meeting, the commission voted to accept the Progress Report of Pacific Islands University. After the staff review of your Spring 2011 response, you are now in compliance on all recommendations noted by the visiting team. No further progress reports are required." We are very pleased to have completed this task in less than two years after our reaffirmation visit. We know that it often takes 5-7 years to move into compliance with all the recommendations. The term of our reaffirmation goes until 2019 and we will have a mid-term visit in 2014. This was an accomplishment of the whole PIU family, but we are especially thankful to Nino Pate (center) who coordinates all the Institutional Effectiveness efforts at PIU.

Courage's 3rd Birthday Party

Courage turned 3 this week and her birthday party was held on the PIU campus. The theme of her party was "Fairies." She came dressed for the theme and, in fact, did not take off her Tinkerbell costume all day, except to take her nap. The students, PIU staff and families all enjoyed the party and sang several versions of "Happy Birthday." Here are a few pictures of the event.

Kevin tries to lights the candles for the birthday cake. There was too much wind so Courage had to pretend to blow out her candles.

Courage receives her fairy crown

There was plenty of cake (carrot and chocolate) ice cream and lumpia for everyone.

After the party at school Courage and grandma went home for another small party

and a fun evening

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Celebration at the Owen House

We went with the full celebration of Easter Sunday yesterday, with all the fixings. Ben called it "Thanksgiving at Easter." That was an accurate assessment. All our family on Guam came over with some PIU students and staff too. We had a busy, but fun day of hiding and finding Easter eggs, playing games, eating, eating and eating some more. Here are a few pictures of our Easter celebration. Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

First there was breakfast and worship service at Agana Heights Baptist Church....

(We had Ben, Lucy, Jesse and Joanie with Joyce and I in our little Ford Focus)
We posed for pictures in front of the church with the beautiful overlook of Agana Bay

and then over to our house for lunch.
Followed by the Easter Egg hunt! 

Courage and Titus did pretty well for themselves. 

Serenity also enjoyed the egg hunt. 

The kids had plenty of help finding the eggs

And there were plenty of spectators for the event. 

Titus and Courage pose with the family and show off their treasure

After lunch and the egg hunt it was nap time

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Coloring With the Kids

This is the first year we have had grandchildren living close by so we are enjoying all the fun seasonal activities we get to do with them. Last night they came over to color their Easter eggs. Between the stuff their grandma and mom bought, the kids had plenty of artistic supplies to create Easter masterpieces. Of course the eggs would be hunted for the next day.

Titus carefully measured the proper amount of coloring to put in each glass.

Titus and Courage worked together with complete cooperation at all times. 

Serenity was quite entertained by the balloon.

And then she entertained all of us by modeling the glasses.

Diving Class School Picnic

Saturday, the PIU scuba diving classes sponsored an all-school picnic at Family Beach on Guam. Just recently the three members of our scuba diving instructor class passed the test and are now officially qualified as PADI dive instructors. Diving professor Fred Schmidt and the members of the class organized the picnic to celebrate a successful first year of offering our dive classes and to give the PIU students, staff, faculty and friends some introductory instruction in scuba to promote the upcoming Fall diving classes. Our certificate in dive instruction is now ready to go for the Fall and we are looking forward to seeing several new students in the diving program. We enjoyed a great afternoon of beach, barbecue and other water activities. Here are a few pictures of the event....

 Fred (in the white T-shirt) and Eric Sorenson, our "Dean of Dive" get a group of students ready to go out.

Meluat uses his diving training to teach the next group of students

I give Justin some "counsel" before he goes out into the water

Joyce enjoys some grandma time with the kids, while Sam and Serenity enjoy the shade on the beach.