Wednesday, November 30, 2011

K2 Student Retreat at PIU

324880_296233863743062_100000693512654_980995_1129428846_oI have been posting about things I did on my trip to the US Mainland, but there were many things happening at PIU on Guam while I was gone. One of the events, that I was very sorry I missed was the K2 student retreat November 3-6. K2 is annual event that happens every Fall semester. 324262_296236767076105_100000693512654_981001_1976430466_oWe cancel classes and other activities and the students, staff and faculty take some concentrated time to focus on their relationship to God through prayer, meditation, fellowship and service activities. This year our speaker was Philip Bradley from Agana Heights Baptist Church and the Bayview Baptist Church worship band led the music. The event was held on our campus this year. The feedback I received from students and staff was “this year’s K2 was great.”

324262_296236773742771_100000693512654_981003_133224241_oThe “Shema CafĂ©” on one evening provided an open microphone for students to share in word and/or song. Michael, Samantha and the other staff appear to be enjoying it here.

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On Saturday the scuba diving class hosted a “family day at the beach” with a free introductory scuba lesson.

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K2 included a 50 cent car wash in which the students offered to pay the car owners 50 cents for the privilege of washing their cars.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meetings in North Carolina

Sandwiched around my trip to South Carolina were several meetings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After arriving in NC from Nashville, I spent the weekend with my friends Ernie and Annette Ladd (parents of PIU student Josh Ladd). We got in some good football watching, eating and conversation. It was a nice break from meetings. After spending Monday through Wednesday in South Carolina, I drove back to Winston-Salem to the house of PIU Board member David Mayer where several meetings had been set up. The first was with the PIU Director of Foundation Relations, Katherine Currie. Katherine lives in NC but she has been part of the PIU family for the past two years. She helps us develop relationships with American foundations and churches, has written several grant applications for us and last year coordinated the scheduling for the Voices of Micronesia.

The next day PIU board members Bill Schuit, David Mayer (pictured) and Howard Merrell met to discuss revision of the school’s long range plan. It was good to see them and I felt like I got some good direction as I prepared to head back to Guam and get ready for the PIU annual board meeting in February. That evening the Mayers hosted a party at their home. One purpose of the party was to help send long-time colleagues Steve and Anne Stinnette on their way back to Guam after a several month stay in the US for medical treatment. (The picture is of Steve and Anne’s presentation of their ministry to the group.) The second purpose was a reunion of the short-term mission team from Calvary Baptist Church that came out to PIU (then PIBC) in 2000 to build our outdoor basketball court. What a great mission team that was! That court is still a focal point of the social life and ministry of PIU. It was a great way to end the trip before I headed back to Guam on Sunday morning the 20th.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Visit to Columbia International University

One of my regular stops on my Fall US tour is Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. PIU and CIU have a long history together. In many ways, and on a smaller scale, PIU has been patterned after CIU. This is my 7th visit there after I was invited there by CIU seminary professor Don Howell to recruit seminary and English teachers back in 2005. Don and his wife Melissa have hosted me for all 7 visits. We now have two CIU alumni, Sarah Brubaker and Joey Charles, teaching for us at PIU as well as Steve Bradley, longtime LMUSA missionary and retired CIU teacher, who has been teaching as a volunteer for PIU for several years. I always enjoy going there because PIU has so many friends at CIU. This year my main objective was to work out an articulation agreement for transfer of credit (successful!) and, as always, to recruit teachers. Our three main needs right now for faculty are education, music and a seminary dean. I am also looking for couples to direct our teaching facilities in the surrounding islands. I also was able to talk with CIU administrators about some student and staff mission trips, faculty exchange and other partnership ventures. I felt like I spent a productive 3 days there and the warm weather with the beautiful fall colors (picture taken in front of the CIU student center) was just a bonus.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TRACS Conference

This years TRACS annual conference was held at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. TRACS is the body that accredits PIU and 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. PIU was granted candidate status with TRACS in 1999 and we became a fully accredited category II institution (undergraduate) institution in 2004. In 2009 our accreditation was affirmed and we were upgraded to a category III institution with the addition of our seminary. While I was at the conference I realized that this was the tenth TRACS conference that I have attended. TRACS has been an important factor in the forward steps PIU has made in the last ten years.

Probably the most productive aspect of the conference is the opportunity to interact with other schools and hear how they are working through the similar issues that we face. This year I thought the seminars were also particularly helpful. The TRACS administration has also been quite responsive and helpful to us recently. In addition, the food and desserts  (pictured) are always good. Accreditation is a lot of work but the effort has been well worth it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More on My US Mainland Trip

I am back on Guam after 4 weeks on the US Mainland. The main purpose of the trip was to recruit students, staff and faculty, develop more transfer agreements with US universities and seminaries, and raise funds for the school. We are about $20,000 short of ($100,000) the minimum we need to raise in donations for 2011 and, though I raised some money on the trip, we are still well short of our goal. I met many interested potential students and staff members on the trip and we are praying that many of them will join us in the near future.

I am always humbled by the generosity of God’s people as I travel. In my 28 days of travel I only had to pay for a hotel room for three nights. Third John type hospitality is still alive and well in the American church. The other fringe benefit I get from this trip is the opportunity to stay with family. Missy and Cliff’s (pictured) house became my Dallas Texas area base and I had an enjoyable time there. Their baby is growing and we can hardly wait for March when she, our grandchild #5, is scheduled to be born. I still plan to make a couple more posts about my trip adventures plus will post a few things about what was going on at PIU while I was gone. It is nice to be back where it is warm all the time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ministry in Susanville California

I am still a week behind on my posts, but here are a few pictures from last weekend in Susanville California where I had the opportunity to participate in the Micronesian conference there. There were Palauans and Chuukese there from Portland, Reno, Sacramento, Texas and, of course Susanville. I had the opportunity to lead an all day Saturday seminar for the men on biblical exegesis and then spoke to the whole group on Saturday night. As you can see, it was a cold weekend (about 20 degrees for a low) and somehow, whenever I go to Susanville – even in the summer - it snows. I am thankful again to Jacob Ngiraiblosch for inviting me to be one of the speakers for the conference. It is encouraging to me to see how well so many of my former students are doing and to see them in leadership in their churches.

Most of the meetings were held at a camp about 15 miles from Susanville. The food and fellowship were excellent.

 

There was a lot of singing. The Susanville group led worship before lunch (left) and the youth group performed a skit and worship dance (right) in the evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ministry in Texas

After spending a day in Dallas with Missy and Cliff, I headed down to Salado, Texas to meet with the people at Grace Baptist Church. I met pastor Steve Waechter in the afternoon and after a nice dinner (including key lime pie) spoke at the church’s Wednesday evening service. The small, but very interested group already knew a lot about the school and were excited to hear the new things that are happening at PIU. The next evening I met with the Palauan fellowship group in Killeen. I was happy to see some old friends there and meet some high school students who are interested to come to PIU in the future. Ali and Zenida led some music and I had a chance to share with the group about the new opportunities provided for them at PIU through the liberal studies, diving and seminary programs. I am very thankful for both the Grace Baptist and Palauan groups who have been so supportive of our school for the last couple years. Thanks also to the Puckett’s who opened up their home to me while I was in Central Texas.   Posted from the Love Field waiting area!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ministry at Shingle Springs and Redding California

My annual Fall recruiting and fund raising trip began this year in Northern California. On Monday the 24th I flew from Guam into San Francisco and then drove up to El Dorado to my parents’ place. After a day of rest I drove up to Redding. In Redding I got to meet with administrators at Simpson University and Tozer Seminary. We are working on an agreement with Simpson that would allow students to transfer credits between PIU and Simpson. I also had the opportunity to talk with some teachers at Tozer about teaching some PIU classes. The next day I drove over to Shasta Bible College and met with some old friends there. I drove back to El Dorado on Friday and got to have some good family time on Saturday. I also had morning coffee at Starbucks with Tim and Melody Plaxton. They looked great. Sunday I spoke at Gold Country Baptist Church with a report about PIU in the morning service and preached in the evening service (pictured above). With three GCBC families on staff and a couple students at PIU, there is a lot of interest in PIU there. I gave out several Fact Books and brochures. In between services I had lunch with the Cain family. Sarah Cain took most of the pictures for our publications while she was on Guam last spring. We are very thankful for the support GCBC brings in to PIU. Monday was the last day in the area. I met with Steve Leuice, the pastor of another supporting church, Camino Community Church, and we had a great time talking over old times in Palau and Guam and comparing ministry notes. The first week of my trip was busy, but fun. Monday evening I headed to the airport to fly to Dallas.

JR Vigil Update

  The night before I left on my current trip to the US Mainland (more on what is happening on the trip coming soon) Joyce and I went over to the Vigil’s house to see JR and the family. The PIU students, with Mike and Samantha were also hanging out over there. It was good to see that JR had regained much of his weight and to see him up and around. He talked with us about how much better he was feeling and how he was thankful that God was giving him a second chance at life. He felt like, with all the miracles of timing that happened to save his life, that God must have something special planned for his life. He also said that he is humbled and thankful that so many people gave toward his medical expenses. He said that he knows his rehab will not be easy but he is feeling confident that he can do it. We were all very encouraged by his attitude and we had a good evening of eating and singing together. Please keep JR in your prayers as he works on his rehab and the family prepares to go to the US mainland early next year to get JR the prosthetics he needs.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Dress Up Day in Joyce’s Class

PA140204Last week was Dress-up day in Joyce’s class at the Japanese School of Guam. She must be a fun teacher. She even had her co-teachers involved. The kids look cute so I had to post a couple pictures.  PA140205

Voices of Micronesia 2012 – First Performance

vompc5  This year’s VOM team made their first presentation of the new school year at the Preaching Conference. vompc7The team performed a couple traditional Micronesian Christian songs and some cultural dances. This year’s team is focusing on learning traditional artistic dance forms from the islands and redeeming them to the service of Christ. Our plan is to have the team tour the US next Fall from mid-September to mid-December. They are already scheduled at some Guam churches for this school year and have several other dates open in which they could make a presentation at Guam churches. We also hope to do other performances in the Asian and island regions. The group will have 16 members and is directed by Julia Muya. (bottom left in the picture on the right)

Here are a few pictures of the performance…

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Final Day of the Preaching Conference

The preaching conference concluded on Saturday October 22nd. The day began with breakfast at 8 AM and we immediately got down to business. The subject of the days’ three sessions was “Deep Preaching.” That is, how do we preach sermons that deeply impact the preacher himself and then the people in his audience? Kent emphasized the “preacher’s closet” where he invites the Holy Spirit to work the message of the Word into his life and into the sermon itself. Preaching is not just an academic exercise. It needs to be empowered and directed by the Spirit.

The Saturday session moved from the “Top of the Reef” to the ballroom. We went from 8 AM to 3 PM and the day’s events included an excellent lunch and breakfast. During the conference we were also able to give away several valuable door prizes that were donated by the Reef Hotel, National Car Rental and Faith Book Store. Of course, we also gave away PIU T-shirts and other merchandise.

The last session of the day was a question and answer time. Even though we had already had a long day the session actually went beyond the scheduled time because there was so much audience participation.

I am so thankful for the hard work of our office and advancement staff to make this conference happen. Our operations director, Celia Atoigue, did a great job taking care of the hotel and food arrangements and contacting the donors of the door prizes. Samantha Owen did a great job on the brochures and publicity materials. All of our staff did a great job to make the conference happen. We also appreciate Kent and Nola coming all the way from California to be our speakers. As we cleaned up and assessed the 2011 conference we are already planning for the 2012 PIU Preaching Conference.

Friday Night at the PIU Preaching Conference

   The Conference continued on Friday night as Dr. Edwards spoke on the theme of “How to Preach the Bible. Several of the pastors that were unable to attend on Thursday were able to be there on Friday night. Even though Kent had a full day of ministry, he spoke with enthusiasm and many of the pastors told me that it was an even better session than the previous night.

Joey Charles began the session with some music during the meal. We also had PIU professors make short presentations throughout the conference about the courses they would be teaching during the Spring semester. If you are interested in taking PIU courses next semester on-line or on the campus give us a call at 671-734-1812 or check our web site at http://piu.edu 

VP of Student Life Rob Watt and his team did a great job handling the sound and other program logistics of the conference.