Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday Kid’s Day

P2250761 Last Saturday was the opening of a new children's ministry. PIU advisory board member Cita Tomada has felt a calling for a long time to provide a safe place for kids to come after school and on Saturdays where they could play, learn and and have fun in a Christian environment. Saturday was the “soft opening” of the ministry which takes place on Route 8 next to Faith Book Store. The opening ran from 9 AM to 4 PM and included a bounce house, drumming lessons, modeling training, face painting, games and a performance by the VOM. Joyce and several PIU students were there to help out with the opening. Cita is looking for a person to run the program so that it can expand from Saturdays only to an after school care program. Anyone interested can call PIU at 734-1812.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The VOM sang and danced for the kids.

P2240749 P2240750 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Owen kids enjoyed the day, especially the bounce house

Saturday, February 25, 2012

PIU Board Meeting Day 3

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The third day of the board meeting is usually mostly evaluations and election of board officers for the next year. After three years as Board chairman, Bill stepped down and Howard Merrell (pictured on the right)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         was elected to the position. Bill will continue as a trustee on the board. Billy Kuartei was elected as vice chairman, Siska Hutapea secretary and John Robertson treasurer. I think this was a very productive meeting and we have a very clear goal for what we need to do in this coming year.I am looking forward to working with this board and believe that God will move PIU forward to where we need to be as a school.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         FridayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         is also the day for the board to lead the PIU chapel service. Each one of the board members gave a testimony or shared a word of encouragement to the PIU students, staff and faculty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Harald Gorges shared a story of reconciliation on his recent trip to Chuuk. He said that he had to learn how to hug and it was still somewhat uncomfortable for him. But he said that the hugs he received in Chuuk were very comfortable because they were hugs of reconciliation. Howard Merrell said that Harald needed more practice hugging and created the PIU Rising Tide “Hug Fund” so that Harald could receive more hugs from everyone there.

 

P2230744 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Howard writes, “In an extension of the old "Kissing Booth" we said that anyone who wanted to could get a hug from this guy--who isn't nearly as unhuggable as his story implied--for $1. Soon there was a bid of several $$ to not have to hug him, and I think over $100 came in because of our impromptu fund-raiser. The fact is PIU is a significant ministry doing a good work on a shoe-string--or in this part of the world a flip-flop strap.It's a horrible mingling of cultures, but if you'd like to Help Us Get-r-done--HUG, go the PIU website, click on the Advancement tab, and follow the instructions for making an online gift.http://www.piu.edu/

Chapel was followed by a fellowship lunch for board members, faculty and staff. All the board members took the opportunity to thank the staff and faculty for faithful service

Board members and PIU staff got to know one another a little better. John Robertson sits with Anne and Steve Stinnette who are Liebenzell missionaries and Larry and Sharon Bock who volunteer at PIU On the right Howard Merrell make his point to Ken Dixon, a missionary from TITIP in Indonesia on faculty at PIU this semester

Each Board member received a PIU business card holder (handmade by PIU IT coordinator Mary Lou Carruthers). Billy Kuartei encouraged us by reminding us that PIU is much needed in the region because we “produce leaders with character, not just education.”

PIU Board Meeting Day 2

Day 2 of the PIU board meeting was administrative report day. Billy Kuartei, our board representative from the Palauan Evangelical Church, opened the day’s sessions with a devotion from the story of the 12 spies in the book of Numbers. In that story Israel missed their moment of opportunity because they failed to look at God’s promises and focused only on the problems. He challenged us to be the minority that stepped out in faith to accomplish what God is calling us to do. This was appropriate for the day as each report honestly presented the challenges we face at PIU along with the amazing things God has done through the school this year and the great opportunities that are in front of us. One phrase that kept popping up in the conversation was that “we have gold in a paper bag” at PIU. That is, though the school does not look like much in terms of physical plant (which needs great improvement) we have a tremendous faculty and staff, solid academic programs, our alumni are making successful contributions to their communities and lives are being changed.

I was encouraged by the Board members’ commitment to be involved in prayer for the school and to “put feet and hands to their prayers.” As Nino Pate (left), our Executive Administrator shared our financial situation and Lisa Collins, our librarian who is also coordinating our recruiting and fund raising efforts, discussed advancement of PIU the theme was that our needs are great and our opportunities are great. I would appreciate your prayers as we attempt to raise about $80,000 over the next few months to fund our operating needs and recruit students from all over the Pacific region for our summer programs and Fall semester.

The evening ended with a barbecue dinner for board members and students to get together and have some fellowship, but my camera battery went dead in the afternoon and I didn’t get any pictures. It was a fun evening program.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day #1 of the PIU Board Meeting

The first day of the annual PIU Board of Trustees Meeting, taking place at the Christian Serviceman’s Center at Bayview Baptist Church, went very well yesterday. The morning began with an excellent breakfast (Fried rice and spam provided by Shirley’s Restaurant) and devotional from board member Harald Gorges and was filled with internal board business. The highlight of the morning session was the installation of two new board members Siska Hutapea and John Robertson. We now have a 10 person board. The morning session finished as some of the advisory board members joined us for some fellowship and discussion of the PIU long range plan.

After a nice lunch provided by Subway, the Voices of Micronesia 2012 gave a short performance. The students did a great job. Mike and Samantha have been directing the VOM team on an interim basis but we are still praying and looking for a director for the team who can also teach music as part of our faculty. After the performance, Hartmut came and took the official pictures of the event.

The Board (L-R): Advisory Board Members Cita Tomada, Jeff Jones, Board of Trustees Members David Mayer, Billy Kuartei, Bill Schuit, Vincent Parren, Siska Hutapea, Howard Merrell, Harald Gorges, me. Not pictured Mary Johnson (she is Skyping in to the meeting), John Robertson, Martin Auch.

The afternoon session mainly consisted of the president’s report and a discussion of the PIU organizational chart. I shared with the board the challenges we face as we try to keep excellent Christian higher education accessible to the people of the Pacific islands without losing our focus on discipling and providing character development to our students. It was an encouraging time for me. Today’s session 2 will consist of reports from all the departments of PIU. Please be in prayer for our administrators as they report and the board as they continue to make decisions that they will be directed by God’s Spirit. Our publication table here shows how many policies, procedures and plans they need to go through!  Thank you for praying for our board and the meetings this week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PIU Annual Board Meetings Begin

Today is the beginning of the 2012 annual PIU Board of Trustees Meeting. Board members will gather here on Guam from 4 different countries (one of them will be attending virtually through Skype) to make the key decisions directing the future of the school. The preliminary meetings actually began yesterday with an orientation meeting for new board members. In the picture you can see (L-R) David Mayer who joined the board in 2011, Me, newly nominated board members Siska Hutapea and John Robertson, and Board chairman Bill Schuit. After the orientation we had another meeting to discuss property and other long term planning issues. Please pray for God’s direction for the PIU Board as we begin meeting at 8 AM Guam time.

Monday night the Liebenzell missionaries met at Bill and Christel Wood’s home with LMI Global Director Martin Auch  and LMUSA Global Director Bill Schuit (right). It was good to hear what Liebenzell Mission is doing throughout the world and to have an opportunity to talk with our “mission bosses” about strategy and issues in Micronesia. We also had a good time of fellowship and prayer. I am excited about what god is doing here through PIU and what God is doing in the world through Liebenzell Mission.

We always enjoy the beautiful view of the Guam coastline and the good food when we meet at the Wood’s home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saying “Goodbye” to Daniel

_MG_1498[4] We are saying “goodbye” to Daniel Assito, the PIU assistant dean of men, this week. Daniel is moving on to become a counselor at the College of Micronesia in Chuuk. Daniel came to us (when his name was Kalvin) through our Chuuk teaching facility to the Guam campus in 2004. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelors degree in biblical studies and immediately began working in our Student Life department. He has performed a lot of tasks for us, from security, to barbecue supervisor, to student counselor and mentor. He has also taken several classes in our seminary. Daniel was also one of the leaders of last year’s mission trip to Papua, Indonesia. He said that “it was hard to leave my PIU family after living here for eight years,” but his heart is to “do ministry with my own people.”

We are very excited about this new opportunity for Daniel and our prayers go with him to Chuuk. We have seen God working in His life these past eight years to make him ready for this next step in his ministry. So congratulations Daniel and may God bless you as you go!

Friday, February 17, 2012

PIU Fall Review Video

Here is another video posted on Youtube by PIU student Asia Oshiro. It gives a bit of an overview of our last semester and tells a bit of what PIU is all about. I think it is a pretty good representation of PIU, well maybe except for the guys dressed as girls. That was part of a skit. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chapel Music at PIU

One of the things I most enjoy here at PIU is being able to hear the students playing music and singing. Somebody on campus is singing or playing a guitar pretty much 24/7. Often when I come out of class at 9.30 PM there is a jam session going on, making some beautiful music. We also get to see and hear the musical talents of the students displayed in chapel on Tuesdays and Fridays. We have been making some videos of our chapel services lately and I thought it was about time I posted one here. (Thanks to Asia for uploading it to Youtube for me - When you don't know how to do video conversion and all the other techy stuff get a student in the Advancement office to do it for you, I always say!) This is a video from chapel a couple weeks ago featuring Kita Mokut leading the students in singing a song that she wrote. Those of you who saw the Voices of Micronesia perform will remember Kita. I really like this song. Hope you enjoy it. You are welcome to come join us for chapel. The music sounds even better live!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Guam Chronicles: A Reflection on Guam and Grandpa Steve

The last couple weeks we have had several guests here for our story crafting conference. Besides being a tremendous blessing to us at the conference, they also did some blogging about our school. One of our guests, Rachelle Heverly, wrote about her experiences on Guam and interviewed one of our professors, Steve Bradley. Here is a little bit of that article which you can find here...


"As I reflect upon my time on Guam thus far, I am overwhelmed by the experiences, the lessons, and the people especially that have made the “highlights reel” of my trip a never-ending film strip of scenes I’d like to play over and over in my memory…
…From the hospitality of a generous couple to sharing delicious meals and sweet conversation with welcoming new friends…from an evening stroll through Chamorro Village to sun-bathed days on white-sanded beaches…from the sheer joy prompted by baby Timothy’s smiley giggle to listening to Serenity gleefully shout each new word she learns…from 5-minute guitar lessons under a shady tree to sharing my writing tips with eager young students…from worship songs in Chapel that portray our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ to Sunday morning services with the lovely Bradley family… My highlight reel of our short 18 days on Guam could very easily depict each and every moment I’ve been so blessed to experience with these sweet people.
Since I cannot focus on just one particular day or moment or experience, I decided to give you a glimpse into a conversation I was privileged to have with one Mr. Bradley …

You can find this whole article at http://mariakeckler.com/one-day-one-conversation-one-mr-bradley/ along with other posts containing some of Maria's reflections about her time here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Watching the Kids on Saturday

One of our more difficult  ministry duties is watching our grandkids on the evenings when Mike and Sam host their discipleship group. This usually means that we have the kids from early evening until after their bedtime. Often they stay overnight with us. This last Saturday we were on duty again and grandma arranged a fun evening of cookie and popcorn making. I was in charge of blending the berry smoothies and reading the bedtime story, Peter Pan. A fun evening was enjoyed by all.

Serenity was “in charge of” putting the frosting on the cookies. Note the care with which she cleans her tools.

Titus and Courage helped grandma make the popcorn. They especially liked getting their own personal little bag of popcorn as a reward for helping.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Featured PIU Student

I am reviving my posts on PIU students that I would like you to meet. This week my featured student is Mondale Tim. Mondale is a 27 year old seminary student from Nema in the Upper Mortlock Islands of Chuuk state of the Federated States of Micronesia. Mondale attended PIU at the Tol, Chuuk campus from 2004-7 and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in biblical studies on the PIU-Guam campus in 2008. He is in his 3rd year in the PIU seminary (PIES) and will receive his Master of Arts Degree in Religion with an emphasis in General Ministry at our May 7th 2012 graduation ceremony.

Mondale spent most of his childhood and youth on the island of Weno, gradu2008 (10)the capitol of Chuuk, with his younger brother and two older sisters.  His father is still a pastor in the Chuukese church. Mondale “thought I was a Christian” as a child but made his “first real decision for Christ” as a first year Bible student at PIU. As a high school graduate he had spurned the advice of his uncle to go to college and went to College of Micronesia where he quickly “got myself kicked out.” That was when he decided to take his uncle’s good advice and he is thankful God led him to that decision.

Mondale is the current student body president at PIU and has been a resident assistant in the dormitories the last couple years. It has been a lot of work but “I had to plan my work and work out my plan.” Being in student leadership “helped me to make good decisions and good plans and helped me to be a better leader.”

Mondale has especially enjoyed being able to focus the last three years on theological studies, “I am full of theology here.” He is thankful that “I can handle the scriptures well now and explain them to my own people in my own language, in a way they can understand.” He says, “I would like more of my Chuukese brothers to come so that we can grow in experience and knowledge together.” The courses for me were more practical than just lectures.” “I had a good role model from my teaching.”

Mondale plans to return to Chuuk this summer to be a teacher. He is not sure if he will teach in high school or college. In addition, “the church is open to me to lead Bible studies and for preaching.” Mondale asks for prayer that 1) He will accomplish his plan and finish the semester strong 2) Direction for where to teach and serve in the church after graduation 3) His hope to continue on and get a more advanced seminary degree some day.

Seminary students at PIU are unable to receive any federal funds for their education costs. There are many young people like Mondale who would like to attend PIES seminary but are unable financially. Donations to the PIU scholarship fund will help more Pacific Islander young men and women get the training they need to serve the churches and schools of the Pacific region.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Island Tour with the Kecklers

We were so busy with the PIU teacher training and Story Crafting Conference that we did not get to take the Kecklers on a tour around the southern end of Guam until the next to last day that they were here. Joyce performed tour guide duties on Sunday after church and gave Sam, Maria and Rachelle the tour of some of the prettiest sites on Guam. Here is a picture of their lovely tour guide. Full disclosure: I stayed home and took a nap all afternoon. Here are a few more pictures of the Sunday drive around the southern end of Guam.

Sam was able to get up close and personal with a caribao

The Ceti Bay overlook is my favorite scenic spot on Guam. We ALWAYS take a picture of our visitors right there. So picture yourself there and come visit us!

Two other popular stops are Fort Soledad (the “Magellan landing site”) the shrine to Our Lady of Camalin (Her “landing site” as well).

The caribao at Fort Soledad recently had a calf

Guam is a beautiful and colorful place