Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faculty Theological Discussion

SAMSUNG            Today the PIU Bible faculty (and a few other faculty) met with our visiting seminary professor Jim Sawyer for a lunchtime theological discussion. Today’s discussion was themed “Asking the right questions” and focused on letting the Bible speak for itself instead of forcing our own theological constructs and questions on the text. We had quite a lively discussion on how we move from the meaning a text had to its original audience to the modern audience without losing the impact of the literary forms and genres.

Image of M. James SawyerAccording to Jim’s Amazon author page, “M. James Sawyer (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) has taught Theology, Church History and Historical Theology for nearly thirty years. He currently serves as Professor of Theology at Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary, Guam and as Director of "Sacred Saga" ministries (SacredSaga.org).” We are very blessed to have Jim as a regular visiting professor teaching a course each semester in systematic or historical theology.

I think the whole group enjoyed the discussion… and the fried bananas too. This kind of theological “water cooler talk” is one of my favorite things about being at PIU.

Health and Safety Chapel

SAMSUNG            Tuesday we held our annual Health and Safety Chapel at PIU, where we invite local health and security professionals in to talk to the PIU family about issues that are especially pertinent to college students, such as dorm epidemics and campus emergency situations. Christel Reichert, an RN, talked to the students about health issues that tend to be a problem within college dorms such as food poisoning, viruses like meningitis and other issues caused by people living close together. It is always fun to talk about the symptoms of these problems right before lunch. <smile> Ambrose Constantino, a security expert for the Guam Guard, focused on “active shooter scenarios” and the importance of having a plan ready for the situation. We appreciate very much these professionals donating their time to make our campus a safer place. (My camera battery went dead after the first picture so I didn’t get a picture of Ambrose.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Seminary Spring Barbecue

SAMSUNG              Last Saturday the Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary family got together for a little fellowship and some time to talk about SAMSUNG            the vision and future of the seminary. We are still very small but are quite happy about some significant growth from last semester to this one. We are very happy about the popularity of our SAMSUNG            class that is being held at Agana Heights Baptist Church and we hope to do more classes that will better meet the needs of church leaders on the island. I talked about our goal to have about 25 students who will go through as a cohort, being mentored by our faculty and staff and then head back to their churches in the Pacific Islands trained, experienced and working together for the kingdom of God. We also talked about our plans to add graduate level counseling and Bible translation programs. It was a beautiful evening to sit outside and get to know each other a little better too.

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There was a lot of good conversation.

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The food was good and there was plenty of it.

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Daisy, also known as Doc Murdock,  took most of the pictures here. This one is a self-portrait.

Evaluating my 2012 NFL Picks

At the beginning of the NFL season I made my NFL season picks for who would win the 8 divisions and playoffs. Unlike most NFL commentators I now hold myself accountable for what I said back in September. Here were my picks…

OK My predictions for the NFL season. Division winners: Eagles, Falcons, Packers, 49ers, Broncos, Texans, Patriots, Steelers, Super Bowl will be a victory for the 49ers over the Texans

Well, not too bad. I got 3 out of 4 right in each conference. The Eagles pick was a bad one, but I think the Steelers just had too many injuries or they would have been right there. Of course, the most important pick to be right on was the 49ers in the Super Bowl. We will see on Monday morning (Guam time) whether I was right or not that the 49ers will win their 6th Super Bowl. I am looking forward to my Super Birthday party at 9.30 AM. Go Niners!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My New Office Roommate

SAMSUNG            I came in this morning to my office at PIU and was greeted by this new roommate walking around on my floor. This is the 2nd time I have seen one of these guys trying to make his (her?) home in my office. For reference the pen next to the spider is just under 6 inches long. Does anybody know what kind of spider this is?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PIU Chapel Friday January 25

SAMSUNG            We enjoyed another excellent chapel service on Friday at PIU. The worship team led us through reflection on several verses, including Psalm 29 (left) and some songs that were new to me. Steve BradleySAMSUNG            and his Evangelism class took us through the temptation/Fall story in Genesis 3 with insights explained through sermon and skit. We also welcomed as guests Pastor Bob Dames and his group of Chuukese students from the Center for Micronesian Empowerment (Right).

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Steve emphasized the idea that sin often results from a lack of trust in God’s goodness, love and/or ability to provide. The evangelism class illustrated this with a skit about an untrustworthy mother.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday Jan. 22 Chapel at PIU

SAMSUNG              Yesterday was another very enjoyable and edifying chapel service at PIU. Worship time was led by the SAMSUNG            on-campus ladies and included readings, songs in English and Chuukese and worship dance. Our speaker was PIU faculty and Isles of the Sea missionary Peter Knapp. He talked about “roles in the church” giving us time to interact and reflect on the subject. Of course he mentioned, a few times, that “Bible Translator” is an important role in the church.

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The girls did an island type worship dance which enacted welcoming Jesus when He comes back “with a lei.” I love it when the girls lead the singing because we get to hear those beautiful multipart Micronesian melodies and harmonies.

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Peter Jensen (left)  MC’d the chapel. Peter Knapp explained used Philip, from Acts 6-8, as an example of how God assigns church roles. You can see here his three final applicational points.

Monday, January 21, 2013

January Prayer Requests

We are now a full week into the Spring semester and three weeks into the new year. Normally this is the time when we assess the previous year and semester and make SAMSUNGplans for the next one and this is what we have been doing. We had our first administrative meeting today and it lasted over three hours. Normally I would be exhausted after a meeting like that but I came out of the meeting energized and excited with the opportunities and challenges before us. We recognize that there are great obstacles and issues in front of us but we know that God is faithful to accomplish his kingdom work through us. We also know that a very important part of his kingdom work is accomplished in prayer so we share these prayer requests for the upcoming semester with you. We value all of our prayer partners all over the world and thank you for your concern for us. Here are our key prayer requests for 2013…

Personal

  1. Pray that we will grow deeper and deeper in our relationship with Jesus. We don’t just want to know more about Christ, but know Him better and become more like him. If we do not have a deep connection to Jesus we cannot connect others to him.
  2. We are thankful for good health in 2012 and we ask for continued energy and strength to continue our work here. I (Dave) have not done a good job of staying balanced in my life and have neglected physical health and it has made me a bit lethargic this year. At the urging of my co-workers I have joined a gym and, two weeks in, am already feeling better.
  3. We are thankful for our families including our 5 grandchildren and the 6th on the way in March. Mike, Sam and the three that are here are a real joy and we miss being close to Matt, Kristin and Milo, Missy, Cliff and Leila. We also wish we could see our parents more often. We appreciate your prayers for our family.

Ministry

  1. Joyce continues teaching at the Japanese school and helping out at PIU. I am continuing as president of PIU and teaching two classes this semester. I reported earlier that I had asked our board to leave the presidency of PIU after this school year so I could devote more time to the seminary and to teaching, but have mutually decided, with the chairman of the board, to continue at least one more year as president so that PIU administration will remain stable.
  2. Students: Please pray that our students also grow in their spiritual lives, deepen their connection to Christ, become better trained to minister, grow in their love for learning and academic ability and build lasting Christian relationships this semester at PIU
  3. Personnel: One reason I am staying in my present position is that PIU needs to hire two executive level administrators. We need a new Provost and a VP of Advancement. We have several people we are interested in and are in the process of raising money to pay them. In the past these positions have been held by missionaries which the school does not pay (like me). Now these will need to be paid positions. We need to have these people in place by July.
  4. Joyce and I also continue to be involved in church ministries outside PIU. I often preach or teach at local Guam churches and plan to do some seminars in the surrounding islands. We also plan to be involved in helping with discipling of young people in our village.

Financial

  1. Joyce and I have been very blessed to have been fully supported missionaries through Liebenzell Mission USA since our last major furlough in 2001-2. Our financial supporters have been amazingly faithful. However, we were informed last month that our support has dropped below the needed amount to keep us on the field and we will need to return to the US Mainland to raise support as early as this summer to raise an additional $500-600 in monthly support. In our position it is very difficult for us to leave for an extended period of time. We are hoping to raise at least some of the money needed before we would need to leave Guam. You can give to our ministry on line at the Liebenzell USA website here. Just click on category: people and fund: Dave and Joyce Owen. Please send me an email at dowen@piu.edu if you are interested in being a partner in our ministry or have any questions.
  2. We also need to raise about $100,000 in 2013 for the PIU annual fund, the Rising Tide Fund. Our tuition is priced to make PIU accessible and affordable to our students and does not come anywhere near covering the costs of their education. The Rising Tide fund enables us to keep the school running, pay the teachers and staff we need and continue to provide excellent Christian education to the people of the Pacific Islands. You can click on the link to the right to donate to the Rising Tide fund

We are so blessed to be able to be in a great place like Guam teaching young people about God, His word and His world. Thank you for being a part of this with us. Keep looking here for more news about our work here and we will continue to let you know how you can pray for us.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week One Chapel Services

SAMSUNG            The first week of the semester is completed! We have already enjoyed two chapel services at PIU. As last semester, we have our chapel services from 11AM to Noon on Tuesdays and Fridays and the community is always welcome to join us in our large classroom. Tuesday’s chapel was our customary “introduction chapel” with SAMSUNG            Nino Pate introducing the teachers, staff and new students. He says that he doesn’t really have a sense of humor, but, for a guy without a sense of humor, he was pretty funny. Friday was our first prayer chapel. Mike and Samantha led us through a meditation on Colossians and we broke up into various groups to pray for different things. I enjoyed being with the students and praying for them and having them pray for me.

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I shared a little with the students from 1 Corinthians about how the most important goal for the PIU family must be to deepen our relationship with Christ. The question “is it right or wrong?” is too low a standard and instead we need to ask, “does it serve the Gospel,” “Does it serve others?” and “Does it build up the body?” On the right Samantha, Courage and Serenity lead singing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spring Semester Kickoff Barbecue

SAMSUNG            The Spring semester began Monday with the welcome barbecue for the students, staff and faculty. The Student Council planned the event and barbecued the ribs and chicken. With the potato salad and red rice it was a complete island barbecue. We played several ice breaker games and introduced the student leadership team. It was a good evening and then everyone went to bed early (yea right!) to get ready for classes the next day.

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Students and staff enjoyed fellowship and some excellent barbecue

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Titus and I took pictures of each other as we ate

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The student leadership team was introduced and then StuCo President Davy Welle got the games started

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The first game involved random self-introduction and disclosure

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I am not sure what this game was, but it involved a lot of movement and laughter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cantate Guam Sings the Messiah

As I mentioned last month, Joyce and I joined Cantate Guam for the Christmas season and the performance of the Messiah on January 12-13. Both of us enjoyed the experience immensely. Not only did we have a lot of fun singing, but we have been able to meet and get to know some really great people. I have also learned a lot about music and singing. We plan to continue singing with the group as much as we can. We will be gone in March for the Spring music but plan to rejoin for the summer. The video of Messiah, posted here, was edited and shot by our friend Jo Romaniello and includes several excerpts from the Saturday evening concert and the full version of the Hallelujah Chorus.

PIU Semester Begins

SAMSUNG              Today is the first official day of classes for the Spring semester for PIU. The semester began for us last Thursday and Friday with registration (left), student leadership training and then with ourSAMSUNG            first faculty meeting of 2013 yesterday (right). Final student numbers will not be in until we complete late registration at the end of the week, but it looks like we are about in the same place we were last semester. Please pray that this will be a life-changing semester for our students and staff and that God will supply all the resources we need, spiritual and physical, for an effective semester.

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Liberal Studies Chair Sarah Brubaker and Provost Christel Wood help students get their class schedules completed

Registration (4)

Sarah consults with registrars Urte Scherer and Anne Stinnette

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Student Leadership Training

SAMSUNG            We are two days away from the first class of the semester at PIU. This past week has been a time of preparation for the administration, faculty, teachers and for the student leadership. SAMSUNG            Our Student Life staff organized a week of training for the student council representatives, resident assistants, chapel leaders and other student leadership. Faculty, staff and administration worked with the students on areas such as academic leadership, cross-cultural issues, school SAMSUNG            procedures and discipleship/mentoring. Monday night the student leadership team came over to our house for hot dogs, rice and cupcakes, and to have a session on leading according to the PIU objectives. We talked about how we need to work together to prepare the future leaders of the island to lead with words and actions according to a biblical worldview. We had a lively discussion and I am excited about what God will be doing through our student leaders this year. The student life team did a great job putting together the training.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Off-Island Bible Runners

809_10151612267775744_2131566893_nFor this year’s Bible Run we had two runners that took up my request to show their support for the PIU Bible Run by running on January 5th even though they were far away from Guam, and then Dad after Bible runsending me a picture to prove it.  On the left is PIU Board Chairman Howard with Team Merrell which included Howard's grandchildren, Silas & Kira, his wife Kathy, daughter-in-law, Nancy Merrell, and Booker. On the right is my dad, Kemp Owen. He ran the Bible through his neighborhood. Much thanks to both of them for their support of God’s kingdom work on Guam.