Sunday, July 31, 2016

More, More Pictures from Majuro

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Here are some more pictures from Majuro. The picture above is a dance ceremony where the host church shares food, money and goods with the other participants. The singing and dancing were amazing

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The food was also amazing

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On Friday PIU student Jele Benejal led the devotional and then directed the church’s offering of thanks to PIU and to me for the week of teaching. The little bit you see on the table became so much that they had to clear off the table three times to take care of all the stuff. Wow thank you!

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Here are some “action shots” of one of my sessions

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And some more, Pastor Enja, Eric, and the congregation

More Pictures From Majuro

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I am in California for a couple days, but still have a lot more pictures of Majuro. I am not sure there will be any apparent order to these but I will do my best. I have several pictures from Eric and Karyn Sorenson, who joined me in Majuro on Tuesday and so some of the pictures come from them. Above is a picture of us with church president Enja Enos.

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Eric with PIU grad Bennie Luke (Left), Me with PIU alum Josen Teico (Right)

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Preaching, Teaching and Eating

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Majuro Day 3-4

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Majuro Day 3_5 (1)Majuro Day 3_5 (7)It has been a good week in Majuro. I have enjoyed presenting my series on the overview of the Bible. One more to go tomorrow and then I will head out to California for a couple days. Here are a few pictures from Monday and Tuesday in Majuro. Monday we had a big dinner with several local dignitaries in attendance. It even included a turtle (very rare) and a pig.

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I walk every day from the hotel to the church. I got soaked once, but usually it is a pleasant walk. I walk by the Bikini Atoll Town Hall every day.

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This is the hotel and grounds where I am staying.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Paul and the Faithfulness of God Chapter 12, Part 2

Paul AFOGChapter 12 begins Part IV of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4, Christian Origins and the Question of God, by N. T. Wright. This post will continue and conclude the discussion of this chapter on how Paul related to the Roman government. Again, this is a very brief summary of this very important book. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

In the next section, "Rising to Rule the Nations," Wright discusses how Paul is calling the church to live under pagan governments. He does not see Romans 13 as a command for absolute obedience to government. Christians have a higher LORD who is owed a higher allegiance than any government. When the worldly government exceeds its authority the Christian is obligated to call that government to accountability. This may cause conflict, to which the Christian must respond with bold engagement and a willingness to be persecuted for it. The church must maintain balance between being good citizens of this present temporary age and confronting this age with the truth, peace and justice of the age to come.

(Romans 13.1-7) merely states that the One God wants human authorities to run his world, and that the people of the One God should respect such authorities. However...respect for authorities goes hand in hand with believing that they will be called to account by the One God—and with plenty of anticipated eschatology as the people of the One God do some calling to account in advance. 1303

If what is coming to birth in the God-given new day is a world of love and justice, then it behooves followers of Jesus to live by, and in accordance with, that love and justice in the present, so as to be ready for the day when it comes. 1303–1304

Wright's conclusion is that Paul is writing to subvert the Roman imperial cult, as one (not the main) purpose of his letters. But this subversion must follow the way of the cross.

Paul’s vision of the kingdom, its present reality and future consummation, remained emphatically this-worldly. It was not about humans escaping the life and rule of earth by being taken away to heaven in the future, or by anticipating that with a detached spirituality in the present. It was about the transformation, not the abandonment, of present reality. 1307

Ultimately, Paul sees Rome as the final expression in the world of the powers of darkness, as prophesied by Daniel. Jesus, as the fulfillment of the story of Israel, defeats these powers of darkness, death and sin, and reigns from heaven, from which he will come to finish the job.

Just as Jesus is no mere cipher for Israel’s narrative, but the very son of the covenant God, so Rome is no mere irrelevant or insignificant political entity, but the final Monster in whom precisely the power of ‘death’ itself has been unleashed onto that ‘son of God’. 1311

In a world where many, not least many pious and zealous Jews, were eager for military revolution and rebellion against Rome, Paul insisted that the crucial victory had already been won, and that the victory in question was a victory won not by violence but over violence itself. 1319

The power and pretensions of Rome are downgraded, outflanked, subverted and rendered impotent by the power of love: the love of the One God revealed in the crucified and risen Jesus, Israel’s Messiah and Caesar’s lord. 1319

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Majuro Day 2

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Majuro Day 2 (4) (1280x960)The pastors’ conference began today with the Sunday morning opening service. The president of the church, former MIBS Director, Rev. Enja Enos was the main speaker. The President of the Marshall Islands, Dr. Hilda Heine, also gave a speech. I was very blessed to see Pastor Jele Benejal, current PIU student, also leading music and coordinating parts of the service. Sorry, the pictures of President Heine and Pastor Jele are from the back, but I was sitting behind them on the stage. I enjoyed meeting Rev. Enos and President Heine, gave them PIU brochures and both asked me forMajuro Day 2 (5) (1280x960) further discussion about how PIU could offer classes in the Marshalls. I was very encouraged to hear the president talk about how much she worked for scholarships for college students. I think the best part of the service was the congregational singing. Their acapella hymns blew the roof of the building. I spent most of  the afternoon working on my devotionals and presentations for the coming week. I did take a walk late in the evening through the downtown. I timed it perfectly. I got soaked in a downpour. It was a good day.

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This was the view outside my hotel window today

What Has Joyce Been Doing This Summer

House Renovation (8)I get asked this question occasionally. She keeps herself very busy – always. Even though she is no longer the maintenance director at PIU, she keeps her hands on the toolbox most every day. This summer her main occupation, in addition to teaching at the Japanese School of Guam and helping with refining our learning outcomes for our remedial English program, has been getting the house where Mike, Samantha and family lived for the last 6 years ready for our new tenants, PIU Bible chair and faculty member Iotaka Choram and family. Here are some pictures of the house in process. I’ll show you the finished product in a later post. Her first job was to clean out all the stuff they left. Here is the living room with everything removed.

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The big job was in the master bedroom. She took up the old carpet and laid down a new sheet of linoleum. These pictures were taken as she did the work until it was almost done

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She also did a lot of work in the kitchen. Students helped her quite a bit with painting and hauling.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Majuro Day One

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20160723_113132 (1280x960)Today, Saturday, was my first day on Majuro. The Pastor’s conference starts tomorrow, So Kaki and Jele (PIU staff and church pastor) took me out today to see the Marshall Islands Christian High School. What a beautiful campus! I talked with a few of the summer students and staff there and had a tasty island-style lunch. One of the things I am looking for on this trip is a connection with the church to set up a distance education center here on Majuro. There certainly seems to be interest here. I will be meeting with the President of the church tonight and I am sure this will be on the agenda. Majuro is a beautiful place. Here are some pictures.

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This was my view as we came ashore at the Christian High School

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I am trying my best to eat healthy while I am here

We Welcome the Chorams Back to Guam

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ChoramsWe welcomed the Choram family back to the Guam campus on Thursday. Iotaka Choram has been in Chuuk for the last year re-opening our operations there. PIU is operating with our partner FCC on Tol and in cooperation with Berea Christian School on Weno. We welcomed the family this week, but Iotaka will return next month, as faculty member and Bible chair on the Guam campus, after the summer session in Chuuk is completed. Yosta Lodge will become the PIU Chuuk director and continue the work with our partners there. We are very happy to have the Chorams back on Guam and look forward to growing ministry with the Chuukese on Guam and in Chuuk. As you can see, the girls have settled right into their new home.

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The students were very glad to have them back too.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Classes

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Summer Class (2)I am teaching two classes this year in the summer session. One is the first year Old Testament Survey and the other is the seminary level Survey of the Pentateuch. The OT Survey class is a fully on line class with five students from Pohnpei. I have a 90 minute Skype class session with them every week, with them in the Ohwa Christian School computer room and me in my home office on Guam. The other class is offered in the traditional classroom format. Each class has a couple weeks left so the students are working hard to finish well – I hope. This, for me is the most enjoyable part of working at PIU. I enjoy interacting with the students and it is exciting to see them to take what they are learning into their ministries. It also stretches me a little to teach one class at the entry level and another in which the students are already pastors and church leaders.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PIU USA Ministry Team Update From Scott

(This update was written by PIU recent graduate Scott Refilong. Scott IMG_0566-minalso provided the pictures)

It’s been about 4 weeks since we (Addie and me) have begun our ministry journey in America. Addie wrote all about our one week ministry in La Mirada, California at the Grace EV Free Church. It was a one week Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the theme “Kingdom Quest”. It was a slow first week, as we were trying to remedy our jet lag with “on­time” sleep, something that Micronesians aren’t too fond of especially college students. The actual commencement of events went really quick as well as the rest of the week. We had a chance to minister to 500 children as well as hundreds of staff and parents during our time there.

13606517_10154105149875339_1177526119636340906_nFast forward into the month of July. We have had quite the experience in New Jersey. At the airport we were welcomed by Bill Schuit as well as Sarah Brubaker! We were so happy to see Bill, a part of the PIU family welcome us at the airport and also Sarah Brubaker, former English Professor and Student Life Director! We missed her so much that our eyes suddenly out of nowhere became “itchy and red”. Well, at least mine did. The first week we joined a church called Valley View which was also just preparing for a VBS and their theme was “Cave Quest”. We also got to finally meet our Impact Team from Liebenzell Germany led by Simon and Johanna Weber.

IMG_0050-minLiving with a team that has a different culture has been a challenge, yet a constructive challenge for us as we are learning so much about each other. It has taught us to try and be relational in a different approach and totally out of our comfort zones. In order to better serve God’s people, it is important for a team to know one another and to accept one another in love, taking away differences and plugging in similarities that reflect God. Not to say that differences aren’t special, but that the differences that aren’t needed should be set aside before they take control of one’s every move. I believe that’s a good way to put it. So yes, the team has been very welcoming and we have been learning a few words, my favorite word is kase which is cheese in German. I have also had the privilege to teach a song in Chuukese to one of the team members, that was one of the highlights.

Relief Bus, which is an organization in Elizabeth, New Jersey has been one of the dominant ministry opportunities we have had. Relief Bus is a resource center that uses mobile buses to go out and serve the homeless, people who have low income, substance abusers, and even the unemployed. IMG_0422-minWe have gone out to Manhattan as well as South Newark into different environments of people that are in need. The Relief Bus while providing soups, drinks, and bread also hand out hygiene kits, employment opportunities, and the most important part of the ministry, prayer and company. We have so much fun and have had a whole other level of joy to experience as we help these people in these communities. This week we have begun our ministry with the Child Evangelism Fellowship in Paterson, New Jersey. For a week we will go out in different teams with different people around the city of Paterson (home of Alexander Hamilton) and minister to different children groups. We have a program that we follow and is part of a whole program that transitions every three years. Today was the first day and it went by quick. We meet at the home-base church, have a debrief then we go out for our first session in the morning meet back at HB, get a little break and go back out for the second session, this will basically go on for four more days. After this week is over we might get to see the FSM Representative at the US Embassy. That will be a treat, we have already had a chance to tour New York City with Bill and it was just amazing. If anyone is interested to see let me know. Our new friends David and Matt from Liebenzell USA also drove us 4 hours to see the TOGETHER Conference/Concert in Washington D.C. We experienced the Monument, IMG_0355The White House, and many more things there.

There are just so many things to be thankful for. The experience of living with new people (outside of the PIU dorm experience), the children’s ministry on both coasts of the United States, the outreach relief ministries in cities, and most of all just finding out more about who God is and what He is doing in all these places. We continue to look forward these coming days. Please pray for our ministry, team, and us. Ran Anim, Hafa Adai, Guten Tag, and Good Day Blessings!