Sunday, March 25, 2007

Owen Weekly Prayer Requests

We are getting ready for a big, busy week. Here are some things for which we would very much appreciate your prayers...
  1. Joyce's health: Saturday night Joyce had a recurrence of whatever has been bothering her. We went to the clinic but it was closed and she did not want to go to emergency at the local hospital. She slept all day Sunday and is feeling well enough to go to the pre-school today. Please pray for recovery and that the docs can figure out what is wrong with her.
  2. Meetings with Mission Directors: I will be meeting this week with directors of two different missions that are interested in working with PIBC. Both already are working with us and we are looking into how to grow the relationship. Pray that we will have God's wisdom in what we need to do.
  3. PIBC Board Meeting: Our annual board meeting is March 28-30. We have several important issues to discuss including a major curriculum revision. Again we ask for wisdom and strength for the leadership and direction of the school.
  4. Michael, Samantha and Titus: Please pray for God's direction for their future. Some possibilities for next year include teaching at Yap High School, going to Dallas Seminary, teaching at a Guam high school or working for PIBC for a year before seminary (grandma and grandpa like that one!).
  5. Preparation for our summer furlough: We pretty much have our June Schedule done, but we still have many open spots in July. Please pray that we can get to all our supporting churches and get some vacation time. If you would like to have us speak at your church, Bible study, mission meeting etc we would love to do it.
Thank you for praying. We could not do anything worthwhile without it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PIBC Traveling Team

Here is a video of our PIBC traveling team. They present PIBC to the local Guam churches. In this video they are singing an island song as part of the children's sermon at the Lutheran Church of Guam. Sorry about the jerky beginning but I don't know how to edit yet. At least it will give you a taste of what they do.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Joyce Update

Joyce got the results from her blood test. Her white count is back to normal. Praise God! She is glad to be feeling good and back to her normal work schedule. We still don't know what caused it but are happy that she got through it. She is now working hard to get caught up in her classes. Yes, I gave her a little mercy on her Wisdom Literature assignments. She is feeling good enough now to catch her third Guam brown tree snake of the year. She grabbed this one off of the fence in our front yard. This snake got our usual treatment of decapitation with the garden shears.

Today we went to the Guam Lutheran Church with our PIBC traveling team. The team did a great job with their songs, skits and testimonies. As soon as I figure out how to do video editing I will post video of some of their performances. Several PIBC staff members, including me, got a chance to share in the adult Sunday school class about the ministries of PIBC and how members of the church could be involved. It was a great time of fellowship. We really do appreciate the participation of the Lutheran Church of Guam in PIBC. (Mary Johnson our academic VP is the Lutheran pastor's wife). We are praying for more partnerships like this one with other churches on Guam.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Weekly Prayer Requests

We have several issues for which we would appreciate your prayers this week….
  1. Joyce’s health: She is recovering from whatever was causing her infection last week. The docs still do not know what it is and we are still awaiting results of the last blood test. It was a scary time in emergency.
  2. Student issues: We have some students who are struggling badly with addiction and family issues. Sadly we have even had to dismiss a few. Please pray that we have wisdom to provide help and ministry in these areas.
  3. Board meeting: I am finishing up preparation for our March 28-30 PIBC Board meeting. Please pray that it will be a productive meeting and that we will collectively hear God’s will for the school.
  4. Continue praying for our future faculty members currently raising support… Tim and Melody Plaxton, Eric and Karyn Sorenson and Stephanie Cooper.
  5. We have some critical personnel needs
    1. Maintenance supervisor Chuuk campus
    2. English teachers
    3. Bible teachers to coordinate our teaching facilities in Yap, Palau and Chuuk. We have both short (one semester) and long term needs here
    4. Computer (IT) person
  6. Ongoing operational financial needs and building funding needs. (Our students are still crammed into a much too-small space!)

We do appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Goodbye to Shadow

It has been a sad week for us. On Saturday night our German Shepherd, Shadow, died. We got him as a puppy in 1996 and he has been part of our family ever since. Originally he was Michael's dog, but he quickly became Joyce's dog and official protector. I couldn't even get near her when he was around. After we got Shadow we never had anything stolen from our house. We know it was merciful for him to go because he was sick and in pain, but even right up to the end he would wag his tail and try to play with us whenever one of us would come into the back yard. We will really miss him.

On another note, Joyce will go in for another blood test tomorrow. We are praying that her white count will be back to normal. She is feeling a lot better and went back to work today. We will let you know how the blood test came out.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Joyce Health Update

I took Joyce back to the doctor today. She is feeling and looking a lot better than she did when I left for Pohnpei. She is still having some pain and is moving pretty slowly. She has not been able to go back to school yet. The doc took a lot of blood tests again. Her white count is still up (but not as high as it was last week) so he gave her a stronger antibiotic which she will take for another week. The doc said that he is "stumped" by what is going on. He does not think that it looks like a lupus flare-up and there is no indication that it was caused by the dog bite. He wants to do further tests next week. In the meantime Joyce will take it easy the rest of the week and we will see what happens next week. She is going to choir practice tonight. She says that singing makes her "feel better" and she is looking forward to singing in Calvary Baptist's Easter cantata. Also, I have been getting lots of requests for more pictures of Titus so here you go.

Pohnpei #2

I arrived in Pohnpei on Friday morning and got back to Guam on Tuesday. We spent most of the weekend with the Chuukese youth as part of their rally. By the way, youth in Micronesia can be anyone from about 6 to 60. the Chuukese pastors were joking about a 60 year old Mortlockese man getting named as the "youth of the year!" I also had an opportunity to give out some "beanie babies" stuffed toys that were donated by the children of El Dorado county California and collected by the Pleasant Valley Grange #675 (see picture below).

We had a good meeting with the president and academic VP of College of Micronesia. Our agreement is proceeding well. It will be a real benefit to both institutions for our students to be able to cross-enroll. There is also a lot of interest in a PIBC facility in Pohnpei. We have a lot more work to do and contacts to make if that is to become a reality and we would value your prayers for that. I also got to meet with and recruit some prospective students and also met and got to know many of the local church leadership. I am praying that God will bring us together with several different church groups and missions in Pohnpei to serve the people there. Finally I met with 11 PIBC alumni Monday night. It was great to hear from about what God has been doing in their lives. All of them were involved in some kind of church leadership activity. I am looking forward to going back and seeing them and Pohnpei again.

Pohnpei #1

I made my first trip to Pohnpei last week. It is a very beautiful island. (This picture was taken from my hotel room). With the broad leaf trees and the way everything is so spread out, it reminds me more of Hawaii than the other Micronesian islands do. I didn't have a lot of time to look at scenery as Yosta Lodge, our Chuuk campus director, and I were involved in some youth meetings over the weekend and we had several meetings to explore the possibility of an articulation agreement with the College of Micronesia and placing a new teaching facility in Pohnpei. Yosta was the main speaker for the youth meeting and I was the Sunday morning speaker. They divide their youth into four teams (see the orange team below) and they compete with skits and choirs. They even have a song-writing competition. I wish I could have made a good sound recording. All the choirs were excellent. It was also very encouraging to me to see that PIBC graduates were involved in many leadership positions in the church there. Their hospitality was also great, but bad for my diet. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quite A Week

This has been quite a week for Joyce and I. Over the weekend I was able to rest up a little from the two week teaching trip. We enjoyed seeing the PIBC traveling team make their presentation at the Pacific Missionary Fellowship. They did a great job. That afternoon Joyce trapped the third of four boonie dogs that had been bothering us for a quite a while. The other two she had taken to the pound on Saturday. We decided to take the dog to the pound on our way to prayer meeting. When we tried to put the dog into the cage at the pound it bit her. I was worried about what might result from it and this time I was right to be concerned.

On Tuesday afternoon she began to feel sick with pains all over. By the time I got her to the emergency room at 5:30 PM she was in terrible pain. She had a fever and her white count was up. After about 4-5 hours in emergency they gave her some antibiotics and some medication for pain and sent her home. She slept all day Wednesday. Today she was feeling much better. We went to the doctor and they did all kinds of tests again. Her white count was much higher but her fever was gone and the pain was much less. The doctor is stumped on what it might be, but said to watch her closely.

This weekend I am supposed to go to Pohnpei to finalize our agreement with the College of Micronesia, preach at a youth rally and talk to some other possible partners about placing a PIBC teaching facility there. With the uncertainty about Joyce's health the doctor thought she should not be left alone (She can't drive while on the medication). Several of our female staff and students volunteered to stay with her this weekend so I could go to these meetings. As long as she continues to improve like she has I suppose I will go. Please pray for Joyce and I this weekend as you think about us. Thanks!