Sunday, October 28, 2007

First weekend of Trip

I have arrived in California and am enjoying the cooler, but not cold, weather. I am not even jet-lagging. It is great. I got into LAX about 5.00 AM on Friday, got a car and got to Mike, Samantha and Titus' place about 7.00 AM. I got a great greeting from Titus. We went out to breakfast and Titus made friends with most of the people in the Home Town Buffet. I went to Wal-Mart and picked up a camera to replace the one that was stolen (I left the batteries at Mike's house) and started clicking some pictures. Matt and Kristin came up from San Diego (they are Ok and did not have to evacuate) in the afternoon. We had a great time talking and getting caught up on what was going on with all of them and then went out for pizza. BJ's buffalo chicken pizza was excellent and the strawberry lemonade was pretty good too. (Here is Michael and Titus in their costumes)

Saturday I drove back to LAX and then flew up to Sacramento. My mom-in-law picked up me up and we made the 3 hour drive up to Redding where we stayed with Joyce's sister, Judy, and her family. Sunday morning I had the opportunity to share at Shasta Community Church pastored by Keith Stone. I had a wonderful time with the people there. There was a lot of interest on what we are doing and some are even considering coming out to help PIBC or the Christian High Schools in Micronesia. Afterwards Keith took me along with 20 or so Shasta Bible College students out for pizza at Round Table. There was a high level of missions interest among the students and they asked a lot of questions. Thank you Keith for the invite! I will be speaking at the Shasta Bible College chapel tomorrow morning and then we will head over to Shingle/El Dorado to spend some time with the parents.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More "Stuff" to Pray For

Well we thought the week couldn't get weirder or more stressful but it did. Yesterday our house was burglarized while we were at work. I got home at 4:45 PM and noticed that our door was wide open. When I went in I saw that our house had been ransacked and several things were missing. They got my new TV, our sound system, camera (the pictures here were taken by Melody Plaxton), MP3 players and a few other electronics. They also got most of Joyce's jewelry. ATTENTION - THIEVES - We have nothing left that you can pawn! They got in to our house by prying out the window frame in our carport and pushing the window in. The police got some good fingerprints so I hope that the perp will be caught. I know it's only stuff, but we worked hard for it and enjoyed sharing it with our friends - sorry guys no more "football breakfast" for a while. A couple of the other ministers on island told me that security services are very good and affordable, so I will check on it tomorrow before I go on my recruiting trip.

On the other big issue... This morning we went to the office of our congressional rep, Madeline Bordallo. Her staff was very helpful. They are writing on our behalf to the INS. They seemed hopeful that Jens and Karin's situation could be favorably resolved. The lawyer that we visited in the afternoon was much less hopeful. She said that it was possible but we would need to make a strong case for the religious nature of Jens' job. It seems preposterous to me that the INS has the right to tell a mission that has been in business for over 100 years what is "religious" and what is "secular." Anyway, please pray that we will make a good response to the INS and that Jens and Karin will be able to stay. We have to have our response in by November 2nd.

I am running around like crazy to take care of all this and to get ready for my trip. Thank you for your prayers for Joyce and me.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Beach Party

We had our annual Pacific Islands Bible College Fall semester beach party yesterday. We had a lot of fun and ate a lot of food even though we were deluged by rain most of the afternoon. Despite the downpour, our students, staff and faculty enjoyed most of the traditional beach activities including snorkeling, volleyball, swimming and laying there doing nothing. As you can see from the picture the students also enjoy burying each other in the sand. What a good-looking group! Our basketball team was in an upbeat mood as, in the morning, we had finally broken into the win column with a 72-23 victory. It was nice for everyone to get away from the campus, break up the mid-semester doldrums and relax.

Emergency Prayer Request For PIBC

Please pray for a situation that just came up. We received a letter from INS saying that they have revoked the religious worker status of two of our Liebenzell Mission Germany missionaries, Jens and Karin Schulz. Jens is our Guam Campus Director and Chief Financial Officer and Karin is our Registrar and Chief Bookkeeper. For us to lose them in the middle of a school year (or any time for that matter) would be devastating. The INS is giving us two weeks to respond to this very surprising ruling. We will be seeing an immigration lawyer and talking to our US congressional representative tomorrow to try to prepare our response. Please pray that we will have wisdom in making our response and that Jens and Karin will be able to remain at PIBC for the long term. They have been part of PIBC for six years now and it is hard to find someone with the combination of their needed skills and expertise with a heart and training for missions and ministry.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Semi-Typical Weekend

We had a pretty busy weekend, with fairly typical activities. On Friday night, we had a fellowship time with a group of Germans on their way back through Guam who had been visiting Chuuk in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the church there. We had a great time of testimonies, singing, food and fun. We will usually take any excuse to have a bbq. One game we played was "which tool do you use to open a coconut?" None of our three American and German contestants picked the right tool. Which do you think it is? (answer at the bottom of the post)

Saturday Joyce spent the whole day at a Red Cross CPR training for her pre-school. She saw a lot of people she knew there and learned a lot but it was a long day. Dave went to the PIBC basketball game in the morning (we got whipped by about 30) and then spent the rest of the day getting caught up on correcting papers and other class preparation. We did get to spend Saturday evening out to dinner for a bit of relaxation.

On Sunday, Dave spoke at the Palaun Evangelical Church of Guam on Ephesians 2:11-22. It was good to see a lot of our old Palauan friends (and the German group showed up to sing a hymn in German). It was a good illustration of what Ephesians 2:11-22 is all about. After church we went out to lunch with several of our ex-Emmaus students. We spent a lot of time reminiscing about old times, especially basketball games with the pastor of the Guam PEC, Andrew Immanuel who graduated from Emmaus in 1988, John Aitaro, current PIBC student and Bill Mira who graduated from Emmaus in 1990.

Finally, on Sunday night we enjoyed our PIBC staff prayer and potluck (now you know why it is so hard to lose weight on Guam!). We said good bye to the German group and had a good time of prayer for the needs of the school and ministry work throughout the islands. It is so great to work with a group that is committed to God's work and really loves each other. (The correct tool is the small rock - Jonathan, a Chuukese student, opened the coconut with it in about 5 seconds.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekly Prayer Requests 10/13/2007

We are moving toward the middle of the semester and life seems to be moving faster and faster. We are excited at the progress our students are making and as we see God working in the school. Here are a few things you can be praying for us this week.

  1. We have had the opportunity to speak in several churches so far this semester to represent PIBC. We would love to see relationships deepen between PIBC and local churches on Guam and Micronesia so that we can better help the churches meet their leadership training needs. Tomorrow Dave will be speaking at the Guam Palauan Evangelical Church.
  2. Dave is preparing for his annual conference, recruiting trip to the US mainland October 26-November 20. Some key items for prayer here...
    1. Wisdom in our development of relationships with other schools.
    2. Raising funds for much needed new building. (For example the Guam campus, built for 35 now has 105 students - We need more classroom and residence space)
    3. We have a critical need for Bible and English teachers in Chuuk.
  3. Joyce is working hard on PIBC building renovations, taking three classes and teaching her kindergartners. She has been fighting a stubborn cold while doing this.
  4. We are also finding that a lot of people are coming to us for counseling on church issues. Please pray that we would counsel wisely and minister to the people who are coming to us.
  5. Pray for our students that they would continue to work hard and that they would respond to God's work in their lives.
We do appreciate your prayers. God's work is done when God's people are praying.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Onnuri Church Guam

One of the enjoyable things I get to do as PIBC president is preach and represent PIBC at many of the churches on Guam and throughout Micronesia. This Sunday I had the opportunity to fellowship with the Onnuri (Korean speaking, Presbyterian) Guam Church. Some members of this church began to attend PIBC this Fall. Joyce and I enjoyed the worship time and great hospitality of the church. We were encouraged to hear of the church's commitment to partner with other groups to build the kingdom. Though we didn't understand everything, our translator, did a very good job of summarizing everything that went on. She, Hannah, a 21 year old senior at the University of Guam (left of Joyce in the picture) also did a good job of translating my sermon. We also enjoyed the fellowship and spicy kimchee soup at lunch time. There was a lot of interest in PIBC and I am hoping to see more students from the Onnuri Church at PIBC.

Joyce also is proud of her soursap. She took this picture a couple days ago. I think they are a little bitter but I like drinking the juice. We are thankful for no extreme weather on the island for a long time that allows Joyce's fruit trees to root and produce. I prefer the cherry tomatoes and kalamansi.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just Back From Palau

I got back from Palau on Monday morning after taking that awful Continental 1:45 AM flight from Palau to Guam that arrives at 4:40 AM. I'd probably have felt more rested had I gone straight to bed instead of staying up to watch the 49er-Seahawk game, which the 49ers lost anyway. It was a good trip in which I completed the classroom portion of my Distance Education Prophetic Lit class, talked to several PIBC grads and former Emmaus High School (Campus pictured to the left here) students, encouraged (at least I think they were encouraged - giving them ice cream seemed to help a lot) the new missionary teachers at Emmaus and Bethania, met with Palauan church leaders and preached in the Koror Church Sunday morning service.

I had 5 students in the PIBC class. Most are older students trying to complete their BA degrees and working full time. We had an enjoyable time of discussion although the format of teaching 5 three-hour sessions in four days is a little overwhelming. It was overwhelming to the video projector bulb too as we burned it out. We ended the class with a dinner and fellowship. I am always encouraged by the insights into the Word and practical applications of it shared by our students.

I also was able to spend a lot of time talking with graduates and missionaries. Hedrick and Prima Kual are ministering as the associate pastor and Director of the Kindergarten in the Koror Church. It was exciting to see our graduates being effectively used by God to minister in their home islands. Hedrick also drove me (note the Koror traffic in the pic) around quite a bit and I enjoyed the time that gave us to talk in addition to the good fellowship times with him at the Rock Island Cafe. I also got to talk with many other former PIBC and Emmaus students.

It was also great to have an opportunity again to preach in the Koror Church on Sunday morning. It was "scholarship Sunday" in which all the church offering goes to support Palauan PIBC students. I also saw a lot of old friends there and was encouraged by their response and support for PIBC.

While I was in Palau my grandson Titus celebrated his first birthday. I could not resist adding in a picture of this good-looking boy at his first birthday party. I will get to see him this month on my way through LA on the way to a conference on the mainland.