Saturday, March 29, 2008

Updates and Other Stuff

Earthquake Update: We have had a few little rumblers and shakers following the 5.4 quake we had a couple days ago. Friday morning I got a pretty good shake a little before my class session on 1st John. As far as I know there was no significant damage on the island. The water heater at our house has a leak now, but I am not sure how much effect the quake had on that.

Chuuk: I will be heading to Chuuk on Wednesday morning. I plan to meet with Chuuk DOE people to continue planning to implement our program for their teachers to get AA degrees. I will also be talking with the students on Tol and Weno about how the changes we are making there will effect them. We are going to need to figure out a way to accommodate more of them on our Guam campus next Fall. Oh yea, and I will be teaching the final three sessions of the Exegesis in Genesis course.

Today is our daughter Melissa's 23rd birthday. It is hard to believe that it was that long ago when we came up to Guam from Palau for her to be born. We are looking forward to meeting her in LA when we are there this summer to see our new granddaughter born. Here are a couple old pictures of Melissa and our family from about 1996. Happy Birthday Missy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Guam and PIBC Stuff

This morning we woke up to an earthquake. We have been having several small ones lately, but this one seemed pretty strong and it lasted a long time. We don't know yet how big it was. It didn't knock out power or cause any other problems as far as we know.

Yesterday we completed our PIBC administrative council spring meeting. We had a lot to do with the board meeting coming up in June, preparing for our Masters program and Hawaii addition and dealing with the personnel crisis in Chuuk. We saw a Divine provision this week in Chuuk. God pretty much dropped two very needed people into our lap. Our Guam office manager Ethel Laco recruited her niece to be our Chuuk business manager and Bill Sewell (old friend from Guam) has agreed to come on our faculty as an education teacher and program consultant. This will enable us to keep the Tol campus open this Fall with about 40 first and second year students. Our long term plan is to run an AA program there for which we will need more general education teachers.

Joyce led a hike Tuesday afternoon for a Karin Schulz's sister and her family who are visiting from Germany. They hiked to Priest's Pools (pictured) and saw the sunset from Mount Lamlam. She also completed her project for her Cross-Cultural communication class (pictured above). They did a skit about crisis vs. non-crisis orientation.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter - OK maybe a little belated. Yesterday as we driving to church and to an Easter celebration dinner, we noticed a lot of parties going on. I thought how amazing it is that an event that happened almost 2000 years ago on the other side of the world could prompt parties out in the Western Pacific. (Guam also recognizes Good Friday in a big way.) But, it is right to celebrate because it was an event that effected all the world - the crucifixion and resurrection of the Son of God. It is why we are out here. So Happy Resurrection Sunday from Dave and Joyce.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Work Day for Missions

Yesterday, we had several of the students over to our house to do some work. They are raising funds for their summer mission trip to Palau where they will be doing some work with young people and representing the school at the 80th Palau Gospel Days Celebration. They have been working on weekends since January to raise some of the funds necessary for the trip. Joyce decided that we could help them and us by having them do some of the work we have not been able to get to lately.

So we had them paint our laundry room, water blast the roof of our house (we have to do this periodically to get the black mold off the roof. It makes the house a lot cooler - I already notice the air conditioner does not come on as often) and do a lot of other jobs around the house. They also helped Joyce with some of the things she is working on for her class. You can also get a pretty good view of our neighborhood from the roof of our house.

It wasn't all work. We did manage to watch quite a bit of the opening day of the NCAA basketball tournament and the ladies made chocolate chip cookies. It was a good day. The students did very good work. We got a lot of things done we needed to and money was raised for the students mission trip to Palau. More important we had some good time to hang out and talk with the students.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Master's Degree Program

This week we finished our proposal for a new graduate/seminary program and sent it to our accrediting agency, TRACS. If our proposal is accepted, PIBC would have a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Religion programs. The current proposal would allow us only to offer the program only on our Guam campus, but we are in the process of a second proposal to TRACS which would allow us to open a branch campus in Honolulu and would basically merge the Hawaii Theological Seminary into PIBC. We hope to have all this done by this summer so the 35+ students in Hawaii can continue their program interrupted. We are also planning on having the PIBC undergraduate program taught in Honolulu.

We plan to begin the Masters program on Guam this Fall with 10 students. We have already had several requests for applications from PIBC alumni, local Guam pastors and potential students from Burma, China, Philippines, Viet Nam and several other Asian countries. We believe this is a very important step in our mission to prepare servant leadership for Micronesia and the Pacific Rim. Please pray for us that we will be able to have the program accredited for this Fall and that we would be sensitive to God's direction for our expansion plans in Hawaii. Please also pray for potential students because, even though we will charge the same greatly reduced rate tuition as we charge for our bachelor's program, many of them will need financial help to study with us. If you would like to scholarship a needy Micronesian student please email me and I will be happy to give you more details about it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

PIBC Days Guam

This past weekend was PIBC Days for the Guam campus. PIBC Days is a 3 day celebration of the founding and history of the school that includes sports, games, worship services, music and lots of eating. This year's theme was "Stand Your Ground" and the campus was divided into three teams: Shadrach, Mishach and Abednego. I was on the Abednego (which we quickly renamed Azariah) team and Joyce was on the Mishach team.

I know that I said I was going to try to avoid getting out on the basketball court this year but I could not resist. I managed to play in two games. Well sort of. I can still shoot and pass but the running and jumping are severely limited. Joyce did manage to get a picture of one of the few shots I made. You can see the surprise on the face of my opponent. I actually feel pretty good today and plan on doing my regular Monday evening walk. Joyce is pictured with here winning basketball team on Sunday evening.

The worship services each night and on Sunday morning were great. Each team is responsible to decorate the building according to their themes and colors. Each team also writes their own team song and skit to reflect the theme. The creativity this year was incredible. Some very beautiful songs were written (we even heard a traditional Chinese song from one of our Chinese students) and then, last night, Team Mishach took us inside the fiery furnace. It was also great just to have relaxed time to sit with the students and talk about their lives and dreams. I don't get a chance to do that often enough. I get to preach and teach at them but don't get enough time to listen to them.

Now we take a week off and get ready to make the run to the finish of the semester and graduation on May 13th.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Stuff at PIBC

Last night the PIBC staff met for our twice monthly prayer meeting. It was also our monthly potluck. As usual there were several excellent food choices. The prayer part of the meeting lasted about an hour and a half. The theme was praying for the "appointed time." There are so many exciting things happening at PIBC, but so many obstacles and needs too. I especially appreciated several people praying for me by name for the tough decisions that have to be made in the next few weeks. It is really encouraging to be able to end a stressful week with that kind of prayer support and it's a great start to a new "who knows what will happen next" week.

We are driving the school's red Mitsubishi while our Santa Fe is in the shop. This car was bashed up in 2003 in typhoon Pongsanwa and had to have extensive repairs. Nothing closes tight on it so it makes many interesting noises which you can hear really well because the radio doesn't work either. However, the most annoying thing about the car is that the air conditioner (all this is tolerable because the AC is cold and keeps us cool!) condensation pools somewhere in the console and then leaks ice cold water on to your feet whenever you turn a corner. Depending on which way you turn, either the driver or passenger gets it. Joyce and I call the car the "servant leader" since it is so intent on foot washing.

This weekend begins PIBC Days. It is a three day celebration of the way God has blessed the school over the last 32 years. The school divides into three teams, this year named after Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Each team plans its own worship service with songs, plays and skits, composes a team cheer and plays all sorts of games, traditional and off-the-wall. Of course there are tons of food and sun-block. Each year I go out and play in the basketball tournament with my team (Abednego this year) and each year it takes longer to recover. Please pray for me. Here is a schedule for an idea of what we do.

It really is a blessing to serve God with people you enjoy being with and having work to do that is eternally meaningful.

Friday, March 07, 2008

March Prayer Requests

Dave's Prayer Requests..
  1. PIBC is submitting a substantive change form to add a master's degree program to our curriculum. I am putting the finishing touches on it and it needs to be to our accrediting agency, TRACS by March 20. This will enable us to offer seminary level courses on our Guam campus and better prepare pastors and other church leaders for the islands. Please pray that our application would go through and we could begin this program in Fall 2008. This will also be the first step in developing a teaching facility in Hawaii to reach out to the Micronesians (more in Hawaii than any other place in the world except Chuuk) and other island people there in Honolulu.
  2. We have submitted an agreement to the Chuuk Department of Education to help bring their public school teachers up to the needed standards. It would involve remedial English classes, providing them access to our Associates degree in Bible and developing a Bachelors degree in education at PIBC. This is a tremendous opportunity to have a biblical influence Chuukese culture for a long time to come.
  3. Our Yapese students are struggling financially because Yap state is no longer allowing their state money to be used for students who are bible majors. Please pray for God's provision for our Yapese students.
  4. Please pray for Joyce as she makes some decisions about where she will be doing ministry here next year. She needs to make these decisions soon.
  5. Please keep me in prayer as I work through all this paperwork for Chuuk, Hawaii, accreditation etc, teach two classes, and lead the school that it will continue to be done in God's power and God's way and that I will be able to be an example of a servant leader.
  6. We have urgent needs for a couple to run our cafeteria and student store on Guam, a maintenance director and business manager in Chuuk and Bible and English faculty members.
Thanks Dave

Monday, March 03, 2008

Goodbye Mom and Dad

We have enjoyed having Joyce's mom and dad, Dale and Marion Cundall, here with us on Guam the last four months. This morning we put them on the plane headed back to California, after a few days rest in Hawaii. Of course it was nice to just spend time with them but they also were a tremendous help in the work here. Dale taught 5 weeks of my Survey of General Epistles class (Hebrews and James) and preached in several island churches. He was also a big help to Tim Plaxton, PIBC maintenance director, in keeping up with all the repairs that running a campus with about 60 resident students necessitates. Marion carved a nice barbecue and parking area out of the jungle next to our house. She and Joyce also replanted a colorful garden after our old garden had to be ripped out for the new fence. They also left us with a new concrete utility/laundry room. I know they enjoyed being with us and in the warm weather, but we also could see that they were getting a little home sick.

So last night we had a PIBC staff barbecue to say goodbye. Any excuse to barbecue ribs and chicken is good enough for us! It was a good time for the staff to say thank you and show their appreciation for the great work the Cundalls did for us. Of course they are invited back any time. We also had a dinner Saturday night for all the Gold Country Baptist people (Plaxtons, Cundalls, Marylou Carruthers and us) at PIBC. GCBC we would love to see more of you come out for short term projects!

So this morning at 6.15 we said goodbye and put mom and dad on the plane. Mom and dad, we are praying for you to have a good trip back. We hope to see you soon! On the way home in the car Joyce was asking me how many times we had been to the airport already this year to fly, pick someone up or see someone off. I thought about it and did a little research. By my calendar we are already up to 24 airport trips. We'll keep you posted on that one.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Another Student Led Chapel

This Friday, another student-led service, was a music chapel. Each of the different island groups sang a song in their own island languages - they even made the "white people" sing a song in English. We heard songs in Palauan, Yapese and Marshallese. The video is of our largest student group on the Guam campus - the Chuukese students. Many of the songs shared in these chapels are written by the students. For more info on what is going on here I would encourage you to click on the links to the right on this page that include staff, student, family and mission web pages.