Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dave's Travels on the US Mainland - Dallas

From Sacramento I flew to Dallas last Thursday. Missy lives in Allen Texas so I was able to spend some time with her and Cliff while I was there in Dallas. The main reason to be there was to speak at the missions conference for Redeemer Bible Church in Dallas. Before the conference I was able to have nice lunch meeting with Steve and Debbie Dyk from Dallas Theological Seminary. We are praying that Steve and Debbie will be able to become part of PIU after she finishes her dissertation at DTS. The first night of the missions conference entailed small dinners with missionaries hosted by the people in the church. I enjoyed getting to share about PIU around the dinner table and over dessert in the living room.I also got to hang out a little with Paul and Janet Ramler - Janet is Joyce's sister.

Saturday night included a hamburger barbecue and a service focused on Muslim ministry. The speaker was from Bangladesh and gave a very encouraging report about what God is doing among Muslims in Bangladesh and in the USA. I was also able to meet there with Joe Collins, husband of Lisa our librarian - sorry Lisa we forgot to take a picture! Joe and I enjoyed having some time to get caught up on what is happening with each other. I took the picture on the right for Joyce. I didn't realize that some ethnic Muslim music included an accordian.

The final day of the conference was the Sunday service. I had the opportunity to preach the sermon after a Skype missionary report and parade of the flags of nations. I preached on "Making God's Mission our Mission." Afterward we went to church member's house for lunch to assess the conference and talk missions strategy. It was a wonderful encouraging weekend for me. I appreciate the commitment to missions at Redeemer. After the service I jumped in the rental car to head for Salado for the evening service there.

Monday I returned to Dallas and was able to take Missy and Cliff out for Missy's birthday dinner. I am now on my way back to Guam and am writing this post from the Houston airport.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dave's Travels on the US Mainland - Redding

After a nice drive through the snow, that was part drive and part sled ride, I arrived in Redding California last Monday. Joyce's parents live there so I had a place to stay. :) That afternoon I went over to Simpson University there in Redding. My goal was to explore with the administration there the possibilities of an articulation agreement for transfer of credit and for possible student and faculty and staff exchange. Simpson's VP of Advancement, Gordon Flinn, is connected with two PIU families, the Stinnette's and the Sorensons. Last summer the VOM team sang for the people in their advancement office and Gordon sponsored us for a couple nights to stay in the Simpson dormitories. We had a very profitable meeting and he introduced me to several other Simpson administrators. I had an opportunity to meet the President of Simpson, Dr. Larry McKinney, their Provost, Dr. Stanley Clark and Dean of Tozer Seminary, Dr. Sarah Sumner. Everyone was very open to the possibilities of partnership and saw an advantage in it for both schools. I am especially excited about the possibility of students in our AA in liberal studies program having the opportunity to transfer into Simpson's business, nursing and education programs. I would appreciate your prayers as we continue to discuss the development of this relationship that it would be a benefit to the ministries of both schools and move forward the kingdom of god.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Preaching in Chester

Sunday morning we headed over to Chester California to preach at Chester Baptist Church. Jake Ngirablosch, Doug York and I drove the 30 miles from Susanville to Chester through the falling snow. We got there about 20 minutes early and enjoyed getting to know the people there before the service started. A couple of the ladies had seen the VOM team over in Susanville last summer and wanted to hear more about the school and the students. They are very much hoping the VOM team will be able to come over to Chester this coming summer and help out with ministry to youth and children there. I appreciated the opportunity to preach and to share a little bit about the school and our needs. I appreciated the church's heartfelt prayers for us.

After church we had a little more time to fellowship, then we headed next door to the Copper Kettle Restaurant where the church bought us lunch and sent us on our way warm and full. In the picture left to right... Pastor Jake, Chester Baptist Pastor Lefebvre, me and Doug.  I enjoyed meeting the people there at Chester, ministering to them and I hope to see them again soon.

Ministry in Susanville

The main reason for me to be in Susanville this past weekend was to attend a Palauan conference there. Palauans from all over Northern California and Oregon gathered for the weekend. In addition, with a new Chuukese congregation being recently formed there, there was a small group of Chuukese attending the conference. My role was to teach a two-session seminar on Bible study methods on Saturday morning and afternoon and then preach for the conference session on Saturday night. It was great to see so many old friends, PIU and Emmaus alumni, and friends from the Susanville Baptist Church all gathered for a great weekend of fellowship. I was thankful that Jake invited me to be part of it.

The first day there I had some time to fellowship with pastors Jake Ngirablosch and John Murdock. We had lunch together at the hotel and spent some time discussing how we can cooperate in ministry with the Micronesians on the US Mainland and help the work in Micronesia too. There seems to be a minor revival happening among the US Micronesians and they are in great need of training and discipleship. Friday evening I met with Hugh Jamison to talk about the furniture project he is doing for our dorms on our Guam campus. The project will provide new beds, dressers and desks for all of our dorm rooms. Hugh is in the process of raising the money for the project. We appreciate that very much.

Saturday morning and afternoon was spent teaching the seminar. There were about 50 enthusiastic people there to learn Bible study methods. I took the material that I use in the seminary class I am currently teaching and summarized it for this session. I enjoyed the good participation as we "trained our microscopes and telescopes" on several different passages of scripture and discussed the basic principles of hermeneutics. Most of the participants in the class are already teaching Bible studies in their home fellowships and were very happy to get the teaching and examples. In addition, the seminar raised the interest in several of the participants to take PIU on line courses. It is possible that we will have 10 or more new on line students applying to the PIU Biblical studies programs.

The evening program was a time of testimonies, singing and fellowship. A couple choirs from the different fellowships shared songs, including the youth choir from Portland (left). I preached on the story of Samson urging the group to be faithful to their calling and see God do great things through them. I was also encouraged to see the Chuukese group share a song. The Chuukese fellowship started partly as a result of our VOM team coming to Susanville last summer. VOM member Keiny Aisek stayed on there after the summer to pastor the Susanville Chuukese group. That group has been growing steadily since last summer and now, Keiny has planted a new church fellowship in Reno. God has been working in a great way in that community and I know Keiny would value your prayers as he gets married this coming Saturday in Portland and continues his pastoral work there in Susanville and Reno.

I am thankful that I can be part of what God is doing in Susanville among the Micronesian communities there.  It is great to see guys that I taught almost 30 years ago continuing to walk with the Lord and see their faithful families. It is also great to see the impact that the 1st Baptist Church of Susanville is having on the work in Micronesia. We are looking forward (and praying for god's provision to make it happen) to having the VOM 2011 team back in Susanville doing ministry there again this coming summer.

Travel in Northern California

After flying up early Thursday morning from San Diego to Sacramento, I spent Thursday evening at my parents' house in El Dorado. It was nice to sit for an evening with my mom and dad, talk, and watch the NCAA tournament together. I was planning on leaving for Susanville on Friday afternoon, but with reports of a snow storm coming in, I thought it was better to leave in the morning. I took the picture of these turkeys as I left their neighborhood. We were worried about getting caught in a snowstorm and I thought I was really in for it when it started sleeting on I 80 just east of Auburn. However, the weather cleared up and I drove from Truckee through Reno and almost to Susanville in the sunshine. The wind was trying to knock me off the road, but it was a pretty pleasant drive. However, I saw what looked like a fog ahead right over Susanville.

Just as I turned on to Highway 36 in Susanville the snowflakes began to slowly fall. I called Pastor Jake Ngirablosch and got the directions to the hotel where I was staying. By the time I got there the snow was a little thicker and by the time I got checked in and in to the room it was coming down thick and heavy. We had dinner that night at the hotel and I am glad I was able to just hang out (and watch the NCAA tourney again) at the hotel that evening.

The next couple days involved a lot of driving in the snow. Fortunately I only had to drive a few blocks on Saturday to teach at the conference. You can see how much snow accumulated on my car during the night. The snow came down heavy all day but we were warm inside the church and I only had to drive back to the hotel that day. Sunday we did have a pretty harrowing drive through the snow to Chester.

On Monday morning when I left Susanville, a snow storm was predicted, but I left in the sunshine and on clear, dry roads. This was true for most of the trip. However, when I drove into the Lassen Park area on Highway 44, the temperature suddenly dropped about 10-12 degrees and I was hit with a snow flurry. I drove about 1/2 hour through it and it quit as suddenly as it started. I did a little sliding around on the road but came through without a scratch on me or on the car.  The way the snow suddenly stopped was weird. One moment there was snow flying and all over the ground, and the next the snow became rain and there was no snow on the ground, like there was an invisible line the snow could not cross. I was thankful to get down to Joyce's parents' place in Redding in one piece.

Spring Recruiting Trip to the Mainland #1 - San Diego

This past week I have been in California. I flew from Guam into San Diego last Monday and I have been busy pretty much every day recruiting faculty and students, gathering information and teaching at a conference seminar over the weekend (more on that later). I spent Monday to Wednesday in San Diego, staying with my son Matt and his family (this is why I have pictures of Kristin and Milo here), and talking with people at San Diego Christian College and at Southern California Seminary. One of my goals at SDCC was to develop an agreement with them that would allow our students to transfer credits there and could allow for some exchange of teachers and students between the schools. I think good progress was made there. I also had the opportunity to pick the brains of several staff and faculty there to get ideas on how we can improve what we are doing at PIU.

Another major priority for me is finding someone who can step in soon as our Academic Vice President. After this summer that very key position will be vacant. I am praying that we can find someone who has experience in academic administration at a Christian college in the US. I am also looking for someone who can develop and run a teacher training program for us. I had the opportunity to talk to several people who are thinking and praying about how God might use them on Guam.

I also was able to have lunch with Aaron Bryce, his wife Heather and their two boys. Aaron was a classmate of Matt's in high school and was part of our youth group at Yigo Baptist back in the 1990's. It was good to see them again. After San Diego - next stop Susanville.

Friday, March 18, 2011

PIU Days 2011 - Day 3 Walk Humbly

PIU Days came to a conclusion with the biggest day of the weekend. We started with the Sunday morning chapel service led by the staff and faculty. The worship band did a great job and we had a guest speaker - Scott Brubaker, father of English professor Sarah Brubaker. Scott also stayed several days during Spring Break to do a training seminar for our students going on mission trips. After lunch we continued the basketball and volleyball competition. In the evening the Walk Humbly team did their service and presentation. Even though I was not on the team, and Joyce was, I have to admit that the Walk Humbly team performance topped them all for the weekend. We finished the celebration with an evening snack and then raced home to complete packing and getting ready for our early Monday morning takeoff for my recruiting trip - and Joyce's visit with her sisters.

The ladies were dressed in their most colorful dresses and everyone was wide awake and ready for the morning chapel service.

Sarah introduced her dad as the morning's speaker

The afternoon games. Walk Humbly took the basketball championship. 

The Walk Humbly worship team did some action songs

The team also had some very creative and funny skits

The ladies contributed a worship dance

The trio also sounded great

Lawrence did a great job on the sermon.

Even Serenity enjoyed the program

PIU Days 2011 - Day 2 Love Mercy

The second day of the PIU Days celebration began with the Field competition. We were grateful to Bayview Baptist Church for again letting us use their soccer field for the competition again this year. After the field games we headed back  over to the campus for basketball and volleyball competition in the afternoon. The evening service was led by the Love Mercy team. Another good day...

PIU Days Director Charles Sam and Official Scorekeeper Mondale Tim make sure the games run smoothly

Erten and Benny take care of the finish line

The ladies' 50 yard dash began the competition

English faculty Sarah Brubaker blew away the competition in the running events

Bible prof Iotaka Choram took care of starting the races

The human pyramid never got off the ground

The Love Mercy team decorated the chapel in purple, black and silver. Mondale began the evening by reading about the history of PIU.

The Love Mercy trio sang beautifully

The duet was a little louder and more upbeat

Mo gave a devotional message on "love"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PIU Days 2011 - Day 1 Mishpat

 The 2011 PIU Days Celebration took place last weekend. This is an annual 3 day celebration of the founding and history of the school that consists of athletic competition, services and lots of food and fun. The entire campus is divided into three teams that compete in all sorts of contests with each team hosting a day of the celebration. This year's theme verse was Micah 6.8 so the teams were named Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly. I was on the Act Justly team while Joyce was a member of the Walk Humbly team. Act Justly was in charge of the Friday events and service. I think we got the celebration off to a great start! I am not sure why we had a replica of the temple as part of our decorations.

The action song got the evening off to a lively start. Yes I did dance... sort of!

The group song was beautiful. Ikol sounded great on a Chuukese song

Jake and Justin put together some nice harmonies. Grateful was our team speaker. He did a great job of helping us to understand what it meant to "act justly" at PIU.

The "reggae praise trio" got everyone moving their feet and smiling.
Clearly the audience was enjoying the evening
"Act Justly" got the PIU Days Celebration started off right!