Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PIU Students Attend Guam Prison Fellowship Prayer Jubilee

From the PIU web site ....

Sunday, September 25, 2011, a group of 17 students attended Prison Fellowship Guam’s Week of Prayer Jubilee. They ministered to those in attendance through song and dance. Check out PIU’s Facebook page to see pics from the event.

Check our PIU Facebook page.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Pictures From Titus’ 5th Birthday Party

Saturday we celebrated Titus’ 5th birthday at the Play Port at the Agana Mall. Titus birthday is actually on Thursday, but he didn’t mind us celebrating a little early. Titus invited several of his friends from church and from PIU and they had a great time expending huge amounts of energy on the play equipment, eating pizza and carrot cake, and discussing wii games. The Play Port was a great place for a kids’ party! Here are a few of the pictures we took of the celebration.


Yes, Titus is turning 5 and he had some friends there to help him celebrate!

Grandma spent a lot of time playing on the toys with Serenity

Courage “prepared” and then ate the food.

The slide was probably the most popular piece of play equipment

Serenity preferred crawling through the tunnels


There were a lot of things to do there.

It was hard to get them to the table for the traditional carrot-birthday cake and the opening of the presents,

But we did get them to the table eventually

And Titus made his wish and blew out his candles…

And opened his presents


And posed for some cute pictures

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A good time was had by all


Friday Night Seminar – Conclusion to Muslims and the Church Week

We concluded our Muslims and the Church week with a community seminar on Friday night. The purpose of the seminar was to bring together church leaders, the PIU community and other interested individuals to discuss possible ministry to Muslims in our region, inform about the opportunities that are available and begin to formulate a strategy for the churches in Guam and Micronesia to cooperate in the effort. Panelists included Paul from North Africa, Andrew Immanuel, pastor of the Palauan Evangelical Church of Guam who made an informational trip to Papua, Indonesia last summer and Billy Edwin, PIU alumni director, who has lived and done ministry in Muslim communities in Africa. In addition, PIU students and staff who participated in the Indonesia trip this summer shared from their experience there. We were encouraged to see so many people from the many different ethnic communities of Guam participate in the event. Pastor Andy shared a moving testimony about the needs he saw in Indonesia and the call he felt for Micronesians to be trained and to go minister there. Several of the team shared about the desire that many of the Indonesians had to come to PIU to get trained to minister to their own people. They encouraged the churches to each sponsor a student to come to PIU. finance their education and send them back to Indonesia as a missionary to their own communities in cooperation with the churches here. It was an exciting time and we ask for prayer for the Spirit’s direction as we see where God would have us go from here.

Friday Chapel – Muslims and the Church Continued

Friday chapel continued our emphasis for the week – the church’s responsibility and relationship with the Muslim world. The singing was led by English faculty Joey Charles and first-year student Asia Oshiro and concluded with a rousing rendition of “He Reigns.” Paul from North Africa shared about his family’s life ministering to his Muslim neighbors in North Africa through a slide show and stories. He presented a holistic ministry that develops real relationships with the people around him and blesses them, not only spiritually by bringing Christ to them, but economically, socially and in many other ways. He sees this as the best strategy for reaching the Muslim world for Christ. It was exciting to hear about what God is doing in the lives of real people in the Muslim world through regular people who are willing to go. He ended with a challenge to the PIU students that if he could do it – they could do too. He reminded them that in the 20th century Micronesia was “the ends of the earth” and people brought the Gospel to them. In return they should consider going to the Muslim world, “the ends of the earth” for the 21st century.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

“Muslims and the Church Week” Begins at PIU

Last Tuesday’s chapel was the beginning event for our “Muslims and the Church Week” at PIU. The purpose of the week was to raise awareness in the PIU family and in the Guam church community about the needs and opportunities in the Muslim world, especially in Indonesia. Our keynote speakers for the week were “Paul and Hadassah from North Africa.” They made a very powerful presentation that humanized our Muslim neighbors and reminded us of Jesus’ call to reach out to them with love as He reached out to us.

After a good time of singing which focused on our mission to reach out to the world, Paul and Hadassah performed a drama of the The Woman at the Well story from John chapter 4. PIU student Josh Ladd began by reading the text of the chapter in English and then Paul and Hadassah acted it out in Arabic. It was especially moving to see so graphically how Jesus overcame cultural discomfort, distance and hostility to meet the woman’s spiritual needs and those of her whole village. After the drama Hadassah reminded us of how Jesus calls to us to move out of our comfort zones and go and serve in “the fields that are white for harvest.”

The theme that emerged from the many speakers and contributors to the weeklong event was that “Muslims are not our enemy. They are confused and don’t know about who Jesus really is and what God has for them.” Our job as a church is to get that message out by our actions and words.

Indonesia/Papua Chapel

  Last Friday’s chapel focused on the PIU mission team that went to Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) Indonesia. This details about this trip and the team members were featured in a post I made on June 24th. 4th year student Meluat Meluat and PIU assistant dean of men, Daniel Assito, our speakers shared about their experiences in Indonesia and urged the rest of the students to get involved in the ministry there by praying, supporting the ministry and to even consider going there. They also asked us to pray for Indonesian students who want to come to PIU but cannot afford to come.


Josh Ladd enjoyed playing with the kids before chapel

Monday, September 19, 2011

Update on JR Vigil

Here is the latest (this past weekend) update from May on JR Vigil’s condition. I saw Tony Friday afternoon. He was very encouraged and optimistic about JR’s progress, but said that they need a lot of prayer that they will maintain strength with the fast pace of activity they are maintaining. It is very difficult to get sleep as they have to watch JR 24-7. He hopes that they will all be back on Guam by the end of October.

Dear All,
Today is the 60th day of the accident.  We been here at St. Luke’s for 19 days now and all of the tubes are out of his body except the IV line. JR still getting the medication to help his brain heal.  Tomorrow will be the end of the
medication so hopefully they will remove the IV line.  When that happens the Physical therapy department can focus on getting his strength and muscles stronger. They are just waiting for the go signal from the main doctor.  The doctor from the prosthesis department came by earlier. By the way he is talking that the prosthesis here are not as advanced as in the mainland US.  I guess that will do for now, as our plan is to take JR back to Colorado to get fitted for better prosthesis.
Please continue to pray for healing on his
brain.  With the brain damaged, he is experiencing double vision and that his vision will return to normal (he gets really frustrated as he is seeing double).  Also pray for his health to continue to get better and that no more infection will occur.  Pray that he will be able to cope with the loss of his legs as he has started to realize what happened.  Sometimes he gets depressed and starts crying and asks why did we let him live.  Pray that God will grant him peace and sleep as he still does not sleep through the night and gets agitated.  Pray that God's grace will continue to be upon him and that he will find God's will in his life.
Please also pray for our family as we are separated right now (Tony is back in Guam) I am here with Michael and JR.  I am dealing mostly with the doctors and nurses here and sometimes I get overwhelmed.  We know through all of this God has a plan, but just have to wait and see.  We have seen a lot of miracles happen (as all the organs started working back to normal).  We praise God and thank Him for all the prayers that are going up for us.  We know that God is our strength and provider, without Him we will be not be here.  We praise God for his faithfulness that are new every morning.
Again from the Vigil family we thank you for all your prayers and support.
In Christ,
Tony, May, JR, Michael

Guam Theological Discussion Group

Last Thursday afternoon the first meeting of the Guam Theological discussion group was held at the PIU library. (We are still working on a more catchy name for the group) This purpose of the group is to provide a forum for ministers, church leaders, Bible students and anyone interested in current theological issues in the Pacific Islands to discuss and work through these issues, especially as they apply to ministry work here in Micronesia. It is a service that we at PIU have wanted to supply to the islands for many years. So we were very excited to see about 30 people gather for the first organizational meeting. The meetings will take place on the 3rd Friday of every month at noon in the PIU library. In addition we will use my other blog site, as on line supplement to the regular meeting.

Our first discussion was led by Dr. Jim Sawyer and dealt with the subject of the Trinity. The main issue discussed was how and why a good understanding of this doctrine is critical to practical ministry. We focused on the relational aspects within the Trinity and how that points to the importance of relational ministry. Jim used the book The Shack as an example of how the relational features of the Trinity can make an impact on ministry. The discussion that ensued was lively and continued quite a while after the hour and a half we had allotted for the meeting. Our next meeting will be October 21 and the subject will be biblical preaching.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tuesday Chapel at PIU with Jim and Kay Sawyer

This past Tuesday our chapel speakers were Jim and Kay Sawyer. Jim has been coming out to teach Systematic Theology at PIU’s Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary for the past three years as one of our part-time faculty members. Each semester Jim comes to Guam and does an intensive 2 week face to face session with the students and then the course is completed on line over the remaining weeks of the semester. Jim and Kay spoke on the subject of our identity in Christ. It was encouraging to hear from them, not only their theology in an academic sense, but to also hear the story of their lives and how what they believe has impacted them and their ministry. You don’t always get to hear that from a visiting scholar.

A little about Jim and Kay from his Sacred Saga Ministries website: Jim and Kay went to Biola College where he majored in Biblical Studies, planning to be a missionary. As a Senior he met Kay Fuqua, a missionary kid. Her parents were with Wycliffe Bible Translators and she had herself been born in the Amazon Jungle. They were married in December of 1973 and six months later moved to Dallas, TX where Jim pursued a ThM degree in New Testament. Over the course of his studies, his emphasis shifted to the areas of theology and church history. He finished his Ph.D. in Historical Theology at Dallas Seminary in 1984. Jim taught for five years in San Francisco at Simpson College and then for the next eighteen at Western Seminary’s Northern California campus near San Jose. But the desire for missions was always present under the surface. In 2005, he was invited to teach a two week intensive class at the Theological College in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. That experience brought the possibility of missions to the forefront of his consciousness again, and he was ready for a new challenge. Stepping out in faith, he left Western Seminary after 18 years and founded Sacred Saga ministries as a vehicle for bringing highly skilled and experienced biblical and theological scholars to areas of the world, such as Bulgaria and Guam, where the church is growing rapidly but has not been able to build an adequate support structure to train the new leadership.

Joyce and I have enjoyed having Jim and Kay stay with us during the two weeks he has been here. I have enjoyed the theological discussions and I know Jim likes having the opportunity to do some diving on Guam. He went 7 times on this trip! It is a real blessing to PIU to be able to bring out scholars like Jim to serve education needs of the islands. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meet the PIU Students – Jenalin Smail and Sophina Fred

This week I would like to introduce you to two more new PIU students Jenalin Smail and Sophina Fred. Jenalin and Sophina are both from the island of Nema, Chuuk of the Federated States of Micronesia. Both grew up in Christian families, in the same church, and became Christians as young people. Jenalin’s father was a pastor who led her to Christ.  Jenalin has 5 brothers and 4 sisters while Sophina has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Jenalin graduated from Chuuk High School in 2006 and Sophina graduated from Berea Christian High School in 2007. Both are transfer students from College of Micronesia’s Chuuk campus.

Neither Sophina nor Jenalin came up to Guam this past summer planning to attend PIU. Both had other schools in mind. Sophina decided to attend PIU because PIU had a dormitory. Jenalin heard about PIU from alumnus Mondale Tim, who is now a seminary student, and he persuaded her to enroll in PIU.  Jenalin remarked, “Maybe God had a plan for us to attend PIU.” Both young ladies are majoring in liberal studies and, though they are “not sure,” are hoping for careers in teaching or nursing. So far Jenalin says that her favorite things about PIU are “the computer lab and chapel,” while Sophina has most enjoyed “making new friends in the dorm.” Sophina was surprised that “girls are allowed to wear pants at PIU” and Jenalin was pleasantly surprised to find out how “nice the staff and faculty are” and how they spend time with the students.

Jenalin asks everyone to pray for growth in her spiritual life and academic abilities this semester. She also asks for prayer for her family because she misses them so much. Sophina asks that people pray that “God will change my life” and “help me to become a better person.” Thank you for your prayers for our students and for Pacific Islands University!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PIU Goes to the Guam Education Fairs

In our ongoing effort to make PIU more well-known on Guam and recruit some more local students, PIU representatives attended several college-career fairs on Guam this past week. Thursday several PIU staff, faculty and students went down to Southern High school and talked with over 100 high school students there. On Friday another PIU group went (including me) to meet with students at Guam High School. We had over 50 students fill out our info cards there. Saturday our PIU team met with interested students from the Army reserve and Guard. The pictures I have here are from my trip over to  Guam High School with Meluat, Josh and Nino. I really enjoyed getting to meet with high school students and I also got to talk with several of the teachers at Guam High. We are hoping to see a few of these students on our campus in the coming years.

Renovations #7 – It is Finished!

We were over at Mike and Sam’s this evening and Joyce took some pictures of their finished kitchen. The total cost of the project was about double what we expected but we are glad to have it done and I think Mike, Sam and the kids are even happier. Here are the pictures Joyce took tonight. The first two pictures are taken from the living room into the dining area.

The cabinets came out well although we ran out of money before we could put the upper cabinets on the wall. We will do that sometime down the road. 

The pass-through and breakfast bar will really come in handy.