Monday, February 24, 2014

US Trip

Last week I was traveling again. This time I headed to the Southeastern US for several meetings. After PIU board member picked me up at the Atlanta airport and treated me to some good Southern barbecue (thanks David!) and headed to his house. SAMSUNG            The next day we were joined by PIU Board chairman Howard Merrell (who drove all the way from Virginia) and we met with Chip Riggs, the missions pastor at First Baptist Church of Woodstock Georgia. We had a great time discussing a possible partnership with PIU and are making plans for Chip to come out to Guam and visit us. The next day we went out to the headquarters of Chick-Fil-A to meet with the Winshape Foundation. We had a great meeting with Fran Andrews of Winshape (picture), got a great tour of the Chick-Fil-A facilities and got a good opportunity to present some ideas of how Winshape could help us with leadership development in the Pacific islands. I also had opportunity for some face to face discussions with David and Howard. I think it was a very productive time.


Howard and I had the opportunity to pose next to some classic cars displayed at Chick-Fil-A while we waited for the meeting to begin

After the time in Atlanta, I flew down to Orlando, met up with PIU Provost Sam Mabini and we met with our partners from New Hope Christian College at the ABHE meeting there. New Hope is one our newest partners and we had some good opportunity to discuss our seminary partnership and what it will look like. (Sorry forgot to take pictures). We also had a good opportunity to meet people from many different Christian colleges throughout the US and were encouraged by God’s people going through many of the same issues we are. We headed back to Guam on Saturday, arriving Sunday night. I have a couple days here on Guam and will head to Chuuk for meetings on Wednesday. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentine’s Day Chapel

SAMSUNG            I am in Florida for one more day before I head back to Guam. I am having a good trip but will post about that later. I SAMSUNG            thought I should put up a couple pictures of our Valentine’s Day chapel last week at PIU. It may have been the most fun chapel of all time (maybe a bit of hyperbole there). Mike got 4 PIU faculty couples up to the front for an interview about their marriages. Mike asked some questions and then the opportunity to ask was thrown open to the students. The Knapps, Chorams, Pates along with Joyce and I were interviewed. I learned some things about our faculty couples that I didn’t know before.


Everybody had to tell the story about how they met. Nino and Glenda met when they sang a song together. So, of course, the students made them sing it again. They didn’t make it all the way through the song but we were all greatly entertained.


At the end of chapel Joyce and Vivian awarded the coveted  “Golden Plunger” award to the guys dorm. The award honors the cleanest dorm.


After chapel I joined the students and Student Life team to make Valentine’s Day packages for our neighbors. Daisy, Sarah and the students distributed these packages out to the neighbors who live around our campus. (And I only ate one peanut butter cup. Really, just one!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Guam Humanities Council Reception

SAMSUNGI am posting from Atlanta, Georgia right now as I am on another fund-raising trip, but I have a little time to post about some of the happenings on Guam last week. Last Tuesday evening Joyce and I were privileged to attend the DJ Gov Housereception for the Guam Humanities Council at the Government House. Three of our PIU students, Mayson Red, Shelterina Alokoa and Nonie Jones, were performing as part of the program. It was a fun night and we got to meet and see a lot of people. We are enjoying the closer connections that PIU is building with the Guam community. We also enjoyed the excellent Chamorro food.


The students artistic work was displayed and they sang the FSM anthem


Shelter read an essay about her experience as a Micronesian-American and Mayson performed his original poem about unity


Some edifying smiles!


Joyce and the students pose with the Guam governor and first lady…


…and have a good conversation with Governor Calvo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bible Translation Day at PIU

1781444_10202514993969638_1718783379_oOur first Bible Translation Day was held at PIU last Saturday. It was jointly sponsored by the Isles of Sea group (they work on Bible translations throughout the Pacific islands) and PIU. PIU is partnering with Isles of the Sea and1795312_10153836699420427_1444260153_o other Wycliffe groups to help reach the 2025 goal of having a translation project started for every language that does not have a Bible by the year 2025. Speakers included PIU teachers Ken Dixon and Peter Knapp (who are working on the Mokilese and Pingelapese Bible translations), Betty Amon (getting closer to finishing the Nukuroran translation and Cameron Fruit from Saipan who is working on several Carolinian translations. I learned a lot about Bible translation in our region and am even more encouraged by what God is doing in Micronesia.


Bible Translation Day actually started a day early as Peter led us in a Bible Translation chapel on Friday


Ken and Peter talked about translations in progress and the need for new projects


Betty shared her personal testimony about Bible translation while Cameron talked about the technical side of translation.


Peter and Lu Dee (left) working on stuff for a linguistics class

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Some PIU Chapel Music

This video is from chapel two weeks ago. The students sing the song “I Have a Maker” in 3 languages; English, Chuukese and Pohnpeian.

Tuesday the 4th Chapel

SAMSUNG            A couple days ago I posted a story from PIU teacherSAMSUNG            Jim Sawyer about our new student from Papua (the former Irian Jaya), Harnolx. You can find that here. Tuesday Harnolx, along with PIU teacher Ken Dixon, were our chapel speakers. Ken and Harnolx first met when Ken was a teacher at TITIP, a Wycliffe college in Indonesia, and Harnolx was a student. Since 2011 PIU has had an agreement with TITIP that allows students from Indonesia to study at PIU through a distance education program. Harnolx is the first student from Indonesia to come to Guam and study on campus. As he shared, he is a “test student” to see if it will work out, culturally, financially etc.,  for other students to follow in his footsteps to come study on the Guam campus of PIU.


Ken gave us some background about the region and history of the work in Indonesia. Harnolx shared about his personal testimony, his passions in ministry and about the culture of the church and nation.


We also had a good music and prayer time with a special time of prayer for Harnolx and the churches of Papua and the nation of Indonesia


Here are some of the statistics Harnolx and Ken shared about Indonesia. There is a huge need there, and we look forward with prayer and anticipation to see how God will work through PIU, Liebenzell and Wycliffe missions, and the churches of Micronesia to meet this need.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

My “Super” Birthday Party

SAMSUNG            I have been a little busy lately and I need to get caught up with some of the things that have been happening, so here goes. One of our ongoing traditions is to celebrate my birthday at halftime of the Super Bowl. In addition, several members of our PIU family also have birthdays that are very close to the same date. So we celebrate all those birthdays too. Joyce makes my favorite Triple Chocolate Cake (so rich you can only eat it once a year), we eat hot wings and nachos for breakfast, watch the Super Bowl and celebrate our birthdays. This year the game was not so good but we still had a lot of fun. Next year we will get to see the 49ers in the game again.



The living room was full with lots of friends


All of us celebrating a birthday got to blow out the candles

Friday, February 07, 2014

From a PIU Teacher

Jim and Kay-snowI received the following in an email from my friend Dr. Jim Sawyer. Jim is a visiting faculty member at PIU who has been coming out for a couple weeks every semester for the last five years to teach in our Systematic Theology and Church History Departments. Joyce and I have had a lot of opportunity to get to know Jim, and his wife Kay, as they have stayed at our house each time they come here. We also stayed a night at their place in the Bay Area on our last Mainland vacation. A couple weeks ago Jim came out to teach Church History Overview for our seminary. The quotes below are from his emailed prayer letter about that trip. As you pray for PIU please keep Jim and Kay in your prayers as Jim travels all over the world to teach theology. If you want to know more about the Sawyers’ ministry you can go to his web site at  (The picture of Jim and Kay here was not taken on Guam.)

As I stepped on campus at Pacific Islands University three weeks ago I met Ken Dixon, a Wycliffe Bible Translator who has labored for many years in West Papua (the Indonesian side of New Guinea). “You have a student from the highlands of West Papua registered for your class. He is supposed to be arriving today.”

The highlands of New Guinea contain hundreds of tribes, some small with only a few hundred, some numbering over a hundred thousand. Just a generation ago, when I was a young child, missionaries first entered this area of fierce tribes and forbidding jungle terrain. In the book The Peace Child Don Richardson told his story of being the first white man to contact the Sawi tribe, a Stone Age tribe of head hunters during the 1960’s. A decade earlier the Dani tribe, also cannibals were evangelized by missionaries and en masse turned to Christ. Since that time many more tribes have been evangelized. Now some from these tribes are being educated through college level!

After some confusion my student Harolx (I never did learn to pronounce his name properly—it is nearly impossible for westerners to pronounce—In English he calls himself Harol—Harold without the “d” on the end) arrived on campus a day later than expected and just hours before our first class meeting, tired and a bit overwhelmed.

I soon learned that even in the highlands of West Papua there are many pressures on the young church, pressures from the Government, pressures from foreign anthropologists who are encouraging the tribes to return to their ancestral gods, and the same types of denominational and church politics that we face here in the US.

Although only in his twenties Harolox is burdened beyond his years for the condition of his people. These concerns have led him to Seminary at PIES (Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary). Here he looks forward to receiving the training in Bible, Theology, Church History and ministry skills that will prepare him to be a leader of the Church in his tribe in West Papua.

Indications are that Harolx is just the first of many tribal people that are looking for serious ministry training. PIES is strategically located to reach these far “corners” of the earth with opportunities for training in God’s Word and leadership to help them in reaching and teaching their fellow tribesmen. As one who grew up on the accounts of missionaries being martyred by jungle tribesmen, to be involved in actually preparing these young men (and women) for ministry is more than a privilege, for which I am incredibly grateful.

I ask for your continued prayers and support for Harolx, and for myself and the rest of the faculty who are involved in this vital ministry training.



Thursday, February 06, 2014

Wycliffe “Pray Today” Blog

PIU was featured on February 5 in the “Wycliffe Pray Today” blog. It was a very appropriate time for them to feature us (not just because that was my birthday) because we are hosting the first Bible Translation Day on the PIU campus this coming Saturday February 8th. See my previous post about this here. Here are the prayer requests and info posted on the Wycliffe site. You can see the whole post here.


Pacific Islands University

“Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23:12, NLT).

Located in Guam, an island in Micronesia, the Pacific Islands University (PIU) is now offering Bible translation classes. Praise God for two Wycliffe staff members who are helping teach these classes. Students at PIU come from across Micronesia, an area where there is still a need for Bible translation.

  • Pray for many students to enroll.
  • Pray that the training will help prepare them for future work in language development and translation.

We are very thankful for our partnership with Wycliffe. I am full of joy when I see the Bible being translated into island languages by students and faculty on our PIU campus. The faculty provided by Wycliffe, who will be leading the conference, are a tremendous blessing to the students, staff and ministries of our school. Again, we hope that you will be able to come and join us for tomorrow’s conference and be praying for the requests above.

Bible Translation Day at PIU


I am very excited about the Bible Translation Day at PIU on Saturday. If you would like to come and enjoy learning about Bible translation in the Pacific Region give us a call at PIU 734-1812 and reserve your seat.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

PIU “Guys Day” at Merizo

SAMSUNG            Saturday was a beautiful day on Guam and perfect for some swimming and a barbecue at the Merizo Pier. Fortunately for us that was exactly what we had SAMSUNG            scheduled for that day. So the PIU men loaded up the van and a couple cars and headed down to Merizo for the morning. The day included good fellowship, lots of laughs, some excellent sashimi and barbecued chicken, spectacular acrobatic diving and belly flopping, sunshine, and good conversation. How could we do better than that?

Merizo (14)Merizo (15)

The students enjoyed some swimming

Merizo (1)SAMSUNG

So did Mike and Titus

Merizo (13)Merizo (16)

Thank you Billy for your pictures.

Merizo (11)Merizo (12)

The food was great


Especially the sashimi


Titus spent most of the day fishing with a line and a hook that he found but he did find some time to eat lunch with us.