Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Month into the Semester...

Life on our busy campus is bustling. With 112 undergrad students and 7 grad students we are bursting at the seams, but excited to see what God is doing. Students seem to be really enjoying their classes. When Anne asks a student which class is their favorite class this semester she gets the answer, "all of them" most of the time! The library and study center seem to be full much of the time too. Good things to be happening at a university. Ministry opportunities are being organized and students are taking advantage of them. Even more exciting is that the students are excited about how they see God using them in the community.

In the midst of all the studying going on there is fun too. Last weekend brought together the students of PIU with the congregation of the Lutheran Church of Guam for the 3rd Annual Sports Day. The trophy that has sat on the PIU Office desk this last year was at risk of being lost after the first event - basketball. Then PIU came back in the volleyball game and they were awarded the win after the skies opened up and made further play unsafe. It all came down to the tug-o-war team. Could they pull out 2 wins out of 3 to win it all for PIU?

Here Steve and Rob Watt (who took over Steve's Student Life responsibilities - bless you Rob) watch the guys play basketball.

YES - they were able to slip and slide their way to the victory and PIU retained the cup for another year!!!!! No that is not snow, but it is heavy rain coming down as they tugged.
Then the real rain started falling. For days we've had rain and then this morning, we had more than 2 inches in just a couple of hours and 4-6" more was called for this afternoon due to a tropical storm passing by. The picture below is of the campus "parking lot" and was taken by a co-worker this morning. Many have been praying for us and it seems that the storm has just fallen apart. Winds are suppose to be picking up right now, but I just heard the meteorologist on the radio say she can't find the storm on the radar anymore! It has fallen apart over the Rota Channel (the water between Guam and Rota, the next island north). The sun is even starting to shine. Thank you Lord!!!!
But don't stop praying, there is another storm that is suppose to be typhoon strength by the time it arrives on Sunday - so we'll still be wet for awhile more. We are praying that the roof will stay on the administration/classroom/women's dorm building, so pray with us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

God's Mercy and Grace Once Again

Some of you know that soon after the Lord healed Steve's eye this summer, he broke his sternum as he helped a friend reassemble a trampoline. No he was not testing it out, but simply pushing the leg and frame together. He was told it would be healed in 8 weeks at most. Arriving back in Guam it was still bothering him. He went to see a doctor friend and it was decided to do x-rays. What was found was a huge surprise - Steve has severe osteoporosis. This is very unusual for a man and so extensive tests were done to seek a cause. The doctor told us, "quite frankly I'm looking for cancer."

Once again we began to pray. From the beginning we sensed the Lord asking us to trust Him no matter what the prognosis. We prayed for the best and yet have been trusting Him with what we couldn't begin to understand in the light of all that the Lord has already done, that cancer may be His best. There is a quote by C.S. Lewis that expresses how we felt.

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."-- C.S. Lewis (Thanks Donna for sharing this.)

So Steve asked for our colleagues and the pastor of the church we are attending to pray for him. It was decided to share this prayer time with the student body during Friday's worship chapel. This was a very special time before our Father for all. We prayed for healing, of course, but even more so that the glory of the Lord and His kingdom would break through no matter which answer was given us. We would trust and follow.

Today, with peace in our hearts and at the same time a bit of held breath we went to hear the results of the tests. Yes, severe osteoporosis, but NO cancer. Steve will start treatment for the osteoporosis, but it will not hinder him completing the tasks the Lord has preserved his sight and life for. But it is a reminder that all that will be accomplished will indeed be done by and through the Lord and "not by might or power, but truly through His spirit." Our prayer is still that the Lord and His Glory will be the focal point of every step we take.

Thank you for praying for us in this and for those that have diligently prayed for us for more than 30 years!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Things at PIU

As we make the transition from PIBC to PIU many things are changing including our seal. The main design has remained the same, but the seal reflects our growth from Bible College only to 3 schools in one - Pacific Islands Bible College, Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary, and Pacific Islands Christian College. Much still needs to be done as we make this transition to provide transformaional, excellent, and accessible Christian education for this area of the world, but we are well on our way.Our new pavilion was completed before the students arrived last week and is already proving to be a favorite hangout spot on campus as it provides shelter from the sun and the rain.

We praise God for His provision of students to fill the campus to overflowing this year. 110 students have registered and started classes on the Guam campus.

Steve will continue heading up the Human Resources and Advancement Departments for the University and will be traveling a great deal. He is also teaching one independant study class on Ministry Immersion. Anne is continuing to help in the front office and helping look for ways to get our students connected in ministry in our community.

The following are some pictures taken by others of our first week of the Fall 2009 Semester. We will catch you up on our summer activities as we finish gathering pictures.
First stop in registration is to see an advisor. Melody Plaxton our Academic Dean is seen here helping a student during one of the slower times during registration day. Eric Sorenson, dean of the seminary, is also pictured here getting a small break in the flow of things.
The week prior to registration the incoming freshman and transfer students were required to come to school for the first module of a Study Skills and Orientation to college class. Here some of them can be seen in our new Study Center working on an assignment with our newest faculty member Jen Rydzik and her mentor, Melody Plaxton.Registration day would have been totally hectic without the help of PIU volunteer Laura Peters (center). She helped Anne direct traffic in the main office as students dealt with the financial end of registration and the collecting of textbooks. Pictured here with Laura are returning students, Meyou (left) and Jayleen (right).
We ended registration day with a BBQ that our Student Life team sponsored for our students. Above and below are some of our students sitting around the basketball court enjoying their meal, the fellowship. and respite from a long day of waiting in lines.

The next morning, Sunday, we held a Worship Service on campus to begin the school year together. In the coming weeks students will begin attending many of the churches on Guam using what they learn in the classroom in ministry situations. Here are Steve and Leeman as they lead the Worship music during the service. Steve played guitar and didn't get out the drums this time.

Rob Watt who has been our teacher and TF (teaching facility) facilitator in Palau the last 5 years is now working with us on the Guam campus and has taken over the leadership of the Student Life Team for which Steve is most greatful. He share a message based on Ps. 133 that was very encouraging to all. One student stated after the service, that he was very grateful that the Lord had brought him to this school. We are too. Pray with us that each student would trust the Lord to work deeply in their lives this school year.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steve's Home

21 and half hours from Greensboro, NC to Guam. That is a new travel record for us! He bettered our old record by a half hour. Thanks to those who prayed. It was smooth and uneventful, just the way we like these long trips to be.
He arrived home just in time for a glorious sunset that lingered and lingered. As the sky went from pale pinks and blues to fire red and then to a deep, deep crimson we kept oohing and aahing. A nice treat after a long flight for Steve and a day of the torrential rains that Anne had to maneuver her activities around.
p.s. I've been noticing that whenever I post a blog the time given is the current Eastern Time Zone time and not the Chamorro time zone time what is that? It's 11:27 PM Thursday Aug. 13th.

Updates coming soon

Steve has probably just left Hawaii and is winging his way home across the wide Pacific as I write this.
It's been a full summer for both of us and we are so grateful to be able to be together again in just a few more hours!
Thanks to SKYPE we've been able to talk and see each other almost every day and sometimes even twice a day. What a blessing that has been! In a few days we will be gathering our tales and sharing them with you.

In the mean time, will you please pray for the Settlemyre family here on Guam. Carol Settlemyre, my long time prayer partner and very, very close friend died while taking a nap after work Friday evening. Her homegoing was very unexpected. She is rejoicing in her Savior's presence - she is one of those people whom the Spirit of our Lord just shows through in every facet of her life. She was one of the first people to sign up for the Island-wide Prayer chain that started in 1984 and has helped me lead it for years now since Kathy Wood, the other co-founder, left Island. She also was a kindergarten teacher at Price Elementary School, one of Guam's public schools. That was her mission field and she worked in it diligently. Pray for her husband of 41 years, Paul, her children David and Joy, David's wife Emmy, and granddaughter Adelaide as they adjust to life without Carol's daily presence. She will also be missed by hundreds on this Island and elsewhere that she touched with Christ's love.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bones, Mangoes, a View, and Answered Prayer

Here is the promised picture of Joyce's coral and snake bone jewelry. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can get a better view. Amazingly it looks so very nice with the things she has worn it with. Watch out snakes - Joyce's in on the hunt!
Here is a picture of Joyce and I at the Mango Festival with some of the mangoes on display. These were not even the largest ones.

The picture below was taken by Rob Watt and is the heading picture on his blog. It is a shot of the northern most tip of Guam, Ritidian Point. It was taken from the front yard of other fellow missionaries Bill and Christel Wood. If you enlarge this picture also you can see see the island of Rota about 40 miles north of the northern tip of Guam. Look just to the left of Ritidian on the horizion line (looks like it is sitting in the right most "v" created by the tree in the foreground). Doesn't the beauty of God's creation just make you sing His praises?

One of Steve's jobs while in the States this summer was to locate a person that would meet the qualifications and needs PIU has for a Foundation Researcher/Grant Writer. We are also praising God for His answered prayer in leading Steve to that person. Her name is Katherine Currie and we will be introducing her to you shortly. Please pray for her this next week as she will be attending a training conference sponsored by our accrediting agencey.

Friday, July 3, 2009

More praise to the Lord!

Hey Everybody,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I saw my eye doctor again today. My eye is exactly the same as it was after the miracle - no change. What this means is that I can continue wearing the same style of contact lens, but stick to the 10 hours a day schedule. If I have to go longer, up to 12 hours in a day, then I should take a whole day off soon after that day. I'll get checked again in August before I return to Guam.

Thank you for your prayers, and let's keep praising the Lord.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congratulations Hollie!!!

Hollie Schaub, our co-worker at PIBC for the last 3 years, (and the other Student Life team members) did much to encourage the students at PIBC to apply all the Bible knowledge they learn to their daily lives. The challenges she faced in this task led to her to take on the theme NAVIGATING THE CURRENTS OF CHANGE IN THE MICRONESIAN WORLDVIEW as her master's thesis. Her research will be helpful for many as they come to Micronesia and begin their ministries here. Thanks so much Hollie (and Aaron) for giving so much of yourselves to the people of Micronesia through PIBC. Congratulations on achieving your masters in Intercultural Studies at the same time you were working at PIBC and fulfilling your responsibilites as a naval officer's wife. We love you and miss you. Your legacy will be eternal.

Mangoes, Jewelry and Signs...

It's mango season on Guam and the trees are loaded with what has become my favorite of all fruit. For the 3rd year the village of Agat has hosted a Mango Festival. Joyce Owen and I headed down south Sunday after church and had a great time looking at the largest mangoes I've ever seen (about 10" long or bigger), eating mango cinnamon buns (even better than Cinnabuns), and perusing all the booths. Can you count the mangoes on this tree Joyce and I saw on our way home from the festival?Joyce purchased a very beautiful necklace and earring set made of polished coral beads with the most unique spacers between the beads. I would never dream of using such a material to make jewelry, but that's why I'm not an artist. The spacers are vertebra of the local brown tree snake! The creator of these told Joyce that if she were to bring him a snake of at least 4 feet in length, he'd make a trade with her for more jewelry. Now this is a challenge our resident snake catcher will take on! I'll ask Joyce to take a picture so that I can post it and let you see these very interesting and really very beautiful pieces of jewelry.

On the way home we stopped for gas and spied the sign below. It had us giggling, so I pulled over and Joyce got a picture of it. Not sure if I want to try their "glorious" coffee or not.

More from Thailand

We'd like to share with you part of a blog entry from one of the Thai Mission Team members, Meluat Meluat. God is answering your prayers for this team. Be encouraged and keep praying for them. "Anyways, let me continue the sharing of blessings that i have faced over here in Thailand. During the time of Erten's injury, it was suppose to be a downpoint for everyone. But because everyone's focus was on Christ, it did not slow down our work, but motivated us to work even harder. During that night of injury, I challenged my brother Erten while he was laying on the bed waiting for the doctor to bring him to th O.R. I told him that everything that comes to our lives, either joyful moment or painful moment, we have to thank God for allowing these things to happen in our lives. I explained to him of how he can consider this injury and the situation that he went through as a blessing. Brothers and sisters, Erten's injury did not only impact us alone, but also impacted Campus Crusades and this brought us more closer and motivated us to stand firm on our mission and not giving up, not making excuses, but it derived us more toward the core of our goal. After he came out from the hospital, I challenged some of my brothers and sister's one night when we were in the kitchen and i told them about Job's faithfulness toward God and compare it to the situation that happened to us. First, it was Job's animals and crobs (crops) were taken away but Job did not submit to the hands of satan. Then his family were taken away too but his faith remained in God's presence. For that, the enemy thought that attacking his physical body would make him give up. But Job's faithfulness was fixed on God. Later on that story, we knew that God doubled up the things that Job lost. Same situation that happened to us and this is what i told my brothers and sisters that night, "The enemy was trying to destroy us through miscommunications and some little insidence even until few days before we leave, but we survived because we allowed God to take charge. We are here in Thailand and the enemy try to separate us or make us give up on reaching out to the students, but we never gave up. He could not destroy our relationship and our focus to God because our mind is fixed toward God, so he try to destruct us by hurting our brother Erten. We did not give up but continued to minister and actually our ministry and our relationship got even more stronger than ever." This is what i challenged them that night. Brothers and sisters, our ministry is still strong and we will keep it that way so the fountain of blessings will continue. I believe yesterday the heaven was shaking and the angels were shouting for joy because one of the student allowed our Lord Jesus Christ to take over her life. She was sitting with us today and we continued having a good fellowship in the campus. Like what i said earlier, there are lot of blessings happening over here and i always want to share.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Though the campus is very quite at this time and most faculty, staff, and students are gone for the summer things are changing. A much needed pavilion (or summer house as it is often called here) for shade is being built near the basketball court, thanks to the foresight and hard work of one of our colleagues, Bill Wood.
It has been interesting watching the preparations and the building process. Many principles that parallel our spiritual lives can be drawn. Much preparation went into the foundation that included 4 large and deep holes filled with concrete in which the pillars are anchored. This is necessary to keep the building standing during and after our frequent earthquakes. So to, we must anchor ourselves deep in our relationship with the Lord through His word to weather the storms and quakes of life. It is this hidden preparation that will make all the difference in whether the building or we stand the tests of this world.

Another quiet change is that on July 1, 2009 Pacific Islands Bible College (PIBC) will become Pacific Islands University (PIU). This change brings about a broadening of the ministry of PIBC and the opening of our seminary (this started this last school year) and a liberal arts college to prepare Christian students to be influencers for the gospel in fields other than full time Christian work. PIBC will continue as a school of PIU for those pursuing degrees in Bible. We are slowly working on the name changes on all our information and materials. The first one to go public is our sign off of Rt. 15 (better known locally as the Back Road to Anderson). Pray with us as we follow the Lord into these new areas of ministry to the Pacific Region. Pray too for the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers and the means to hire them.

More Guam Beauty

For the last couple of weeks the flame trees on Guam have been magnificent. In fact, more so than any year I can remember. So often the storms and the bugs eat at these majestic trees, but this year the Lord has filled them with incredible glory. I drive around just ooohing and ahhing and wishing I had a camera to capture just a small portion of their beauty (Steve has the camera with him in the States) . So thanks to the Farnsworths I was able to "borrow" some pictures from them to show you all. We saw many of these trees as we road in the open "Trolley Bus" with the Farnsworths at the request of Joel and Amelia before Steve headed "stateside". Ned Farnsworth is taking the picture so this picture is just of his wonderful wife Marisol, the kids, and us. We are so thankful for the children who are part of our PIBC family and their excitement about all of life around them!

2nd Update on Erten

More news from the Thai team:
The doctors believe the surgery went well. Erten seems to be doing well over all. He has returned to the house after a two night stay. The doctors expect that he will have full use of his hand after he heals. The doctors, nurses, Kalvin and the Thai Campus Crusade staff took very good care of him. Now he is home and we are all helping. We are praising God for that and that the expenses were only $1000 (approx.). Continue to pray for his recovery. Thank you all who have been praying.

This note came Saturday:
Erten seems to be healing well and for that we are thankful. You can follow the team's activities by clicking on Melissa Heck to the right and then on PIBC Thai Team to the right on her blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update on Urgent Prayer Request from Thailand

Melissa sent this update Saturday night Guam time. Please keep praying

Just wanted to send a quick update....

Erten is still in the hospital but will be coming home tomorrow. He will need to have the hand cleaned each day of the week for a week. I am told he is in good spirits but when we went to visit he was tired and seemed sad. Kalvin (our other leader ) is staying with him. We will be excited to have him back tomorrow. Some good news is that the medical bills will only be in the neighborhood of $1200 which we have. It may leave us a bit short at the end but we are trusting that God will provide for our needs.

Another good news is that the doctor believes the surgery was successful and Erten will eventually have full use of his hand.

Please continue to pray for God's provision and protection.

Also pray for some Thailand Campus Crusade staff in the south part of Thailand. A van with about 7 - 8 people had an accident and are now in the hospital.

These things are not positive but have put us in a position where we are forced to rely on God... and we know that He is good. We are all thankful to be here.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.


Urgent Prayer Request from Thailand

We just received (Friday night Guam time) the following in an email from Melissa Heck, PIBC/PIU Dean of Women and one of the leaders of the mission team. She says....

Although it is hard for us to understand exactly what happened one of our team members, Erten, walked into a glass door and it shattered severing the tendons in his hand and severing two veins. He was rushed to the hospital where he needed surgery to repair his hand. He is in the hospital recovering --- should be ok but is in a lot of pain. Please pray for Erten's recovery. Please pray for the medical expenses to be covered some how. Pray for God's protection over the rest of the team. Pray for God's wisdom and discernment in the ministry. The spiritual battle here is fierce. Thanks.... Melissa

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Praise the Lord for another Miracle!!!

Just after midnight this morning I was awakened with a call from Steve relating what God had done on his behalf. Here is what he wrote in an email later:
"The eye appointment report: all I can say is that a real miracle happened. You know how this appointment was scheduled because blood vessels were beginning to grow into and take over my cornea. Well, the doctor looked into my eye with her little magnifying instrument thingy, gazed for about 10 seconds or so, backed away from the instrument, dropped her mouth open, gasped audibly and, as best as I can recollect, said, "Oh my goodness! I don't believe it! They're gone! The blood vessels are all gone! It's like they were never there!" And then proceeds to repeat this whole thing two more times, even taking multiple digital pictures because she's never seen anything like this before, and apparently wanted to document it.
She could see slight "shadows" where the vessels had been, and showed me the pictures. It was amazing. She wants me to gradually increase my wearing time from six to ten hours a day, and then come by and let her see me again the first week of July to see if they come back. If they do, she'll fit me with the Sclera lens; if they don't, then she'll keep in a fresh supply of the current lens."
So thank you all for praying once again and please continue to pray that the blood vessels stay away.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


These last few days has been a time of good-byes. When you live on and island this is a way of life, so we have learned to enjoy deeply each moment we have with those the Lord brings our way whether its for a short or long time.
But not all good-byes are the same.
Some good-byes are short term -"if the Lord wills" as the book of James says:
Monday morning I said good-bye to Steve as he left for his eye appointments and a summer of trusting God for a fruitful summer of tasks involving the Fund Development parts of his PIBC responsibilities.
A few hours later, I was back at the airport to pray for a fruitful ministry with the Thai Missions team as they left for 51 days of outreach.
(part of the Thai Mission Team practicing a skit)

Some good-byes are those that tend to be harder - those in which we often say , "We will see you either here or there or in the air". Though today's technology makes staying in touch though apart so very much easier.
On Tuesday, Brad and Cheryl Boydston left for their new ministry assignment in Arizona. It has been so obvious that the Lord has been in this move, but oh how we will miss them both! However, since Brad is such a great blogger we will have constant updates on what the Lord is doing through them.
Then one more good-bye happens this week as I join with the rest of our small group to say "adios" or should it be "ciao" (they are headed to Italy with the military) to Paul and Heidi.

Good-byes are important reminders that we are only guaranteed this moment we are in right now, so reach out and touch the lives of those around you and allow yourself to be touched.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:6

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thailand Mission Team Update

School may be out but those on the mission team going to Thailand this summer are working hard. Each morning they work on campus to earn their room and board so that in the afternoons they can receive training and preparations for their ministry with Thai university students. Their plane tickets are purchased, their visas have been secured, they are training faithfully, and trusting fully that the Lord will provide the $5000 still needed for their living expenses for 2 months in Thailand. God is using these trips to show our students that He wants them to be part of becoming the Micornesian mission force - their worldview is growing! If you feel that the Lord wishes you to be part of the answer to their prayers you can send checks to PIBC at P.O. Box 22619, Barrigada, GU 96921.

TRACS Accreditation Team Visit

PIBC enjoys the privileges of being a fully accredited educational institution through TRACS. Every so many years the school undergoes a reviewing process to make sure we are continuing to uphold the high standards necessary to provide the best Christian education possible. It also permits our students to receive the financial aid they need through US Pel Grants. The team that arrived all work at other Christian colleges and are committed to helping fellow schools to be the best they can be.
Most of the team flew in from the US mainland (one came from Saipan) and inspite of jet-lag worked very hard during the 4 days the
they were with us. They left us with commendations (jobs well done), recommendations (things that must be done) and suggestions (ideas that might help). Most of the recommendations can be accomplished with minimal effort. A couple of them will involve hiring for a few key staff positions. Steve's area of responsibility in Advancement and Fund Development for the college will be directly involved in fulfilling these positions and he would appreciate your prayers as he seeks the Lord's provision through gifts and grants for the school. The picture to the left is of the TRACS team and some of the PIBC faculty and staff. Can you find both of us?

Death and Life

Sunday morning May 17th as several of us from PIBC
were just starting Sunday School, we received a call
from Tim and Melody, our fellow Liebenzell missionaries and co-workers at PIBC. They had just gotten
a call from their oldest daughter with news no parent ever wants to hear. Their second daughter had been murdered. So once again, the PIBC family had to face the
reality of life and death for the second time in two weeks. Again we grieve together; this time the tragic circumstances make it a bit harder to bear, but Tim and Melody know that their daughter gave her life to Christ and is with Him and freed from the things she struggled with in this life. Please pray for them as they, and their third daughter, Erin, (who has been teaching at Bethania Christian High School for Girls in Palau for the last two years) leave for the States in the morning and prepare to bury their daughter/sister. They are so grateful for the prayers and love of the saints who have surrounded them with the love of Christ. Melody said the other day, "I do not know how people face these things without Christ." Neither do we.

Minutes before we received this call, Dave and
Joyce Owen, (our PIBC president and wife) had
announced that their 3rd grandchild was on the
way into this world. They received this picture several hours later of Milo Draven Owen, born to their oldest son, Matt, and his wife Kristen.
Congratulations to all!

We are reminded that men and women are born and then leave this world again so shortly. We only have a short time to make choices whose consequences are eternal. We must love those around us enough to share the eternal hope of forgiveness and salvation that is available to all
who believe and receive Christ Jesus (John1:12)

Wedding Bells at PIBC

On May 16th, 4 days after graduation our Valedictorian, Sonny (from Yap) married Elilai (from Palau and raised on Guam) another of our PIBC students. It was a wonderful ceremony and celebration held at the Palauan Evangelical Church on Guam. One of the symbolic events in their wedding was the pouring of two colors of sand together into one container. This was to show the blending of two cultures, two families, and two people into one in Christ. Pray for this young couple as they seek to glorify Christ in their marriage. Unlike most Micronesians Sonny and Elilai took the time to prepare for marriage through extensive pre-marital counseling with their pastor and to have a public church wedding to proclaim their vows before God and men. We are so very happy for them. They will continue to live on Guam while Elilai finishes up her degree at PIBC.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

PIBC Graduation Day - May 12, 2009

On Guam, we never have a dull moment. Graduation gowns were ordered in plenty of time to arrive on island for our graduation. But all that arrived was the diploma covers and the valedictorian's stole. Each day we'd check the mail - nothing. Finally, we realized we needed a Plan B. Joyce Owen began calling alumni to ask to borrow gowns and caps for the occasion. Our alumni came through. But we still needed tassels. The only tassels we could find were small and royal blue (the school colors are hunter green and gold). So how do we make them work? A craft box of ribbons and some creative thinking by a group of students and staff came to the rescue and we were set. Remember the missionary motto: BE FLEXIBLE!!! (For pictures of this process click on the link to Melissa Heck's blog in the right hand column of this page.)

But the Lord's presence was very much a part of the day and that is what made it so very special. Steve first met our valedictorian, Sonny, when he took our Astumbo Community Church Youth Group to Yap years ago. Sonny was 10! What a privilege it has been to see God's work in the lives of many of our students for even longer than the years they have been at PIBC. In many cases our current students are the children of those we saw come to the Lord in the early years of ministry here in Micronesia. What a faithful God we serve!!!!

The picture above is of Lydia, one of our students from Yap. She is decked out with more than 10 lbs of leis made of flowers, candy, money, yarn and soda can tabs and more. This is a very common tradition among the islanders and we are always amazed by it. We have seen students who could not even see through the stack of leis around their necks and heads. Their caps seemed to be floating on top of a stack of leis. Lydia has probably as many on her arms as she has around her neck. Breathing was easier that way!

This is the last graduating class of Pacific Islands Bible College. In July, we become Pacific Islands University which will include the Bible College, our seminary, and a liberal arts college. More on what the Lord is doing in that area in later posts.

Here are some more great pictures from our graduation that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Memory of...

Kathy Newell, the Education and English Language Acquisition professor at PIBC, went to be with the Lord this morning. [You can find more details on Kathy by clicking on the PIBC link to the right side of the screen.] As you can imagine, the entire PIBC family and many others on our island are in shock and are grieving. Please pray as the Lord leads you for the Lord to be glorified and people to come to Christ as the reasons she lived are shared in memorial services, for the students as they try and finish up their final exams, for those finishing up her responsibilities, and for the faculty and staff as we finish up the semester and prepare for the accreditation team arriving in less than 2 weeks. We rejoice that she has finished the race set before her and she is face to face with Jesus, yet there is a huge hole in our hearts because we miss her already. Yet the Lord in His mercy knew we'd be grieving today and led our president, Dave Owen, to share a message at chapel yesterday on trusting the Lord even when things don't make sense. Many have commented today on how timely that message was even though this application was not even thought of yesterday. Thank you Holy Spirit for being our comforter and guide in all things.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thailand Mission Team

We thank the Lord for providing the airfare for our third team from PIBC to Thailand this summer. They will be in the country for 2 months as they continue working along side of the Thai Campus Crusade staff. This year the team is being lead by Kalvin, a PIBC almuni and now assistant dean of men. They have been getting ready in many ways: being faithful in their studies and personal relationship with Christ, learning to share the Gospel with those with Buddist backgrounds, talking about culture, language and food (picture above was take at a field trip to a Thai resturant for a "taste test"), praying, and trusting the Lord for the funds for the trip (this has included doing work projects and car washes). Pray with them for a speedy issuing of their visas, for the funds for their in-country expenses, and for a fruitful ministry while in Thailand. It is our prayer that the Lord will raise up full-time missionaries for Thailand and other countries from among those that go on these mission trips.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Worship with a beat!

Steve walked into the worship practice for our campus chapel services the other day and told the guys that they were doing a good job, but the sound would be much better if they only had drums. They all agreed and said "if only" with a sigh. Then Steve told them to follow him to his office. Waiting there was a digital drum set. You never saw such huge grins on the faces of those young men!!! This week Steve will begin teaching those who want to learn to play.
Meanwhile he has had fun playing with the guys for the last couple of chapels. Thanks Galley's for making this possible.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


PIBC Days (April 3-5 this year) is a celebration of what God has done over the years since the school started in 1976 as Micronesian Institute of Biblical Studies. Preparations begin when a theme is chosen and the students and faculty and staff are divided into 3 teams. This year's theme was 1 Timothy 4:12 - "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purtiy, show yourself an example of those who believe." The teams were given the Greek names of the words love (Agape), faith (Pistis), and purity (Hagneia). Each team is in charge of preparing an evening program. this includes decorating the main classroom, [Part of the Pistis team doing a worship song to motions] preparing worship, music specials, skits, [Hagneia doing a funny skit called the Holy Spirit Power Wash which had a serious meaning of the importance of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.], and a message that is centered around the chosen theme of the year.
[Harold Gorgous, Liebenzell Mission area director, speaking on Faith]
During 2 of the days there are sports tournaments - basketball for the guys and volleyball for the gals -[Team Agape claimed the volleyball championship]
and a day of field games.
[Agape vs Pistas in the Tug of War - Students trying to find a bit of shade - Jens (administrative director) and Lydia(a senior from Yap) judging a race - notice the blue, blue ocean behind them.]
and food [Maybelline and Me You getting ready to enjoy the local cuisine.] Our team was Hagneia Here we are gathered together for a group shot.
We laughed, played and embraced the Lord together. What a sweet experience.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beauty around the Island

We thought you'd like to see a bit more of our island home.
This time of year Guam is bursting with color as many of our plants are in bloom. The flowers are on our campus. (Row 1: Pink Plumeria -- Double Lacy Hibiscus -- Bouganvilla -- Row 2: Rock formations --Coral on the beach -- Pandanus or Walking Tree

The Pandanus Tree is very unique and useful. Its leaves are very strong and used for the weaving of mats, hats, purses, etc. But what makes this tree so unique is that it can actually move itself! See the long roots that are above ground. If the tree is not getting enough sunlight it will send out new roots in the direction of the sunlight and over time move itself to a better spot. It's large round fruit can grow to the size of a basketball!
And then there is the way that our Lord "paints the sky" every morning and evening. Truly His creation shouts daily His glory to all who "have ears to hear".