Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Errand Morning on Guam or an OOG Day (Only On Guam)

This morning I set out for what should have been a short 4-stop errand trip. But as we always tell people new to the Island, figure out how much time it should take and then at least triple it and be ready for anything along the way. I was glad I had remembered that piece of advice myself.

Stop One - Post Office in Yigo (northern most village). I have a small package to mail and take it to the counter. "I'm sorry but you will have to take your package to Payless (the grocery store?) to mail this package. We don't have any stamps." (This is the US Post Office isn't it?). I find out that he means the private mail box shop next to the grocery store. I decide not to go there because they charge extra for their stamps.

Stop Two - The gas station. (Easy enough right? ) I have a nice conversation with the attendant filling my tank and find out he is the son of one of our PIBC board members. Then I go to pay for my gas with the brand new credit card Steve just picked up from the bank yesterday. "Sorry, but your account is blocked." (Already? It was just issued yesterday. What could have happened? Oh well one of my stops is the bank anyway. I'll use an alternative payment now.)

Stop Three - Best stop of the day. I am taking something for Steve to his doctor (who is also a friend). I'm having trouble finding a parking spot, but find one and as I start walking towards the clinic I see his doctor walking across the parking lot from the hospital. Perfect! I can skip all the explanation to the nurses inside. Yeah!!

Stop Four - Bank. I explain that my brand new credit card is not working. She remembers Steve being in there yesterday and issuing my card. She checks. "Oh my. Your new card was blocked because of a breech on some of the bank's accounts sometime yesterday and yours was one of the cards frozen for security reasons. (Ok) We will issue you another new card and you can get it in another 3-5 business days. (The cards Steve picked up yesterday were to be done in 3-5 business days - and that only took 21 days!) I'm so sorry." (She is very helpful and it is not her fault, so I thank her for her help.) So now my 2nd order of business - new pin numbers for both of us. "I'm sorry but you can only order yours. Steve will have to come down or call in himself. (Can't we use the same pin numbers since its the same account? "No" is the answer.) And that will take 3-5 business days if you pick them up here yourself." (By this time I'm laughing and feeling more at home once again - believe or not these quirks grow on you.) Then we do the paper work to shut down my already stopped brand new card permanently. (I thank her again and head out, with "I'll see you in 3-5 business days.")

Stop Five (the extra stop)- another Post Office. All goes fine with the exception of a very long line that is moving very slowly. But that is ok too, because all in line are being entertained by a new born infant and another one-year old girl who is facinated by the baby and keeps calling out to the baby and saying "baby" at the top of her lungs.

I finally make it back to Yigo to pick up Steve after stopping at just about every red light coming and going. Years ago that would have been 3 or 4 lights. Today it was more than twenty!!! But I was greatful for the extra time to listen and join in the praise music playing on the CD as I made my way up and down Marine Corps Dr. (that's right, it is not just Marine Drive anymore). In spite of the challenges of doing the "dailies", it is truly a priviledge to be able to serve the Lord on this Island.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Other recent events

We had only been back on Guam one week when people began arriving from off -island for the Annual PIBC Board Meetings. They came from the US, Germany, Palau, Yap, & Chuuk. Steve participated in these meetings when they discussed areas for which he is responsible. Anne & Joyce with the assistance of May & Judy helped make sure meals were ready and in place for the Board Members. Bill Schuit, the US Global Ministries Director from Schooley's Mt., commented that Anne was still doing the same thing on this side of the ocean that she was doing in NJ - setting up meals for guests. He was right! The picture below was taken after the Board Members attended Chapel on campus. It pictures most of the students who live on the Guam campus, faculty & staff, and board members. Can you find Steve? Anne and Joyce are not in the picture because they were getting lunch ready for our hungry Board Members.

For you Calvary members who built this basketball court you can see it now has "bleachers" and really is the center of many activities on campus. Yes, a basketball court can serve eternal purposes! The building behind the court is currently being renovated for use as the computer lab.
We have a great team here on Guam, trusting the Lord together for the building of godly character and witness in the lives of our students. Last Friday night those of us who report to Liebenzell as our sending mission met at the Wood's home (which has a fantastic view of almost the entire west coast of Guam) for fellowship and an update from Martin, who is Global Missions Director for all of Liebenzell world-wide. It was good to hear what the Lord is doing around the world. Thanks Martin! Below Steve & Martin enjoy some great food - jerk chicken and ribs!As we were waiting for all to arrive, Anne and Marisol were watching Amelia look for fish in the Wood's pond. She was hoping to catch one and take it home to the family fish tank. But the fish proved too elusive for us this day. Better fishing next time.
Pray for the students at PIBC to not only desire to follow the Lord but to actually take the harder steps to choose to follow with a whole heart daily.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Around the Island

One of Anne's favorite things to do is to show off the beauty and history of Guam to those new to the Island. Last Wednesday, while Steve was participating in parts of the annual PIBC Board Meetings, she had the pleasure of being "tour guide" to PIBC's Micronesian History class. They had been studying the ancient history and Spanish history of Guam and what better way to learn it than to head off to the sites they'd been studying about.

We started with the Plaza de Espania - the site of the remains of the seat of Spanish government. (Anne is the one on the far left of the picture looking up at an original Spanish seal.) Stop two was across the street at the huge latte stones thought to be foundations of ancient Chamorro home. (Though this is a picture of a latte stone from the island of Saipan, ) Then we headed south and saw two original bridges built about 200 years ago along the Spanish "freeway" from Umatac to Hagatna. Our longest stop was at Ft. Soledad, a Spanish fort that over looks the bay in Umatac where Magellan first landed in Guam. The students explored the ruins and 3 of them rode a carabao (water buffalo species brought to Guam by the Spanish). Here's Joyce (a fellow missionary taking this class) enjoying her ride. There was lots of laughing by all at the "fastest horse on Guam" or "the best 4x4" on Guam" depending on your perspective - ie. the carabao. Next we saw the Bell Tower in Merizo and then we made a special stop at the remains of the first Protestant church in the village of Inarajan. We also saw grinding stones and more latte stones left by early Chamorros. Pictographs are part of just about every culture and even on Guam they can be found in Gadao's (a former island chief) cave. We made the short hike to see these. It always amazes me that they have lasted so long since the cave is right on the water and must fill when there are storms. Between all the stops we enjoyed many beautiful vistas as we drove. What a wonderful day! We'd love to show you each around in person!

Please remember to pray for many of the Chamorro people of Guam who still do not understand that they can have a personal relationship with our Lord in spite of being surrounded by the glory of God's creation.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What were all those beads for?

Some of you know that we had been asked to find and send hundreds of packages of beads in many colors to Guam during our last few weeks in the US. At first we didn't know what they were for. Then we learned that they were to be used for a celebration in Chuuk later this summer. Finally we saw a few of the finished products and want you to see too.
(Anne & Evelyn with just a few of the bead leis)

These are bead leis created by Puluwat Islanders. Originally these were made from colorful shells and the patterns are clan related. The same patterns are used in these bead leis and others are new designs based on old themes. Evelyn and her relatives are making lots and lots of these for a celebration in honor of a relative. The beads are strung on curling ribbon we use for presents without a needle and there may be as many as 21 strands of ribbon used in one of the more elaborate leis. Thank you to those who helped look for lime green pony beads at Walmarts across the country.

Getting Resettled

In the week we have been back on island we have started to reconnect with many friends and co-workers. Thank you all for the warm Island Welcome; you had both of us choked up with your love for us. You really blessed our hearts.

Last Sunday we even had the chance to hike to one of the Guam sites that we've never had to opportunity to see in all these years since it is located on the Naval Base and access is limited - The Spanish Steps.
(Anne is the one at the top of the rope)
These steps were built about 300 years ago by the Spanish to get to a well at the bottom of the cliff. Some of the steps actually remain. Where the steps are missing there is a path and ropes to assist in decent and ascent of the cliff. At the bottom the remnants of the well remain and after a short hike through the jungle you emerge on a rocky beach in a secluded cove.
The water was crystal clear and even with out a mask and snorkel the many colorful corals and fish could be seen. It was well worth the hike and the fellowship was great with old and new friends alike.
(Steve with old and new friends - Anne by Steve's left ear)

Steve returned to his duties at PIBC immediately and has spent much of the week with PIBC's fund development consultant, Mickey Beckham, who is visiting Guam and Palau for 10 days.

Anne has been spearheading the resettlement plan, which is quite different this time. We have decided to keep renting our home to Evelyn & Delight (our Chuukese daughter and her husband) and find an apartment that is closer to the PIBC campus. We will make a decision between two options in the next couple of days. Pray with us that the Lord will make it clear which option will work best for us.

Because we did not know how long we would be off island with Steve's eye situation, we sold our car. Therefore this week has also lead us on an adventure to locate a good used car. We were excited to find a '99 RAV4 with very low mileage and in great condition to buy at a very good price (even the insurance person said we got a good deal). Our car is unique also. We are the third owners of this car that did not start its life on Guam, but in Saudia Arabia. On the side mirrors the warning that cars are closer than they appear to be is written in Arabic and the speedometer is in kilometers only! An international car for an international family - it fits.

Pray for us as we continue to settle in an seek the Lord for the specifics of our roles here in the ministry of our Lord through PIBC.

Pray too for the formation of the student team that will be headed to Thailand this summer and for all that will be involved in them getting there.