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.