Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ladies Night at PIU

The ladies of PIU decided to have a sleep over which included a"spa" night. We had so much fun pampering each other and laughing. Most had never done something like this, so it made it that much more special. Laura, a volunteer at PIU, is also a massage therapist. She brought her chair and many enjoyed the gift the Lord has given her with her hands. Here Vivian is getting a rub-down and looks so very relaxed. There were also foot baths available to soak in. Some had water jets and others were hot water and tea mixtures and if you wanted, someone would rub your feet for you too. Celia, Lani, Kita, and Julie are enjoying the foot baths.
Facials were also on the program. We learned how to make cheap and healthy and edible masks from oatmeal, eggs, and bananas. Joni was our "cook" and followed Jen's recipe.
Here, Jen and Lucy apply our masks and then we enjoyed a rest with cool cucumbers on our eyes as our masked dried. These two had quite an assembly in of women stretched out on the floor of one of the classrooms.

Snacks and "mud" masks were also available. S-Me and Joni are having fun drying and snacking.
After we were all relaxed, clean and smooth, Celia, her daughter Makalah, and Evelyn helped the ladies try out different kinds of make-up. A new experience for many. Below, Celia is applying mascara to Julie.
Jayleen and Gloria are having so much fun and showing off their beautiful faces.
All proclaimed it a success and some even slept after a few movies. A few of us staff decided our bones were too old for the hard floor and headed home after the "spa" event, but we had a great time too.

Brown Tree Snake Adventure on Campus

YES, there are BROWN tree snakes on Guam. NO they do not hang from the trees like spaghetti. YES, they are mildly poisonous. BUT their fangs are in the back of their throats so they have to swallow their prey before they can bite it. Thus not much of a threat. Every once in awhile we find one. The last night the PIU Board members were on island, we gathered for prayer. Afterwards the Plaxton's were heading home and ran over this one just outside the gate. They only stunned it. So what did they do? Ran and found Joyce Owen, our resident snake catcher! It was fairly good sized, almost 6 ft., but still young and skinny. Everyone wanted to get into the act and touch the snake. So with Joyce or someone else firmly holding the snake behind the head he/she was passed around - none to happy with the ordeal he/she was undergoing. Here Liebenzell Missions Director, Martin Auch; Erten William, a student; Ann Choram, and Joyce pose with "Mr. Brown" For those of you from Calvary in Winston-Salem, we are on the basketball court 'you all' built, which is still multi-purpose in use! Joyce and Jen Rydzik, our remedial English teacher, are trying to give those taking pictures (there were a lot of us) a picture of just how long "Mr. Brown" was.
Kita, with white headband, and Grace touch and hold a snake for the first time in their lives. It took much coaxing from Martin and others to get them to do this. But as Kita said, "I must face my fears, I can start with this."

Then all the "campus kids" wanted to get into the act. Pictured below are Amelia, Joel, Lou Ann and Ann along with Jen and Joyce, and of course "Mr. Brown".

Finally, Marisol Farnesworth decided she wanted to try too, but after getting a hold of "Mr. Brown" by the neck she wasn't so sure this was a fun thing at all. "Mr. Brown" did try to make a run for it shortly after this picture, but Joyce corralled him, slipped him into a bag and deposited him in the faculty freezer to take a permanent sleep.

His fate is to become something useful and beautiful (all things, even snakes. can work together for good). Because of his size, his skeleton will be sought after by a local artist who combines snake vertebra and polished coral to make amazing jewelry. To see a picture of the finished product see one of our Summer 2009 blog posts.
YES Anne did handle the snake. NO, Steve didn't even get near it.

February Was A Full and Fruitful Month

Each February our multicultural PIU Board of Directors meets to pray and plan for the coming school year. We are so privileged to have these servants of God trusting with us and praying for God's direction for this school for His Kingdom.
Meet our Board members: (Back Row left to right) David Owen, PIU President; Martin Auch, Liebenzell Intern'l Missions Director; Harald Gorges, Liebenzell; Micronesia Director; Bill Schuit, Liebenzell, USA Director; Howard Merrell, pastor from Covington, Va.; (front row) Mary Johnson, pastor's wife and former PIBC Academic Dean, Guam; Vincent Parren, Yap Evangelical Church deacon; and Marcellus Ngiraingas, pastor of Koror Evangelical Church, Palau.
They survived 3 days of intense meetings and still came out smiling. Howard's wife Kathy also was able to join him this year and Anne and she and some other ladies got to tour the island a bit and have some sweet fellowship.
Why are Steve and Dave smiling and holding an envelope between them? Because the day this picture was taken was a historic moment in the journey of PIU. We have been praying and trusting and working hard at developing funding sources for this ministry in addition to the tuition the students pay. In order for the school to grow and train more people we must have additional funding. Most colleges and universities have an annual fund to which supporters of the school can donate. The Rising Tide is the name of PIU's Annual Fund and in the envelope being held is the first donation designated specifically to this fund. If you would like to donate to PIU's annual fund please visit the PIU website (, click on the Advancement tab, then on the donate tab.
Grant writing is a slow and arduous process. Katherine Currie, our grant writer, has been working for most of this year on the process. Gaining small grants leads to bigger grants. We are in dire need of several new buildings to house classrooms, more dormitories, a student center, faculty housing and our growing library and are working towards several grants to do so. Pictured below is our head librarian, Lisa Collins, opening the box containing books from our first library grant. Please pray with us that the Lord will provide the funding to indeed build these much needed buildings.
February also saw the arrival of several guests visiting our campus. Below, picture with Kalvin Assito (with cap) are three pastors from Central Peninsula Bible Church in California who were investigating ways their church can partner with PIU and have a part in helping provide training for pastors and missionaries in the Pacific Rim. Yes, coconut "water" is more refreshing than coffee.
Roger Doriot, long time missionary and Bible translator to Papua, Indonesia came to PIU to talk to our students about the exciting vision of translating the Bible into all the remaining lanugages in the world by 2025. With new technologies, Wycliff and other groups that do translation work have found ways to accelerate the translation process, called Mother Tongue Translation. This process involves training native speakers from unreached people groups to do the translation themselves from English back into their native languages. In the past, this process would take a life time. Roger was presenting this Mother Tongue Translation strategy to our students. Steve and Kalvin will travel to Papua to look into short and long term mission opportunities for our students in this area of the world in the near future. This is another answer to prayer.
It was our great joy to have Caleb Ludwig visit us and PIU. Caleb, from Pohnpei, was one of the men that Steve discipled in our early years on Guam. He went through the Campus Crusade Great Commission Training Center here on Guam and join CCC staff and served several years ministering at the University of Guam. He later attended the CCC seminary in the Philippines and now he and his wife, Rose, and their three daughters serve the Lord in Fiji. He came to PIU and shared with the students that Micronesians can in fact reach the world for Christ. He shared about his past and current ministry opportunities.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

PIU Office Staff

As promised, here is a picture of MayMay who works in our Advancement/Alumni Affairs Office.

Celia Atoigue is our amazing Business Office Manager. She keeps all the accounts well balanced, but sees her job as much more than "keeping the books". It is her ministry. She is a second "mom" to many of our students and her love for them and for Jesus is so very evident in all she does.

Delight Suda our Financial Aid Officer also has found that his job encompasses much more than administering Federal Pell Grants and other student financial aid packages. He often takes time to listen and encourage students in their walks with the Lord. Delight is even more special to us as he is married to our "daughter" Evelyn. Evelyn also serves part time at PIU using her Masters in Marriage & Family Counseling degree from Liberty University. Together they also assist in staffing PIU's traveling team called Voices of Micronesia. (more on this group soon).
Sharon Bock (second from the door) and Anne share the receptionist job at PIU and together they try and keep the phones answered, messages taken, greet those entering the office and many other jobs to help the other administrative staff. She and her husband Larry (next to the door) have volunteered at PIU for the past two years and plan to be with us again in the fall. Larry teaches several of our Bible classes.
One of Anne's responsibilities is to make sure that the needed documents, such as applications, catalogs, handbooks, and policy manuals are printed and assembled. Below she is using a combination hole punch/binding machine to complete all the documents needed for the annual board meetings that were held in February.
Together we count it a privilege to serve each person that comes through our doors.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Faculty and Staff

For the most part the PIU faculty and staff is made up of missionaries and volunteers who have a heart for missions and a desire to see the men and women of Guam, Micornesia and the Pacific Rim trained to take the Gospel with them no matter what "job" God puts them in after they graduate. There are some of us that have been here for years, others a few years, and then each year the Lord brings us others to serve for various lenghts of time. All play a part in God's larger plan for PIU and bring a special touch from Him to the rest of us. We truly see the Body of Christ building itself up in love (Eph. 4:16). This spring the Lord sent us these special people:

Perry Webb, though a professor at another college, came for a month to help wherever he was needed. He built cabinets and mail slots, did lots of grounds work, spoke to us in chapel and radiated Christ in all he did. Thank you Perry! (This picture was taken at Lost Pond, after a refreshing swim.
Steve Bradley, a former Liebenzell missionary and Columbia International University professor, has come each spring to teach at our Tol campus for the last 6 years. This year he is teaching here on Guam. What an encouragement he is to us all. The students affectionally call him Grandpa Steve. (Steve and his wife Pat were some of the first missionaries we met when we came to Micronesia in 1979 and at that time were serving at the Palauan Church here on Guam.)
Ben (in the white shirt) was the last to arrive on Guam this spring and came to volunteer in our maintenance department for 3 months. He is an excellent mechanic and has worked miracles on several of our vehicles that were in dire need of help. He has also helped in the renovations of several offices. Next week he heads to Yap to help complete the Teaching Facility there which is slated to open this coming August. He has made many, many friends among the students here.
JC Yoon, his wife and two boys arrived from Korea to teach at PIU this spring. JC is also the assistant Academic Dean-in-training and will assume the VP of Academics position when Melody Plaxton takes a short furlough this fall. We are so glad to have JC and Jihee with us.
Marci Martinelli, an intern in clinical counseling, has been been teaching a Personality Development class and has been setting up our new counseling center. Through her efforts the center is "inviting, comfy and cozy". She is a huge blessing to students and staff alike.
Jo Romaniello came for 5 weeks and taught an intensive seminary level counseling class. She and Marci have worked through the paperwork and other things to begin getting our Counseling Center off the ground. She is Marci's supervisor and is actively looking for others to come and help in this capacity either long term or short term.
Stephanie Wise arrived in mid-January and is the administrative assistant in the Advancement Department (working with Steve). Stephanie has been to Micronesia twice before when she helped to staff 2 short term missions from Bryan College in Tennessee. The Lord had already told her to begin getting ready to go overseas even though she didn't know where that would be. When Steve contacted her, she knew that PIU was the place where the Lord was sending her. We are so glad He did. Below she is pictured with Bessie the carabao at Ft. Soledad in Umatac.
Maybellene Marar (MayMay) graduated from PIU in December and was accepted to join the Advancement Department in the establishment of the Alumni Office. She has been doing a great job locating all of the MIBS/PIBC/PIU alumni and establishing communication with them and discovering ways PIU can be off assistance to them. (She will be pictured in the next post.)

If you are interested in serving as a teacher, counselor, administrative aide, in maintenance
or in any other area that you feel the Lord is tugging at your heart to help with, please contact Steve at We are also in great need of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). If you or someone you know has the qualification plus a heart for missions, please contact Steve immediately.

Spring Semester Kickoff

With the Super Bowl looming in the near future, our Student Life Team kicked the Spring Semester off with play-by-play announcing on January 19th. From left to right, our announcers were: Jen Rydzik, Rob Watt, Kalvin Assito, Daisy Murdock, and Ned Farnsworth. Faculty and staff entered amidst much fanfare and were introduced to the student body. The Student Life Team's creativity made all those necessary announcements much more enjoyable. Later that evening we celebrated the new semester with a BBQ Guam style (lots of chicken,rice, potato salad and topped with ice cream).