Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meet Voices of Micronesa #15 Jaynee Sam and this weeks schedule

This last week they did a presentation at Pasadena at the School of World Missions, Grace Evangelical Free Church and several other churches. They also put in lots and lots of practice time to refine each of their presentations. Now the traveling begins. Here is the schedule for this week:

May 23: Morning Service at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara
May 24: 7.00 PM Community Center in San Luis Obispo (I can give you directions if you email me at dowen@piu.edu)
May 25: Staying in Castro Valley
May 26: Driving up to Susanville California
May 27: Activities and Practice
May 28-29: Palauan Conference, Susanville, all day
May 30: Morning and Evening Service - 1st Baptist Church Susanville

If someone you or someone you know is near any of these locations, we encourage you to find your way to one of these presentations. You won't be disappointed. Please be praying as they head out on the first of many long road trips for the summer. If you want to follow the team day by day check out the link to Dave & Joyce Owen's blog and that of Meluat Meluat in our links list to the right.

This is also the last in our series introducing our VoM Team Members. So last and youngest, but definitely a very important team member let me introduce you to ...

Jaynee Sam
Home: Kuttu island Chuuk FSM
Age: 18 years old, 3rd year student in Biblical Studies, minor in Teaching English as a Second Language
Jaynee's brother Charles is a member of the team. Jaynee is one of our ukulele players.

Jayne was born in Weno, the capital of Chuuk, but was raised on Kuttu. She was raised mostly by her aunt because her parents moved around a lot. Her dad was a teacher. Her dad was also the pastor of the church and is an alumni of MIBS. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. All of them have been PIBC/PIU students except the youngest who is still in high school. Her favorite thing to do on Kuttu was swim, especially when it was raining, and walk from
island to island at low tide. She also likes to take peaceful canoe rides around the island.

She was taught about Jesus and knew about him from childhood. She thought she was a Christian because she was a pastor’s daughter and pretended to be a Christian to please her father. This continued until she attended Berea Christian High School. At Berea she learned that relationship with Christ was by faith, not by works or birth. On February 27, 2007, at a retreat, when MIBS grad Steioshy Manuel preached a sermon about “pretending to be a Christian,” Jaynee realized she was lying to herself and needed to trust in Christ to forgive her sin and give her eternal life.


From preparing for this trip, “I have learned to trust God more and be patient in waiting for him to answer prayer. I didn’t think I could afford to come but now, here I am!” "I get worried about getting my needs met and it is hard to wait for God’s perfect timing." PIU is the place where I have grown in my spiritual life. I try to practice in my life what I learn in class and my PIU family encourages me to be more like Christ and participate in ministry."

Jaynee would like to continue her education after PIU to study in the medical field and hopes to be a medical missionary to wherever God calls her.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #14 - Erten William

The team is already in LA California and have already completed two performances.

Their upcoming schedule this week is as follows....
Monday: All day practice at Grace EV Free (We are working on our one hour program)
Tuesday AM: Trip to the Getty Museum and Lunch at the Park
Tuesday PM: Performance at the School of World Missions in Pasadena
Wednesday: All day practice at Grace EV Free, 1/2 of the team will make a presentation about Micronesia for a high school geography class
Thursday: All day practice at Grace EV Free, Part of the team will participate in an inner city ministry in the afternoon
Friday: All day practice at Grace EV Free
Saturday: Leave for Santa Barbara for Sunday performance at Ocean Hills Covenant Church.

Now here is Erten...

Erten William
Home: Kuttu island in Chuuk FSM, Erten is the cousin of VOM team members Charles and Jaynee Sam
Age: 27 years old. He is a 5th year student with a major in Biblical Studies and minor in Elementary Education.

Erten was born in Kuttu, a little island "where everybody knows about Christ but not all are Christians." His mom was an active Christian but his father was not. As a child Erten "pretended" to know Christ to please his mom. He knew all the stories about Jesus but when he went away from home to Chuuk High School he got involved in some of the activities his mother warned him against. Then he got a letter from his mom telling him to read the Book of Proverbs where he read, "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." Still when he graduated from Chuuk HS and went to College of Micronesia in 2003 he felt that his life was getting worse. Then he attended a youth rally at the Nadaku Church, listened to God's Word and it "changed my life." When he heard the message about "how can you have eternal life," he knew that "God had spoken to me" and he trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

After that Erten applied to the PIU Teaching Facility in Weno Chuuk and then later transferred to the Guam campus. At PIU he learned the importance of putting into practice what he learns in Bible class. He has seen God provide as he puts his trust in Him. His family is able to provide only very little for his education and for this trip yet his needs have been met.

His goal for the VoM trip is to let God prepare Him to minister in different cultures. He has never been to the US Mainland before. After graduation he wants to return to Kuttu and teach in a public school there. He also wants people to know that his island is very small but has a beautiful sandy beach that is very nice for swimming. When the tide is low one can walk to the neighboring islands. He invites all of you to come visit him on Kuttu after he returns.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

PIU Days

Each year on the weekend before Easter Break PIU (PIBC formerly) the entire student body and all the faculty and staff are divided into 3 teams. A theme verse is chosen and the teams are given Greek names. This year the theme was Hebrews 12: 1-3.

This year the teams were (in English) Discipline, Perseverance, and Witness. PIU Days are 3 days of fun and spiritual emphasis that consist of basketball and volleyball tournaments, a field day, worship and the highlights are the nightly programs presented by each team. These presentations include music (many times composed by the students), skits, games, and a message based on the team's name. This year, one students from each team was chosen to give his team's messages and they all did and excellent job!! What a great privilege to watch the Lord transfom and grow these students right before our eyes.

The Stinnettes were part of Team Perseverence or Hupomone! This slide show condenses these 3 days into 5 minutes. Wish you could all be here to experience these days with us.

video

The Amazing Sea Life of Guam

God's amazing creation is all around us every day and most of us never even see it. One of our favorite past times is to snorkle. As we do, we can't help but sing praises to our God. A couple of our co-workers have underwater cameras and have graciously allowed us to use their pictures to create this slide show so that you too can enjoy this incredible beauty.

video

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Voices of Micronesia - Schedule

This morning PIU's traveling team boarded the plane and headed for the US mainland.  For most, this will be their first time to travel outside of Micronesia.  Since this schedule was published, quite a few more stops have been added.  They will be traveling in vans once they arrive in the States.   Please pray for safety on the roads and that these vehicles will not break down along the way.  Pray also for team unity and lasting fruit in the form of growth in their own lives and in the lives of the people they touch.  Pray too that as they represent PIU  across the West that God will provide divine appointments that will lead to long term partnerships that will benefit both PIU and those God has called to partner with us.  As we get the schedule updates we will add them here. 
There are also 2 more personal profiles to come - you have yet to met Erten and Jaynee.  The six staff traveling with the team are Dave (PIU President) & Joyce Owen, Eric (Dean of Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary) & Karyn Sorenson, and Delight & Evelyn Suda.

Schedule for the Voices of Micronesia Summer Trip 2010 (So Far)

May 12           Arrive LA (they arrive 1 ½ hours before they leave due to crossing the dateline)

May 14           First Baptist West Los Angeles AWANA Club “Passport to Missions”

May 16           Grace Evangelical Church, La Mirada, CA.   AM Services

May 23           Ocean Hills Covenant Church, Santa Barbara, CA  AM Services

                       Private Community Center, San Luis Obispo  Evening

May 28 - 30    Susanville Southern Baptist Church, Micronesian Group  Susanville CA

June 1           Shasta Community Church, Redding, CA

June 2           Glenburn Community Church, Glenburn, CA

June 4           Baymonte Christian School, Scotts Valley CA  8.45AM-1.00PM

June 5           Barbeque. Romaniello's, Boulder Creek CA

June 6           Gateway Church, Santa Cruz, CA  AM Service        

June 6th         Taping in the TV studio Santa Cruz, CA  4-6pm

June 8           Neighborhood Church Ladies luncheon, Castro Valley CA

June 13          Central Peninsula Church, Foster City, CA  9 AM to 2 PM

June 15          East Bay Fellowship VBS, Danville, CA

June 16-18     Gold Country Baptist and Camino Community Church, El Dorado County, CA

June 19          Antioch Community Church, Antioch, CA

June 20          Hillside Covenant Church, Walnut Creek, CA

June 23          Crossroads Covenant Church, Concord CA

June 27          Central Peninsula Church, Milbrae, CA  AM Service

                      Biola Congregational Church and Kerman covenant Church, Fresno, CA 

July 1-5         Youth Sports Ministry meeting San Diego, CA

July 7-9         Southern Baptist Churches,  Killeen/Salado,TX

July 11          TBA, Dallas TX

July 13-15       TBA, Phoenix  AZ

July 17          Return flight LAX to Guam

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #13 - Cecilia V. Pedro

Cecilia "Ceci" Pedro 
  Home: Taneyboch village of Rull, just outside of Colonia the capital of Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia
  Age: 20; Ceci is a 3rd year student who will graduate with her AA degree in biblical studies but plans to continue on in the BA in Bible program

Ceci was born on Guam, but grew up in Yap. Her parents are both Palauan, but her mom grew up on Guam and her dad in Palau. Her grandfather had moved to Yap from Palau during the 1950's to be a missionary and started the first Palauan Evangelical Church there. She has one brother, but grew up with many cousins that she considered to be her brothers and sisters. Her family owns a hotel there and she has done several jobs (and played a lot there) there. She remembers, as a small child, watching the movie "Mary Poppins" with her cousin Ginny and then trying to fly off the 2nd floor balcony of the hotel with an umbrella. She "helped" Ginny fly with a little push and Ginny ended up with a broken ankle. Ginny is fine now and they are still friends as you can see from the picture (right).

Ceci grew up going to church, Sunday school and Bible study. The church was right next door to her house and the hotel. She was eleven years old when she trusted Christ and has been growing in her faith since then. She had many questions as a teen, which was why she wanted to come and study at PIU. School has provided "a lot of answers" to the questions and she has learned to "see some things differently." She says that PIU prof Eric Sorenson (one of the VoM faculty leaders) has helped her with her theological questions. She has learned to be submissive to proper authority but also to "be open and honest about what I think and feel." She has also learned the importance of prayer for dealing with life's issues.

Ceci's goals for this trip include to recruit more Palauan and Yapese students to come to Pacific Islands University and to "share the beauty of the other side of God's world." After graduation she would like either to join the US military or return to Yap and work with the church. She especially hopes to be able to use her education to disciple younger students.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #12 - Meyou Marar

. One thing that makes PIU unique is the mixture of island cultures we have on Guam and we are looking forward to introducing them to the friends we will be making when the tour starts next week.

Miury "Meyou" Marar
Home: Satawan and Moch in the Mortlock Islands, of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia  
Age: 22; Meyou is a 5th year student in the BA program in Biblical Studies with a minor in education. She will be marching in the graduation ceremony this coming Monday.

Meyou grew up in Pohnpei (another FSM State) and spent much of early childhood moving back and forth between Satawan and Pohnpei. Her mom was Protestant and her father Roman Catholic. He worked as a hospital administrator. She went to public and Catholic elementary schools in Pohnpei. When she was little she liked to play basketball and hang around with the boys until her mother told her to "act like a girl." As a teen she moved to Chuuk to live with her grandparents to attend Chuuk High School from which she graduated in 2005. Since Miury grew up in Pohnpei, she had to learn Chuukese culture later in life so she could "be Chuukese instead of Pohnpeian." She especially likes to learn to cook local Chuukese food.

Meyou went to church only rarely as a child. She started going to the Catholic church as a teen when she moved to Chuuk. When she was in high school she went to a youth retreat, Easter rally on Kuttu island sponsored by the evangelical church. She went only because "I wanted to see the island." She was introduced to Christ by a pastor from Moch but she didn't "fully understand" the gospel message. Then she "saw some Pacific Islands Bible College students" and was impressed by their example. She began to think of going to PIBC/PIU and her dad encouraged her to do so. At PIU she began to grow spiritually and learn more about the Christian life.
[Maybe this picture needs a bit of explanation - Meyou is holding a small banana in her teeth and Bessy the Carabao is snatching from her with her enormous tongue!]
When Meyou was presented with the opportunity to be part of this team she doubted that she would be able to go because of finances. But she read in a story that "where God leads, He will provide" so she "put it into His hands" and He provided all her needs for the trip. She is very nervous about speaking in front of people but her goal is to overcome her fears and be able to stand and speak. She has never been to the US Mainland before and is looking forward to trying new things. Last year she went on a mission trip to Thailand and experienced the culture there and now is looking forward to seeing American culture.

After graduation Meyou plans to go to nursing school and hopes to become a missionary nurse somewhere outside of Micronesia.

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #11 - Charles Sam

Charles Sam
  Home: Kuttu in the Mortlock Islands, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia 
  Age: 20; Charles is a 3rd year BA in biblical studies student with a minor in Christian Education
    Charles is one of our guitar players and is the composer of several of the group's songs. 

Charles was born on Kuttu into a family with two brothers and three sisters. However, he did not grow up with his parents. At the age of five, he was sent to Chuuk's main island Weno to live with his grandparents. He was able to visit his parents only on Christmas and summer vacation. Charles enjoyed his times on Kuttu as a small child playing kickball in the yard with his friends and going out spear fishing. He grew up with Bible knowledge because he went to Sunday school regularly all his life. But he went to church mainly "to make my parents happy." He thought he "had salvation" because he had grown up in a Christian home, but it was not until he went to a high school retreat on the Tol PIBC campus that he understood what it meant to have faith and he put his trust in Christ. 

From the time he began first grade at Berea Christian School until he graduated from high school there, Charles' goal was to attend Pacific Islands Bible College. Even though he enjoys math and numbers, his high school Bible teacher encouraged him to attend the PIU Tol campus. After two years on the Chuuk campus he transferred last year to the PIU Guam campus. Charles says being at PIU and being part of the VoM team has taught him how to step outside of his own culture to do ministry. His faith is growing as he sees God help him prepare for this trip. He wants to show Americans "the good side of Chuukese culture" and reach out to show people how "Christ is working in me." He is also looking forward to seeing his uncle in California and encouraging him to follow Christ. Charles has been to the US mainland once before, with the Close Up program, but this will be the first time he has ever stayed in an American's home.

Charles goal after PIU graduation is to be a pastor. He is not sure where, wherever God calls.

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #10 - Mary Grace Lisarefach

Mary Grace Lisarefach
 Home: Sapuk island, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
 Age: 19, Mary Grace is a first year student in our BA in biblical studies program, with minor undecided.
   She and her cousin, Grace Neth, are together so much we refer to them collectively as "the Graces."

Mary Grace was born on Guam into a Christian family and was adopted by her father's older sister. Her parents were "very strict" but she was "spoiled by my grandparents." She would pretend to be sick at elementary school because she missed her family so much. She moved to Chuuk in 5th grade where she attended Berea Christian School in 5th grade and St. Cecilia for Middle School. She went to high school at Bethania Christian High School for girls in Palau. She had accepted Christ as a small child, but didn't really understand how to live a life that would please God until she attended Bethania. It was there that her questions about how to endure the struggles of life and have a stronger relationship with God were answered. At Bethania, away from her parents, Mary Grace learned how to be independent and work hard.

Grace says "I am shy and usually take a long time to get to know people," but preparing for this tour has helped her to "speak up," "be bold," and be "more open about my relationship with Christ." As one of the youngest team members, she has been encouraged by the example of the older team members. Her goal for the trip is to help bring people closer to Christ and, since this is her first trip to the US Mainland, to see America and learn more about Americans. She also says that being a college student is helping her learn how to plan ahead. 

Mary Grace is not sure yet about her future plans and asks for prayer that God would use this trip and her college years to show her what His will for her life is.

We were told that some of the churches that support PIU are printing out these profiles of our VoM Team from the blog postings and putting them on the church bulletin board so that the church can pray for these students individually.  This is a tremendous encouragement to us.  Feel free to do the same.  We can tell that many prayers are being said for the team and we see God working in mighty ways in and for the team.

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #9 - Jake James 

Home: Uman, Chuuk Federated States of Micronesia 

  Age: 19 years old, Jake is a 2nd year student in the Associate of Arts in Biblical Studies Program and is the main keyboard player for the team.


Jake was born in Portland, Oregon and lived there with his grandparents until his high school years. At the time he thought that his grandparents were actually his parents, and he says, "They taught me everything!" His favorite thing to do as a young boy was to play basketball. He was the only 6th grader on his 8th grade team, but his grandparents would not let him stay out after 7 PM. So he had to sneak out of the house to practice. That year his team made it all the way to the league semifinals, but he had to miss the final games to attend a funeral. When it was time to go to high school, Jake moved to Chuuk to live with his parents and go to Xavier High School, and he graduated from Saramen Academy. 


Jake's grandfather was the senior pastor of his church in Portland and, every time the doors of his grandfather's church were open, Jake had to be there, whether he wanted to or not. But when he moved to Chuuk he was not required to go to church and did not for some time. But he remembered his grandfather's words, "wherever God is now, go seek him." These words led Jake to apply to Pacific Islands University and he has found that the devotions, chapel, fellow students and staff have helped him to come closer to Christ. At PIU he has learned to see God provide and says "I want to show people what God is doing inside me and give people a picture of Christ and how he is working in my life."
Jake wants to continue his studies after he completes his AA but he is still trying to figure out his future plans and he asks that you pray for him as he seeks direction for his life.
   

Say Hafa Adai to Justin

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #8 - Justin Marar

Justin Marar
   Home: Weno (Witam), Moch, Tolowas, Udot, Fanapanges and Satawan islands, Chuuk, FSM
   Age: 21, Third Year Student in the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies program with a Minor in General Ministries

    Justin is the younger brother of VOM Team member MayMay Marar and is one of the team's keyboard players. 



Justin grew up in the home of his grandparents in Weno, Chuuk.  It was a Christian home and he remembers hearing about Jesus from his grandparents at a very early age. He went to Mizpah Christian High School, and it was while he was there he attended a spiritual retreat and was led to make a decision to trust Christ by Mizpah principal, PIU alumnus Steioshy Manuel. After graduating from Mizpah Justin attended the PIU Tol, Chuuk campus for two years before transferring to the Guam campus for this school year. One of his favorite activities is playing basketball and he has been playing in leagues for several years. Most of his basketball has been on outside playgrounds. His first time in a gym was in 2007 when his team won the Chuuk championship. Justin also enjoys music and was a member of the "Brothers in Christ" band. 

Justin was a late addition to the VOM team, to fill the need for another keyboard player and more male singers, and so his lost passport and too short time to raise support was a concern.  His new passport has already arrived and the money for airfare was also taken care of. His grandparents had sent twice as much money as was needed for his sister's airfare and they were wondering why. When Justin was added to the team the money was already there and the question was answered. Justin is excited about this opportunity to use his musical talents to serve God and to let people know that, though "Chuukese people are quiet," they have a lot to share with the world spiritually and culturally. 

Justin is not sure what he wants to do after he graduates from PIU, but he thinks he might want to teach or work for a Christian organization. 

And here is Grace

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #7 - Grace Neth

"Princess" Grace Neth
  Home: Weno-Sapuk, Fefen Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
  Age: 18, Grace is a 1st year student, majoring in Biblical Studies with a minor in Elementary Education

Though Grace's family is from Chuuk, she was born on Guam and moved to Chuuk after her parents separated when she was five years old. One of her favorite memories from childhood of her time spent in Chuuk is net fishing with family members. They would throw out the net and her job was to scare the fish and chase them into the net. She moved to Hawaii at age 8, where many of her family members are pastors. She also remembers being introduced to Christ as a child when an American pastor invited her to attend a Vacation Bible School. She stayed in Hawaii to attend high school and it was there where she heard a Chuukese pastor give his testimony. Grace says that this "opened my eyes" and she prayed to make a commitment to serve Christ. Since then, "being a Christian has given me peace within myself and with my family and I have learned to accept God's decision and thank him for every situation."

Even though Grace is naturally "loud," preparation for this trip has taught her the importance of going, asking and doing to see God work because "it is important to ask, if we want God to answer." She has learned to trust God and gained a stronger confidence in His working in her life as she has seen Him supply "little by little." She wants to "make an impact for Christ on at least one American" on the upcoming trip and gain some cross-cultural ministry experience. She is hoping to get some direction from God for her life mission.

Grace's future goal for after graduation from PIU is to go to Azusa Pacific University and get a graduate degree in education and possibly use it to minister in Chuuk.

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #6 - Kita Mokut

Kita Mokut
  Home: Polle in the Faichuuk region of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
  Age: 19, Kita is a 2nd year student in the BA in Bible program with a minor in General Ministries

Though Kita was born in Chuuk she spent the first 13 years of her life on Guam. Her parents were separated before she was born and her mother moved to Guam. She did not get ever get to meet her biological father during her childhood years. This caused some resentment toward her family and she became, in her own words, "a problem child." Her maternal grandfather heard about her problems and had her brought back to Chuuk in October of 2003. These grandparents planned to put her into Catholic school but plans were quickly changed. Her biological father heard that she was in Chuuk and came to get her. She says, "For the first time I felt loved and secure with my real father," so she went with him and she lived with him during her high school years. When she lived on Guam she had not heard about God from her family, but in her father's family it was different. Her grandfather is a leading pastor in Chuuk and he led Kita to Christ. She became "a different person" after her commitment to Christ and being able to spend time with her father's family. She saw clearly the difference between a Christian family and one that does not have Christ at its center.

After attending Berea Christian School from 8th to 12th grade, Kita had many options for college. She wanted to go to school in Japan, but when she visited the PIU campus at Christmastime she knew that PIU was where God wanted her to go to school. Through the preparation process for this trip she has really learned to trust God. Her mother told her that the trip would cost too much money and she should not get her hopes up to go. Her response was "this amount of money is nothing to God, let's watch him supply it." The provision of her needs for this trip has been a real witness to her family. This is the first time Kita will see the US Mainland and the first time she has been on a mission trip. But she likes to try new things and take risks in life. She is looking forward to meeting Americans "who aren't missionaries," and wants to "return the favor" to the American missionaries who reached out to Chuuk by reaching out to "lost ones" in America.

After she graduates with her Bible degree, Kita would like to earn a 2nd degree in accounting and return to Chuuk as a teacher or get a job in a bank. Either way she wants to bring Christ's light to the people of Chuuk wherever she is employed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's time to meet Leeman

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #5 - Leeman Sebastian

Leeman Sebastian
Home: Ngerchelong, Republic of Palau
Age: 21 Leeman is a 3rd year student majoring in Biblical Studies with a minor in Christian Education
.
Leeman is serving this school year as the student worship leader for chapel and is one of the guitarists and ukulele players for the Team.

Though Leeman's family home is the village of Ngerchelong on Babeldaop island in Palau, he was actually born and raised in the former capital of Palau, Koror. He grew up in a marginally Christian home and occasionally attended the Koror Evangelical Church. He went to public high school and didn't really have much to do with God even though he had made a profession of faith as a child. This changed when he was suspended from school as a high school senior. In the midst of this difficult time his father rented a house next door to them to a Filipino couple who were attending the Pacific Missionary Aviation Fellowship there. This couple ministered to Leeman and invited him to attend their church. He began going to church there and became involved in leadership of the youth group. He had planned to attend the University of Guam after high school but friends, his church and family advised him to go to school at PIU. He decided to go to PIU for one year only, but when he got to PIU he found "the atmosphere there was so good I wanted to stay." He is thankful for the "many good people" God has brought into his life through PIU.

Leeman has learned a lot about God's faithfulness through the preparation for the VOM trip. Last week he gave his testimony at chapel about how God supplied the money for his airfare after a night of prayer the night before the deadline for having his money in. You can read more about this on Leeman's blog, Leeman Sebastian: How'd I get here?. Leeman is also looking forward to deepening relationships with other members of the VOM Team and seeing how God uses them to bless churches and individuals in the USA. He also expects God to do some life-changing work on him and prepare him for future ministry in the next few months.

Leeman's long term goal is to become a youth pastor in Palau to disciple and minister to struggling young people just like he was helped when he was a teenager.

We have watched Leeman over and over again come along side his classmates and encourage them to grow in their faith. He leads in life not just at worship times.

And here's... Keiny (Kane-ney)

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #4 - Keiny Aisek

Keiny Aisek
Home: Nema, in the Mortlock Islands, Chuuk, FSM
Age: 25 Keiny is a 5th year student and will graduate in May with a BA in Biblical Studies with a minor in Elementary Education

Keiny grew up with his 2 brothers, 7 sisters and adopted cousin on Nema in the Mortlock Islands of Chuuk. His dad was not a Christian but his mother was a deaconess in the Nomoneas Church. Keiny was introduced to Christ by his mom and he learned a lot about the Christian life from her. One of his early memories was of losing his father's money. His dad was fishing and asked him to hold on to his pants. Keiny didn't realize that his father's money was in the pocket of the pants and it fell out and was lost. To avoid punishment he ran into the jungle and stayed there for 2-3 weeks. His mother had to find him and talk to him to reconcile him with his father. This is why Keiny appreciated the male Christian role models that he found when he began to attend school on the Tol campus of Pacific Islands Bible College. He enjoyed being with people who "treated him like a real son." He also began then to read from the Book of Proverbs each morning, a habit that has continued to the present day. Keiny sees his time at PIU as a life-changing experience.

Preparation for this trip has given Keiny several unique opportunities. He met the former governor of Chuuk to ask for financial support. Not only was the governor willing to support him, they spent a long time talking about what Keiny was doing and learning at PIU and the former governor has asked Keiny to be involved in his efforts to reach out and help troubled Micronesian youths. Keiny is looking forward to this summer's trip as an opportunity to promote Micronesian Christian life. He wants to help Americans understand how Christians in Micronesia live.

Keiny's longer term goal is to return to Nema and teach in the elementary school there and be a Christian male role model to the young people there.

Introducing Maybellene Marar

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #3 - MayMay Marar

I am very excited to be able to buy the tickets for the airfares. The team is continuing to raise support for traveling funds (gas, food, lodging) once we get to the US Mainland. Most of our lodging is already set up but we will still need a few places to stay along the way. So let me introduce you to...


MayMay Marar
Home: Weno (Witam), Moch, Tolowas, Udot, Fanapanges and Satawan islands, Chuuk, FSM
Age: 22, Graduate Student - Master of Arts in Religion, BA graduate in December 2009

MayMay is also a staff member. She works in our advancement office as alumni relations director.

MayMay grew up in a Christian home, going back and forth during her childhood between Chuuk and Hawaii. She went to public school in Hawaii, but when she was in Chuuk she went to Berea Christian school. She remembers many good times as a child hanging out with her cousins, many of whom are PIU students or alumni. Her grandparents introduced her to Christ by taking her to Sunday School when she was small. Later, while living in Hawaii she "went away from Christ and disobeyed" but still wanted to go to the, then PIBC campus, on Tol Island in Chuuk. During her second year on the Tol campus, MayMay made her decision to trust Christ. That was when she moved from "knowing about Christ" to "personal relationship with Christ."


So far the preparation for this trip has taught MayMay to trust in God to provide for her needs and she has seen Proverbs 3.5-6 happen in her life. One of her main goals for the trip is to grow in courage to speak boldly in front of people, and not be so shy, so that she will not be kept from speaking up for her faith. She is also looking forward to meeting many new people.


MayMay is planning to get her MAR degree with an emphasis in Christian Counseling, so that she can return to her islands and help people deal with the many social and personal problems there. She also said that I need to make sure to tell everyone that she thinks, "PIU is the bomb!"

As Dave said above, MayMay works in the advancement office with Steve and her work in establishing our alumni relations office has been a huge answer to prayer. We are so glad to have her on the administrative team here at PIU.

Meet Meluat Meluat

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #2 - Meluat Meluat

This is the second post in my series introducing the members of the Pacific Islands University Voices of Micronesia team. The team will be presenting their program which includes original music, personal testimonies, relevant biblical messages, and other forms of Micronesian culture as they tour California, Arizona and Texas from May 12th to July 17th. So let me introduce you to....

Meluat Meluat
Home: Ngaralong and Koror, Republic of Palau
Age: 27, 3rd Year Student, expects to graduate in December 2011



Meluat was raised with his three brothers and two sisters in, what was then the capital city of Palau, Koror but his family was from the village of Ngaralong on the island of Babeldaop (the 2nd largest island in Micronesia after Guam). His parents were divorced when he was six years old but Meluat has fond memories of family overnight trips to enjoy the beautiful rock islands. He attended Emmaus High School (where Joyce and I taught 1984-88) and graduated in 2001. He became a Christian at Emmaus when one of the faculty there introduced him to Jesus Christ. After high school graduation Meluat joined the US Army and, after basic training in Texas, was stationed in Germany. He also did a five month deployment in Israel. After leaving the army he worked for four years in the Palauan Evangelical Church.


After starting at PIU in the Palau teaching facility, he transferred to the Guam campus to attend PIU full time. Meluat's time in the army gave him a desire to learn to work with people of diverse cultures and he has participated in several mission trips as a PIU student, including last summers' trip to Thailand. He says that the preparation for this trip has helped him improve his time management and people skills. Though he is used to working with Americans from his time in the army, he is a "little nervous" because he has never done ministry in America. His goals for this trip are to represent PIU and Christ well and to show what Micronesians can contribute to the global kingdom of God. He sees this trip as preparation for becoming a missionary and an opportunity to make friends and partners for future mission work.


His goal after completing his bachelors degree in biblical studies is to be a missionary to unreached peoples, probably in Southeast Asia.

Voices of Micronesia aka PIU Traveling Team

This year PIU will send a team of 15 students and 6 staff on a 9 week tour in the US. Dave Owen, PIU's president and V.O.M. team member, has interviewed each student member of the team so that you can get to know them a bit and be praying for them during this time. This is a huge undertaking and for many of them it is the first time they will be on the US Mainland (or Stateside as we call it out here in the Pacific). With Dave's permission, we are re-posting his interviews here on our blog also. This has truly been an all campus event this year as we have worked together to make this possible. These have been chosen to represent us all. It has been a joy to watch God at work in each student's life. Each is very special to us. Thank you for being a part of their lives too as you support us and the ministry of Pacific Islands University. P.S. That's Dave Owen enjoying a snack with Jayleen in the last picture.

Meet the Voices of Micronesia #1 - Jayleen Nakamura

Today I am beginning a new series on my blog introducing you to the members of our Voices of Micronesia team that will be touring the US mainland (mostly California this time) from May 12th until July 17th. Each post will introduce you to a new member of the team....

Jayleen Nakamura
Home: Weno and Satawan, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
Age: 20, 3rd Year Student

Jayleen spent her pre-school years living on the island of Satawan with her grandparents. Her earliest memories were of working in the taro patch and going fishing with her grandfather. When she was in elementary school she moved back in with her parents in the district center on the island of Weno. Her parents were "very religious" but her father's family is Catholic and her mother's is Protestant, so Jayleen was very confused about what the Bible said and what it meant to be a Christian. When she finished elementary school her family sent her to Palau to attend Bethania Christian High School. It was at Bethania where her confusion about what it meant to be a Christian was cleared up and Jayleen began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jayleen says that the experience of preparing for this summer trip has helped her learn to trust God and be patient to listen and wait for God's direction in her life. She is looking forward to the experience of doing ministry in a culture different than her own, eating food that is different from the rice and spam that she is used to and seeing things she never thought that she would get to see. She is excited to see how her life can impact American Christians.

Jayleen's goal after graduation is to be a missionary to unreached people groups, perhaps in Africa. She plans to get additional training as either a teacher or in the medical field after she gets her BA in biblical studies.