Monday, June 25, 2007

21 Hour Trip to PA

We left Guam early at 6:35 AM on Monday, June 18. In Guam Continental Airlines allows you to check your baggage in the night before for early morning flights, which is wonderful, because then you can arrive at the airport without your heavy luggage. That is a great start to a very difficult 21 hour trip from Guam to Pennsylvania. Joel and Amelia travel very well; at the same time, a trip of that length is taxing even on the most seasoned traveler.

My favorite part of the trip was having Father's Day twice: in Guam the day before we left and then again in Honolulu. The flight attendants told us, "Happy Father's Day. . .again!" That may not ever happen again during my lifetime. Marisol's favorite part of the trip was seeing my parents in Philadelphia, which meant that the trip was over. The only down side is that we have to do it again on the return on August 7. But Aunt M (Melissa Heck) will be joining us for that flight. I'm sure she'll be a BIG help.

Amelia's favorite part of the flight was not sitting still for almost a full day. We did walk around the cabin a few times, but it's not the same as running around all day. However, she did enjoy the Kit Kat Bar that came along with one of the meals.

Joel's favorite part of the trip was seeing the big planes and watching the clouds outside the window. He is our future aviator.

Washing Peevee

"Washing Peevee" probably sounds like a movie title. Actually, Peevee is our neighbor and good friend Melissa's dog. We dogsat for her for a couple of weeks after she left for the USA on May 31. We finally gave him a bath a couple of days before we left for PA on June 18. I ran with him around the basketball court ten times to tire him out before we bathed him, and it seemed to help. He stood there quietly enough. Or perhaps we was simply accepting the inevitable. He's probably dirty again by now. Hopefully those students are walking him, cleaning up after him, and bathing him. Then again, maybe not! I was a student once myself.

Joel's First VBS

Julie Emanuel welcomes us to Vacation Bible School at the Palauan Evangelical Church in Guam. This is the church where I helped with the teacher training during the first several months of 2007. Seeing my former students applying some of the things they learned during our time together really blessed my heart.
In Joel's class they children made a picture of the boat where Paul encouraged his friends during the storm. One of the teachers helps him to glue the wood onto his boat.

Joel continues to color his picture to perfection.

Carmine (boy with cast on his arm) and Lindy assist the children with their pictures. Carmine faithfully attended our Adventure Club held on the PIBC campus every Wednesday night. Marisol and I helped to organize this weekly ministry activity with the PIBC students. We usually had between 20-30 kids who attended. I was so pleased to see Carmine serve as a helper at the VBS at his church. Lindy is the female teacher in this picture. She was the head teacher in Joel's group and another one of my students from the teacher training. I was so proud of her hard work and enthusiasm!

Joel said Ephesians 6:10 to the Bible verse lady (Julie) and picked a red ball as his prize.

VBS had a water theme, and Joel loved filling up his styrofoam cup and throwing water at the other children, who threw water on him in return. He was in WATER HEAVEN! It was such a hot day, and we both got a little sunburned.

On Father's Day we attended the closing ceremony at the church, not knowing what to expect. When the children passed by on their way up front to sing, Joel rushed out of his seat. I could not have received a better Father's Day gift: seeing my son singing and doing the hand motions to the songs along with his new friends at the Palauan church. I have rarely, if ever, seen such a nice and well-behaved bunch of kids at a Vacation Bible School. One of the joys of doing mission work is giving your children the opportunity to have friends from different cultures, and what a rich blessing it is! Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving me the chance to be an earthly Father. Help me to be a good father to Joel and Amelia!

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The Thailand Summer Missions Team from PIBC recently spent a very hot day performing a service project on the Guam campus: painting the roofs of the building with a special reflection paint that has already helped to keep the heat away from the interiors. To the PIBC family these pictures says "Thank you very much" to the students who worked so hard. Half of the missions team will leave on July 11 to Thailand; the other half, on July 15. Both teams return to Guam on August 15. Please pray for their time there, that God will give them divine appointments with the people they work with.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley

One of our favorite pastimes in Guam is riding the shopping trolley. Used mainly by the Japanese tourists, who number almost one-million each year, the trolley transports passengers to the shopping malls and hotels. At two dollars per adult (and free for children under six), it makes for an inexpensive diversion for us as a family. Of course, we stay on the trolley the whole time until it returns to the place where we boarded. The kids love it, and so do we!

Summer Maintenance Workers

Recently we entertained the summer maintenance workers for lunch. Peter Vaas, the maintenance director (third from left), supervises the work of Muslim Background Believer and student Mamu (second from left), German volunteer and Ned's running partner Tobias (second from right) and student Mac. They need their strength to do their work in the tremendous heat that we have been experiencing. Currently they are installing a water tank for use during typhoons and painting the roofs on campus. Thanks, guys, for all of your hard work!!!

Memorias de Santa Rosa

Fuimos a cenar con Elizabeth y Mike Sabin en Santa Rita la semana pasada. Elizabeth es de Puerto Rico y realmente fue de mucha bendición pasar tiempo con ellos y poder conversar en español a los tiempos. Trabajan con Trans World Radio (emisora misionera) donde Mike es uno de los ingenieros que mantienen los trasmisores. Viven en un residencial llamado Santa Rosa. La familia de Marisol vive en el pueblo de Santa Rosa en Ibarra, Ecuador. Extrañamos mucho a la familia de Marisol en Santa Rosa. Oren por ellos por favor.

Guam Island Tour

Upon her arrival at the Guam International Airport the Farnsworths meet Beth with a lei courtesy of Melissa Heck.

Joel and Ned sit on top of a Spanish Bridge (cerca 1800) that survived World War Two.

Amelia and Marisol pose by the Mermaid Statue underneath the Spanish Bridge. An important legend from Guam features the mermaid.

Ned inside one of the caves used by the Japanese for cover when the US forces invaded Guam in July 1945.

This picture of Asan Beach is taken from one of the War Memorials of the Pacific. Asan Beach was one of the sites (the other Ga'an Point at Agat) of the US troops' arrival on July 21, 1945, Liberation Day. The Japanese launched banzai attacks from the hills seen in the picture. It took three weeks, but the Americans took Guam back from the occupying Japanese. July 21 continues as an important holiday in Guam.

Joel wanted to have his picture taken with Coco's Island. One of his dreams is to visit the small island resort someday.

Joel and Beth smile for the camera at Spanish Fort Soledad. Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Guam in nearby Umatac on March 6, 1521.

Beth stopped in Guam en route to her new adventure of studying at the Hillsong College in Australia. She will study Worship and Creative Arts with Darlene Zschech and company for the next three years. While she was here, we took her on a tour of Guam. All of these pictures are from our island tour. Thanks for giving us an excuse to tour the island, Beth, and God bless you in your studies.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Man who Came to Dinner

One of Ned's friends, Nate Entilla, came to dinner the other night. Ned met Nate while the PIBC Evangelism class spent an afternoon at University of Guam talking to students about spiritual things. Nate graduated on May 27 from UOG with a double major in English and Political Science, and he had the honor of being valedictorian of his class of some 200 students (Way to go, Nate!). We are so proud of his accomplishments and very pleased that he came to visit us. He worked at the writing lab at UOG during this past semester, and Ned visited him there several times. Please pray for Nate as his searches for a job here in Guam.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Life is a Classroom

Joey, one of two men who took the course, helps to read the teaching material. I was so blessed to have Joey and Oscar participate in the course because children need to see godly men teachers in the churches in Micronesia and around the world.

The participants compete to see which team can complete the puzzle of John 14:6 first! This team won.

Lindy reaches into the treasure box for her word from the Bible verse.

Joel plays with his Palauan friends Sammy, Ganya, and Micah.

I even had a song called "God on the Mountain" dedicated to me.

In January the Children's Ministry Director of Palau Evangelical Church of Guam asked me to conduct a teacher training class on Monday evenings. We began in January and explored various topics (How to Prepare Bible Lessons, How to Teach Bible Verses, Maintaining Good Classroom Discipline, Teaching Children to Pray, Leading Children to Christ) during the course of four months. I taught the theory and gave examples, and then PIBC student Joy Hosei led the participants in the practice lessons that they needed to prepare. Last Friday we held a final fellowship meal and graduation ceremony. 14 church members completed the course. They blessed me with their enthusiasm and desire to learn and apply what they discovered in their classes, teaching me so much about teaching within their cultural context. Thanks for a great experience.

We Love the Beach!!!!

We thought this picture was too cute not to share with all of you. We feel so blessed to be the parents of Joel, almost 4, and Amelia, almost 18 months. Thank you, God, and help us to be good parents to them.

Memories of Memorial Day

Our family in PA always gathers every Memorial Day at my aunt and uncle's house. Here is a picture from this year's picnic. Of course, we are missing from the picture, but we will be present for the July 4th picnic. Then we'll eat baked beans to our hearts' content. We will be in the States from June 18-August 7, 2007, mainly for a Liebenzell Mission USA missionary conference in NJ, held every four years (this year's dates are June 21-28). It gives all of us missionaries a chance to connect with each other, which doesn't happen otherwise. We hope to see many of you. Our contact number at Ned's parents' house in PA is 610-582-8046.

Disappearing Act

Here is a picture of our friends Gonzalo, Teresa and Pastor Tony from our church in Pennsylvania, Iglesia Bautista Betania. Gonzalo attended the church in Reading, Pennsylvania for many years in the 1990s. In fact, he was one of my first friends when I moved back to PA in 1991 after serving with Latin America Mission in Mexico. A recovering alcoholic who became a Christian at Teen Challenge, Gonzalo later disappeared for a long time and we were unaware of his whereabouts. Earlier this year he resurfaced for a couple Sundays. However, the pastor recently told us that he has disappeared again. Please pray for Gonzalo and his stability and safety.

Friday, June 1, 2007

So Long, Farewell!

On Wednesday we had a special lasagna luncheon for Auntie M (Melissa) Heck, who left for PA. She made candy leis for Joel and Amelia. We also invited Brad and Cheryl Boydston and their Aussie friend Mal, who is helping to install the new PIBC computers. For the next two weeks until we leave for PA ourselves, we will be dogsitting Melissa's dog Peevee. Please pray that he doesn't bark too much from separation from his "mama," especially at night. THANKS!

¡Celebrando Ecuador!

Unas fotos para asegurarles que no hemos olvidado de nuestros amigos en Ecuador. Ayer Joel, Amelia y yo no pusimos nuestras camisetas de la selección ecuatoriana. Hace un año que la selección fue a su segunda Copa Mundial. ¡Bravo! Somos hichas de Pichincha para siempre. ¡Viva Ecuador! ¡Gloria a ti!

Cafeteria Greets PIBC at Crack of Dawn!

Good morning, Guam!!! The new mobile cafeteria arrived at PIBC this morning at 5:30, only three months behind schedule. It was supposed to arrive in March! The funniest part about it is the company's name: Kwik Space! Perhaps they should speed up their delivery or change their name. Today I was up early and ready to go help at the carwash fundraiser for the mission trip to Thailand this summer. Otherwise, I would have been happily oblivious to the arrival of the new addition to the campus. I pity the driver who had to manuever the truck through our front gate. Above are pictures of the cafeteria and carwash.