Monday, October 29, 2007

Beach Party

Last Saturday we spent a wonderful afternoon at Ypao Beach with the students for a beach party. The water was unusually clear despite a downpour, and I saw several good schools of fish while snorkling. Marisol, Joel and Amelia had fun playing in the water with Micah, and the students took turns burying each other in the sand.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Trail Cutting 101

Last Monday students Joel Okada and Judson Marar cut the rest of the path through the jungle between the house where we will be moving and the campus where we currently live. They are proficient machete-wielding men, as are most of our students (men and women). Perhaps Sylvester Stallone should have called on them to cut the trails for the upcoming "Rambo 4." They had to cut the trail around such items as old refrigerators and a schoolbus. The "boonies" are used to dump such things. Come visit us and see for yourselves! I promise it's not an exaggeration.
We do not have a moving day yet and will update you as soon as we know. Please pray for us as we pack and get organized with all of our ongoing regular activities and responsibilities. Thanks!

New House on the Prairie

Okay, maybe not the Prairie, but the new house part. Here is a picture of the house that PIBC is renovating for us. Our current apartment will be converted into offices. A conversion is an appropriate project for a Christian college~~HA!!! The house where we will be living soon is known affectionately as the Onnex (or Owens annex because it is owned by Dave and Joyce Owen, the president and first lady of PIBC). Joyce has been working like crazy to get the house ready with new windows, paint and all. Thanks, Joyce, and Dave, too!!! Please pray for them as Dave is in the States for a recruiting/PR/accreditation agency trip and Joyce remains here for her job.

We will have our own yard and will move our swingset over here. Now we have more room for you to come and visit us. They're also cutting a path through the jungle (and around the appliances and cars that people dump in the woods or "boonies." I'll put pictures of that in another post.

Here Joel and Amelia are "helping" to clean. Normally we find a babysitter or one of us goes to the house to work while the other one stays with the kids. I'm sure you parents can relate to that!

Breechlyn (or NeiNei) on the stepladder and Jayleen on the floor are helping to clean out the kitchen. NeiNei is the student who watches Joel and Amelia while we are in English class on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Our children love to spend time with her.

Back and Better than Ever!

I hope that got everyone's attention. I have been more swamped with a canoe with English essays and student/teacher conferences, which I really enjoyed doing. At mid-semester I meet with my students to discuss their progress. Please pray for many of them as they struggle with their writing assignments. Of course, it is hard enough to write essays for us native English speakers, but it becomes more complicated for those who are learning English as their second language.

Marisol continues to make good progress with her Freshman English class. Thank you for praying for her. She had her midterm yesterday which she should get back next week. I am very proud of her; her writing is really improving. I keep teasing her that soon she won't need her proofreader (me!) Please keep praying for her. It's not easy to be a student and a mother and wife!!!

Joel loves AWANA. He is becoming a Bible verse memory machine. We enjoy doing his homework together and review his verses at our family mealtimes. It has been great for Joel's social life as well as his spiritual life. He has made new friends and doesn't seem as shy with people anymore.

Amelia: what can I say about her? I wish I would be about 10 years younger to be able to keep up with her. SHE IS FAST! Everyone loves her and says how cute she is (and Joel, too!). That is both flattering and a bit embarrassing for me as a parent. Of course, I think they are adorable, but it is a bit uncomfortable to know how to respond sometimes.

May I please ask you to pray for our Guam campus director and PIBC office manager, Jens and Karin Schulz. Immigration has informed them that their religious workers visa are being revoked, and they need to leave by the end of the semester. From our own dealings with immigration (CIS, formerly INS) in the past, we know that they are not the easiest nor kindest people to work with. In fact, they can be quite indifferent. Please pray for God's will in this situation and for God to provide new workers if the Schulzes have to leave. Pray for God's peace for Jens and Karin in the midst of this storm, not unlike the tropical storms we have been dealing with the past couple of months.

Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pierce My Ear

Today I spoke in chapel, constructing a sermon from an old song from my brother-in-law's group, Glad. "Pierce My Ear" uses the imagery from Exodus 21:1-6 in which a Hebrew debt slave chose to continue serving his master after his required six years of service were over and he would normally receive his freedom. This voluntary slavery would be recognized through a legal ceremony in which the slave would have an awl driven through his earlobe at the doorpost of the master's house, making him the master's slave for life.
The writer of the song, Steve Croft, and I made a parallel between this Hebrew law and the Christian life. We have been bought with Jesus' blood, so our salvation is NOT free. We have an obligation to follow our Lord's commands. That is how we show our love to God, just as the slave wanted to stay with his master out of love for him. We should live our entire life for the glory of God. Although our commitment to Him does not involve a literal ear piercing to show our devotion, it involves a deliberate decision to follow him.
If anyone is interested in a copy of my message, I will be happy to email you a copy.
(Special thanks to Melissa Heck for the picture. Please pray that she can retrieve her pictures and information from her computer which crashed last week.)