Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Wedding or Another One Bites the Dust (Amended)

Last weekend was another PIBC wedding. Merong is a PIBC alumnus (2008) and Joan a member of the Palauan Evangelical Church of Guam. She participated in the teacher training I conducted for the PECG in 2007. Our friend Pastor Hiob officiated.

We asked for a picture with the bride and groom after the ceremony.

The fruit display at the reception was not only beautiful but tasty, too.

Joel loved the food, especially the coconut crab prepared with coconut milk. We feasted on that in Palau last summer.
Merong and Joan were kind to each other at cake time. It was a lovely day and we wish them God's blessings on their marriage. I wrote to my friend Kalvin that "one more handsome man is unavailable."

Goodbye Guam, Alii Palau!

Here is a recap of the final days of our friends Hiob and Leah and their children Micah and Jireh in Guam. They have returned to Palau where Hiob will serve as senior pastor of the Koror Evangelical Church. We all started together at PIBC back in fall 2006 and we have worked together, laughed together, cried together, prayed together, and grown together. Although it is hard to say goodbye, we know that they will be a blessing to the Church in Palau, and we find comfort in the words of the Michael W. Smith song "Friends": friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them. Amen!
We had a BBQ in their honor on campus at the beginning of June before the Thai mission team left.
Delight posed with Micah and Hiob during a break from barbecuing. He is a fantastic barbecuer. Notice he's even holding the tongs, to a barbecuer what a hammer is to a carpenter.

As always, everyone enjoyed the food, the centerpiece of any Micronesian celebration.

Before our friends left, we were able to spend a day swimming with them at the Hotel Nikko Guam. That was great fun.
Joel will miss his friend Micah very much and cried when we told him that Micah would be moving to Palau.
After swimming we delighted in a delicious buffet lunch courtesy of the hotel (part of our pool membership benefits).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dreaming of Disneyland

We allowed Joel and Amelia to choose one small gift at Disneyland. Joel chose Dale ears and Amelia Minnie ears. They wanted to pose with their Chip puppet and Mickey Mouse toy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tokyo Disneyland

When we found out that Japan had a Disneyland, we decided to splurge and treat the children while we were there. We rode the metro train from the Higashi Nokorozawa station to the Maihama station, almost two hours, and we were there.

Joel wanted to have his picture taken with Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse.

Two different views of the Farnsworths with Cinderella Castle in the background.
Amelia noticed Cinderella's dress while we were window shopping.
The first thing we did was ride the merry-go-round. Although Amelia looks a little scared, she did ride two times.

After the Castle Carrousel we rode Alice's Tea Party.
What would a trip to Disneyland be without It's a Small World? That's almost sacrilegious!
A new ride which we enjoyed was Pooh's Hunny Hunt, especially when the car bounced along with Tigger.
Toontown proved to be a great place for Joel and Amelia. They visited Donald Duck's Boat, Minnie Mouse's house, and Chip and Dale's Treehouse (pictured here). Joel and I enjoyed the Gadget's Go Coaster, his favorite ride, which we rode four times.
We escaped from the rain for a half-hour to watch "One Man's Drean--the Magic Lives On!" The singing and dancing was top-notch, which is what you would expect at Disneyland.
Joel met Bianca from The Rescuers, my favorite Disney animated film. Now he wants to see it, too.

Joel and Marisol asked the Cinderella Mouse to have a picture with her. She squeaked, "Yes."

The Jubilation! Parade allowed us to see the many Disney characters who were not out and about during the day because of the inclement weather. They had special transparent rainclothes to protect their costumes.

We took a ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat. It was a really nice ride. I had never done that on any of my previous trips to Disney.

One of our favorite rides was the Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride.

Not much magic in this blurry, nightime photo of Cinderella's Castle, but at least you know we stayed until nightime. All in all, a magical day despite the rain.

Our "Japanese" Hosts

During our recent trip to Japan we had such a nice time with my friends from Houghton College, John and Susan, and their children David, Joshua and Esther. They work with Send International in Japan and are due for their home assignment in the States soon. So it was now or never for us to visit them. Glad it was now (then--we've been back two weeks). Joel and Amelia bonded with them very quickly.

Our kids enjoyed meeting Esther, too.

We attended the English Bible study which John and Susan facillitated every Wednesday morning at their church. John devised a set of simple questions to accompany the text, and then the class answered questions and talked about their application. The Christians in the class ministered to the non-Christians, which really excited me. It's wonderful to see people in ministry settings reaching out to others. To me that's what mission is; it's called the multiplication model rather than simple addition when the missionary is the only one ministering. John and Susan made it look so easy, too. I was impressed.

During our college days John and I ran cross country and worked in the Bible memory association (Swordbearers) together.

They had us over for dinner two times. David showed Amelia and Joel their guinea pig, Chancho. We told them that in Ecuador guinea pigs are not pets, but on the menu. They kind of freaked out over that.

All of us enjoyed the food and fellowship at pizza night.

Here's a group picture, minus Esther, who was the photographer.

On Sunday we went to their church, Kurume Christ Church.

John greeted the children as we arrived.

So did Susan. All the kids and their parents love the whole family.

This happened to be their farewell party day. The children's ministry presented their family with some love gifts.

After the service a fellowship meal was held in their honor. The homemade Japanese food was delicious.

The pastor and others shared about the impact that John and Susan's family have made in their lives.

Then Susan shared a few words.

John finished up. I was impressed with their Japanese, and I hope that they practice during their furlough. It was evident that their family is loved and making a difference for Jesus in Japan. People like John and Susan make me proud to be part of the missionary force around the word. May God receive all the glory for the work we do in His name.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Flame Trees

These trees are so vibrant. God is certainly a Master Artist!

Ship Ahoy

We are enjoying our ship, the USS Guam, for a few more days before we downsize. Summer is a good play time!