Friday, May 29, 2009

We've Arrived: Jetlagged and Cold!

It really was a long and brutal flight. We left Guam at 4.20 a.m., went straight to Japan, waited nine hours before boarding a plane for LA, extracted all of our luggage, went through customs, and boarded another plane bound for SFO. A total of some 20 hours in travel time. Frankly, it was no fun. Since we had not slept before leaving Guam, we were (and are) exhausted. Initially intending to take a side tour of Tokyo, we instead found a set of benches in the terminal and crashed. Fortunately, the adrenaline kicked in on arrival, and we managed to celebrate with most of Karyn's side of the family, and even took in her nephew's winning playoff baseball game. What's the one thing we've noticed most? The cold! Even though it was probably in the 80s yesterday, the air sent a constant chill up our Micronesian-acclimatized spines. Even now, I type this wrapped up like a winter bunny. But, the good news is, we're here, and looking forward to filling you in on all our adventures.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Creating More Alumni

We did it again! We created more Alumni this year and celebrated the feat at our commencement exercises on May 12. Instead of the usual outside event, we gathered at Faith Presbyterian Reformed Church a few miles from our campus. Sixteen graduates, several of whom in abstentia, were conferred with the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies (save for one who took the A.A.). As Chief Nakamura, former president of Palau, congratulated and challenged them, I found myself imagining the almost endless opportunities these students have to impact the Pacific Rim far more than I could ever dream of doing as a white westerner. Needless to say, with cameras flashing, each member of the staff and faculty swelled with pride.

Take a look at the pictures. Because of people
like you investing in the lives of these promising young men and women, they are now equipped to have a real impact on a world that is desperately in need of the good news they bear. Without the resources to pursue an education on their own, your support enables their success and joins you to the incredible things God is going to do in this part of the world. So, congratulations to our graduates, thanks to you, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fried Snake Darkens the Island

Over the past week we have had the joy of losing our electricity at least once a day. There is no connection between the times of day or even the weather. We may first see the lights dim or have no warning before the computer screen vanishes in front of our eyes (reminds me, hit "save now"). Usually, it doesn't last long. Most of the time we barely even get two candles lit before we hear the beep of the microwave and we're lit up again. We rarely speculate anymore about why we lose power. After noticing the frightening condition of the power line in the picture at right, we just stopped wondering. However, several times people have mentioned to us that an errant snake is sometimes the culprit. Slithering along, apparently an unwitting serpent will occasionally huddle up inside a power transformer, light up, and instantly become fried snake a la carte.

After a recent power outage, Noelle joked about a snake probably causing the nuisance, and Eric commented that it must have been a short snake because the outage didn't last but ten minutes. Then the newspaper came: "Snake Knocks Out Power in Villages." "A brown tree snake [see his attractive portrait at left] caused a ten-minute power outage in several parts of the island Saturday night . . . the snake hit a power line at the Harmon substation, causing outages in parts of Dededo, [and] part of Macheche [our neighborhood] . . . The outage also interrupted the 'Gary V: Live at 25' concert at the University of Guam field house."

"There might be a theological thesis here," Eric ruminates. "A snake initiated the first fall into sin, and evidence suggests that snakes still
spark all sorts of mischief. Oh well, I already finished my dissertation; I'll let someone else tackle that."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Annual PIBC Days

What will we call this event next year when we are Pacific Islands University? Oh well, we'll worry about that next year! For now, enjoy some slides from the recent fun, games, and fellowship time enjoyed at our annual all-school event just before Easter break. Each student and staff is assigned to a team and we compete, Micronesian style (which means we actually help each other succeed). Kick back and enjoy - the Sorensons kind of stick out, so you might notice us!