Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Busy Fall

Just finished an amazing Spiritual Emphasis Retreat at PIU. This year we were blessed to have a speaker, Matt Augee, from the States, who has extensive youth ministry experience. He was clearly able to connect with the students. In addition, Dan Fields, a professional photographer for the San Diego Chargers (as well as a surfing photographer and cultural photographer) came and dazzled everyone with his staggering ability to capture culture on film. You will not be disappointed if you go to his blog: danfieldsphotographyblog.com. Speaking of not being disappointed, one of our students just posted a great summary, complete with fantastic pictures of the retreat on his blog. As you read his blog, it is especially interesting because he writes from his Micronesian perspective and using English which is his second language: http://goodtestimony.blogspot.com/2009/10/thank-you-student-body.html

Two days later, the female staff at PIU hosted a "Mystery Dinner" for female students. The students were broken into five groups and sent to five different locations on campus. In each location there were three female staff and part of a meal. For instance, one group had popcorn and milkshakes. It was so cute to hear many students say they had never had a milkshake before and, "They taste pretty good!" I realized how much joy I felt in sharing this classic American drink with another culture. Another group had some side-dishes: rice with spam (an all-time favorite with the Micronesians) and a noodle dish. And, of course, one group had the main dishes. So, no one knew which course they would start their meal with and which course would finish their meal. After 15 minutes at each "station," the groups would rotate to another "station." As a new group entered, we asked each woman to introduce herself. The staff had been given a few suggested questions to ask the students (e.g. If you could meet anyone, who would it be, and why?). I decided it would be interesting to see if the students had any questions they wanted to ask us. And guess what? They definitely did, and each group asked the same question: "How did you and Eric meet?" Ha, ha! I guess girls everywhere are romantics!!

Dressed to the nines and sporting their new sunglasses!

Playing a silly game where you have to read a card and do what it says. For example: Elbow to forehead--but you have to hold the card there and not let it drop. This caused much hysterics!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Peace, Be Still"

Just finished responding to all the many people who were praying for us and had left messages on facebook. As I have typed, I have watched the winds increase from 4 mph to 20 mph. I have no idea how strong the winds will eventually get. I guess now that the REAL threat has passed, everyone will go on with life, have a fiesta, and we'll receive no further information on storm conditions! (Welcome to Guam!!) I have cut and pasted below what was issued at 8:00 a.m. this morning from Guam Homeland Security:

At 8:00 a.m. (ChST) Governor Felix P. Camacho returned Guam to Condition of Readiness 4 (COR 4). Based on the latest information, weather officials no longer expect Typhoon Melor (20W) to be a threat for Guam.

The Tropical Storm Warning for Guam has been cancelled.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Joint Information Center (JIC) and the island’s 12 designated shelters will begin to scale down operations. The EOC, JIC and all shelters are expected to close by 12:00 p.m. today.

Going through this has reminded me of the verse in Mark 4:41 where the disciples asked, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!" I give thanks and praise God that I KNOW who he is. He is the Lord Almighty who controls the wind and waves. I grieve for the thousands who are not asking the question, "Who is this?" Please continue to pray for God's mercy on Saipan (they're about 123 miles from Guam)--the typhoon should be hitting them this evening; and most of all, please pray for those who do not KNOW the one who commands the winds and waves.