Thursday, May 1

My (not so) secret life

PIU students from Micronesia kicking back for a few minutes
Some of my online acquaintances are a bit surprised when they discover the life I have beyond the realm of social media.

About 75% of my working hours are devoted to serving as pastor of MasterPiece Church, a very small but very big impact congregation in Laveen (southwest Phoenix), Arizona. Many, if not most, of our people are poor. We focus (but not exclusively) on homeless men, immigrants, and at-risk children. I’m truly amazed at the way that God has kept us afloat -- often through some extraordinary means. And I’m convinced that we are called to continue serving in this needy context. It’s a challenge and a joy!

The other 25% of my working hours are given to teaching at Pacific Islands University on Guam. This is a fully accredited very established school that serves some of the most educationally underserved people in the world -- Micronesian and Melanisian islanders. We’re trying to bring stability and health to the islands by training school teachers and church leaders. I teach Christian formation, discipleship, ministry, Bible, and theology classes in both the undergraduate and graduate schools.

Most of the professors and staff at PIU are missionaries from various churches in the US and Europe. We raise our own support to be serving there. This is why students can afford the tuition.

When Cheryl and I lived on Guam I taught in the campus classrooms and was the chief academic officer. Now I do most of my teaching online -- although it is my goal to spend at least a week teaching on campus each semester. That is, I combine face-to-face interaction with online collaboration to maximize educational effectiveness. In light of the cross-cultural dimensions to the relationship this hybrid online-classroom approach is way more powerful than a purely online class. And students would greatly benefit if I upped the percentage of my time devoted to being on campus.

As it is, though, I need to raise about $10,000 more a year to cover travel and living expenses. MasterPiece Church graciously frees me to travel but they, like those we serve in the Western Pacific, are without the financial means to help otherwise. So, I am asking if God might be leading you, your group, or your church to help.

Because I have a long-term relationship with PIU students and staff, every year that I continue serving there compounds my influence. I hope you catch my enthusiasm for the unique kinds of ministry to which we are called. And I trust that you’ll help as you are able.

We are currently funneling donations through MasterPiece Church. The address is PO Box 1113, Laveen AZ 85339-1113. The church provides a receipt which can be used for tax deduction purposes in the US. I also have PayPal and Amazon Payments accounts if you want to contribute through those channels. I’d be happy to answer questions or provide additional information either about donating or the work of PIU. Thank you!


1 comment:

Sean Meade said...

I recently read From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya and thought of you when reading the part about Pacific missions. Very interesting!