thoughts of a missionary on the island of Guam

Sunday, July 6, 2008

experiencing island culture

there is a certain hospitality that the islanders here posses. lacking in nothing but the charm of the southern accents of my home state (Georgia), these lovely people know how to make you feel welcome. i attended my first church service since arriving on the island yesterday at TouchPoint church. i received many greetings of "welcome to Guam!" and was given some delicious mini-bananas, as well as a fresh papaya which i enjoyed this morning at breakfast. just a note: don't eat the seeds!

driving through the streets of Guam, you'll notice graffiti on buildings and bus stations: expressions of the youth here. though i've never been to California, i imagine that the pop culture of Guam is much the same as that of the West Coast in the mainland. a lot of status is linked to one's car and surfing apparel/sort of hip-hop is the trend. now that doesn't go for everyone. you also have your more traditional island flair, something which i would guess is similar to that of Hawaii. the locals view themselves as Americans, though i'm afraid they receive a sad view of our values from their limited look into the mainland- television.

though the local people look so foreign to me, to talk with them they don't seem so different. i'm looking forward to getting to know them better. i do know that there is an evident sense of community everywhere, which i like very much.

so Dad and i went to the laundromat last night, and you may be surprised to find that i actually enjoyed it quite a bit! yes, it was hot, but the smell of a grill stand located right outside the mat filled the breeze, there was a lovely view of the sky through the windows, and besides, quality time with those you love is always enjoyable.

last night as i was waiting on laundry to wash i was reading over some notes taken from Bill Gothard's Basic Seminar and was both encouraged and challenged:


1. A Reverent Spirit

Definition: Knowing God works through authorities.

Key: Separate position from personality.

Examples: Paul, Esther, Mary, David, Christ (Heb 5:8)

2. A Grateful Spirit

Unhappiness is a public rebuke.

Key: Give expectations to God (Psalm 62:5)

Example: Sarah (more attractive than outward beauty)

3. A Servant's Spirit

Definition: God's way to greatness

Key: Be excited to make others successful

Example: Joseph

Submission is freedom under God's protection

The Alternative: Exploitation

4. A Quiet Spirit

Definition: Overcoming fear and worry

Key: Defining responsibilities and seeing ultimate value in failure

Example: Pilate's wife (she appealed to him)

good nuggets of truth there. the one that stood out to me the most was giving my expectations over to God. how easy it is to become discontent, especially when you've thought up some idea of the way things should be. but when we give our expectations to the Lord, that eliminates disappointment and replaces it with gratefulness. that's what being poor in spirit is all about ("...and theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"-Matt 5:3).

my brother and i at the beach!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the post. I am intrigued by the name of the blog: purified by fire. You’ll have to fill me in on that sometime.

I’m glad you made it to Guam!

Stay well,


Anonymous said...

i love reading about your life on the other side of the world. love you friend!