Monday, 16 July 2012

Maudlin Moment

While I am not normally given to sharing moments of introspection, I'll make an exception today.

 Yesterday was a wonderful rest day with church in the morning and naps and light housework in the afternoon. This came after a hectic week from the first phase of library renovations at the PIU campus. One of the things I made sure we did yesterday was to stop by the beach to wade into the water--it was low tide so we needed to go out a bit to even find the water!

Why was it so important to get to the water?

Just over a week ago, my sister posted on my Facebook wall: "Hey Lisa! Did you know that next week I will be in Irvine, CA? I will go to the beach in my I Love Guam t-shirt and et in the water, then next week you can go to the beach in Guam and touch the same water. It will be almost like visiting, except not exactly. I love you and miss you!"

Just when I start to feel on an even keel and that we are o.k. so far away from family; Jill drops this bombshell. I loved it and cried over it at the same time. Yes, we give up a lot being so far away from family in the states: regular visits with grandparents, funerals, family reunions and more. But, after a week of so many different Christian volunteers coming together to help with the library it brings home the fact that we are making a difference here. Our immediate family here impacts the lives of our students in visible ways. So that's why I went to the ocean the day after Jill went to the beach in California and touched the water. I waited a day so that the water she touched could reach all the way over here so we could be closer together.

And I prayed:

Lord, you give us the blessing of water to drink and sustain our lives. You also give us water to refresh and renew us in Baptism. And today, You use water to connect my sister and me across the world through your creation and love. Amen

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Phase 1--DONE!

Today was incredible!  We had almost 20 volunteers (to include a few children that were happy to add a hand here and there) and we finished all of the shelves today!  We even set up a canopy on the basketball court to make sure we had space for sanding.

We also received another donation on the Library Wish I made on my Facebook page.  Added to the funds donated on the web and here in person, we have now received $140 toward the renovation.  Wonderful!

Today was a beautiful day to work, the Lord blessed us with an overcast sky to keep the sun at bay but no rain to dodge.  We had plenty to drink and were further blessed by a new volunteer, Mike Pratt, from an Army unit stationed here on Guam.  He worked tirelessly and still seemed to like us at the end of the day.

I am so thankful for the many people who came out today to fellowship and work hard.  The Lord sends affirmation just when I need it most.  I love Him so much!

That's it for today, I've been at work for almost 10 hours now and I think it's time to go home.  Tomorrow is Sunday and a day to rest... nice.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

What a trend!

Needed a shield from the rain
We have had some AWESOME volunteers!  Just our PIU summer crew have been working and we've finished 20 of the shelves and those were the deep and wide ones (yes, you can all start singing "Deep and Wide..."). Next we have the shallower paperback bookshelves to do and some of those need painting rather than staining.  But we have today and tomorrow with a group workday so phase 1 should be finished on time and under budget!  On to moving everything around and getting ready to paint!

We're going with the school colors in a nice, elegant version to provide a calm, meditative but fulfilling scene.  That might be a bit of a stretch in thinking but one of my goals is that people will want to come into the library for more than just the AC.

Flash back:  I am a tactile person so we measured everything (building and shelving) and I made my scale drawing with graph paper.  I like to move the little pieces around and can be quite creative without throwing out my back (or someone else's) moving furniture.  As the project became a reality, I did move everything over to a home design program my husband has so we can move things and take a virtual walk-through to make sure everything will work with minimal, I hope, on-site chaos.

Tomorrow will be fun, we are going to have a family work day to finish up the shelves.  It's B.Y.O.P... "Bring Your Own Picnic".  If you are in the area, stop by for a few minutes to work, chat, fellowship, or just to pray and be thankful for this awesome opportunity God has blessed us with.

'Til next time!

Kevin Graham and Leeman Sebastian (below) have been our afternoon relief

Just as we start to tire out, Leeman and Kevin (above) replenish our strength and keep us going!

Scott Refilong and Janny (below) split their time morning and afternoon

In the morning Janny and Scott (above) pretend they don't have class later and after math, they are ready with some extra energy!

Tyler Mesubed is the genius behind the rain shield.  Simple and functional work every time!

Everly Ngirarikel has been a tireless machine all week!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Day 2--Library renovation

Check this out!  One of the things we (as in, the family) has loved about PIU is that families are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun! 
Joyce supervises as Anne and Zac learn the tools of the trade.

Here, Dave Own (our president) checks out our work!  He approved (especially because that's his wife, Joyce, working harder than anybody!).

The first day:  2 shelves done
The second day:  4 shelves done
The third day:  8 shelves done ???  That would be a good trend...

Background:  The first thing that I noticed about the library here was that it was neat and orderly and well-run (we've always had good staff).  As time went on, though, I saw how many donations of books were given to the library that we couldn't always hold on to due to space limitations.  When we added the Liberal Arts programs to our degree offerings, this need for space became even more noticeable.  This is a small facility; we needed to maximize the space we have. 

So, I began to dream.  The most obvious thing was to go up. Our shelving is only 5' high so another 2 shelves to make them 6' or 7' was optimal.  That's the idea I started with when I began to plan.

Check back tomorrow to see if we kept our exponential growth going!

Monday, 9 July 2012

It's starting!!!!!!

     While I would have liked to started with the planning I've put into this ... we've already started the library renovation! Today 2 of us (Joyce Owen and me) spent a portion of the day sanding and staining two new shelves for the library. The difference is incredible! The new shelves are a bit "thirsty" so we're using Danish Oil to give it a drink, refresh the color and add a bit of shine.

     So, how will 2 of us do all this? The answer is: it won't be just 2 of us the whole time. I'm asking for volunteers from the military, local churches, and students from the campus. I've also started a Causes Wish for people to donate for the library renovation. The plan is, every step we take, I'll describe it here with just a tad of the background work that I've done for the past two years.

     It's exciting to see plans that I've had percolating in my brain and through my files start to come to life. I'm just praying it's more like the resurrection of Lazarus and not Frankenstein's monster!

   Looking backward: Just this last week, I brainstormed fundraising ideas that can be implemented with minimal logistics and manning (since it's summertime with few people) and drafted multiple letters to organizations for volunteers. I sent letters to friends who are in the Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army National Guard for help with this community project. I also contacted the Guam Ministerial Association to let the churches know what we are doing.

     My initial fundraising ideas:
  • Table at base BX: face painting for donations 
  • Flea market on campus: donations by church members 
  • Causes Wish: check out my Facebook page (Lisa Collins) 
  • Raffle with good prizes 

     I'll keep you apprised of how the fundraising goes. I'll also post pictures along the way.