September Update

27 09 2012

As September draws to a close, I am thankful for what God has done and am looking forward to some very exciting things to come.

I have worked hard this month to truly be available to encounter people in our community.  My primary means of transportation are my bike and the bus.  A lot of people are surprised when I say this.  Bus riding is uncomfortable.  It takes longer than driving and it puts me much closer to strangers than most prefer to be.  Yet, this close proximity yields opportunity.

Whether it is answering questions about faith for a woman at a bus stop or loaning lawn tools to a neighbor, I am always looking for how God is working to draw people to him.

We also engage our community through volunteer opportunities.  Samantha volunteers once a week at Caleb’s school and helped out at the Ohana Fair (a sort of fair for families of the school to come and enjoy food and games and support the school).  I have a tremendous volunteer opportunity before me with CASA.  CASA volunteers work with children “in the system.”  They interview people involved in situations that have removed a child from a home and report to the courts as a special advocate.  If accepted, I will go through a month of training and then I will be working not only with families in crisis, but with school officials, police, social services, and the courts.

Meanwhile, I am learning a lot from other church planters and pastors here on the island.  Another west Oahu community is Kapolei.  In Kapolei there are two church planters.  One is using a strategy similar to ours, and another is using a more traditional strategy with a building, programs, etc.  Both are invaluable to me in their insight and fellowship.

As for our strategy, we are excited to begin our first home group on October 3!  We have as many as 5 people telling us that they will attend.  I have two dreams for this initial group:  First, I hope to see the people work together to do ministry in our community.  Second, I hope to see this group launch other groups.  In our group we will be studying the book of Colossians.  I am basing this study largely off of Tullian Tchavijan’s book, “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.”  This book is a profound statement of what the Gospel is and what it is not.  By doing this study and moving toward ministry and multiplication, I hope to inbed these things into the DNA of our church:  The Story of Aloha (Gospel), The Act of Aloha (Ministry), The Spread of Aloha (Mission).

With so many exciting possibilities ahead, please pray for the following: 

  • My interview with CASA is on Thursday, September 27.  Training will begin in late October.  Please pray that God will be glorified through my service there.
  • Our home group begins October 3.  Please pray that the Gospel is heard, that ministry to our community begins, and that this group grows and multiplies!
  • That Samantha can be a positive impact in our school community.
  • That Caleb continues to make friends.

 Also pray for these medical concerns:

  • Some routine blood work indicated that I must change my eating and exercise habits.  I am on a diet and I am riding my bike 25-50 miles per week.  Pray that I can stick to this and that it has the necessary effect.
  • Caleb has been battling a stomach bug that does not seem to want to go away.  We don’t know if it is the result of new foods or exposure to new bugs and viruses, but please pray that he can feel better soon.



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