January Update

13 02 2014

Coffee, Conversations, and Volleyball

People are willing to discuss spiritual matters if we are willing to reach out and listen.  This is what we learned in January when a college group from Second Baptist Church of Springfield Missouri came to work with us for a week.  They spent most of their time in the coffee shops of our area talking with people.  They also reached out to homeless people at Hau Bush beach and even played volleyball with the local fire department.  All of this reinforced what I have long said affects Hawaii: isolation.  Oahu is an island in the pacific, far removed from anything.  The culture of Oahu has similar characteristics and loneliness becomes an everyday part of people’s lives.  For this reason, it is imperative that Christ followers reach out in love, be willing to listen, and become genuine friends of those around us.  This genuine love for our neighbors will grow a church far more effectively than any event or strategy.

 There is No Status Quo

We learned a vital lesson in January.  When it comes to advancing the gospel, there is no sitting still.  As we faced illnesses within our church family and several off-island job assignments, it became easy to coast; to maintain the status quo.  From this we saw that no such place exists in a church.  Instead, we must always move forward and that is exactly what we intend to do.  We are reaching out to our friends, family, and neighbors.  In fact, throughout the month we saw three visitors in our worship services!

Ministry in New Places

Recently, we have partnered with NAMB missionary, Darla Richardson.  Darla works with the Chuukeese people in Waianae.  We have come along side Darla to work with teenagers there.  This can be a difficult ministry, but it is going well.  We are excited about the potential here and are making plans to invest in this area  for the long term.

Letting God Put it All Together

We are seed planters.  All Christians are called to seed planting ministries.  Granted, I really wish that it was a miracle-grow ministry or even a harvest ministry, but we are seed planters.  Only God can grow that seed and then the harvest is His. I am beginning to see how this works.  Consider this.  I plant seeds in different ways.  One way is that I serve the community as a CASA (court appointed special advocate).  Now, in that capacity, I am not allowed to discuss matters of faith with the families I work with.  Yes, they know that I am a Christian.  They know that I am a pastor.  But that’s all I can really say.  The rest I can do only by loving them.  Can this possibly result in any fruit, you ask?  Remember, I’m a seed planter.  As I have stated, we also have a ministry to teens in Waianae.  Imagine my joy when I learned that the latest addition to our ministry there is none other than one of my CASA kids!  Friends, the Holy Spirit puts such things together.  Go, plant the seeds, and let God put it all together!

Here we come, Missouri

In February, we are participating in the World Mission Conference at Second Baptist Church in Springfield, MO.  This will be a great time to celebrate what God is doing in Hawaii.  We look forward to speaking about our work here as well as visiting with family and friends.  This will be a time of rest and refreshment for us.  Meanwhile, our lay leaders here are taking over and I can’t wait to see what they do!

Please pray for the following:

  • Regular location to meet for worship
  • More and more people come to know Jesus
  • People to serve faithfully in the church
  • Opportunities to serve in our community
  • Our long range planning
  • Partnership opportunities with other churches
  • Future church plants
  • Leadership training for new leaders
  • New small groups form and are successful
  • The health and security of our family
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