September Update and Prayer Requests

1 10 2014

The past couple of months have been a time of new ministry and a lot of excitement about the future.

Homeless Outreach

Delivering water in the tent city in Kaka'ako

Delivering water in the tent city in Kaka’ako

Recently, we have been spending one afternoon per month in the “tent city” in Kaka’ako.  Here, hundreds of homeless people live in a sort of shanty-town community, forever worried that the rising real estate prices will cause the government to push them to a new location.  It is eye-opening to say the least.  Yes, we can have all kinds of discussions about the problem of homelessness in Hawaii.  Yes, some of these people are there because they are on drugs.  Some are mentally ill.  Some may be trying to “fly below the radar” of the police.  We do not go to judge nor do we imagine that we have found the solution to the problem.  We go to say, “God loves you and so do we.”

“I always thought I’d kill myself before I wound up here,” she said.  After losing her job and seeing her family leave the island, she is clinging to the last things she has, an old minivan.  It has become her home.  We met her on her birthday, but she did not want to celebrate.  She cried as our ladies prayed with her and we are making plans to see her again.

“I had a job,” one man said explaining that he and his family had just set up camp three days ago.  They are one of many make-shift houses comprised of tents, tarps, and pallets.  One of our men knows what it is like to work your way up from rock bottom, so when he heard this, he made some calls.  There are entry-level labor jobs to be had if you know the right people.  Not only did we pray with this family, but we let them with two very strong employment leads.

These are the kinds of things we encounter in Kaka’ako.  We fill our wagons with water, diapers, and snacks for the kids, and visit each tent to see what is needed.  Our hope is that in doing so we can share the gospel as well.

Now some might say, but what does this have to do with a church in Ewa Beach?  We believe that if we serve near the heart of God, he will bless us in Ewa Beach.  Furthermore, as a pastor, I am seeing how this work outside the comfort zone of our church is prompting us to more and more outreach in our own neighborhoods.

A Growing Congregation

This outreach is resulting in growth.  Our average attendance has passed the “30 barrier.”  This came largely because people have been doing two things: inviting their friends, family, and neighbors, and talking with them about the message.  They ask questions and listen and we are seeing more people join us.

Our prayer needs

  • Pray for our intern Matt Lincoln as he reaches out to young people in Waianae.  Matt hosts two Bible Studies per week, earns his room and board by working at the Baptist conference center, and is trying to get a job as a substitute teacher.  In his free time, he can be found in the streets, basket ball courts, and beaches of this infamous neighborhood trying to show young people a better life than the gangs are offering.  Please pray for his ministry as well as the support he needs.  Pray that people here will join him in his work.  Pray that he will see the fruit of his efforts.  Pray that people will financially support him.  If you would like to support Matt financially, please send donations to Aloha Community Church, 91-596 Makalea St, Ewa Beach, HI 96706 and be sure to note: Matt Lincoln in the memo.
  • Pray for a regular meeting location.  We still meet outdoors in a park but this has two problems:  1) we can always be forced to move if a family reunion or other gathering has a permit.  We cannot get a weekly permit, and 2) Rain.  It rained last week and we had a good time of worship anyway, but it can be difficult to invite people in this setting.  Please pray that we find an affordable location in which to meet.
  • Pray for our family as we move toward adopting Kerry.  We hear different timelines on this.  Some say as early as December, others a year from now.  Pray for all involved.  Also please pray for Kerry’s mother and family.
  • Pray for transition and provision.  We have past the two year mark, and in the church planting world, that means a time where funding is cut or phased out draws near.  We know two things:  1) that the Lord has called us to this work.  2) this work will not fit the typical church-plant time line.  For that we are praying that the Lord provides as we make these transitions.  If you would like to contribute to our support, you may send donations to Missions Office, c/o Second Baptist Church, 3111 E Battlefield Rd, Springfield, MO 65804 and note: Aaron Davis on the check.
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