A Difficult Decision

30 08 2015

Recently, we made a very difficult decision.  After three years in Hawaii, we will close the work of Aloha Community Church, and my family and I will return to Missouri.  This decision has not been an easy one for our family or the people of Aloha Community Church.  I have been through frustration, anger, fear, and great sadness over this.  However, after much discussion, thought, and prayer, we rest in the fact that we are being obedient to the Lord.

As you know, in July the vast majority of our external support was reduced.  This created a deficit between our income and our required living expenses.  A recent survey on Oahu concluded that a family of four must make one hundred and twenty thousand per year in order to live comfortably.  We have always lived on much less, choosing to rent a town home, own a used car, rely on a moped, etc.  In July, we attempted to cover the deficit in three ways:  We sought new church partnerships, we asked our prayer partners (and anyone else that would listen) for help, and I found a full time job in retail.  The retail job provided several great new friendships and replaced our insurance, but it did not come close to our deficit.  Several small donations and a few large ones got us through until now.  We have not been able to find any new church partners or ongoing donations.  Meanwhile, as we expect a decrease in our funding from the North American Mission Board and an increase in our rent, the deficit grows wider.

Thus, we concluded that it is simply no longer economically feasible to remain in Hawaii.  In 2012, several church planters arrived on Oahu to start new churches.  Of that group, only we remain.  This is the reality of church planting in “paradise.”  I hope and pray that a new method can be found to reach this island and I look forward to being a part of that discussion.

Reflecting on what the Lord has done in three years, I am happy to report six baptisms, much discipleship, sending one family to seminary in order to study international church planting, people finding the courage to lead out in ministry, and much more.  No one is leaving Aloha Community Church the same way that we came in.

I realize that everyone who contributed to our ministry may be disappointed in our decision.  I share this disappointment.  Three years ago I used a poker illustration and said that I was “all in.”  I walk away from the table empty handed.  A good friend of mine, an avid poker, player tells me that many times one can have a good hand, go all in, and get “taken down.”

To those of you who have very recently contributed, please let me assure you that your donations have not been in vain.  We live by your support.  We have and will continue to be witnesses here until the day we leave the island.  During this time, we are assisting our members through this transition, helping to secure new positions for our interns so that their work in Waianae may continue, and remain until Kerry’s adoption is final on October 5.

After that, my family and I will relocate to Springfield, Missouri where we will seek out the next chapter.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call me at 808-551-1908 or email gospelforhawaii@gmail.com. We appreciate your prayers and support during this difficult time.

Aloha In Christ,

Aaron Davis