So What Now? An Update

2 09 2015

So what now?

Since our big announcement, many people have asked me, what is next.  The simplest answer is that we do not know.  We do know that we are moving to Missouri.  Samantha and Kerry are set to arrive in Springfield on October 8.  Caleb and I (who are bringing a car home) will arrive a week later.

After that, my first priority is to find a job.  Samantha will be looking too, once she can secure a preschool for Kerry.  Once we have an income, we will begin looking for a place to rent in Springfield.  Until then, we will be staying with Samantha’s folks.  We most certainly plan to plug into a church.  Hopefully the Lord will lead us to a place where we can help and serve and be the kind of members we always appreciated having in our churches.

Anything after that is the big unknown.  We are considering a couple of things.  One plan is for me to go back to school.  I realized this past year that our churches can really be lacking in how we handle mental health.  That is a story for another time.  However, one possibility is that I may pursue a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  This is not to say that I am leaving ministry.  Far from it.  I have seen a ministry need and it may be that the Lord is leading in that direction.

It will take some time time to get settled in, so schooling is probably a year out.  In the meantime, I will also be working on some writing projects.  My novel, “Street Preacher,” is complete, but rough.  I need to polish it up and then see if anyone is interested or if I can publish and sell the thing myself.  A couple of other novel ideas are in the hopper.  I have learned a lot in the past three years regarding ministry and church planting.  Once I get my head clear, it would be nice to share those things.

What about from now to October?

We have not quit yet!  Aloha Community Church will still meet twice in September.  Once for worship looking to the future, and one final time for worship, fellowship, and testimony.  By the way, if you would like to write anything to the members of Aloha Community Church, feel free to send it to gospelforhawaii@gmail.com

We also have much to do before we leave.  I have two interns who work tirelessly with at risk kids and teens in Waianae.  They go where many are afraid to go and they work with gang members and others in the fringe of society.  I must find them a church to sponsor them and they need financial support.  Interested?  Let me know.

And finally is the major transition that is ahead.  We need to pack and plan.  We need to ease our children through this.  We need to complete Kerry’s adoption.

During this time, we need your support.  Your prayers and donations will get us through this time.

Here is a prayer list:

  • Pray for Kerry’s adoption.  It has been delayed twice.  It really cannot be delayed again.  Pray that October 5 is the day.
  • Pray for Caleb.  He just got used to middle school here and now he must get used to another middle school in Missouri.
  • Pray for jobs for Samantha and I.
  • Pray for a smooth move and transition.
  • Pray for peace of mind.  This has been an emotional time for all of us.
  • Pray for the Waianae ministry, particularly Matt Lincoln and Celeste Williams that they are supported.
  • Pray for the members of Aloha Community Church that they find places to plug in and serve
  • Pray for Ewa Beach and West Oahu, that the Gospel is preached.

Donations for Aaron Davis, Matt Lincoln, and Celleste Williams may be sent to:

Aloha Community Church
4913 B Mokupea PL
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Please be sure to specify how you want the donation to be used.

Aloha in Christ,

Aaron Davis





Ministry, Life, and The Future!

17 07 2015

Aloha!

In this update, I want to let you know about all that is going on in Aloha Community Church, our everyday life, and what we are looking towards in the future.

Ministry

We continue to grow at Aloha Community Church, but we are also in a time of transition.  It has been three years, and we are seeing our original families move on.  In just a few weeks, a member of our leadership team, Sam Graf, will be leaving with his wife and daughter to attend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.  Sam will be studying International Church Planting!  We are sad to see them go, but we can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store!

We have also had a great time this summer with our Summer missionary, Max Bolin.  Max is a high school student from Gadsen, Alabama.  This summer, he has helped with our Waianae ministry, hosted a backyard Bible club, helped out with Wednesday night small groups, and made lots of contacts in the community.  This has been a chaotic time for us, and he has been a Godsend!  This Sunday, he will be preaching at Aloha Community Church, and all next week, he will be leading out in several small outreach projects.

We are bringing our homeless ministry closer to Ewa Beach.  We have begun to reach out to the homeless communities in Waipahu and Hau Bush Beach Park.

Our Waianae Ministry is growing, thanks to our intern, Matt Lincoln.  He leads a teen Bible study every Friday and a children’s group on Tuesdays.  He is reaching a marginalized people group there and we hope to see this grow into a church someday.  We just welcomed and addition to his team: Celeste Williams.  She just moved to Oahu from Memphis, TN in order to minister in Waianae.

Life

Things are a bit crazy these days, but they are good.  A couple of big changes are ahead in just a few weeks.  Caleb is about to begin 7th grade.  We just completed registration and he is ready for the big intermediate school.  Meanwhile, Kerry will begin head start.  This year, they opened a head start program in our neighborhood school so it will just be a short walk.  He is excited to go to school.

Another exciting moment to come is August 10.  Lord willing, this is Kerry’s adoption hearing!  It has been delayed before, but this time, all the paperwork is in, so we think this will be it.  We are excited and thrilled to finally make Kerry’s place in our family official.  He has been with us for two years now, and its hard to imagine what life would be like without this little guy.

Samantha is also looking forward to the school year.  It means some free time for her.  She is planning to work on her stained glass projects which will be for sale in the near future.  Let us know if you are interested.

Things are really different for me these days.  I recently took a second job.  I work full-time at Petco in Pearl City.  I really enjoy the people I work with and we are thankful for the addition income.  This does make things a bit difficult with available time, but we are figuring it all out.

The Future

If you are on our email list, then you already know that we made some pretty desperate pleas for financial support.  When a large portion of our support ended in June, we were not sure how much longer we could afford to continue here.  Churches grow slowly here and expenses are high.  At the end of June, we did not know if we could last another month.  However, many have given and we are now good into October.  We are committed to this ministry as long as the Lord provides.  However, we still need your help.

Here is what we can use:

For individuals:

  • Pray for us often
  • Consider a one time or regular donation
  • Share our updates on your facebook page, with your Sunday School class, and your friends!

For churches:

  • Remember us in your prayer meetings
  • Get to know us with video chats, letters, etc.
  • Consider giving through your missions budgets or a love offering.

To send donations:

Either go to http://www.alohacommunitychurch.net/online-giving and give safely and securely using the “church planter support” option.

Send checks to:

Aloha Community Church

4913 B Mokupea Pl

Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Aloha in Christ,

Aaron Davis





Lots of Change, Lots of Excitement

7 01 2015

Change is never easy!

That was made abundantly clear to us in the past couple of months.  I apologize for missing reports.  Please accept this as my report for both November and December.  As you will see, Change and Chaos have been the hallmarks of the past few months.

Change in our Lives

In November, Samantha and I learned that the home that we have rented for 2.5 years was being put up for sale.  Immediately, we were expected to have our home “show ready” and to accommodate the schedule of the realtor.  It was clear to us that we needed to get out sooner rather than later so we moved to a new neighborhood.  We are now located in Kapalina Beach Homes.  Folks here on Oahu know the place as Iroquois Point.  This neighborhood was once a navy housing community and has now been turned over to a private company as an apartment community.  There are just over 5000 people in this area.  We now realize that even though the change was difficult, God was moving us to an area where we will meet a lot of new people.  We are thankful for new ministry opportunities!

Also, the end of 2014 marks financial changes for us.  Our NAMB funding begins to taper off in 2015 and in the Summer, our financial relationship with Second Baptist Springfield, MO comes to an end.  We are committed to our work here and are trusting the Lord to provide.  He is showing us that He will.

Change for our intern, Matt

If you do not know about Matt Lincoln, you should.  Matt is devoted to reaching one of the least reached and most difficult groups on the island: Micronesian teenagers.  He pours his life into these kids, teaching two Bible Studies per week (one in an apartment complex most people would fear to venture into) and spending countless hours hitting the streets and finding kids to disciple.  It is truly a blessing for us on Sundays to see Matt come in with about 5 young men who chose to wake up early and worship!  Even more so to go to Waianae and witness Matt showing and sharing the love of Christ with these kids.

But change came for Matt as well, as he learned that in January he would no longer be able to live in the room he had at the PuuKahea Conference Center.  Because he has not been here long, Matt was not able to find a landlord in Waianae that would rent to him.  However, a member of our core group had a room available and now Matt lives in Kapalina Beach Homes.  Though this has increased the drive to Waianae (we gave him a car, who will give him some gas money?) this has also been a huge open door for Matt.  For starters, Matt now lives just around the corner from me, making it much easier to keep in contact and begin his church planter training.  Two, it puts him in more frequent fellowship with the people of Aloha Community Church.  This was something he needed.  And three, it gives him opportunities to also do ministry in Ewa Beach as we look to begin a youth group.

Changes for Aloha Community Church

One fact of life in Hawaii is that some people are only here temporarily.  As 2014 came to a close, we said good-bye to a few that have been with us from the beginning.  It can be disheartening to see us reach new heights in attendance and then drop back to previous numbers.  However, ministry is not about numbers.  (Even Jesus saw a most of the people leave).  We do not define the past couple of months with that negative change but with some great ones as well.

First, Aloha Community Church has a great place to meet INDOORS at the beautiful Ewa Beach Golf Club.  This has been a tremendous blessing to us.  Also, we have seen a new family attend the church.  We are initiating a launch plan for April (that’s right we are finally going to launch).  This is an exciting time for us with a lot of amazing things ahead.

And some minor changes

We have really made some changes to our online presence lately.  Our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gospelforhawaii) is a lot more active.  We encourage you to like the page then like, comment, or share the posts (this increases visibility).  Also, on our website (www.alohacommunitychurch.net) you can now listen to sermons online!  Check us out and see what we are up to!

I ask you to pray for the following:

  • For our family and the transitions ahead.  2015 will be a year of change as we will (Lord willing) finalize Kerry’s adoption, see the arrival of our “Hanai (Hawaiian word for family, though not be blood) son and daughter in-law” and transition to bivocational ministry.
  • For Matt Lincoln and his ministry in Waianae and in Ewa Beach.  Pray that he is continually refreshed and encouraged.
  • For the church that we will move forward with enthusiasm and embrace all that the Holy Spirit is doing.

If you would like to support Aloha Community Church, you may do so be sending your checks to:

Aloha Community Church

4913 B Mokupea Place

Ewa Beach, HI 96706

If you have a specific reason for sending support (such as to help Matt Lincoln, etc) note it in the memo.

Aloha in Christ,

Aaron Davis





June Update

3 07 2014

Still in the Park

Many people ask if we are still in the park. The answer is yes, and that is a good thing. In the past month at the park, we have been able to reach out and minister in ways we would not have if we had not been there.

Of course, we would love to have a permanent place to worship and minister, but Hawaii real estate is a tricky thing and we are content with whatever the Lord has for us.

Seeing Growth

I am happy to see solid growth. By this, I mean that not only are we growing in size, but we are growing spiritually as well. We are teaching, emphasizing, and encouraging the small steps of the everyday walk with Christ. In doing so, we are seeing new growth in our people and a desire to be on mission. This is very exciting.

Networks and Exciting Plans for the Future

Recently, I have taken on the task of networking Oahu’s church planters. We have had two great meetings. One in which we met and discussed one planter’s new work and another where we ministered to seafarers and prayed for a future ministry at Honolulu Harbor. This network is good for fellowship, increasing awareness of the needs on Oahu, and supporting one another in ministry.

Further, we are in the early stages of planning for an internship that will eventually result in Aloha Community Church planting another church on the island. We are excited about this possibility.

Prayer Requests

Our church has military families that are currently dealing with overseas training and deployment. Please pray for these men and their families.

For two years, we have constantly prayed that God would lead us into the lives of those who need Christ. We are seeing it at every turn now. Please pray for these opportunities as they arise.

Recently, our foster son’s mother asked us to care for him permanently. We are more than happy to do so and overwhelmed with her trust in us. Obviously, the case in court is slow, but as always, we ask for prayers for the case, for this little boy, and his family.

Over the past two weeks, I have dealt with two medical issues. One we now know to be a herniated disk at the base of my neck. The other is still unknown. There are no tumors, so we are assured that it is not major, but we still need answers. As for my neck, this is familiar territory. Please pray for healing and guidance. Please pray that the ministry of Aloha Community Church does not slow in this time. Is it any wonder that as we see the Lord working, we are hindered in such a way? Pray that this is a time of great work for the church!





April Ends With Promises of BIG Things To Come!

5 05 2014

Aloha!

Let me show you a picture. 

Image

On the left is Easter 2013.  After meeting for a while in home groups, we decided that Easter would be a great time to head over to the Beach Park, set up a canopy and have a time of worship.  It was great.  On the right is Easter 2014.  That took two pictures, because not only did we have several visitors, we had a full children’s service as well!

It was a real blessing not just to see the growth we have experienced in a year, but more so in that at least 5 families brought visitors!

The following week, we had a booth at Pride for Ewa festival.  There, we gave out over 200 bags of cookies (they were labeled with our church information), 20 Bibles, and a ton of “Lifebooks” (youth oriented publications of the gospel of John).  We also gave out a lot of balloons to the kids who came by to play our game and we were able to speak with a a lot of families.

April has been a great month, but it is only the beginning.  We are looking forward to some very exciting things on the horizon.  Here are some things we are planning.  Please be in prayer for them:

  • Setting a calendar full of ministry and outreach to our community where everyone in the Aloha Community Church ohana takes part!
  • Beginning a Church Planter Institute to begin training our members to plant churches
  • Partnering with Child Evangelism Fellowship to offer 5-day clubs throughout the communities of the Ewa Plain.
  • We have arranged to rent space in the busy Kunia Shopping Center for our Sunday worship services!!!  Please pray for us as we work out all the details and as we enter a new phase in the life of Aloha Community Church.
  • Spearheading a network or convention wide effort to begin mission work and establish a church on a remote island in Chuuk.
  • It is exciting to try to imagine what the Lord has in store.  I hope you will continue to pray for us.  Please pray for our Aloha Community Church family.  Our people are facing surgeries, illnesses, births, combat deployments, weddings, and much more.

Aloha in Christ,

Aaron Davis





Update and Prayer Requests

19 03 2014

This latest update comes at a peculiar time (middle of the month) because February and March were not normal months for us (what is normal?).  We spent three weeks in Missouri attending the Global Missions Conference at Second Baptist Church of Springfield, MO and visiting friends and family.  This was a much needed time of rest and recharge.  We were blessed to participate in the conference and to speak at Trinity Baptist Church of Willow Springs and First Baptist Church of Birch Tree as well!

Meanwhile, Aloha Community Church continued forward with our overseers at the helm.  I am happy to report that during my absence, the church saw 12 visitors!  When we returned we found everyone excited with new ideas for the future.

Now, I want to dedicate the rest of this update to our biggest prayer requests for Aloha Community Church.  I listed them last month, but I want to explain them and ask you to pray earnestly with us. 

Regular location to meet for worship

Most of our mainland friends envy us for having our worship services in the park.  However, the park has its disadvantages as weather frequently disrupts things.  We need to find a place that will consistently be our meeting place.  This is very difficult to find as the most affordable places are either in use or not available and the available places are not affordable.  Please pray that the Lord leads us to the right place.

More and more people come to know Jesus

When planting a church, it is easy to focus on attendance numbers or finances.  However, the primary reason we are here is to share the Gospel and see people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  Please pray that our church becomes a mobilized force of evangelism, sharing our faith with those around us.  Pray that the Lord blesses us by letting us see changed lives. 

People to serve faithfully in the church

Please pray that everyone in Aloha Community Church uses their gifts to serve.  We do not want to be a church of one or two people doing while the rest watch.  Pray that from the very beginning we are all working as a team. 

Opportunities to serve in our community

Please pray that we see and seize opportunities to serve in our community. Pray that we can be a light in dark places and truly show the love of Christ. 

Our long range planning

Samantha and I are deeply convicted that ministry in Hawaii CANNOT be temporary.  We must be committed for the “long haul.”  Please pray for us as we make plans both personally and in ministry to ensure that we can be as committed as we need to be. 

Partnership opportunities with other churches

Please pray that as we work with other churches, both on the island and on the mainland, we will find ways to serve together for the Kingdom.  Pray that we will see effective mission teams join us from the mainland and pray that local churches will join us in spreading the gospel as well! 

Future church plants

Even as we are getting started, we already discuss the possibility of more churches.  In fact, just last week, two different members of Aloha Community Church spoke to me about planting churches.  Please pray that the Lord makes us a church that plants churches! 

Leadership training for new leaders 

In order to accomplish our goals, we want our church to have well training leaders.  Please pray as we implement training.

New small groups form and are successful

Please pray for our small groups.  Some of our members have said that these groups are a lifeline for them.  Please pray that these groups exhibit true Christian fellowship.  Pray that these groups grow and multiply. 

The health and security of our family

As always, pray for our family.  Pray for our health.  Pray for our spiritual health.  Pray for Kerry’s case in family court.  Pray for Caleb as he lives in the unbelieving world of school and baseball.  Pray for our finances that we can meet this ever-present challenge of life in Hawaii.  Pray that the Lord keeps us safe, secure, close to Him, and provided for. 

Aloha in Christ,

Aaron Davis





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