Showing posts from June, 2019

It's All Free

The last 2 Sundays of each month at 12:30 PM, a line forms outside the sliding glass doors that serve as our entrance to the Food Pantry and God's Closet. Each week as these ministries begin, the leaders and the line of people gather to pray. This simple moment spent unifying the group is more than just to keep everyone "nice," but rather to remind that whether someone finds themselves in line or serving or both, we are all in need of Christ. "Us" and "them" must be dropped at the door.
We are thankful that much of the line is our congregation. They are more than the name they sign in with at the entrance. Some are struggling to find work, disabled, widowed, in recovery, not so much in recovery, or low on income for a variety of reasons. Most of these people give to our church far more than they receive from their bag full of food. Many are living testimonies to God's saving work. They are our best evangelists, inviting others not just to Food Pan…

Worth It

This week Pastor Ray and I flew over to the island of Oahu with 10 of our teenagers (yes...10!!!) to worship with our district and several other churches at teen camp. It's certainly a different dynamic packing for camp when you have to keep TSA, carry-on luggage, and supplies for tent camping all in mind. Still, everyone made it through security just fine and we managed to board our flight from Hilo to Honolulu. 

Inter-island flights are quick, basically consisting of: taking off, getting to cruising altitude, the flight attendants throwing out water and juice to everyone, and then descending. Though these flights are quick, they add anywhere from $175-200 per person onto our cost each year to go to camp. We keep hoping Southwest Airlines will start flying out of Hilo so our cost will go down like Kona Nazarene Church's cost did this year. Thankfully, 4 of our students have a parent that works for Hawaiian Airlines so they were able to fly standby for free saving us from raisi…

Bearing Witness

Confession...right off the bat:

My knowledge of Hawai'i prior to living on the Big Island was limited to what I concluded from primarily 3 sources:
1) Disney's Lilo and Stitch
2) Party City's "luau" themed party decor section
3) Snippets from my parents' honeymoon trip

Can I tell you those 3 sources are nowhere near sufficient for understanding these islands?

The reality of living in the Hawaiian Islands, particularly on the Big Island (the island that is actually called Hawai'i...and no, the Big Island is not Oahu where the capital's the BIG one), and even more particularly in the Puna District of the Big Island is not what people assume Hawai'i-life to be.

On many accounts, life here is far more difficult than people would imagine.

The same realities that exist on the rest of the planet of living, working, and dying do in fact also exist in the tropics. There are drug issues, racial tensions, poverty, and the ins and outs of regular life…