In the face of all the “trouble in paradise” that the people of Puna District face, I am consistently floored by the endurance and faithfulness that our people also display. There seems to be a common theme drawing people to the Big Island, specifically to the Puna District: the desire for a restart. Sometimes that restart is an escape from the rat race of the mainland or other islands...to slow down, to appreciate life again. Many times that craving for a restart is a break from previous poor choices, family, associates, or life direction. It was clear as Ray and I began ministry here almost 3 years ago (we’re still very much newbies here), that we had a lot of listening to do. As we got to know our people, we heard incredible stories of moving here with simply a suitcase or two, or perhaps even less, and the great sacrifices made to simply arrive. Those stories are astounding...and terrifying to the over-planner in me. We heard stories of being forced here by the growing prices o
Showing posts from August, 2019
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According to the Office of Public Health Preparedness, " The 2019 Central Pacific Hurricane Season officially began June 1 and runs until November 30." At any time during these months, residents of our islands are encouraged to have a 14-day emergency supply of food, water, and other basic needs covered at all times - you can find instructions on how to prepare here . I can say without a doubt this is the first time in my life a plastic container with spam and rice can be found in my bedroom closet. In the last few weeks, we've had several tropical depressions, then storms, that could have upgraded into hurricanes that eventually downgraded or missed our islands. This language is a regular part of our news and vocabulary. Yet every time I hear the phrase, "tropical depression," I can't help but think about the mental health realities, or perhaps I should say un-health, of our area. This article from last year gives a good glimpse of the situation.