Getting ready for something like this is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Every day is different. Some days it means watching YouTube videos about Kauai and trying to “see” as much of the island as possible without actually being there. Sometimes it means studying for driving tests and reading up on Hawaiian culture. Other days it’s selling things online or bagging up items to donate to various clothing closets. Most days it means trying to eat more like we’ll be eating there and getting out in all kinds of weather to acclimate ourselves to more warm and humid temperatures as well as exercising our winter-ridden bodies….It’s a strange feeling to prepare for the unknown.
Every day, though, it means spending time in prayer over the many things that come to mind when we think about Hawaii. We pray for the people there and how they will receive us. We pray for ways to share the Gospel that will be meaningful and life-changing. We pray for our own insecurities being from the Midwest and not always comfortable with speaking to and waving at every person that passes us on the street. We pray for the ministries we’ll be leaving behind and that we’ll leave them equipped and able to run effectively. We pray for our needs to be met when we arrive as we start over completely and search for a vehicle and housing and jobs. And we pray for our finances, that we will be free from our outstanding debts and that we will be able to bless others with whatever blessings God sends our way.
That last prayer always makes us chuckle, because that kind of prayer can lead to surprising results. We have always been firm believers in living generously and, more specifically, meeting the needs of the body without expecting anything in return. As we’ve started selling our possessions more than once something we’ve listed for sale has been something someone in our church body has needed and we have ended up giving it away because we really think that’s what the church should look like. This has led to several opportunities to really step out in faith because there are some things we have counted on selling to help us get to Hawaii and have ended up giving them away. I have also counted on certain money from photography events and people have ended up cancelling Those moments can be scary and sometimes I can’t help but wonder how everything will work, but then I realize that if we say we believe something then we must act on it no matter how difficult it seems at the time.
I think that’s what makes this whole “getting ready” time worth it. The days we can’t wait to get there and the days we wonder how we will ever get there are all steps in how God is preparing us for what’s ahead. The type of ministry we want to have with the people there is one of genuine relationships with no boundaries of rules or politics to confine how we reach them and more than anything that means truly living what we believe. It’s not enough to say we trust God to provide, we must live in such a way that He has to provide for us. The Bible makes it so clear that He will meet our needs if we are seeking first His Kingdom. When I start to fear the unknown and wonder how things will work out, it’s that foundation that reminds me that we are ready for whatever lies ahead because He is with us. So here we come Hawaii, ready or not.