God has been on the move here and it is so cool being a part of the work He’s doing on Kauai. We are not your typical missionaries, so our stories may not seem like that huge of a deal, but they are powerful and mighty in their own small ways. I can’t wait to share them with you. As you read I’ve included links to videos of the various things we’ve been doing in case you missed them on our other social media outlets.
Over Memorial weekend the ladies and gentlemen in our household split up for the day and just enjoyed some quality time. The girls played some free mini golf (I totally got a hole-in-one…I won’t mention that my average score was 6 for the rest of it), spent an hour wandering indecisively around looking for lunch, and hit the beach. We had set a time to leave, but when the clouds started rolling in we decided to leave a half hour early. Some people would blame it on the weather, but I know it was a divine appointment because on our way back we picked up two guys hitchhiking. After exchanging pleasantries we asked where they were headed and they gave the best answer we’ve heard yet…to church.
We knew then and there that there was no way we were just dropping off these young guys at a church and letting them go on their merry way, so we invited them over for dinner and showers and it soon turned into three days and nights of sightseeing and adventures. It was such a blessing to talk with them, pray with them, play with them, house them, and just love on some brothers in Christ while we could. They are true men of God and we are so proud to know them. We would love it if you’d pray for them, that they would continue to fight the good fight as they finish school and that God will make their way clear as they seek his will for their lives. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2WKpOSYQUw)
Right after they left Simon gave me the best anniversary gift ever: a surprise vacation to the Big Island. We were able to relive some amazing times from our first trip to Hawaii, make new memories, and give DJ and Rebecca some much needed alone time for a whole week. It was awesome! We rarely spend money on ourselves, but investing in our marriage is important to us so the little money we spent was totally worth it. I think the time away was exactly what we needed to revitalize our spirits and give us the energy we need to keep up the work God has in store for us here.
Since our trip, the four of us have spent a lot of time evaluating where the Holy Spirit is moving in our lives and ministry and we came up with some surprising answers. We’ve been studying the Holy Spirit and thought about how too often we, as Christians, pray away everything asking God to show us His will. We wait for the “nudge of the spirit” before we act instead of just acting and allowing the Spirit to work through us. Maybe that sounds a little strange so I’ll put it in practical terms…when you see a car pulled over on the side of the road what do you think? Generally, I think our natural reaction is that they did it on purpose. Maybe they have a phone call or they’re lost or are tired or are yelling at their kids even. We aren’t sure, but whatever the reason is they probably don’t need anything from us. What if we assumed that everyone pulled over did need help? What if every person walking on the side of the road really wished they had a ride but didn’t want to stick their thumb out and ask?
So, using that philosophy, we’ve set aside a Saturday every month for just loving on our neighbors. Literally we pull out of our driveway and every person we see walking, pulled over, moving something heavy, doing yard work, or whatever we stop to ask how we can help. Sometimes the results are a little comical or people think we’re crazy and refuse, but we also experienced some very powerful opportunities as well. The guys go one way and the girls go the other, but there is a similar theme throughout and that is that people are genuinely surprised when you show an interest in them without being asked.
Rebecca and I picked up a woman at a bus stop (which seems like a normal everyday place for someone to be and not a place where people need much help) but she was so thankful because she still had another hour and forty minutes before her bus was going to arrive! The boys picked up a guy here on vacation who had just been dumped on the plane ride over by the woman he was traveling with. He was so moved by their prayers and concern that he asked if he could come to church with us, so we took him home and made him dinner and went to church like he was just part of the family. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSfO1j2-c8M)
This weekend we took another approach to this philosophy and picked dozens of starfruit from the tree in our yard to give away and did that for our day of helping. Us girls did not have nearly as much success (people, particularly tourists, are highly suspicious of “free” fruit it turns out). Plus we had a more limited time frame because we had our afternoon planned with some other girls (more on that below). But the guys had an AMAZING day!
They set up shop by the waterfall down the road from our house, which is a major tourist attraction, and they got to speak to hundreds of people! Most people don’t know what a starfruit is so it’s a unique fruit to offer and they shared samples and stories and the response was tremendous. People constantly were asking why they were giving it away and most of the time their response was “Because you’re awesome!” but when people persisted they got the truth…that God had called us here to love on the people around us no matter what that looked like. So many seeds were planted and one couple, a Jewish family from Israel, let the guys take them to the bottom of the waterfall and then took them out to lunch in return. A visiting pastor from the mainland is going to use our kayaks this week and hang out with the boys. It was so cool to come home and hear story after story about what some laundry baskets full of fruit could do for the Kingdom. Now the four of us are going to keep going to that waterfall with fruit and baked goods and water until our tree runs out of fruit just so we can keep sharing with people. It’s gonna be awesome.
The crazy thing is, we’re not doing anything extraordinary. We are just opening our eyes to the world around us and stepping out in faith to do everyday acts of kindness. And while I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve noticed that because we make it a point to do that, I’m so much more aware of needs every day. I have more of a compulsion to help than to simply pray and walk away. It’s been truly amazing to see how much more of God there is and how much more we can become like Jesus if we simply take the time to ask and act in faith without worrying about all the details in between.
Finally, another awesome thing God is doing is allowing us to develop friendships with other believers all over the island. We girls in particular have found that there are a lot of single, Christian women out there who just want people to do things with, but maybe haven’t found those kind of friendships in their everyday social circles. Since we work so seldom we have the free time to devote to them and it’s been really fun. We’ve explored new places none of us would be willing to go to on our own and revisited favorites with people who’ve lived here but never gotten around to seeing them. Rebecca and I have been so blessed to have each other for that serious level of accountability and spiritual discipline that we have almost taken for granted that we always have a friend to do things with and fellowship with. It’s really cool to be able to do that for others and to learn more about our island and its people while we’re at it.
So that’s just a little taste of what God has been up to. Please continue to pray that He will keep opening up doors to do amazing things so we can be a light in our little piece of paradise. God is so good!
P.S. Keep checking up on our Facebook posts, our YouTube channel, and our Instagram @hawaiiheart9815 for more on the incredible things God is doing!