The Bible says there is a season for everything and recently we have felt like this is the season for everything. In a way, not a lot has been going on, but in a different way SO much has been happening it’s hard to know where to start. There are loads of stories to share and prayers to request so I’m going to dive in and hope you can make sense of everything as we go.
We took the month of June off from house guests after six months of almost non-stop visitors (see above). Simon and I celebrated nine years of marriage early in the month and DJ and Rebecca celebrated seven at the end of the month. We thought that by not having guests our lives would slow down, and to some extent that’s true, but when you leave your life open to God and how He wants to work through you, you never know what’s going to happen next.
One major thing we’ve been working on since we moved here is to develop a Christian community that truly lives and reflects God’s design for his Kingdom. We have not always been successful, and, honestly, until this February the four of us were not entirely on the same page as to what that looked like. Since then we have diligently been seeking the Kingdom first and spending time with other Christian sisters and brothers who may want to join in with what we’re doing. We have Friday night burger nights where we meet with specific friends for fellowship and fun and then try to be intentional with those individuals throughout the week via text, personal conversation, mutual activities, and any other way we can lift one another up, meet real genuine needs (financial, emotional, physical…whatever), and grow together in Christ.
It’s been a tremendous blessing to connect with other believers on a deeper level, and we know we are only scratching the surface of what we hope to be for one another. But we will be the first to admit that “working” with people is HARD. It is difficult to constantly be in communication about anything and everything that keeps us apart and draws us together. We sometimes fail to recognize effort or express gratitude. We nitpick about the little things that don’t really matter. And we make assumptions about people’s intentions without seeking genuine understanding. In short, sometimes we just kind of suck at being the body of Christ.
We have had to have some serious, major conversations about whether we want to continue to do this and how to make things work. Living with others in particular can be difficult (though we will all admit that this wouldn’t work with any other couple) and since not many people are trying to do what we do, it’s been hard expressing our struggles to others and to seek advice from those with experience. Despite all of these things though, we know without a doubt that the best way God can use us here is doing exactly what we’re doing and we are committed to making it succeed. Like I said in another post, we don’t measure success with lives touched or numbers added, but by obedience, and we are excited to be open and obedient to the Holy Spirit and all He’s doing here.
So what else is happening here? Great question 🙂
At the beginning of June the coolest thing happened. One of our neighbors, who was one of the first believers we connected with on the island, (maybe you remember we laid flooring in his house and got it ready for his family) met a gentleman while he was out body boarding. They were waiting for a wave and when this tourist asked what brought our friend to Kauai he said God did right before he caught his wave. Well of course that started a conversation. It turns out this tourist was a pastor whose church sent him and his wife to Hawaii all-expenses paid to give them a break since they’d never taken a vacation by themselves in their nineteen years of marriage. Our neighbor, knowing what we do, told this pastor about our ministry and our hearts for people needing a break from the church and then shared this story with us at church later that week.
The really cool part was that we got their contact information and were able to have them over for dinner! It was such a blessing to hear their story, encourage them in their ministry, and tell them about what we do and how God has used our home to be a blessing to others. They were the sweetest couple and from one evening of fellowship we know we will have some lifelong friends. What’s even crazier is that they returned to their church and told everyone there about us, so some of their church members came to Kauai this week of all things and wanted to hang out too….I mean if that doesn’t have God written all over it I’m not sure what does!
Another really amazing thing that happened was meeting a Physician’s Assistant all the way from Michigan while she was here on a military mission! Every year or two the military sends personnel over to Kauai to provide free medical, dental, and optical services for people here with no questions asked. Simon is currently without health insurance so he went to get his glasses prescription and I went along since my insurance doesn’t cover optical. Part of the process is getting all your vitals done and then having a short examination with a doctor before proceeding to your actual destination.
Even though we came a couple hours apart, we both met up with this wonderful woman who immediately identified with our Christian faith, our mid-west roots, and our love for adventure. I got her contact information and throughout her stay we had her and one of the nurses over for dinner, took her on a hike, and joined her for church. It was so great to make that connection with someone who had so much in common with us and help her experience here be unforgettable (you can read her thoughts on her time here on her blog: http://jojo-jojoonthego.blogspot.com/2017/06/aloooohaaa.html?m=1 )…we definitely won’t forget her.
One final thing we’ve been experiencing lately is the overwhelming need for prayer for people in our lives. We’ve been praying for family members and close friends struggling in their marriages, one of our pastor friends (an incredible man of God) being diagnosed with prostate cancer, people losing loved ones, another friend having his heart stop and being put into a coma for a period of time, and tons of missionaries being called to other lands and people for the sake of the Gospel. I truly believe that prayer changes things and we have been dedicating a lot of time to praying for people we love and we’d really love for you to join us.
I’m sure there are so many more stories to share, but I’ll finish for now with a few more prayer requests. Please pray for our little body here that we will continue to grow closer together and that the enemy will not succeed in trying to divide us. Pray for all our friends and family and the various needs they have and how we might be able to bless and encourage them. And pray that God will continue to do great things here on this island to draw people to Him.