Jim Elliot wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” What is it about human nature that causes us to continually look forward to the next day, experience, or stage in life while neglecting the people and opportunites we are surrounded by today? There is a certain power in being fully present. To be with the person you are with. To cultivate friendships, regardless of how long the relationships may last. To say yes to opportunities that arise. As I struggle with these ideas, I often command myself to live intentionally. So much of ministry happens in unplanned, informal settings, over meals and shared experiences. In addition, so much of my own personal growth has come when I approach life intentionally without waiting for life to come to me.
Our time in Kauai has shown me just how much fruit can come from intentional living. Although there is always room for improvement, the past two months have been more rich in experiences, friendships and ministry then I thought possible in such a short time. We want to share some of these blessings and accomplishments with you all:
Beach Walk: Shortly after arriving in Kauai, the YWAM director asked if David and I would start/lead a beach walk ministry to the homeless community in Kapa’a. This is something that YWAM Kauai has had a heart to do for some time and they felt that this summer was the perfect time. Having spent two years working with the homeless community in Houston, we were excited use some of those experiences here in Hawaii. David took the reigns with this project, leading worship and planning the structure of our ministry time each week. During the first two weeks we spent our time prayer-walking up and down the beach, brainstorming, and worshiping in the park. We felt that God was leading us to simply be available to pray with people, develop genuine friendships and provide a listening ear to anyone who wanted to talk. Over the next several weeks, we brought bottles of cold water to Kapa’a and began having conversations with the men and women in the community. It was fun to see how each week was better then the one before as we slowly began to develop real relationships. YWAM Kauai will continue the beach walk ministry in the future and will build on the foundation that has been laid out over the past two months.
Community Garden Website: YWAM Kauai is on the planning team for a community garden about to be launched in a primarily-Hawaiian community in Kauai. The goal of the garden is to support and create opportunities for all residents of Anahola, regardless of circumstances. Last month I was asked to create a simple website for this community garden. Although my knowledge of web design is limited, I really enjoyed working on this project.
YWAM Kauai Video: In addition to the website, I was able to film a short video for YWAM Kauai. It was a blessing to be able to contribute to the base using film, which is also an area I really enjoy. We will be sure to post the video once it is finished.
Local Schools: Within walking distance to the YWAM staff house are two schools: Kilauea Elementary School and Kauai Christian Academy. Over the past two months we have volunteered at both schools doing odd jobs such as painting, cleaning and preparing classrooms. In addition, David had the opportunity to speak to high school students at Kauai Christian Academy last week. He spoke on “The Surrendered Life”, using his personal testimony to demonstrate how surrender has the power to transform. Finally, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in the first grade class at Kilauea Elementary School three times each week. Besides falling in love with each and every child, I was able to give students one-on-one attention in the areas of grammar and reading.
Thank you all for your prayers and continued support. We feel so blessed and loved to have friends and family that share our passion for God and missions.