Hey there! Have you ever been to Hawaii? I have! I’m part of the Living Sacrifice team that recently went to Oahu, Hawaii on a mission trip. Living Sacrifice is a mentoring and discipleship program for young Salvation Army people in the BC Division. It’s rooted in the scripture verse Romans 12:1-2 and we meet a few times a year to explore what it means to be a living sacrifice for God and how we’re supposed to live our lives holy and pleasing to God.
Our trip to Hawaii wasn’t for sand, sun and surf. It was to learn how to reach out to non-believers as well as show and share God’s love with others we didn’t know. While there we teamed up with The Salvation Army Revolution Hawaii team (check ‘em out here) to serve the people on the streets in whatever way we could by offering them a helping hand, open ear and the love of God. In order to do so, we headed downtown. As we did, we noticed a number of people living in tents made up of tarps that were set up on the side streets and sidewalks of Hawaii’s downtown North Shore. Tbh, this was an eye opener for most of the group because when we most of us hear of Hawaii we automatically think of the perfect vacationing island, not needy or homeless people. Certainly not people living in tarp tents in the city centre.
URBAN TENTS & TIME TO CELEBRATE
As we talked with people on the street, we gave out sandwiches and prayed with them. I’ll never forget the conversations and connections I made with the locals. They were so friendly and full of stories! We invited many of our new friends to come to a church service with us and a number of them agreed to come for the first time! After the service we shared a pizza dinner together.
We also went to The Salvation Army A.R.C. which stands for Adult Rehabilitation Centre and where they help folks with alcohol and drug addiction. It just so happened to be Valentines Day so it was cool to spend the day with them. It was also their “Ohana Night” which in the Hawaiian language means ‘family’. On this particular evening they were having a celebration event for graduating men of the program. Family members, children and wives were present and we all played games, ate dinner and enjoyed a time of worship together. I really enjoyed getting to know these men because they were all so thankful for the rehabilitation program they were a part of, for their family, and for second chances because of Jesus’ love for them.
HAWAII LEAVES A MARK
This missions trip to Hawaii made a huge impact on my life. It helped me realize that there are people in need of help and the love of God everywhere, even in places like Hawaii. While there I witnessed God work in ways of the people I met and heard many stories about what God had already done in their lives. I found it cool to experience how Hawaiians worship in different ways from what I’m used to like hula dancing in church, or singing worship songs in the Hawaiian language to the same God I serve!
I, along with the rest of the Living Sacrifice team need to share what we learned through our experience with folks in our lives and community. We need to look for those in need in our own communities and serve/love them in any way we can.
:: by Kaitlyn Goyak of Maple Ridge, BC