Sadness of Paradise

One of the constant battles we have faced in coming to Hawaii and recruiting others to join our journey is this stereotype that we are coming because of Hawaii (vacationing the rest of our lives). I have gotten all sort of responses when telling people about our journey here like: "oh I bet you are suffering in Hawaii aren't you",or  "Mission trip to Hawaii, oh course we want an easy vacation", or "really tough living in Hawaii isn't it". We get all sort of responses. The other day all of them came to an overwhelming flood of emotions as I began to do research for our summer church hangout.

I was looking up the rules of one of the beach areas (what is allowed and what is not). As a church, we like to grill out and we thought taking a Sunday to worship together then hangout together would be a great way for us to grow together. As I looked for the rules on taking a grill to Ko'Olina (a beach resort area that we go to as a family) I was shocked at how rude and annoying some people are. There was a section where people were complaining about others bringing coolers to the pool or umbrellas to the beach because it ruined their idea of a resort. Then there was the one that broke my heart. When I found the answer to the question "can I take a grill", I wanted to burst out in angry tears and words. There were pages of people complaining about the locals coming to the beach and ruining the look of the lagoon. They complained about how they just took up so much space, were playing music with instruments (probably because radios were banned from the beach) and were taking up parking spaces that they wanted. They complained and complained because it was suppose to be a resort beach and not a local beach.

As I got upset, I realized this is the same cold and ridiculous response I get from church people. They want Hawaii to be their vacation spot, not a mission field. In fact I had a person once tell me "I would never go on a mission trip to Hawaii because I want to be able to vacation there without all of the emotions or guilt". How sad it is that many people don't see the people that live in Hawaii as needing Jesus. Out of the 1.3 million people here, so many of them don't have a relationship with Christ.

One of the other things people don't know about Hawaii is that life can be really hard. It is expensive and oppressive here. Everyone if trying to keep up with each-other monetarily or physically. It is hard to keep a pure mind and heart in this environment. It is hard to teach your children modesty in this environment. It is hard not to be greedy or teach your children simple living in this environment. People careless about the large amount of homeless here. It is hard to drive by them and not have compassion for them. Our emotions are getting pulled at everyday!

The last thing that is hard is leaving all of your friends and most of your family to minister in a place that has so many skeletons in your past closet. I have had to face my past time and time again here. It has been hard to endure.

Please pray for Hawaii and pray for your own heart to love the people here more than you love the place. There is a huge need for Christ exalting groups of people here. Many are so lonely and are carrying so many burdens. This place needs the love it talks about so often!

Comments

  1. Shawn,
    Thank you for this information. Thank you for sharing the truth about a place that so many of us think of from a very selfish point of view. Thank you for reminding us of the lostness there. Thank you for showing me how I need to pray for you, your family, and church as you reach a spiritually dark place.

    Kirk Bishop

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