Hawaii and Micronesia Celebrate Victorious Day
by Judy Lee –
On the Island of Oahu, the public is invited to the united Good Friday Service held at Waoli Chapel. Bread and broth will be served following the service. This has become a tradition for many islanders, especially those with ties to The Salvation Army Children’s Home, Waioli Tea Room, and Family Treatment Services.
The rustic, lava rock chapel was built in 1939 and served as the religious center for the Children’s Home. The beautiful stained glass windows depict well-known childhood Bible stories and the life of Christ. Honolulu artist Erica Karawina, in creating the windows, gave them a distinct Hawaiian flair.
Majors Roberto and Esther Rubin and volunteers from the Waioli Chapel will visit patients at the Tripler Army Medical Center and distribute Easter gifts and the War Cry. The 550-bed facility is the largest medical center in the Pacific. Tripler offers care to all active duty military personnel and dependents, Veterans Administration patients, and people from the Trust Territory of the Pacific and American Samoa.
On Maui, Captain William Begonia, Envoy Kimo Koona, and Bram Begonia will participate in the island-wide Sunrise Service held at the War Memorial Stadium in Kahului. Several thousand people are expected to attend this ecumenical service.
Several special events will highlight Holy Week at the Kauluwela Mission Corps, report Majors Ed and Dorothy Covert, corps officers.
On Palm Sunday, the celebrations will begin with the traditional Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) Festival. Conducted on the courtyard of the corps, it will include an outdoor huli huli (barbecue) roast beef potluck lunch.
During the Holiness meeting, a number of senior soldiers will be enrolled and local officers will be commissioned. Special music will be provided by their Hawaiian Praise Group (Waioli) and the Kauluwela Mission Corps Band and Songsters.
Maundy Thursday will bring a special worship service commemorating the Last Supper. On Good Friday, a special program will welcome all of the “ohana” (family) to come and pray in the chapel and nail their prayers and concerns to an “old rugged cross” standing more than six feet high.
Easter morning will start with a traditional Sunrise Service for the downtown community on the courtyard, with special weekend guests Majors Rudy and Judy Hedgren, territorial youth and candidates’ secretary and ass’t. territorial youth and candidates’ secretary, respectively. With the Holiness meeting planned around a dramatic reenactment of the final events of Holy Week, including Easter morning, Hedgren will bring a special Easter message to conclude the Passion Week worship.
The evangelistic emphasis at the Leeward Corps, Hawaiian Islands, will be expressed in a special Easter program entitled, “The Stone Roller.” Corps Officers Captains John and Martie Chamness hope to reach out to the community with this message of hope and renewal in the resurrected Christ.
Contemporary and traditional music of the program speaks of the victory of Jesus over sin and death.
The message will be brought in four different monologues. “The Stone Roller” is an exciting service about the power of God still working in the lives of people today. It takes the analogy of how God rolled the stone of the tomb away to allow the women and disciples to see that the Lord had indeed risen. It is compared to how God still moves stones away in our lives, thereby loosening that which keeps us emotionally entombed so that we can see the risen Savior working in our lives. This is a service of joy and of release as the freedom found in a relationship with the risen Christ is revealed.
Three of the four narrations are of biblical characters and the other a contemporary testimony. The biblical characters use the story of their lives to represent the four spiritual laws in an attempt to reveal the message of salvation clearly for visiting guests to hear. This message will lead to an open invitation for people to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives.
Palm Sunday is unmistakable at Rita Corps, as members gather fresh coconut palm fronds and weave them into unique designs, archways over doors, on floors, and around posts.
During the week, the people gather with Corps Officers Captains Randall and Jonnette Mulch for meetings celebrating the last week of the life of Christ. This will include Bible studies on the Last Supper, the last words of Christ, and the events that lead up to the Crucifixion.
In the Marshall Islands, it has become tradition that after someone dies, following the funeral and graveside service, there is an additional service. Its purpose is for the families to come together and make amends, forgiving one another of any wrongdoings. White coral rocks are collected, put into woven baskets, and spread around the grave. During the Good Friday service, when they focus on Christ’s dying for our sins, the people have the opportunity to make amends with each other.
Easter Sunrise Service will be followed by a continental breakfast. The celebration continues in a Holiness meeting, with refreshments following. On Sunday evening the Home League will host a Family Night celebration. Marshallese Easter songs and dance will be incorporated into a drama, with biblical-type costumes and props.
Portions of the Easter story, as seen through Peter’s eyes, will be told. A celebration of Christ’s rising brings the message that we need to tell the sweet story of his forgiveness to all people. There will be a time of rededication, and people who do not know the Lord will be invited to come to him.