In their own own words
Society shuns those whom Revolution Hawaii seeks to befriend and love the poor, the homeless, the neglected, the addicts, the hurting, the broken, the searching. Practicing Christ-like love will forever change and humble, not only the one receiving, but also the one giving this gift.
I came to Revolution Hawaii with the task of loving God and others. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. This love requires patience, humility, selflessness, hope, trust, and perseverance. Loving as Christ loves requires total dependence and reliance on him.
Here, hidden behind the dirt and grime of the streets, are many brilliant, caring, talented, intelligent and beautiful people. It breaks my heart to see how they’re choosing to live and to see the discouragement and pain in their eyes. What burdens me the most is that they are filling themselves with things that will always leave them empty; they are blinded to the complete and satisfying love of a perfect Savior and bound to chains that seem almost unbreakable. But then l think, “How big is my God? How great and powerful is his love, grace and free gift that can deliver any man from his bondage of sin?”
God is at work here in Hawaii, and though we may not see immediate change in the lives we reach, I have faith that the Lord will work in the hearts and minds of these individuals. Love never fails; his love never fails. The transformation that results from this unfailing love is worth the wait.
Before I arrived in Hawaii, my life was dull, my walk with God was insignificant, and I needed to be saved. I grew up knowing I was one of God’s children and believing that God is real. Yet I still had no comprehension of what he did for me.
Coming here, I wanted to help people. I wanted to nurse the poor and pray with them. It turned out that I was the one being nursed. Whether through memorizing Scripture, reading books about prayer and devotion, or volunteering with the children at the Boys and Girls Club, I was being fed and I needed it. Revolution Hawaii has broadened my walk with Christ and brought me closer to him. Now that I have been here for a while serving the communities and working with the homeless, I have life skills that I can take with me wherever I go and knowledge of God and everything surrounding him that I can share with others.
Revolution Hawaii opened my eyes and saved my spiritual life. I pray that others can have the same experience.
Everyone has some kind of need, an empty void that may be physical, emotional or spiritual. No matter where you are in life something more can always be done. I have learned that I have needs in my spiritual walk with God.
Before arriving in Hawaii, I felt that I had everything together. I had a good relationship with my family and friends, was active at my home church and did well in college; I was on the “right track.” Revolution Hawaii focuses on personal discipleship through reading books, studying Scripture and becoming more devoted in prayer. I soon realized these were areas that were dry in my walk with God. I went to church every Sunday, taught music, led Bible study, hung out at the different fellowship nights, but I neglected my personal relationship with God.
“But he answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). I was living on bread alone. Something good has come out of my time here, though; I have learned a lot and am better prepared for this battle. Most importantly, I am closer to God. This is not the end of growing because I serve a God who is living and breathing.
Revolution Hawaii is making a huge difference in my life. I am normally a shy person who often isolates myself from the crowd, but as a member of Revolution Hawaii, I now find myself socializing with people I don’t know. I recently realized that I know a lot of people of the streets, in my church and at my volunteer sites. Building relationships with all of these people has not been as hard as I thought and has led me to love them. Every time I go out on the street, my heart breaks to see these new friends living a hard life on the street. I’ve never experienced this before; all I cared about was me. Loving others is often hard for me, but I need to work on this because Jesus said to love others as thy self.
My own relationship with God has also been a failure in my life, but I can say now that I have a great relationship with God. I enjoy spending time with him, listening and talking with my savior.
Revolution Hawaii has made me a Jesus freak and I’m proud to be one. This program renewed my personality and taught me how to live. How cool it is to be a part of ‘RevHi.’
I remember my excitement at the 2006 youth councils in the Northwest Division. I loved the praise and worship—the guitar player could play with his feet!—and looked forward to a workshop with them. Then my spirit sank when I heard: “I’m sorry this workshop is full.” So disappointed, I found myself sitting in the Revolution Hawaii workshop, taught by a short man with no hair! As he spoke, I felt a tear run down my cheek. At 16 years old, my heart hurt for the homeless people in Hawaii. I knew I would be part of this program after I graduated.
Back at home, I slowly fell into the so-called “party scene.” Sure I was going to church, but weed and alcohol were my gods. I soon found myself in a very destructive and unhealthy relationship that consumed my life. I knew that if I went to college I would only slip deeper into this lifestyle. I pulled out the Revolution Hawaii application and the next thing I knew, I was in Hawaii—paradise.
While here, I have been emotionally beaten, broken, had eggs thrown at me, knifes pulled on me and heard the worst profanity ever. Yet I have seen the face of Christ and heard Jesus’ voice. My life has been filled with peace and joy that I have never before experienced. Everything in my life has changed, and while change often hurts, all the pain was worth it. Because of Revolution Hawaii, I can love and show that love to everyone around me.
For the past six months, my spiritual walk has been a roller coaster. While learning what it means to truly live for God, I’ve been ministered to and confronted by those I came to serve. I came to show the love of Christ to those who need someone to listen to their stories. Along the way, I have met many beautiful people, both on the streets and in the corps, each with a story. I’ve learned to love each of the people I meet. One woman, Amber, a troubled alcoholic, has much to say. We have made a strong connection; I’m now someone she can trust and love.
This year is dedicated to God. By memorizing Scriptures, starting everyday with devotionals and prayer, and reading inspirational books, we are saturating ourselves in the word and what it means to be in an active relationship with our living God.
I believe this experience will carry over into my own corps and community. I know how easy it is to grow distant from God, apathetic in our daily walk. Although it takes discipline, living in a close walk with God—living for him—is more attainable than I ever thought it could be. God is greater than any circumstance; he is well worth our time.
At Revolution Hawaii, I have also found a deeper meaning of God and of love. Before coming here, I had been a Christian for three years, but I was not living what I believed. I was so good at hiding my sin that my church family and parents didn’t even know about it. I came here as a high school graduate, putting my life on hold to serve God for a full year. I am not in the tourist part of Hawaii on vacation. I am here building relationships with people whose lives have fallen apart. Many don’t have homes and live on the streets, constantly guarding their few belongings and struggling to stay alive.
I now live a completely different life. Showing people the love that Christ shows me is exciting as is stepping out of boundaries that I never thought I could escape. Understanding a deeper meaning of love has helped me show love to complete strangers in ways that I could not even imagine before—from a smile or greeting to giving them food and friendship. God, who is teaching me so much, fills me with his love every second.
God has used Revolution Hawaii to “revolutionize” my own life. I used to live for my own selfish desires. When I arrived, God immediately started working in me, revealing the skeletons in my closet and the love he has for me.
This yearlong missions and discipleship program has been enjoyable, but it has also been hard. Through our daily devotion, prayer time and reading, God has broken many of the walls I constructed in my life. My lies have been slowly exposed, my pride is crumbling, and my selfishness is dissolving. It has been humbling how God has filled the gaps in my life.
We have applied what we learn in Saturday night outreach, at volunteer sites, and through team interaction. I am no longer just acting like a Christian; I am actively trying to better love God and people.