Revolution Hawaii takes interest, shows love

Team members befriend Charley, and help him heal.
By Joe Noland, Commissioner

The current team in Revolution Hawaii (RevHi), a one-year program of service in an urban setting and in summer deployments to underdeveloped countries for young adults (18-29), recently spent a few nights living homeless on the streets of Honolulu. They met Charley, a partially paralyzed drunk who spent his life atop a flattened cardboard box, begging for change. With his long, scraggly hair and beard, he looked far older than he was.

“The first time I met Charley” said Rob Noland, RevHi director, “he was being carried into our Upper Room service [a ministry geared toward young adults and people in recovery and their families] by team members who placed him on one of the front row pews. The smell was overpowering, causing everyone to move far back into the chapel, except for those few brave team members, sitting with arms around him so that he wouldn’t feel alone. Locating a battered wheelchair, they wheeled him back week after week.”

Five years earlier, a fight left Charley with bleeding in the brain that led to a stroke and paralysis of the right side of his body. Suffering deep depression, he decided to drink himself to death. Unable to get to a bathroom, he soiled his clothing, and had no means to bathe or shower. The team found him this way every week.

Charley loved coming to Upper Room, and the fellowship and food that followed. One evening he said that the lasagna Ernie Ing bought at Sam’s Club was “the best homemade lasagna I have ever tasted!”

During his fifth week, Charley said he wanted to get into a clean and sober house. John, a RevHi team member, took him to the dorms, helping him to bathe, shave and outfitting him with a set of clean clothes. Charley looked 15 years younger, and shared his life story; he had come to Hawaii to work on geothermal wells, got married and divorced, and had children and grandchildren.

Through the team’s efforts, Charley was accepted into a clean and sober house. Now, five months later, his infected foot is healed; he walks with a cane, speaks clearly and praises God joyfully. He leads Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and is looking forward to reuniting with his children and grandchildren. Charley is a true 21st century trophy of grace.

For more information about Revolution Hawaii, visit

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