revolutionizing love in an island paradise

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by Rob Noland –

Back row: Matthew, Kanysha, Brock. Front row: Chelcee, Erlist, Melissa, Brianna, Mark

Revolution Hawaiian urban mission program for young adults follows William Booth’s call to “Go for souls and go for the worst.” Now in its third yearlong session, we intentionally and fiercely love the rejected people of Oahu.

Since ancient times, the Hawaiian warrior’s life was one of devoted service to the ali’I nui (high chief), and demanded rigorous physical training to maintain his specialized offensive and defensive skills. The Revolution Hawaii warriors enter this mission for rigorous training in spiritual warfare, spending an entire year serving the King of Kings.

The current eight revolutionaries 18-21-year-olds from California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Florida and Chuuk arrived in this mission field in September 2008.

Every day, these urban missionaries reveal the ugly underbelly hiding beneath the beautiful veneer of an island paradise. Hawaii is not free from sin and destruction homelessness, addiction, abuse, neglect, hopelessness, despair and death can be found on the streets, beaches and neighborhoods of this “Aloha” state. Though it might seem daunting and even a bit risky, these eight Revolution Hawaii warriors fearlessly wade into the battle daily and wage war with love.

“Many people are surprised that Hawaii, despite being rightly called Paradise, has a great many problems. We have gangs, poverty and a level of drug dependency that rivals anywhere on the mainland,” said Major Edward Hill, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands divisional commander. “I think it is surprising to some of these dysfunctional people to see our Revolution Hawaii students so boldly engage them in conversation and witness. I believe it doesn’t take long for these folks to understand that our students are not motivated to do so by faith in their own abilities and skills, but that they are being carried forward by Holy Spirit power.”

It is not an easy task. We face momentary setbacks and times of despair. William Booth once sent a telegram to some officers facing similar difficulties. It consisted of two words: “Try tears.”

Many tears have been shed this year over Revolution Hawaii’s newfound friends who remain lost and hurting. More tears are sure to fall, but they are tears mixed with prayers to a loving and victorious God who works miracles in even the most hopeless of lives. When Revolution Hawaii experiences victory, it is incredibly sweet.

“My greatest desire is for the students of Revolution Hawaii to return to their home corps and offer themselves as raithful and willing servant leaders,” Hill said. “The intention of the program is to help mold people in the image of the Lord Jesus, who was the ultimate servant leader. We need those who will faithfully commit to making their corps, no matter how humble it may be, a bit better. To do so, particularly in challenging times, you need the heart and mind of Christ. Revolution Hawaii is a good place to take on those characteristics.”

Recorded here are the thoughts, emotions, realizations and experiences of the current Revolution Hawaii members.

We continue to pray for victory.

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