Waging war with love
Salvationist youth minister to those
in need in ‘paradise.’
By Rob Noland
Revolution Hawaii is in its fifth year, waging war with love in some of the harshest battlefields in the 50th state. For the last eight months, the 2010-2011 team has lived like Jesus: loving God with all their heart, mind and strength and loving their neighbor like themselves.
This year Revolution Hawaii has gone international. For the first time we have two team members from Melbourne, Australia: Glenn Fulton, 23, and Catherine Stremple, 22. The other five come from the Western Territory: Bridgette Mendez, 23, from the Phoenix South Mountain Corps; David Smith, 19, from the Globe Corps, Southwest Division; Lauren Estill, 25, from the SOMA Corps, Golden State Division; Michael Moore, 24, from the Eureka Corps, Del Oro Division; and Steven Hughes, 22, from the Mat-Su Valley Corps, Alaska Division.
Some of the team members share their experiences below.
A year ago my dad died unexpectedly and my world crumbled. Life didn’t make sense and I went into a spiritual free fall. I was angry. I felt alone, feared the future and questioned God. I lived in despair and hopelessness. I wanted hope. I desired direction.
In Revolution Hawaii, I’ve spent time at the adult rehabilitation center and slept on Chinatown’s streets by myself for two weeks. Reading the Bible and spending time with Jesus has made the greatest impact on me. Reading God’s Word daily allowed him to speak into my life in ways I was “too busy” to receive before.
I miss my dad holding me, but I now know I have my heavenly Father holding me all the time. In Deuteronomy 1, Moses instructs Israel to remember all the great things God has done for them: Remember…how the Lord your God carried you just as a man carries his son…(1:31) through the desert and the hard times. God spoke to my heart through that verse. I knew he was saying the same to me, “Michael, I want to carry you. Trust me. I am the answer to all your hurt and pain. I love you and I am your perfect, loving Father.”
I didn’t know much about the program when I signed up, but the more I heard about it I knew that God had called me to it.
I finally made it to Hawaii. As I got more involved with the Chinatown outreach and met the people in Waianae, I felt I was in way over my head. How am I supposed to help out here?
Volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club is where I do most of my ministry. Showing these kids the love of Christ Jesus deepens my relationship with him. Lucky for me I am not fighting on my own; God is the one doing the real work. He is the one working on their hearts. I have been able to get to know a few of them and tell them Bible stories and about our church.
Before Revolution Hawaii, I kept ministry in the corps’ walls. Now I can’t imagine not talking to people in the street or just hanging out with the kids at the park.
Revolution Hawaii’s motto is, “A Year to Change a Lifetime.” I never thought this would mean a change in me.
When I first heard about Revolution Hawaii [RevHI] I was in high school and working a job I hated, so I asked God to guide me to something better. One day on Facebook I watched a video of Rob Noland explaining RevHI. God told me to apply, so I did.
I met the rest of the team in Hawaii. At first we split time between Waianae and Kauluwela. One day at the adult rehabilitation center in Kauluwela, I realized God wanted me there.
The first few months I was really shy around the guys. But I trusted God and became more confident when talking with them. When I started doing things with God’s help and not on my own, my ministry really started to grow. Conversations became freer and easier for me. Now I have relationships and deep conversations with some of them.
I still mess up and try to do things my own way, but God reminds me it’s a lot easier when I work in his strength. I went from being someone who shied away from doing difficult things to being eager to do whatever God wants me to do—with boldness.
Find more information about Revolution Hawaii at saynetwork.com/revhi