Nu’uanu Baptist Church September 21, 2022
Gail and I are starting to plan for a group of friends coming to Honolulu in October 2023. Since retiring from the International Mission Board, and permanently settling down in Honolulu, I have seen these friends a few times in the last 10 years. We are celebrating 50 years of friendship.
We were all part of the Journeyman program that sends Southern Baptist college graduates overseas for 2 years to help missionaries around the world share the gospel. There were 70 of us who trained for 13 weeks in North Carolina.
So why am I talking about these people? One, because they blessed me in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. You see, I am from Colorado, the “west" and most of them are from the “south." I really didn’t know anyone from the south, even though I, like you, go to a Southern Baptist Church. It was great being able to meet Southern Baptists from the south. It showed me that we are really part of a big family of faith. Some of them may have a little southern drawl, but that fits in well with the pidgin English here in Hawaii. But we are all part of a big denomination that is serious about reaching people for Christ.
The other reason I am writing about these folks is because they are all different, experienced many different things on the field where they served, and using their gifts to serve today. For example, I had the privilege of serving in Japan. It was a great experience and I only had to deal with cold, snowy winters. The people I worked with were wonderful. The Japanese I served were not really responsive to the gospel, but they were appreciative of my ministry to them.
However, many of my fellow Journeymen served in difficult places. Two of them were in Vietnam when it fell and they had to escape with just the clothes on their backs by helicopter. Another had a ruptured appendix in Africa and nearly died. Others were not received well by those they had come to serve. However, all of them gave themselves to the work that God had given them to do. Today, several friends have continued to serve overseas in the Czech Republic, Israel, Brazil, etc., a few worked in campus ministries, one woman is a professor at Baylor, one a climatologist that speaks before Congress and Parliament, many teachers and nurses. All very different, but all still with a heart for reaching the nations.
When we get together, we talk about the good ol' days, but we also talk about what God is doing in our lives now and we pray for and encourage each other. That is what we do here at Nu'uanu. We talk about the good ol’ days (and maybe more so with our 80th anniversary coming up next year.) God has been very gracious to Nu'uanu Baptist Church. We have been blessed by many wonderful members in the past to the present.
However, we also look at what God is doing among us now and what we believe He is calling us to do from now. I’m glad you are all a part of us. What a great encouragement and blessing you are, not only to me, but to each other. Hebrews 12:1,2 says, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Let us continue to keep our eyes on Jesus, our great Savior and Lord and not get sidetracked by the things in this world that would distract us from what is most important.
Grace and Peace,
SUE NISHIKAWA OFFERING for Hawaii Pacific Missions total so far is $4,943. Our goal is $8,500. Please give as you are led.
MEMORIAL SERVICE for Helen Higa will be held on Monday, October 3, at Hosoi Mortuary. 5 pm visitation and 6 pm service.
BUSINESS MEETING this Sunday after the worship service.
PASTOR BOB AWAY on vacation from Sept. 26-Oct. 12. He will be back in the office on October 13. You may contact the other pastors for any concerns you may have.