My sister receives the ultimate gift!

By Mahe Directo.

What more can you ask for than seeing a sibling become a disciple of Christ!

This is a dream come true for me after fifteen years of praying for my family to see God in all his power and glory.

My sister and I were born and raised on the island of O‘ahu, in a small town of Haleiwa. My sister and I grew up in a religious family in a Pentecostal church. Our parents tried hard to raise three children to know God and Jesus.

During our teenage years, our father worked overseas in order to help our financial situation. Our mom did her very best raising us, despite all the drama that went on during the life of two teenage girls and one preteen son. After four challenging years of living apart from our father, we were faced with an unexpected turn of events.

Our brother, the youngest and only boy, died at the age of fifteen. His death was caused by an acute asthma attack. During our mourning, our family was unsure of what direction we were going to go.

At the time we were only teenagers in high school; my sister was seventeen, and I was sixteen. Our father was still working overseas. My mom did her best raising three teenagers by herself. Our brother’s death truly tested our faith in a God.

Our lives went on. Three years later, I moved to Hilo for college, studied the Bible and became a Christian. My sister stayed on O‘ahu. I would ask her once in a while if she wanted to study the Bible, but she didn’t.

Fifteen years later, in October of 2006, my sister and I had one of those heart to heart talks about our lives and our relationship with God. During this particular conversation, she stated, “God has blessed my life in so many ways, and the least I can do for Him is to serve Him, and I can never turn my back on Him now.”

I believe that God was working in both of our hearts, and by faith I asked my sister again if she was interested in studying the Bible. With a fire and a zeal in her voice, she said yes!

This was great to hear, but there was just one practical problem. I reside in Hilo, and my sister lives on O‘ahu.

A month prior to speaking with my sister, a tragic split occurred in the Hilo Church of Christ, as well as our sister church on O‘ahu. The O‘ahu Church of Christ was undergoing some major changes, and we did not know who was on the same page with our group of twelve disciples that was left from the split.

I decided to take advantage of that thing called email to study the Bible with my sister. I emailed both the Word and Discipleship studies to my sister.

I planned to study the bible with my sister via email until I could get in contact with at least one sister that I could truly trust would teach my sister God’s word with deep convictions. God answered my prayers and provided an incredible couple that truly love God and the Word, Joe and Mary Santos.

I planned a trip during Veterans Day weekend to hook my sister up with Joe and Mary and study the bible with her. Mary and I went over the Discipleship study with her after a Sunday service. The study was so awesome that my sister declared that she wanted to be a true disciple of the Bible and get baptized on December 3, 2006.

When asked why December 3, her response was that she wanted to start a new life going into the New Year. Mary and I looked at each other in amazement and said, “That is very possible. Let’s continue to pray and study out God’s word.”

God has been doing incredible things in His church in spite of the devastating split in our churches.

After that study I flew back home to Hilo and put my trust in God and in the good hands of Mary and two other faithful women, Uilani and Malia, the disciples who God has provided so that my sister would have a chance to have a true relationship with God. With constant communication by phone and email my sister showed incredible progress in her walk with God.

As the weeks went by, I got the phone call of my dreams. My sister told me, “Did you get your ticket yet? I’m getting baptized on Sunday, December 3.” With great excitement, I said “Yes, of course!”

The day finally arrived. The schedule of events started out with an outdoor service at Kaiaka Beach Park in Haleiwa. Joe gave a short and powerful message, followed by communion.

Then it was time for the baptism. Some of the women shared about God’s grace, power and encouragement. My sister, Kehau, then answered two important questions: Do you believe in Jesus? What is your confession?

After that, Mary, Uilani and I had the privilege and honor to walk my sister to the waters of baptism. As we held arm and arm and prayed, God’s power in the waves was so strong that the baptism finished with a big splash as my sister raised her arms in victory out of the water into a new life with God.

On this special day God added beautiful weather, a handful of disciples, and friends and our family. We were blessed to have our parents there to witness the baptism, as well as my sister’s husband Kevin, her three children and three nieces.

This was a powerful time and God topped it off with some good food and awesome fellowship.

I am always reminded of God’s faithfulness whenever I see one of God’s promises reveal itself. I am truly convicted, and my faith renewed, when God continues to prove that He is God, and we are not!

A dream come true when you see a family member become a true disciple of God, and a partner in the gospel. Our God is an awesome god!