You’ve got Mel!

By Kelly Bartholomew.

“Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” Luke 20:18 (NIV).


Linda, Kelly and Mel (l-r) share some Bible verses before Mel’s baptism at Four-Mile Beach. (photo by Chris Directo)

On June 20, our small congregation of sold-out disciples had the opportunity to watch as Melissa, broken to pieces by her former life, was baptized into Jesus Christ. It was an amazing evening full of excitement and joy because we knew that what is bound on Earth is also bound in heaven, and what is loosed on Earth is also loosed in heaven. However, even more amazing, was how God was working in her life in the few months leading up to her baptism. 


The women search for a good baptism spot. (photo by Chris Directo)

“Mel” had been raised in South Carolina, where she grew up going to a Southern Baptist church.  She was very involved with her congregation, and frequently attended church activities. In the fall of 2005, after graduating High School, she decided to attend the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Upon leaving her family and friends, Mel also left her religiosity, as she indulged in the college lifestyle on the UHH campus.

In February of 2007, while hiking in one of Hawaii’s most famous valleys, Waipi‘o Valley, her hand was crushed by a two-hundred-fifty-pound lava rock which left her hand bloodied and in need of urgent medical attention. In the valley, the only way out is a steep road that requires a four-wheel drive vehicle. 

Amazingly, God was at work in Mel’s life. She not only found someone who had a four-wheel drive vehicle, and was willing to take her to the hospital, but he also happened to be the only orthopedic surgeon on the entire island.

Why would God allow her to go through such a thing? 


The congregation greets Mel as she emerges from the cool waters of her baptism. (photo by Chris Directo)

While attending school at UHH, Mel was also working for the school, and found her self working on Sundays. It was easy for her to justify being absent at church because of the job. However, with her hand now being “broken to pieces,” she was excused from having to work. It was at this time that Mel ran into me and my husband on the UHH campus. Mel studied the Bible, and you know the rest. We are so excited to welcome a new sister, but are far more excited to see how God will use her, as she was clearly called by God.

To God be the glory.