Can This Mountain Be Moved?

By Evan Bartholomew.

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20-21 (NIV).

Maunakea stands behind Hilo Bay. (photo by Evan Bartholomew)

It is undeniable that God has the power to make possible the impossible, and to move the immovable. Here in the scriptures, we find that this power is also given to disciples. With faith, there is nothing impossible, and no mountain that can’t be moved.

For the past eight months, it has been my privilege to lead a faith-filled group of sold-out disciples of the small city of Hilo; the Hilo International Church of Christ. Hilo is located on the biggest of the eight islands that make up the Hawaiian island chain, and the city’s population is only about 40,000 people. Ironically, unknown to most people, Hilo is also built on the side of a “mountain.”

Margarita and Rachel (l-r) from Portland come to encourage the church. They are pictured with Kelly Bartholomew. (photo by Evan Bartholomew)

Maunakea towers above the city at an elevation of almost 14,000 feet above sea level. However, the base of the mountain is actually found 19,000 feet below sea level; making the total size of the mountain 33,000 feet, the tallest mountain in the world. While this mountain serves as a constant reminder of the power and glory of God, we ask as mere humans, “Can this mountain, this city, be moved?” With faith, it can be!

It has truly been amazing to see how God has already “moved” this sleepy, little city in just the past 20 months. In September of 2006, we made a radical decision to repent of the complacency and lukewarmness that had infected our hearts, and our church. We were cut by the faithful example set by the Portland church, and their desire to move that great big mountain called ‘world evangelism.” We knew we needed a change. Sadly, many people walked away, and we were only left with twelve faithful survivors. Though we had not had a baptism in over a year, God has now blessed our church with almost 30 baptisms in just 20 months. Surely, God has begun to shake an “immovable mountain” here in Hilo.

The adult women receive some relaxing treatment (photo by Chris Directo)

Last Sunday, we saw the mountain rumble once more as we took our first special missions contribution in over five years. In 2002 and 2003, with the dismantling of our former movement’s structure, and the false teachings of church autonomy, supporting any mission outside of our own city limits was no longer feasible. As a result, we started to build up our own “paneled houses” (Haggai 1:4).

The mommies and their children dance it up during “A Night with Mommy and Me.” (photo by Chris Directo)

Our goal for our special missions contribution was $10,000. Through prayer, and God moving in the hearts of the disciples, we were able to raise just over $10,700. All of this money will be used to support the mission team, led by Kyle and Joan Bartholomew, going to Oahu in June. We are so incredibly excited that God can use us in this way, and that through faith, we know that “YES, this mountain can be moved!”