The Week of the Honolulu Inaugural Service!

By Kyle Bartholomew, Evangelist, Honolulu International Christian Church.

(Editor’s note: The following guest article is written by the Evangelist of our sister church on O‘ahu, the Honolulu International Christian Church.)

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV).

The Honolulu Mission Team arrives from Los Angeles, California.

As I imagined what my first week in the Honolulu International Christian Church would be like, I envisioned sharing my faith with a ton of people, having memorable bonding times with the disciples, an incredible first Sunday Service, a faith building Special Missions Contribution, and of course a lot of fun!

Upon landing on Monday, June 2nd, we were greeted by our warm brothers and sisters from the Honolulu International Christian Church with a trademark from the Islands, Hawaiian lei’s. From the airport, we traveled to Ala Moana Shopping Center where Chris Teves generously treated the entire mission team to lunch. After an afternoon of zzzz’s on a full stomach we traveled to Aiea for an incredible barbeque at Jodi and U’i Tyrell’s home. Being in LA for nine months made attending a barbeque with local food especially satisfying for me!

Some of the Honolulu disciples enjoy the sights from Diamond Head.

We woke up early the next morning on June 3rd, and set off for our hike up the steep slopes of a beautiful mountain called Diamond Head. After 30 minutes, a lot of sweat, and sore calf muscles we had finally reached the top. As we looked out over the city, we were blown away to see the vast number of buildings, cars, homes, and people that were visible. I reminded the group that we were looking out at a lost city whose only hope was Jesus Christ. Each of us prayed fervently for the city and for open hearts that would receive the gospel message. We capped off our mountain top experience by loudly singing the song, Hard Fighting Soldiers! After our descent from the mountain, we made a quick stop at Kinko’s to print out invitations for our Inaugural Sunday Service and quickly made our way over to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa to share our faith. With each disciple’s heart burning with excitement, we quickly canvassed the campus and shared our message of Jesus Christ crucified! The response was amazing as we all quickly racked up a list of phone numbers from people who were interested in our message, as well as attending our Inaugural Service. The sisters departed for a good night’s rest, and the brothers and I finished our day with a 10:00 p.m. swim at the warm Waikiki Beach.

After a good night’s sleep, on June 4th, we drove to the airport to greet our guests, Mike Underhill and Kip and Elena McKean. They were all visiting from the City of Angles International Christian Church. We then went to the Ala Moana shopping center to share the gospel message. Upon sharing with a number of shoppers, we were quickly spotted and asked to leave by the center’s security guards and warned not to share our faith. It reminded me of the scripture “But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:19) After an eventful day, Joan and I sat down for dinner with Kip and Elena at a local favorite, Sam Choy’s. Together, we rejoiced about the positive response we got from the people of Hawaii to the message of Jesus. God gave both couples a treat as we witnessed beautiful fire works on our way back to our hotels. God is truly remarkable!

Tili, Joyce and Jodi (l-r) are a part of the same ohana.

On Thursday, June 5th, the mission team continued to spread the message on the University of Hawai’i’s campus. Kip and I met with Chris Teves for an incredible lunch buffet at a local hotel for a time of mutual encouragement through the Word of God! That night Joan and I, as well as the McKeans, met with Joe and Mary Santos for a dinner and a Bible study. Both the Santos’ and we were excited as our hearts were once again knitted together in our unified vision to win the Islands for Christ!

Chris, Jodi, Joe and Kyle (l-r) are ready to preach the word!

Friday, June 6th, was a fun day for the mission team as they went for a hike. Joan and I, as well as the McKeans’ continued to meet together with the remnant couples to strengthen them in their faith. That night at devotional, Kip delivered a powerful message from the book of Nehemiah entitled, “The Walls are Broken Down.” We were challenged to survey the walls in the Pacific Rim as they had been, “broken down.” He then gave us the charge to evangelize the Pacific Rim, or as Nehemiah would put it, our part of the wall. After incredible fellowship and tasty doughnuts we headed off to bed.

Upon awaking on Saturday, June 7th we headed to the airport to greet our incoming guests, Evan and Kelly Bartholomew and Robbie and Linda Robinson from our sister church the Hilo International Church of Christ. We then used the remainder of our day to strengthen the brethren from Hilo, as well as, pass out the remaining invitations for our Inaugural service. We then hit the sack with the anticipation of an incredible Sunday Service that next day.

Kyle preaches the word of God.

Sunday, June 8th, the day of our first service together was finally here! Starting the church with just 24 disciples, we had 65 people out to service. The fellowship was buzzing and the singing electric as we sang out to God with all of our hearts. I delivered a message entitled, “Can These Bones Live” taken from Ezekiel 37. Then we took up our Special Missions Contribution. Having a goal of $10,000 for the Honolulu Church, we took up a total collection of $23,700 dollars which included a generous gift from the Hilo Church of Christ of $7100 dollars in which we will be forever grateful. Service ended with a powerful song and roaring applause as we closed out our Inaugural Sunday Service!

As I reflect back on my week, I am convinced that God can do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine according to His power at work in us! Honolulu church let us never forget that we serve a powerful God!