Three weeks ago I was on a plane, talking to an elderly lady named Dolly and learning ALL about her grandchildren as we flew over miles and miles (and miles and miles and did I mention miles) of ocean. I had no idea even remotely what to expect when I arrived at my new 3-month home, I’d never even been to HAWAII before; is the ocean really warm or is that just a myth? do they have ample supplies of granola at the YWAM base? Are there killer bees the size of your face? WHO KNEW BRO, I WAS FREAKIN OUT.
Now, it’s 3 weeks later and I just finished watching Ferris Bueller’s Day off on a dying laptop balanced on a box of diet cherry Pepsis and stabilized with a bag of Cheetos with some of the best humans I’ve ever known. dude, I’ve found my ohana.
When I stepped on the YWAM Maui base for the first time, I was immediately hit by hugs. people didn’t just say “hi, my name is ___” and do the awkward wave-and-smile thing from a distance– they came to you and HUGGED you before basic introductions were even completed. They just saw you as a human being and loved you immediately. The room where I sleep in has 3-layer bunk-beds to fit the 18 girls necessary, which is crazy cluttered with an eclectic assortment of clothing, and completely perfect. It’s like having a sleepover with 17 of the raddest humans for 3 straight months, 8 feet above the ground!! (because guess who got put on the very top bunk and is scared of heights! hint: ME) outside of the actual house, the YWAM Maui property has 5 avocado trees, a star fruit tree, a guava tree, coconut trees, banana trees, and a small garden, so snacking has reached a new level of fantastic. As a professional snacker, I can assure you that these are QUITE quality snacks. the base is also generally gorgeous (it’s Hawaii so it’s basically an actual postcard), and walking distance from an overpriced hipster coffee shop and 10 minutes from a beach. so if you really want to embrace your inner basic, I’d highly suggest taking advantage of this prime location to do so!!
More importantly, our lives here at the base are centered around the single most essential thing in existence: God. we have the craziest worship sessions, times where the whole base prays together, and guest speakers that teach Monday through Friday every week, each one bringing a new aspect of God to light. It’s not at all uncommon for people here to pull you aside and pray for you or tell you a vision that God gave them for you. Never in my life have I been around a community of people with hearts so on fire for Jesus. They are RADICAL Christians. Being in an environment where everyone wakes up to live their day out for God has really challenged me in my own walk with Christ, because dude, He is the ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, OMNIPRESENT, STAR-BREATHING, HOLY, PERFECT EVERLASTING GOD OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, who proved that He would rather DIE than live without you and me. We, humans trapped in an endless cycle of sin, had our ransom paid by the uncreated Creator of the universe so that we could live in intimate relationship with Him for eternity. WHAAAAT??! THAT’S MY GOD. Honestly dude it just makes me want to start throwing all my possessions at His feet and also a lot of nice food and also ALL OF ME.
Every week in lectures, God has hit me with something new. The first week, we learned about the character and nature of God, which is hilarious because He’s so vast we can’t even BEGIN to know all of Him with our tiny human brains. The full extent of His glory is beyond our comprehension, but we’re blessed with smaller revelations of his overwhelming goodness. The next week, we studied a general overview of the entire Bible, basically showing us that the whole thing is a huge arrow pointing to Jesus. this week, we had a lecture with a scary title, but it ended up being my favorite week out of all of them. It was on the fear of God– not panic, not terror, but awe and reverence. He is so big, and we are so small. He is so overwhelmingly God, and we are not. just as the faucets in the showers at YWAM Maui supposedly control the temperature of the water, but instead do absolutely nothing whatsoever as far as I can tell, society gives us the APPEARANCE of being in control of life. so we twist the hot and cold handles, try to manipulate our own situations, try to live life for ourselves and are absolutely CERTAIN that WE can do it. we refuse to admit that God is all-powerful and that it’s through giving our whole hearts and total control to him that we find freedom and peace.
Yesterday evening I was swimming in the ocean, and when I brought my head up from the water, I suddenly realized just what I currently get to do with my life. I looked around at the rising mountains, the golden light from the fading sun, and felt the warm turquoise water moving beneath me. I’m a missionary living in Hawaii, in an ocean that looks like a travel ad. I live in a community of people with hearts on fire for Jesus. and God has given me the privilege of going out and showing the love of Jesus to the nations of the world. all I had to do was choose HIM. it may not always be Hawaii, but He will always be God. and that is everything.
I’m never going back.
lots of love,