It’s interesting I am in Kona for what just happened. The first time I came here, I was 23 years old, sort of running from some problems back at college in Indiana back in July of 1996. I heard of Youth With A Mission through a couple friends who had done Discipleship Training Schools before I had. They talked about Hawaii and how great it was to learn about the love of God and then to go on an international outreach to a place like the Philippines and share what they had learned. I was sold.photo

The first section of one of these schools is the “lecture phase” where it’s class and homework, worship, work duties, and small groups. And in Hawaii, lots of churches and classrooms are outside, without walls because the temperature never drops below 65. So our classroom was called the “Pavilion” and we had all our lectures here. Each YWAM base holds a weekly meeting and the whole campus comes together and listens to a speaker and worships together. The “Pavilion” was all of these things.

The old chalk board on the stage.

The old chalk board and stage.

Well before I came back this time, one of the grounds guys was felling a tree and it smashed the roof of this historic building causing the insurance company to freeze any repairs until a settlement could be reached. Well, in time, they decided to just replace it and down it went. This may not mean much to most, but similar to selling a house you’ve lived in for a long time, events like these can be markers on the road of our lives, telling us one thing is over and another beginning. I choose to look at it that way. It reminds me of the “…see, I am doing a new thing…” verse from Isaiah 43:19photo 4

A new thing…

As people, we tend toward what we know, what we like, and what works, but many times it’s God urging us forward into the unknown, the painful, and toward things that are not based on common sense alone. We can either be like the spies who came back from the promised land with a good report, saying, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” Joshua 2:24, or we can do the opposite and stay where we are.

This building will be replaced with something else, but nothing is certain yet. It’s unknown. How often in life are we afraid to loose something we know because we’re not sure what, if anything, will take its place. Maybe it will be too expensive, too hard require too much of me, BUT, without the old going away, there can be no new. So the old must go. I want to be a person who is ready for whatever God is trying to do. Can I pray with sincerity that God can take from me anything that hinders, and reveal the crutches and familiar but stagnant places that need to go… and then take them away?