Newsletter – May/June 2008

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Go and Let Your Light Shine!
by Pastor Dennis Sallas

Aloha Kakou,

As a child living in Papakolea, on a Hawaiian homestead lot (people with 50% or more Hawaiian blood can have a homestead lot), I used to watch the thousands of cars drive up to the Punchbowl National Cemetery for annual Easter Sunrise Services. Early in the morning, the cars lined up, creating traffic in our small community. We lived in the mountains, away from the hassle and the bustle of people. There were many poor families where I lived, but we were united, not by status or blood, but by love.

When I was associate pastor of Hope Chapel South Shore, we would have Easter service at the church. It was good, but something was missing. Then seven years ago, GOD put it on my heart to bring my childhood memories to life by worshipping the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the open, on the beach at Waikiki — not in the mountains, but right in the middle of Waikiki. Oh, how excited I got!

Later, He put it on my heart to have another outreach, a surf contest in Waikiki to benefit a family or someone in need. The name of the contest was “E hee nalu kakou me ka moi,” meaning “Come Surf With The King.” We also had church on the beach that weekend, so everyone in the area would hear about Jesus and His love. God blessed us with waves, beautiful weather, and lots of contestants.

It was a success, but only through the help of all our volunteers, sponsors, and especially the endless unselfish work of Kaleo Prescott and Wendy Clark, and Scott Sandin. Scott and Wendy organized the committees and provided the great food at their house. Especially, I would like to thank Wayne Overman of overman-hawaii-vacations.com who partners with us financially year after year, for the Easter Sunrise Service, the Matthew Charitable Foundation for their support, and for Wayne and Ron Riddick’s contribution toward the Surf Contest. That was what made it possible. Mahalo.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16.)

So, all of you who are reading this, GO and let your light shine!

Aloha Ke Akua,
Pastor Dennis K. Sallas

 

Why Do We Have Small Groups?
by Donna Sallas

When I first became a new Christian, I was told to find a small group/bible study to attend. I wasn’t sure why, but I did as I was told. At first, it was very intimidating because I didn’t feel comfortable talking and praying in front of people. I was just learning about Jesus, and I was not as knowledgeable as the rest of the group.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that knowledge had very little to do with attending a small group, but it was a wonderful way to learn about our Lord, and to bond with other Christians. It would prove to help me whenever life blindsides me, either at work, in home life, or in making difficult daily choices. It’s that place you can go to, to become more grounded in the Lord to help you make the right choices. One’s group can pray for you and give you the godly support needed to face every day problems.

Bible studies come in all different formats and sizes, and I know you will be led to the one that fits your needs. If for some reason you can’t find one to fit your needs, you can start one of your own. One thing they all have in common is that the Lord is on the throne guiding. He wants us to build on His love, come together, and learn to be strong Christians so we can go out and be a light to others. I want to encourage every one to find or start a small group. I guarantee you will be blessed and will be a blessing to others.

For where two or three come together, in my name, there I am with them. (Matthew 18:20)

The Value of Small Group Bible Studies
by Dorothy Clayton

Because we have been committed Christians for a long time, my husband and I have attended churches of all sizes, as we moved around the country from California, to Hawaii, to Washington DC, to New Mexico, and back to Hawaii.

Even as a young Christian, one of the things that I have valued the most in each of these churches is the opportunity to join a small group Bible study. As a young mother, one small group I attended combined Bible study with sharing Biblical parenting concepts. Not only were we growing in the Lord, but also we were developing a group of supportive friends.

Later on, I was blessed to be in a small group led by two women who had been among the first women preachers in the Southwest. Not only did I receive wonderful Bible teaching from these women, I also received training in the power of prayer. We always lived far away from our own families, and both of these women became my Christian mentors and motherly advisors.

So far, several advantages of small groups stand out: increased Bible knowledge, friendships, mentors, and prayer. There is an opportunity in a small group to learn in an intimate, safe, loving, and caring environment that supplements weekly church attendance. It is also a blessing to hear group members share answers to prayer.

The Lord has used Robert and me to lead various small groups. God uses each of us as we are and where we are. We only need to be obedient to the guidance of his Holy Spirit. As the leader of a small group, I find that my spiritual growth is more consistent since I know that I have to put more time and effort into preparatory Bible study and prayer for the group and its members. Because the members of a group have different needs and different levels of Christian maturity, the leader needs to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Lord that a small group can be successful.

Our church offers many opportunities for you to participate in a small group. Please get involved with one near you. After all, the benefits are heavenly.

 

Why do you go to bible study?
What do you like about it?

We like it because it allows us to see and share what God is doing in others’ lives, and to learn of God’s faithfulness through others’ experiences. We get to pray for each other and be prayed for — and God sure answers prayers. God connects each of us as we focus on His words and reminds us that we cannot walk our Christian life alone.

Andrew and Wanni Wang

As a participant in several home group Bible studies over the years, I have been the facilitator for the Thursday night meeting at the “White House” for the past two years. While I find great personal benefit in preparing for each week, I’ve also discovered that these small groups are a great way to build friendships, share ideas, develop accountability, learn, grow spiritually and pray together. Whether we are studying a book of the Bible, reading a book by a noted Christian author or watching a video series, there is always lively discussion involved and most important, the building of relationships. Home groups aren’t just doing church, rather they are church!

Naomi Mathre

 

As many times as I have read through the Bible, I have never gotten more out of a particular book than when we started reading the Gospel of John earlier this year.

We are currently reading the book of Proverbs. We read aloud in a small group and then discuss what each paragraph means first to the person who read it, and then to anyone who wants to add a thought.

While it takes a while to complete a book, I now have a much better understanding of what the writer is trying to say and how I can apply it to my daily life.

Much aloha and God bless,
Anne White

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Posted by admin in Newsletters on June 16, 2008