Newsletter – April 2011

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Fire By Night

Aloha Kakou,

When I was a young boy growing up in Papakolea, a Hawaiian homestead in the mountains, my dad would take me camping down at the beach. The beaches we went to were rocky, rough, and inhabited by people. It was a fishing ground with lots of coral heads, rocks, and fish. It wasn’t a camp where a dad and a son got to sit, talk, and share stories, but one of silence and gloom.

When I became a dad, it was my turn to take my kids camping. We made a campfire, sat by the ocean, talked story, and shared about the future. It was fun to hear the kids share their dreams. When it was my turn, I would always point out something far away while we sat on the beach and say, “Take a look way over there. One day that place will change, and you will see something different, and you will always remember this day at the beach.”

We had a Church Camp and had breakout sessions during the day and evening. During one session, we wrote down on a piece of paper the swords in our lives, be it frustration, anger, bitterness, loneliness, unforgiveness, etc. We read scripture where another sword was the Word of GOD. (There were two types of swords.)

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (Ephesians 6:17)

We put our pieces of paper in a bag without our names on it and I had everyone draw a paper out. We were to pray for the request that was written on the piece of paper with the sword of the Spirit and throw it in the fire that night at our camp fire.

This was a sign from us to God that we wanted to burn up the old sword and bring in the new sword, the sword of the Spirit, and that it would be a sweet aroma in the heavens. Maybe one day there will be a change in our lives, and something different will happen to us, and we will always remember that day at the camp fire.

“He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.” (Psalms 78:14)

Na Pomaika’i (blessings),
Pastor Dennis Sallas

All Around The Camp Fire

Almost everyone I know loves to camp, but camping to me is staying at a 4-star hotel with room service. So at first, I wasn’t that excited, but the fellowship and activities were at the top of my list and I wasn’t disappointed. It was so much fun! I was blessed with two wonderful roomies Laura and Amy Jo. We know each other and are friends but we don’t get to spend that much time together outside of church. We had that special quiet time to pray for one another and just be sisters in the Lord. I believe that’s just how God planned it.

With that being said, I have to admit that days before camp I was really struggling. On the day of camp, it was even worse. The devil knows when to really pull you down to his level, and it wasn’t pretty. It was a bumpy road getting to camp, but praise God — He pulls you out of that slimy pit and puts you where you need to be: singing all around the campfire, worshipping, and sharing in fellowship. It’s just what I needed to put things in perspective. I looked around the campfire and I saw the love we all share for the Lord, and that lit a fire in my heart. Praise God for making this experience shines bright.

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.” Psalm 32:10

I asked others to share their feelings about the camp. Read on…

From Scott Sandin:

The church camp helped me to get to know our church family on a more personal level. It also allowed me to spend a quality weekend with my wife. It was really fun and easy, I look forward to doing it again next year.

From Amy Fukui

I really enjoyed going to camp and being able to spend more time getting to know my Christian friends. It meant a lot to me. I usually get to see them only on Sundays at church. It was great just to fellowship and worship the Lord with others, and just talk story and relax around the campfire.

I Can Only Imagine
by Laura Prados

As I was sitting by the beach Sunday morning, I had just finished my daily readings when I put on the song “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. While sitting on the bench listening to the song and enjoying the beautiful view that is our island home, I started thinking about how beautiful our heavenly home must be, and spending time with our heavenly father.

As the chorus of the song goes:

Surrounded by your glory,
what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah,
will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine.
I can only imagine.

Camp Erdman
by Marcia Eovino

Swimming, archery, rock wall climbing, hiking, campfire at night, and sleeping in cabins: that’s what it looked like from the outside. But on the inside, people were overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, getting out of comfort zones, sharing bunk beds with new friends who became good friends, mending friendships, guiding others through darkness, giving comfort to a friend in tears, praying for each other, serving kitchen duty to one another with gladness and pure joy, celebrating birthdays, and having simple fun singing, playing guitars, ukuleles, and bongos. All had a good time even while running out of water to shower, and still there was peace and harmony. I think Kaleo said it best. He said he could “feel the love” — love for the Lord and for one another. Feel it, accept it and share it with others!

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39)

From Cheryl and Herb Mayo

Herb and I had a wonderful time at the camping weekend. It was so great to get to know and visit with all. We all love to go to church, but a quick smile and “good morning” seems to be all the time we spend. This trip was a real blessing to be part of.

We are so eager to get back to Hope Chapel each year when we take a winter holiday away from snow. The fabulous thing about returning is — everyone makes us feel so welcome. We are blessed.

In One Accord
By Lehua Sureda

How good it is when brethren get together and come in one accord before the Lord. We did just that. The weekend was a complete success. Although we had some excitement over loss of water, NO ONE really complained. That’s a first for me! The grounds were beautiful. Our cabin felt like home and the bunk beds were comfortable. Needless to say, the fellowship was awesome.

The pastor’s message hit a spot for each and everyone of us. The prayers, praise and worship, nightly camp fire, and sharing with one another were truly amazing. The food was great and everything went in order. The planned activities were great and I not only partook in them but also enjoyed myself. It was the best time ever for me. I know, and others may share the same thing, that God’s light really shown through us to those around us. One campsite staff member even joined us on two occasions to praise the Lord and worship Him and asked for prayer as well.

Mahalo to Pastor, Scott, Keith, Kaleo, and everyone for making it all come together. We are ohana, no doubt about it!

What I Got At Camp Erdman
by Joynette Tanaka

“Come away my beloved,” my savior Jesus said to me, as I arose early on Sunday morning to meet Him at dawn’s first light. As I sat down on the cool sandy seashore, I began to praise and thank Him when He spoke these words to me, “I love you so much, my beautiful daughter. Let the world stand still as I carry you high on the wings of the eagle above the earth’s cares. You’ll walk and not be weary, run and not faint. Come and put all your trust in me. Come away my beloved, I delight to give you the desires of your heart.”

From Amy Jo Maurer:

Tucked away by a sandy shore,
God decided to give us more,
Of love, of fellowship,
    of friendships true,
Refreshing of relationships,
    old and new.
Through trials and testings,
    and worship nights,
In God’s love we all shined bright.
From broken water pipes,
    and runaway hikers,
We all learned we’re stronger together
   from enemy strikers.
I came home refreshed,
    my faith renewed,
Of joyous moments,
    there weren’t a few.
A taste of heaven,
    together forever.
I love my family, Jesus!
    Can we go again? Maybe September?


Mahalo to Laura Prados, Lehua Sureda, and Herb and Cheryl Mayo for the church camp photos.

More 2011 HCW Church Camp Photos, available online at Flickr »

More April 2011 HCW pictures online at Flickr »

Around the campfire

Welcome to baby Alana, newborn daughter of Aaron and Maria


Posted by admin in Newsletters on April 19, 2011