Hello! Jason and Monica here with an update on our ministry in Kona, Hawaii. We have officially been gone for over 2 years!!!!! I can’t seem to wrap my head around that. It has definitely been the most challenging and most rewarding 2 years of our lives. While I was contemplating on what to write about (there is so much to say, since I’ve been delinquent about writing posts), I read Psalm 9:1, which says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds”. As I read this, I felt that God was saying just to share about His faithfulness to us since we’ve been in Hawaii.
The Lord’s faithfulness…..where do I begin?! If you read my post from about a year ago, I, Monica, was struggling to find a preceptor in order to do clinical hours for my nurse practitioner program. I had literally tried every place I could find. I was a ball of worry! But, the Lord showed His faithfulness, and I eventually found a site. This has been the story for every semester thus far. I am now heading into my FINAL semester of school (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and wouldn’t you know it, I still don’t have a clinical site. I have been working on getting into a couple of places for months now, but everything seems to be at a stand-still. But the Lord is faithful, and He called me to this, so He won’t desert me now. Philippians 1:6 comes to mind, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
As I look through my journal from the past few months, I am reminded of God’s goodness and kindness to me. He has taught me so much about myself and about His character!! My journal entry from March 9, 2018 says, “I AM DROWNING. I am drowning in a sea of self-doubt, fear, insecurity, and anxiety related to these things [referring to school and general life performance]. Why can’t I let all my insecurities go and hold onto the truth? Why is this a constant struggle for me? Just when I think I’m good, Wham! Hit and paralyzed by a wall of fear and insecurity”……….”But why am I so afraid about what other people think and about my Performance? Even after I get an ‘A’ on a test, I still don’t trust that I know anything”.
After crying out to God to show me how to break free from this, He reminded me of times I had felt rejected and wounded by others throughout my life. He showed me that I needed to speak out forgiveness for all the people who’ve unintentionally hurt me, especially during my fragile teenage years. All these things had left scars on my heart, making it harder for me to stand firm in my identity as a child of God and feeling like I needed to perform well in order to be accepted. Verbally letting go of every situation I could think of allowed God’s healing to wash in over these scars and begin to pry away at my performance-based attitude.
During this time, I was fighting against my weakness and trying to be strong out of my own strength. You can see how well that was working out for me! Ha! God was showing me that weakness is actually a wonderful thing, because it forces me to lean into and rely on God to be my strength. He is so much better at it than I am!!!
Fast forward to the end of April, as I was preparing to fly back to Missouri for on-campus residency for school. At this time, I was again very stressed out and almost dreading coming home, because I was trying to complete my clinical hours for the semester, plan Jason’s birthday (I had to be in Missouri over his birthday), get ahead on my homework so I could spend some time with family, prepare for residency, and prepare for a big test and a project that had to be completed the week after returning to Hawaii. The night I left for St. Louis, I had such tunnel vision that I told Jason I was flying Delta. He dropped me off at the Delta terminal, and I waited in the line for about 45 minutes. Once I got to the kiosk and scanned my itinerary, it could not find my information. I approached the desk, and the woman asked if I was sure that I was flying Delta, at which point I realized, in horror, that my ticket was for United. I ran down to the United counter, and the woman informed me that I would never make my flight. Crying, I explained how I had thought I was flying Delta. Unamused, she graciously changed my ticket to the next and final flight going that way for the day, saying that I may or may not make that one. I got in line and frantically sent up a prayer. Just then, a friendly man, with his family, asked if I was going to make my flight. I explained the situation, and he allowed me to get in front of him and announced my situation to the people in front of him. Every single person in the line let me go in front of them. I was sobbing as I thanked each kind person. I made it on the plane just in the nick of time!
God used a seemingly hopeless situation to show His kindness and goodness, as well as to bless all those people who let me in front of them. My entire time at home went like that. Just when I thought that something wasn’t going to work out that I needed to do or had planned, He made a way. My time home, which I had worried would be stressful, turned out to be incredibly refreshing.
Another area that God has been so faithful in is finances. We really didn’t know how we would pull off living in Hawaii. Jason worked at Home Depot for several months while staffing the Discipleship Bible School full time. He was exhausted, and he had to miss out on a lot of things that were going on in the school, not to mention we were hardly able to spend any time together. We weren’t sure how much longer we could go on like that. But God provided some faithful givers, and Jason was actually able to quit working at Home Depot and focus on the school!
Hawaii has proved to potentially be the most dangerous place we’ve been on our journey! Haha! We had a nuclear missile scare this spring, which was a mistake, thankfully. Then the volcano began erupting in May. Although the lava was nowhere near us, the vog (volcanic fog) encompassed Kona for a few months. The lava has now stopped, and we’re back to blue skies and beautiful sunsets! The most recent threat was Hurricane Lane, which was predicted to bring destruction to the Islands. Although the other side of our island had significant flooding, we literally got no more than a very small amount of rain and a few flashes of lightning! The mountain behind us acted as a shield and diverted most of the rain to the Hilo side of the island. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed that there was no wind or heavy rain. Then God reminded me that I got exactly what I had prayed for- the storm to weaken and turn away from Hawaii and for no one to get hurt. God is good!!
So, what’s next? Jason is currently working on building projects to house the influx of YWAMers that will be coming in September. It is shaping up to be the biggest quarter yet! He will again staff the Discipleship Bible School and help illuminate the Bible and spark a passion for the Word in his students! I am about to start my final semester of the NP program. Please pray that I find a good clinical site soon! I continue to volunteer at the YWAM campus health clinic and occasionally work at an urgent care that YWAM oversees, as well as provide weekly wound care/first aid for the homeless. December not only marks the completion of Monica’s nurse practitioner program and Jason’s third time staffing the Discipleship Bible School, but the end of our 2.5 year commitment to YWAM. To think that it is so close is almost unbelievable!! Please pray for direction as we prepare to go back to Missouri in December.
Thanks for reading! We love and miss you all and are excited to see many of you in December!
~ Jason and Monica