Dear Hope Chapel Honolulu,
May you and your house find reminders of God’s presence, power, provision, protection and purity as you read these words!
As we begin to see another lifting of restrictions this week, and prospects of our reopening on November 8th seem so much better, as we have received promises of reopening for trans-Pacific travelers from October 15th and as the US flu season normally runs somewhere between October and May, please don’t stop praying for our leaders, frontline medical workers and all those many challenges that don’t make it into the local, national or world news. Such prayer is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)!
Please allow me to continue to draw your attention to that matter of “giving to the needs of others and praising God” (Acts 2:42-47) this week, too.
I am very grateful for your faithfulness and generosity in giving to Hope Chapel Honolulu, as we do continue to have bills to pay even while our facilities at 1712 S. King Street are closed! Our August giving made for the best month of 2020 so far! But as I wrote last week, when I speak of “giving to the needs of others and praising God” I am NOT talking about giving your tithes and offerings to the church. I am thinking about recognizing the resources that God has blessed you and me with, meaningfully relating to at least a few other individuals or households (think “new, deepening and reconciling relationships”) and prayerfully helping one another—as we are able with the help of God—with the various spiritual, emotional, relational and material needs that this pandemic and socioeconomic shutdown has increased, if not caused.
As I wrote last week, in our mix of local cultures, some of us are more open about our resources and or needs than others. For some of us, shame is a menacing enemy. For others, shame doesn’t seem to be a problem. Some of us have more than we need while some of us are not sure about where our next meal will come from, let alone what next year, next month, or even next week may bring. However, some of our needs go beyond food and clothing, as some of us are very ill or have loved ones in need of the mercy and grace of God, for physical, emotional, soul and even spiritual healing. In our present-day society, while it’s probably okay to drive through a food-distribution line, other needs remain hidden for various reasons.
Let’s be Safe People—people who help one another draw closer to God, closer to others, and help one another to become the people God made us to be—as Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have stated in their book of the same title. All of us have needs, and most of us have different needs. But as more of us become Safe People—“followers, servants and friends of God”—more of our needs will be met by the grace and truth of God at work in and through our words, works and relationships.
- Please continue to pray for our church council, MiniChurches, volunteers, our small team of staff and volunteer staff, as well as for one another, our communities, leaders in government, business and education, for those who are unable to pay their bills, worry about their children’s health, education and future, or feel that they have somehow failed in these confusing times, for the prayer of the righteous—those who at least trust God for their own lives—is pleasing to God, as well as powerful and effective (James 5:13-18).
- Pray with me for those who have not found or who refuse authentic community, for those who have not found or do not believe that they, too, can become Safe People for even one or two others. Please continue to reach out to those whom you know have been resistant, unwilling or “shame” to join our online gatherings or have insisted they were “waiting until we reopened our doors.”
- Please continue to watch, pray and prepare for our postponed Grand Reopening planned for Sunday, November 8, 2020, trusting that that God would reveal His mercy and grace to the people of Honolulu and Hawai’i.
- Please continue to share prayer requests and praise reports to firstname.lastname@example.org and our Prayer Team will support you in prayer and rejoice with you at God’s miraculous answers!
May the personal Presence, power, provision and protection of the LORD be abundantly revealed to you and your house, I pray in Jesus’ Name!