Monday, June 8, 2015

Kauai Week 1

It’s a bit intimidating flying to Kauai on an evening flight when they pass out the agriculture declaration forms and you are unable to fill in the address of where you will be staying.  Coming here is the biggest leap from my comfort zone I have taken in a long time.  So far the experience has been a bit overwhelming, but I’m beginning to settle down into the rhythm of life here (doing chores around the house where I am staying and the study of Greek and Hebrew have helped in the transition).  

Youth ministry is run here in a completely different way than I have seen it run at home.  Instead of weekly meetings and a possible Bible study, the church here does that, but the staff also hang out with the kids throughout the week doing crazy things (like driving across the island to go jump off Hanalei pier, or going to see the original Jurassic Park movie in a park where part of it was filmed).  These activities are things I saw youth groups at home do maybe twice through a school semester, but here, they are regular occurrences.  Ministry to the youth is really grounded here in what it looks like to share life together, not just how to orchestrate a persuasive message to kids who show up on Wednesday nights.  With that said, however, after talking with many of the older kids, it seems as though while there are more crazy adventures throughout their time in youth group, they are no more likely to hold on to their faith than kids at home.  I’m eager to dig more into this idea of sharing life together as a way of youth ministry, and explore ways to help these kids grow closer to God and be equipped to hold onto that faith as they grow older.

You know you are living on Kauai when:
-you are sharing a room with a wild gecko who somehow got in and can’t seem to find its way out
-you go to see Jurassic Park in the place it was filmed
-going to the beach happens regularly

I’ve also learned something important about the roads here while driving what the church calls whales (15 passenger vans): roads here are not like roads in Washington.  The other day while going to get gas, I saw the gas station up ahead and being on a busy street, I wasn’t eager to make that sharp left turn without a turn lane.  I saw a turn lane less than a block before the gas station which seemed to curve around towards the back of the gas station.  I, alone in the whale, took that turn thinking that the roads are in grid formation and there would be other roads to quickly get me back on the main road if this particular road did not get me to the gas station.  4 miles later, 3 of which were composed of a twisty and hilly single lane, two-way road through fairly dense tropical jungle, I made it back to the main road.  Needless to say, I’m sincerely hoping and praying that the old mini-van I have the pleasure to use during my time here will not break down again, as it already has once since I’ve been here (fortunately not while I was driving it).

Until next time, 

The trees where "life found a way" - Jurassic Park

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