Tom & I just got back from Kauai, Hawaii at some unearthly hour last night. It was a great trip. We spent a couple of days with the Bethel College Board and then spoke at the Missionary Church conference hosted by the Koloa Missionary Church on Kauai. In between we managed to sneak in a little sightseeing. Unfortunately the spectacular Waimea Gorge was totally fogged in the afternoon we were able to visit it.
For me the highlight was the opportunity to reconnect to friends I made during the time that the Anastasis was stopped in Honolulu in the mid 1980s. I attended Moanalua Gardens Missionary Church with some of my friends for a year. Each week Clarence and Bernice Oshita picked us up for church then took us home for lunch – for an entire year – now that is hospitality! Clarence and Bernice were not at the conference but several others were including Jackie Weber who had become a special friend during that visit. In many ways I felt that I was coming home – and it wasn’t just these old friends that greeted us with open arms and warm hospitality. The hospitality and generosity of everyone we met was incredible and it made me realize how much we have to learn from a culture like this. My only regret is that we had so little time to explore friendships.
No wonder early Christians felt that hospitality was not just an important practice but that it opened a doorway to the kingdom of God. I certainly felt that I was tasting a little of the kingdom of God in all the hospitality we experienced.