Today, God willing, is our last day in Hawaii for this trip. We leave with mixed emotions, of course, as, it seems, has become our standard fare. We are leaving behind one of the strongest bodies of Christ we have experienced in the Living Stones Church in Kona. The church, led by its pastor, Bill Barley, and a very strong team of church leaders, is moving mightily in the community, and it has been a tremendous experience for us to see it grow so rapidly during our five months here. The church, and its leadership, need your prayer support. Please add them to your prayer list for guidance and clarity as they lead the church through this period of outreach to the community.

We had the pleasure of experiencing a delightful Christmas eve celebration of traditional carols accentuated by the pounding surf all around us at Living Stones. We love the setting for the church, right on the shoreline on Ali’i Drive, and feel great inspiration during Sunday worship services. It’s difficult not to wonder at God’s power when you can look out the open window and watch the waves rushing in to create wispy white foam all around the church grounds.

living-stones-church.jpg christmas-surf.jpg This is the ancient and beautiful Living Stones Church in Kailua-Kona, with the surfing cove south of the church shown in the adjacent snapshot. It is an awesome setting for church services, while you witness God’s majesty. 
Christmas-candlelite Christmas season is Lea’s favorite, and experiencing a celebration in the tropics was a wonderful experience. She greatly enjoyed singing carols, and happily held her candle high during the music program. There was a lawn full of folks who came to celebrate the reason for the season, and the worship service was touching and uplifting.

We regret that we will have to miss the Easter service, which will be at sunrise, Hawai’ian time, while the Christmas eve service started at dusk. Conducted out of doors on the lawn, the services are exceptionally touching, for as you sing about God’s glorious creation, you can look toward  mountainous Hualalai towering over the church, and the pounding Pacific ocean on three sides of the property. If you’re like me, you’ll feel a tinge of awe, and experience a whole new respect for the meaning of many phases you have sung in hymns and songs of praise. It is very powerful!

We are leaving behind many new, dear, friends we have met at the church, and will miss them tremendously. We also, of course, are going back to get surgeries done. That’s a strange thing to be looking forward to, but it is a goal we have been working all this time to reach. If we can get her abdomen closed up and healed, she will be able to do a number of activities that her present condition prohibits. Simple freedoms like being able to drive a car again will become possible after that surgery, so that’s our immediate objective when we get back home and under our family physician’s care.

We know that we have many more friends to meet and witness to, and that our ministry is going to continue grow in the months and years ahead. Hopefully, this blog site will help all those who are interested keep up to date, and provide us a means to reach new readers as the site is completed. Work continues on getting the Lea Updates and associated comments posted, so if you check back from time to time you will see new information available on our experience in Hartford, and, on new experiences, as well.

Remember that you can also subscribe to our email system, and we’ll send you each new post as we get it uploaded. Just click on the “email news” button in the left column to utilize this service. It may take a couple of days for us to get settled in after our return, but I plan to get an update on how well she was able to travel before the weekend is over. Thank you for your prayers and comments, and may God be with you.