Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're Goin' Back to Cali, To Cali, To Cali.....

Our trip to Cali was amazing!!!  We're not moving to Cali :o)  but you remember that song from the 90's? 

Anyways, I will be posting some total God stories.  We had a blast.  Keep your eyes peeled for details about Hayward, Pomona, Pasadena, and Hunnington Beach.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Camping At The Beach With Family (Feb 2011)

Me and Ewa
Oh yeah!
Recently,  mom and dad adopted a new daughter and son, Ewa and her husband Henry, and their whole family.  Adoption is very normal to Hawaiians and even more central to Christians.  We were all adopted into the family of God and became sisters and brothers in Christ.  I can honestly say that the size of our family has doubled!  We had such a blast camping and swimming and cooking and eating and singing and laughing and telling good kine stories :o)  Man, did we make memories!

About to drive to da beach!

Dad Preaches at St. Anthony's (Feb 2011)

Notice any similarities?
Like father, like daughter :o)
My dad was invited to preach at the catholic church that he grew up at.  His parents grew up there too, and maybe his grandparents as well!  His new mission in life is to evangelize.  He invited me to help lead worship for the meeting.  After worship he shared the story of how Jesus set him free.  He presented Jesus as the only way to be saved.  At the end, he lead the room in a salvation prayer and invited anyone forward who would like to go further and receive prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The whole room emptied into the altar!  I ran to the guitar and started singing over the people.  They were so hungry for the life of God.  Many faces sparkled with tears as their hearts were tenderized and filled. God is awesome!

Emergency Gallbladder Surgery!! (Feb 2011)

Thanks so much to all of you who prayed for mom as she battled through this surgery!  The morning after dad's retirement party, mom was rushed to the hospital because she was having intense pain in her rib cage.  Within hours of being admitted, she was under the scalpel having her gallbladder removed!  We couldn't believe how quick the turn of events happened.  We thanked God that it happened when she was in the US, and not in Africa, so that she could get care.  The next few days I spent with mom recovering and resting in the hospital.  She is doing well.  Your prayers made a difference!

The End of A Career, The Beginning of Another (Feb 2011)

Dad and all his grand kids

Did I mention how nervous I was?
Dad's retirement party was the next of colorful events during our visit home.  As long as I can remember, my father has been hard at work.  But after February, he is done!  Well as far as his job working for the ROTC program.  He officially retired and we were there to celebrate his life of dedication and discipline.  My sisters and I gave little mini-speeches telling our stories about how dad has impacted our lives.  My youngest sister even YouTube'd a video in from Mozambique!  The evening turned out to be a beautiful collage of God's mercy displayed to our family.
Uelese and I honoring dad with an original song

My father has recently had a dramatic salvation experience.  Being back this time was like being with a whole new dad.  My dad chose to honor two people.  First, he praised my mother, his faithful wife of 40 years.  He openly testified that it was her love and prayers that kept our family together.  And finally, in the closing minutes of the gathering, my dad gave a clear and concise salvation message.  He urged everyone in attendance to cry out to Jesus for help because He's the only way to eternal life.  It was powerful!

Although my dad is finished with U.S. military life, his next career as a servant in the Lord's army is just beginning.  He has heard God's call to "go" into all the world and preach the gospel.  He will be joining my mom and sister in Africa to continue missions work there in the fall.  God is so faithful!

My father was on cloud nine... but we took mom to bed right after because she wasn't feeling well...

A Little Taste of "My" Home in Maui (Feb 2011)

The road I drove to high school every day
The back porch where I learned how to play ukulele
They say that home is where the heart is.  Well I noticed this trip that home is made of all the little things that you don't see, smell or taste anywhere else.  Things like the same road you drove to school every day.  The view out your back porch.  That same gas station where you've been filling up for decades.  The snacks you can only get at home and the flowers have always grown in your yard.  I thought I would include some of my home pic's.  I shot these on a normal day going here and there on my island, Maui. 

Sometimes we don't realize how many of the little things in life, that we might even despise, are what make us unique.  I can't tell you how much I walked this little cul-de-sac.  Our property is shared by my immediate family, my two uncles and my aunty and their families.  I grew up with my extended family all around.  I remember the boring summers when I was 13 and 14 years old.  There was only so much TV a kid could watch.  So I would walk around and look for an aunty to "talk story" with or a cousin to play basketball with.  If no one was around, I would sit at the piano in our living room and plunk around. For my sweet 16th birthday, my aunty gave me a kamaka ukulele.  I played that thing for two years straight!  I still own it :o)
Over the top of our property, this is one half of the rainbow...
...this is the other half of the rainbow!

My Cousin's Wedding (Jan 2011)

The few days before the wedding, our family was hustling and bustling around and preparing, for there was matrimony in the making!  As everything was coming together, it was really sweet to feel the gift of God in family.  Everyone played such and integral part.  Uelese was an emcee at the reception (hilarious!) and I helped with a little dinner music.  Overall the evening was beautiful and I must say that my cousin Leticia made a stunning bride. 

Teaching King's Cathedral Choir - "Jesus You're Beautiful" (Jan 2011)


SStraightaway, my sister Pua and her husband, invited us to teach the choir about intimacy with Jesus. We taught on David and how the Lord's eyes are always looking for hearts that would return love to Him. The teaching bloomed into an invitation to lead the whole congregation in a new song with the choir. So over the next two weeks, we returned and taught them "Jesus You're Beautiful" by Jon Thurlow. 

Finally, after 3 weeks of practicing together, we got to minister the song to the Lord and the congregation. It was so sweet. The people at KC Maui were so hungry for the Lord and very tender in His presence. It was a moment in which Holy Spirit testified of the beauty of Jesus. After we were done, the song was stuck in everyone's head and heart, "Jesus, You're Beautiful!"  I will try to link the VIDEO so you can see too.

The Greeting of The Islands (Feb 2011)

A lei is a flower necklace. It is a gift given from the heart. In Hawaii, when a person was making a lei, as they would thread each flower onto the string, they would pray a blessing over the person that was to receive it.  When the lei was given to its recipient, as a gift of honor or celebration, it would be accompanied with a kiss. As we entered my sister's house, we were greeted by the beautiful fragrance coming from these lei's. They were given to my sister's husband Darron, because he was recently bestowed with the title of "minister of worship" at their local church, King's Cathedral. Congrats Darron and Pua!

Backtracking to Hawaii in January

I think this is where we left off last.  O yeah, at the point where I hit technical difficulties and just gave up :o)  Btw, that's the thing about technology that is so hard!!   It is always changing.

Anyhow, now the story begins.  At the end of January and beginning of February of this year, 3 major snow storms SLAMMED into KC with freezing temperatures, bitter wind, ice and snow.  But did we have to deal with that????  NO!  Because we were in Hawaii!  LOL!  I just giggle thinking about it.

Yes, our family flew us home, to the beautiful and superior island of MAUI!  (That was a friendly jab at all you others from different islands) And boy did we have a blast.  Everything from shave ice, to Ma'alaea beach, dinner at Kimo's, my dad's retirement party and my mom's emergency surgery (yes, weird, those last two events happened in the same 24 hour period).

Where would you rather be?

OMG! Long Time No See!

Hey everyone... you amazing people who follow this blog.  I am excited to get you guys caught up to speed on what's been going on.  So much to say, but we will take it one step month at a time.  Meanwhile, hang loose and keep the fun comments coming :o)