By: David Stewart
Over the last two weeks I have been renovating a home that has been designated to run as a family program for couples or families with children. The home is three different levels with each level having its own distinct features. There is a basement level that will be used as a two bedroom with one bath, perfect for a couple with no children. Then there is a ground level that has three bedroom and one bath which features the better kitchen area. Finally, there is an upper level that also has three bedrooms with one and half bath, with views and a outside patio area. These three unique levels may be different, but they serve the same common purpose which is to help put families in a better position both physically and spiritually. The major work has been done and I have been doing cosmetic repairs such as painting, cleaning, yard work, and other needed jobs. What has been rewarding about this is that the home already attracts the family atmosphere, even though the actual program has not even begun.
My first task was to remove old furniture and old belongings left behind by previous renters. The condition was unsalvageable, which explains why it was left behind. This job was bigger than I could handle on my own, so I contacted a friend of mine that owns a junk removal company. He came by and helped remove my many “headaches” and I got to give him a tour of the place and share my future plans. That event led to me getting to meet my neighbors as they seen, and probably heard, the truck from the junk removal service. They were an elderly couple who were pleased to hear our future ideas and goals. As the conversations continued, we saw the woman was limping, and she then discussed her future surgery plans. My wife was with me and asked if she could pray for the woman’s knee. The woman seemed shocked at the question but did let my wife pray for her and it was then I knew we would be friends.
The very next day I got to meet another neighbor and as we talked story, I learned he use to be a paddleboard instructor and had about eight paddleboards from his business. The thing about that is I have been actively looking paddleboards as I planned to buy one soon. This man asked what I was looking for and stated he had one and it was there any time I wanted to get it…said he would trade it for an old furniture piece I was getting rid of. We talked about an hour, and I went back to work in the house thinking about how great the neighbors seemed. The next day I met a third neighbor who came by and brought cleaning supplies in case I needed them. He was a business owner of his own cleaning company and had an excess I could have free of charge. We talked awhile and I also learn he is a pastor of a neighboring church. You may think all this is circumstantial, but I think it is way bigger than circumstance.
I continue to work on the house during the week and my phone rings and it is the friend from the junk removal service. He was talking to a woman at his church that wants to give a master bedroom set to a family in need. My friend tells her about what I am doing and gives her my number. She calls me and long story short, her and her husband donate a genuinely nice full bedroom set that includes dressers, end tables, mattress set and queen bed. They even bring most of the bigger pieces to me in their truck because I did not have one. I drive to Kaneohe the next day in my van to pick up the smaller pieces and they even give me more stuff to help with the home. We end up talking awhile and make plans to hang out in the future and go out on their boat. A few days later I end up meeting a woman from Mililani who had extra flooring from a house they had done, and I end up with enough flooring to do three bedrooms in my remodel. You may think all this is circumstantial, but I think it is way bigger than circumstance.
My wife and I end up at the home this past Saturday and end up staying about five hours there painting. My wife makes the comment that she was going to leave because we had not eaten all day and she was hungry. About ten minutes go by and I hear a knock at the door, I go and answer and see the pastor neighbor standing there and he asked if we had eaten. He stated that he seen we were here late, and they were cooking out and wanted to know if we wanted to eat. My neighbor then brings four full plates of different Filipina food and as I thank him, he states “The Bible says to love our neighbor, you are my neighbor and you have not ate yet.” That statement got me thinking. I started thinking about my junk removal friend, then my neighbor we prayed for, and then my paddleboard neighbor. I started thinking about my neighbors in Kaneohe who had gave me the furnishings, the neighbor in Mililani who gave me the flooring, and then my neighbor who brought me cleaning supplies and now food. All that got me thinking about the family program I hope to soon start is becoming built off a community and state full of “family” I am getting to meet. All that got me thinking about the Bible and this one scripture.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
My hope is to remind us of all of this. We have a God that wants to be involved in all the details of your life. If something is important to you, it is important to him! We serve a God of miracles, sometimes in the form of sickness being healed, and sometimes it’s in the form of neighbors bringing Filipina food and paddleboards. My desire is to one day help families, so God sends families to help me do just that. I guess God understands “aloha” too. The best thing about living on an island is that it makes us all one big family with God as our father!