I recently got back from a two week journey to Southern California with two STN staff, Charis and Robert, for a recruiting trip. Quite a trip! We had a booth at Biola Universitys' Mission Conference, were most of the recruiting took place. Our list of interested student's emails quickly filled up and we met numerous surfers who were ready to take a leap of faith into missions. It was crazy to watch God place pieces together of gifts needed at STN with students who needed a place to grow and serve. It was also cool to spend time pouring into old friends and new friends. Having many adventures in the process; Surfing Hunnington, Mud sliding, camping by Needles, CA, eating my first Inn and Out burger (4 days in a row), checking out Arizona Petrocliffs, and daily jam sesh with our crew. I would most definitely label that trip as a sucess. Got choke (pigeon for plenty) people amped on getting out to STN to be apart of our 3 month internship and get involved with helping out on the media side! Got to experience a little college life, realized how much i LOVE being in STN (after talking about what we do for two weeks i realized how blessed i am). This trip was such a blessing and thank you to all that were praying!
That brings me to the next exciting thing in my life...music. Spent many hours jamming out with Robert and Chairs in California! I've been playing the drums since 4th grade, guitar for about three years, and just recently realized God has given me the music of music. STN started a night once a month called Expression Session this past summer. Its a coffee shop vibe open mic night. One monday this winter i decided to play and sing a song and the reaction i got was overwhelming. They loved it and i was shocked. So i began to pursue it more. Getting more involved at STN musically, playing drums and guitar for worship more and more over these 10 months. Fast forward to two weeks ago, monday we have a whole day focused on teaching, prayer, worship, and growing with each other. The staff leading it told us to write a poem or letter for half an hour. I wrote down this song that had been floating in my head that morning. I ran upstairs grabbed my guitar and put it to song. We all read our poems, i played the song and watch the crowd light up with joy. Simply overwhelming to watch God use me to spread his love and joy through this song, He gave me. I was asked to play it again at church Saturday. I played it twice and watched the body of Christ do the same thing, lose themselves in the song as they sang along. What is the next step in music for me, i dint know, but i know i am open to anyway God wants to use that gift in me.
Another awesome thing I've been watching transform, is this town Wahiawa. I get to be super involved in the town with Feeding the Hungry. Every friday Hanna and I make a big breakfast full of local delicacies like spam, eggs, and pancakes. We get to spend hours cruising, eating, and talking with them. By far the best part of the week personally. I've become close with the crew and since it's such a small town they're always saying hey when we walk around town just like any other town neighbor. I love these guys and have been praying for them since i got here. The main crew is George, Tom, Chris, and Benny. With addictions to alcohol, cigarrettes, drugs, and are complacent with living on the streets. And i want so bad to see them broken from that. So it was so cool this week when I walked into our Ohana dinner, our stn family dinner, and i saw Drew, Benny and Tom sitting on our couch ready for dinner. I was so stoked I had never seen Tom leave his corner, usually too drunk or lazy to walk anywhere. They were beyond amped to be there, talking about how good the food was, that they could sit on a couch, that they got to play pool, and hangout with all of us. Benny was so funny he asked me to introduce him to STN's founders Tom and Cindy. So i walked over and did they said yeah we already met him. As we walked away Benny said i just wanted them to know that i know you cause we all are fa circle of amily and them them how grateful he was for feeding him. I named that night hope. I've been praying for these guys for months and to see a little breakthrough was hopeful. It was powerful to see my Wahiawa homeless family meshed with my STN family. Not to mention this sunday i saw over 5 from wahiawa's homeless crew. Awesome. The aloha of these people, let me tell you, is insane. They take me in like im apart of there family even if i am not from here. Baby Maya fel asleep in my arms during the service today at church. Her mom said James give Maya to auntie Emily. I love it. Even though they may live on the street they still recognize how important family is and i love that they see me as family. Wahiawa is changing for sure, and I'm so stoked to be involved in the change.
By the way my latest fascination is finding new musicians or new songs that are combine many instruments and meaningful lyrics that bridge gaps between "secular audience" and "Christan audience" email me some of your favorite musicians!
Iris, Uncle Chris, Uncle Nelson, Uncle Tom, Yours truly and Uncle George
Benny. Tom. Chris. George