Revive is our Chinatown outreach ministry at Inspire Church (city location.) We launched back in February on Chinese New Year’s Day.
“Revive is a community outreach ministry of Inspire City. Revive exists to rejuvenate Chinatown Honolulu one-block-at-a-time and one-heart-at-a-time through the authority of Jesus Christ. Join us as we partner with the community to inspire a city.”
Every Sunday at 4pm, we bring food & drinks to our friends who live at the Smith-Beretania Park next door. In the beginning, Shane would bring pizzas or cheeseburgers. He truly inspired me to do the same.
On rainy days, we cross the street to the sheltered areas. I have been inspired by the good hearts of our team members. I’ll share two accounts here.
Josh is awesome. He’ll usually sit down on one of the park benches and develop a one-to-one relationship with someone in the park. He befriended a young guy in the park and asked around for an extra pair of shoes. When nothing panned out, he went out and purchased a new pair of shoes for him.
Christian & Brittany live in the Chinatown area. They offered the use of their washer and dryer to a homeless individual. So cool.
I feel that we have all grown through this experience. God has been stirring something in all of us. Here are two stories….
Glow is a ministry for the young women in our church. They decided to sort of “adopt” us and do outreach. This was my prayer. I asked God, on top of transforming Chinatown (if that weren’t enough,) to give us a small miracle to encourage the servants from Glow (so that they would come back again.) I know, this was a selfish prayer. Anyway, they brought 12 servants and 160 hot dogs. We had more than enough food for the park, so we ventured onto River Street. We met up with these three local guys living on a street corner. They were very appreciative and friendly. After praying for them, they each wanted to say a prayer over us. So cool! They didn’t speak “Christian-ese,” but it was sincere and heartfelt. I said, “Thank you Lord.”
But that wasn’t it. At the 5:30pm service, one of the guys (Vern) walks into the sanctuary. We were surprised! I called out to Isabelle, “Look. The guy you invited to church is here!” She was happy and went up to greet him. I said, “Thank you Lord.”
But that wasn’t it. At the end of service, Pastor Frank said, “With eyes wide open, if you would like to receive Christ, raise your hand.” To our amazement, Vern walked up with tears in his eyes, and bowed down at the stage. We were blown away. Instead of saying “Thank you Lord,” I said, “Wow God. I guess everybody in Glow is gonna come back now….”
Vince is an amazing person. He lives on Beretania Street in the doorway of the Hanabusa Headquarters. We became friends with him because of his kind and gentle spirit. One Sunday, we went to visit him. We asked him what we could pray for. He said that it had rained hard last night (Saturday.) Someone wanted his sheltered space and beat him with a stick. His chest was sore. We were broken hearted. We invited him to church. To our delight, he came with his rolling suitcase. After service, we rushed over to say hello. To our surprise, he was standing in line to receive his new believer’s Bible. Omigosh. And he hasn’t missed a service ever since.
Later that evening, I tried to process what had happened. On Saturday night, he was beaten with a stick in the rain. On Sunday night, he received Jesus and the promise of Heaven.
Takeaways: I’ve learned so much. I now understand that this is not just “outreach.” This is CHURCH.
I always thought that this was way “beyond my comfort zone.” Not sure what I was afraid of. Someone is hungry. You want to give him a cheeseburger. Your chances of success hovers around 100%. Someone has no hope. You have the hope of Christ. I always thought ministry was about your “gifting & passion.” Now I know that you only need a heart.
“Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” Jeremiah 33:6