Although Phoenix, Arizona was the destination most students chose for the BSU Spring Break mission trip, other options were considered and one of those was Waimea, Hawaii. Working with Big Island Baptist Association, Kurt Simon, a former church planter in Missouri, is seeking to both revitalize and and plant new churches. One MoSo BSU student, Stephen, heard the call to go there and simply couldn’t say no. Here, in his words, is Stephen’s description of his Spring Break mission to Hawaii:
On March 13th 2015, I went with a team from Forest Park Baptist Church to Waimea Hawaii to help a local church plant called Voyage Church led by Kurt Simon and Tyler Green. We were there from the evening of March 13th to the afternoon of March 20th. How we help them was by helping conduct their Sunday service, painting, putting a new hardwood floor, and new beds into their dorm room they have for interns. As well we put in a new sound board and sound system, built a shed, built a garden bed, and painted their garage for their mission house so Kurt and Tyler can have more time to do their ministry. That is how we helped them physically at their church. What we also did was go to the local farmer markets, the local coffee shop, a local hangout, built and had a campfire with friends of Tyler and Becca Green that they are investing in their life to show them the light of Christ, as well went on a “prayer drive” to learn what is going around in the community and get a feel of what the local culture is.
At the same time during all of these activities and projects we did for Voyage Ministries we also learned some pointers on how to live “Missional” in our daily lives. We learned from the teachings of Paul in Act 16 and 17 and from Kurt’s experience some prayers that if we pray every day can help us to be more “Missional.” Some of the prayers were, “God who do you want me to go today,” “God who do you want me to run into today,” and “God who do you want me to love today.” Kurt said that these prayers will help us to open our eyes to the opportunities that God may have for us to reach out to the lost in our home, work, school, and any other place we may go in our daily live. He also taught us that his main philosophy in church plant is to build up discipleship and invest in the community. He believes that discipleship is a more organic and effective way to build up a church in a dark community. Not that he believes that mass evangelism like Billy Graham does is wrong, but in the place he has been called to, he thinks that this method isn’t as effective as building up disciples like Jesus had told us to do in Matthew 28 in the “Great Commission.” This is what I have done and learned from going on this mission trip and hope someday soon to go back. God is good for everything He has done for us and me, here in the Joplin area, and in Hawaii with Kurt and Tyler. It was a blessing for me to go on this trip.