A Community of Prayer: Update From Hawaii 6/28/2010

Greetings Beloved!

There are some things in life that only God can orchestrate.  In the community house of prayer, in Kailua, HI, we find ourselves in the middle of such an orchestra.  We walk a fine line between divine wisdom and youthful zeal, and to be honest we’re still figuring out where that line is sometimes.  Nevertheless, for a mixed gender home of twenty-somethings, I am overjoyed because of my brothers and sisters pursuit of love, faith and purity in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  It is in these ones, that the simplicity of a pure and undefiled Christianity is becoming more and more evident.  Though we have only been serving in the Lord together for a matter of months, and living in the house a mere month, I eagerly expect that most of us will continue as a community of prayer and seeking the face of God for many years.

I desire to share in this update a little about the people and some of the dynamics of the house.  I believe that we are not the only little group embarking on such a journey in the Lord, and my hope is that we may serve as a kind of prototype for others who might decide to do a very similar thing.  Beside this, I have many friends on the mainland and elsewhere whom I no longer have much time to talk, and I have hoped to give them a substantial update… so here it is!

With currently nine full-time residents (more on the way), and usually at least a few guests staying with us on any given night, we are a house that ‘does a lot’. Nevertheless, at the core, our identity is a house of prayer.  We have six scheduled prayer meetings per week to accommodate different schedules, as well as a bible study, a teaching night, and a fellowship night.  Only on Sundays do we not have scheduled ‘house meetings’.

Our schedule is important.  We have a diverse group of people who have come from various walks of life, work and ministry.  Order and administration does not quench the Spirit if it is led by the Spirit, and it helps to enable everyone to walk in their gifts and callings, both on an individual and corporate level.  In our home we have nine different and almost opposing schedules.  Keeping our prayer times and ministry well scheduled creates a context for all of us ‘busy bees’ to slow down to commune with God and with one another.  To keep order we also have assigned house chores, cooking nights and a curfew.  To cultivate an environment that pursues purity and remains devoted to keeping ourselves above reproach, we have an extensive code of conduct in place so that our young men and women are honored, protected and continually exhorted to pursue Christ in a deep way.  These are by no means a ‘perfect system’, but they are good checks and balances to keep us from becoming ‘mere roommates’, or taking on commune or cult-like characteristics.  Though we strongly encourage commitment to the house, we also allow adequate time for people to work, go to school, have personal ministries or fellowship with other churches.  For anyone who wishes to pursue a similar type of community, I strongly encourage that a well planned vision and community protocol is considered and established before people join in or make any commitments.

By September we may have as many as thirteen living in the house!  At that point, we will have hit our limit due to the obvious space restraints.  For now, here’s a little bio on who is in the house right now.

Ladies first…

Becky and Kimmy are sisters.  Becky is quiet and very friendly, a big sports fan and an incredible cook.  For a living she does photography, very talented by the way, and primarily ministers to the house in the form of hospitality.  She is in command of the kitchen and helps me make grocery and supplies lists for the house to keep us well stocked on all of the essentials.  I consider her most admirable characteristics to be her kindness and her loyalty.  Kimmy is hilarious.  She adds so much joy and energy to the house and is very much a little sis to me.  Kimmy works at Starbucks, where she, her mom and sister have been ministering to people.  I’m teaching her guitar and I see wonderful potential in her as a worship leader.  Kimmy is a natural leader and I look forward to what the Lord is doing and is going to do in her life.

Tiffany is very dear sister.  She carries the heart of the Lord in a special way for such a young woman.  She is one of the leaders in the house, both administratively and spiritually.  Tiff is a worshiper, growing wonderfully in the place of prayer.  She works as a secretary for Waikiki Baptist Church, and uses her amazing accounting skills to take care of our house finances.  Tiffany is a joy and is beginning to step into her leadership calling while remaining a humble and submissive person.

And now the gentlemen…

Troy is at his core a very intense guy.  He does workplace evangelism as a shuttle driver for the airport.  He also leads a group of middle school age youth at One Love Ministries, a church here on the island.  In his spare time he surfs, runs and does other ‘jock’ type activities.  He also does street preaching and evangelism in Waikiki and is learning Hebrew.  Troy is passionate and keeps us on our toes here at the house.

Ernest is a worshiper.  He grows daily in the place of prayer and holiness before the Lord.  God is taking Ernest through a pretty rough and intense season of life right now, but it is such a joy to run beside him through it.  I believe the Lord is forging and fashioning a worship leader who burns for deep communion with God.  Ernest helps out a lot around the house when he’s not at work, doing other people’s dishes and cleaning up messes that aren’t his.  One thing I have seen develop in Ernest exponentially since I have known him is his servant hood.

MinYoung is a Korean exchange student studying at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).  Unless he is at school or spending time with other Korean students, MinYoung is usually at home.  He is one our most faithful in prayer and has a beautiful servant heart.  The two things that stand out to me about MinYoung is his gentleness and his desire for people to know Jesus.  In him I see an evangelist and a worship leader in the making.

Ben serves in the U.S. Navy, working on a submarine.  Ben brings so much energy to the house and make sure all of us intense kids still have fun.  He is a great friend to everyone in the house, always drawing people into fellowship.  He longs for the supernatural and desires to see himself and others walking in healing and prophecy, as well as hospitality and reaching out toward the needy.  Ben is very faithful and is the type who contributes everything he has.

Mark is a burning young man.  There is very little about Mark that isn’t zealous.  His love and devotion to God, the Scripture and the house of prayer is full of fire and passion.  Mark carries a burden and a vision to see God’s justice made real and evident in these islands.  He truly cries out for revival and is learning the cost of discipleship at a very young age.  Mark goes to school at HPU, works in his family’s business and leads the house with Tiff and I.  Mark is an intercessor who daily grows in humility and grace.

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to pursue the things of God with this small company of people.  It has been an honor to serve them and become their friends.  In the house I have been taking care of much of the administrative duties, I help Tiff with finances, and I also do some teaching and leading worship and prayer.  I have spent the past couple months working with Mark’s family and enjoying the transition.  Besides that, I keep looking forward to this pilgrimage that God has called me into, yearning for the day I get to see Jesus face to face.  He is my reason and reward for all that is done in this life.

If you have read this far, thanks for the visit.  I know a number of you who read this are ones I long to talk to again soon.  May the Lord fill you cup and give to you His blessings!

The grace of our Lord Jesus be upon you all.

-jm

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