He Is Risen!

“1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb… 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 …the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest…11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” – Luke 24:1-12

One of the great things about Resurrection Sunday, is that for many people, it is a time to pause, take a breath, step back from the worries of life and celebrate the most important event in Human History. But let us not forget the state of the world in which we are celebrating the Resurrection…

There is a deep sense of uncertainty and insecurity characterizes the world today. You can almost feel it in the air. Indeed, it is difficult to keep up with all the wars and violent conflicts that are erupting across the globe. In addition to this, many are predicting that the economy is heading in a disastrous direction.

In the midst of turmoil, people tend to look for someone who can solve the problems; for some institution or individual leader to provide answers. Often times, people have looked to the government for solutions to our most serious problems. But more and more people are beginning to realize that governments are often part of the problem. The confidence we once had in the State is beginning to crumbe.

Many years ago, I heard Ravi Zacharias tell the Story of Billy Graham meeting with the Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, shortly after WWII. This political leader had the responsibility of picking up the pieces left by the most destructive war in history. He was tasked with trying to rebuild the nation that had been the cause of so much devastation and suffering.

During the course of their conversation, the Chancellor asked, “Mr. Graham, do you really believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” Billy Graham was unsure about where this question might be going. He thought about it briefly and then responded, “Mr. Chancellor, if I did not believe in the resurrection, I would have no gospel to preach.”

Let us pause from this story and think about the Chancellor’s question and Billy Graham’s answer.

First, consider the significance of Chancellor’s question…
Ask it of yourself, “DO I REALLY BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST?” This is one of the most important questions that anyone can ask. “Do I actually believe that there was a man who lived 2,000 years ago in history, who died a terrible death on the cross, and then rose bodily on the 3rd day?” How you answer will determine the course of your life. Do you believe it? Or does it seem to you to be “an idle tale”?

Second, consider Billy Graham’s response to this question. “Yes, I believe in the Resurrection. If I didn’t I would have no good news to preach.”

Perhaps Mr. Graham was thinking of Paul’s radical claim the Resurrection is the foundation of Christian Faith. In I Cor. 15:14 & 17, he says, “14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

For the Christian faith, everything hinges on this event. Christianity is not just a religion, a philosophy, a body of beliefs, or set of teachings. Christianity is rooted in the person and work of Jesus. It stands or falls on this question – Did Jesus rise from the dead or didn’t He?

Let’s come back to the natural inclination that many people have had through history to look to a political leader to save them or to solve their problems. This is not something new.

In the New Testament era, King Herod’s dynasty was very wealthy & Powerful.
Herod the Great built the huge Herodian Fortress which can still be toured today. It was a marvelous feat of engineering and an imposing sight to behold. Herod’s mighty fortress casts a long shadow that falls across a small, seemingly insignificant town called Bethlehem. As Bible teacher Ray Vanderlaan suggests, in the early New Testament people would have looked to the Herodian Fortress and took notice of the power and wealth that it represented. But very few noticed who was born in Bethlehem.

The people of Judea were looking for deliverance. Similar to today, there was a sense of fear and insecurity. They felt threatened by the Roman Empire. Perhaps they were looking to their leaders to provide solutions.
In this setting of political turmoil which marked first century Palestine, we find this interesting passage about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry: Luke 3:1-2

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”

Notice that this passage lists seven well known rulers of the time. But, they did not have the solutions to society’s problems. The word of God was not revealed to any of them. It was revealed to some odd guy named John who had no political titles and no official place of distinction. It was John who prepared the way for Jesus.

Hope does not come from governments, rulers, scientists, economists or other man-made institutions. In a tiny corner of the Great Roman Empire, literally in the shadow of a great king’s monument, a baby was born. He lived a perfect life. He claimed to be God. He suffered a terrible death. He proved his power and His authority as God through his miraculous resurrection from the dead.

The Roman Empire came to an end. Jesus is still alive.

Through His resurrection He brought life to the world.

The people of that generation wanted physical deliverance. But Christ first brings spiritual deliverance: He gives us new hearts & spiritual transformation. But it is from these individual transformations that comes societal transformation.

Let’s return to the story of Billy Graham and the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. After Graham’s declaration of belief in the resurrection, the Chancellor walked over to a window overlooking the bombed out ruins of Berlin and said, “Mr. Graham, outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I know of no other hope for mankind.”

In this troubled generation that we live in, let us not forget that there is only one hope. We are not looking for deliverance or working toward freedom. Rather, we are fighting from a freedom and a victory that has already been accomplished through the resurrection of Jesus!

Just before He went to the cross, Jesus said to his disciples, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” – John 14:19
Our only hope is in the resurrection of Jesus and the new life He offers.

We serve a Risen Lord. A living hope. HE’S ALIVE!

Graduation & Commissioning

In March, our 6 Fall Quarter teams returned from their outreaches to Asia. They were back on Maui for a week of debriefing before graduation.
This week is always an important time of hearing testimonies as to what God did in their lives and how He worked through them to minister to others. It is such a blessing to hear these first hand accounts of how the Kingdom of God is moving. One outreach team reported seeing 60 people come to know the Lord. All this is so inspiring for our staff to get the bigger picture of what their efforts contribute to and for the current Winter DTS students to get a preview of the types of experiences they will be a part of.

Just 2 weeks after graduation, the Winter DTS headed off to Thailand for their final week of lecture phase before splitting up into their 3 outreach teams in various Asian countries. This picture was taken during the overlap period of the Fall and Winter quarter students. The people in this photo come from Austria, Canada, Chile, England, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland and the USA.

Fall schools

Fall is the busiest quarter of the year. Fall means the biggest DTS of the year and the SBFM added into the works also. This year we have our biggest SBFM with 23 students

Fall also means back to school for the boys. Timmy is now a sophomore at Kamehameha Schools Maui and Elias is in 3rd grade. At the start of the school year, Elias was on the cross-country team. Timmy has just started wrestling season.

Fall brings 2 birthdays. Tim turned 15 and Tom turned 46 (which still qualifies as ‘mid-40’s’).

Fall is Tom’s busiest teaching schedule; 4 1/2 weeks at Maui schools and three weeks on other ywam bases. He’s currently teaching at the ywam base on Kauai.

In the midst of this busy time, Hoku had the opportunity to go to the island of Kahoolawe with her sister to help with that island’s restoration. Together they worked on erosion control as part of the long term plan to re-green the island with native plants.

As look toward celebrating thanksgiving next week, we are reminded of God’s grace and his goodness to us. May you also be reminded of God’s blessings on your life.

In They Come, Out They GO!

We recently had 52 people return from the Fall school outreaches to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and another big country in Asia. They were divided into 6 teams, 4 teams from the DTS and 2 from the SBFM. It was a busy week of debriefing leading up to their graduation. During this time, we heard reports of how God used these young people to reach out to people in Asia and it was truly inspiring. Our teams engaged in a variety of means to advance the Kingdom of God such as street evangelism, teaching seminars to new believers, intercession times, and working with orphans. One team had the privilege of being some of the first foreigners to teach and encourage Christians who have been isolated in a remote area from a restricted access nation. Another team saw over 380 people give their lives to Jesus in Nepal. In all of these ministry endeavors we serve alongside long term ministries and/or local churches. These partners continue the discipleship of new Christians and pioneer new endeavors which we are so blessed to serve with our short-term teams.

Staff, Students, & Volunteers - Winter 2014


We recently sent out 36 people in 4 outreach teams from the Winter session. They will be returning to Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal to pick up where the previous teams left off.
With less than a week in between, we just began the Spring session of DTS on April 5. They will be here for 12 weeks before going to Asia for the outreach phase. Since this is a much smaller session (11 Students) we will be using this quarter to have more training for our long term staff as well as a follow-up to our SBFM training.

What’s New In 2014

The first DTS of 2014 opened this evening with over 30 students from Canada, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.

We are so excited with the birth of Heath Laskey on January 1. Heath is the first baby born in Maui county this year. Here’s a local newspaper story:

I am a missionary…

I AM A MISSIONARY.mp4
This video was produced by some friends of mine. It is narrated by Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission. Click the title above to play the video.

Fall Schools

Fall is our busiest season for ministry activities with YWAM. We have two schools in session and both are well attended. 33 students came for the Discipleship Training School and 19 students came for the School of Biblical Foundations & Missions. In our 2 schools we have students from Canada, Chile, Finland, US, Norway, England, the Philippines, Switzerland, Scotland, and South Korea.

SBFM Fall 2013


With the SBFM being the largest session yet, we are excited to be sending out 2 outreach teams. Collectively these 2 teams will be ministering in China, Thailand, & Myanmar. Another student will be doing his outreach to Europe.

Timothy Graduates from Middle School

Our son, Timothy, has graduated from 8th grade and is on his way to high school in the Fall.

Timothy's Middle School Graduation


We are so thankful for Doris Todd Christian Academy and for their commitment to Christ centered education. It has been a great school for both our boys.
After a long application process, Timothy was accepted into one of the few openings for Kamehameha High School.

Ohana

The Hawaiian word for family is “Ohana.” Here’s just a few updates about our Ohana. First of all, our YWAM Ohana… In recent weeks, we have been saddened to see some of our staff move on either due to circumstances or to the ending of their YWAM commitments. These folks blessed our YWAM family tremendously and although is hard to see them move on, we’re excited for how the Lord will use them in their next steps.

Staff, Students, Volunteers YWAM Maui 2013


What’s Happening in DTS?
Last week was the opening for the Spring Discipleship Training School (DTS). A week earlier over Easter weekend, we sent out our Winter DTS teams to Nepal, Indonesia, and elsewhere. 4 weeks before that we graduated our Fall DTS and School of Biblical Foundations & Missions teams who had been on outreach to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The reports of how the Lord used these 40+ young people to advance the Kingdom of God in Asia are truly wonderful to hear. The team to a large country in Asia saw over 20 people come to know the Lord. The team to Nepal were privileged to lead 35 people to Christ. The team to Bangladesh saw many people physically healed in the villages they visited and ministered in. 

Staff Leadership Track
Concurrent with the Spring DTS, we will be using this quarter to run a new Leadership Development track with our staff. We have such an incredible group of people that we are privileged to work with and our goal over the next 3 months is to pour into them and groom them to be more effective in their ministry and in their leadership roles.

In our immediate Ohana, our youngest son, Elias, recently turned 7 years old! He’s growing up so fast. Elias has grown in his love of reading and is thoroughly enjoying the last months of first grade.

Hoku continues to help out in Elias’ first grade class as the teacher’s aide. She’s reading a great book called, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp, which has a fantastic message on the power of thankfulness in the believer’s life. Hoku recently ran the Warrior Dash (a 3 mile obstacle course) on Oahu with her sisters.

It’s hard to believe Timmy is going into high school! The school he’s been attending since kindergarten only goes to 8th grade. Our primary pursuit was applying for Kamehameha School. It is an excellent school with a great heritage. There were over 80 students applying for 16 openings. We are so happy to report that Timothy was accepted to the school!

In the previous quarter, Tom was a guest lecturer for 2 different schools at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. One of these schools was a DTS which had close to 150 students. That was the largest DTS he’s ever taught. Shortly thereafter, he lectured at a DTS of 8 students in Cody, Wyoming where a YWAM base is being re-pioneered by Kevin & Sherry Coolie. These are some friends of his who were formerly serving in Homer, Alaska.

School of Biblical Foundations & Missions


We are now in our 2nd week of the Fall schools. Our DTS has 36 students and our SBFM has 10. Tom is co-leading the SBFM this quarter. It is a great group of people coming from US, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Palau, and Norway. The students are great to be working with. Although the course is a lot of work, we’re having more fun than YWAMers should be allowed to have.

This week Tom is presenting an overview of some of the challenges facing our world. Though the situation seems bleak from natural eyes, as believers we see things through Kingdom eyes. Next week, we will be examining methods of Bible study which will then be followed by 2 weeks of surveying the narrative of the Old and New Testaments.

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