Category Archives: Lahainaluna High School

September 11, 2001 in Maui

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. Blessed are the  people he has chosen as his own.” Psalm 33:12 (God’s Word Translation)

“Mom, turn on your television.  A plane has just flown into the World Trade Center!” Chris was watching this unfold in Missouri and I was watching in Lahaina, Maui.  “Did you just see that?  Another plane flew into the second tower!” Shocked, we realized our country was under attack! I then called Larry .  Jeff, another son, was in Vermont.  We were all stunned with what we had just witnessed.

I had previously arrived back in Maui after taking a two year leave without pay from Lahainaluna High School to accompany my pastor-husband to Pennsylvania.  A teacher friend invited me to stay with her and another teacher helped me find an apartment.

Larry still in Pennsylvania took care of final church details while packing all our belongings again to be mailed or sold.  He was later to drive our car across country to be placed on a barge and then to fly out of California.

School was not called off and as I headed there in another teacher’s loaned car, I felt alone with no family presence.  I worried how Larry half a world away would undertake a huge journey that was logistically in peril. When would he now  get to me?

Faculty, staff, students and friends were just as concerned as I with the knowledge we were isolated in the middle of the Pacific.  We needn’t have worried, though, in that the high level of protection and defense was immediately felt by all in Hawaii.  A couple of weeks later, Larry arrived and stated that the trip from California to Hawaii had the most precautions with intense scrutiny by even an unexpected trip to another island before arriving in Maui.

Although the day was tragic, I have since been astounded by the provision of God with my Hawaiian ‘Hanai” family that ministered to me.  Although separated, Larry and I were also connected with God in His design of each for the other and both for the Lord.  What an awesome way God designs our lives, even in adversity!

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.  His truth is your shield and armor.  You do not need to fear terrors of the night, arrows that fly during the day.” Psalm 91:4,5 (GW)  Dear Lord, help me to see your hand of protection upon me and upon us as a nation that was founded on that great fundamental truth, IN GOD WE TRUST!

Instruction God’s Way

250px-Maui-Lahaina-Halepai-corner

 The Lord says, “I will instruct you.  I will teach you the way that you should go.  I will advise you as my eyes watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 (God’s Word)

Hale Pa’i (House of Printing) built in 1834 on Lahainalua’s campus is where the first Bible in the Hawaiian language was first printed.  The missionaries had enabled the unprinted Hawaiian language to be reduced into an alphabet according to its sounds.  The printed Word of God could then  be  read by Hawaiian men studying for the ministry under missionary tutelage.  Lahainaluna today is a public high school that teaches standard curriculum.

Its students throughout the years have observed Rally ‘Round the Flag Pole near Hale Pa’i and pray over administrators, teachers, staff and students.  One unique year  the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Duke Aiona (a devout Christian) urged all Christians to pray on each school campus on a designated Sunday.  At Lahainaluna, each door was anointed with oil while individuals prayed for all that would enter that classroom.

Recently our church located here on the Mainland invited school superintendents to share an evening with students, parents and teachers.  One superintendent spoke of wanting to see God’s blessing through him and through all the schools in his district.  Around 4,000 people attended that unique evening. The kids’ minister spoke on the theme, Love All-Serve All.  Jesus took time out for Bartimaeus and so he urged kids to be friendly and kind to all in their school.

God, Himself, is our own Life Instructor, no matter the age.  The text He uses is the Bible and the Holy Spirit is our tutor.  His lesson plans are in many subjects and guidance is carefully given through challenging and at times, easy homework.  Patience is His virtue, gently loving until we live out His objectives. We get our graduation day when He proclaims “Well done, good and faithful student!  You have been faithful with a few things.  I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:23

God, you are so all-knowing what’s best for me.  You encourage me with such kind words for you said “I am the apple of your eye!”  What an absolute delight You are!

 

 

 

Graduation to Heaven

nice_3_1-Lahainaluna Graduation

 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)

Lahainaluna High School-What a beautiful school nestled in the West Maui Mountains, founded originally as a seminary in 1831 and the only school in Hawaii where the Alma Mater is sung in Hawaiian.  It is considered the oldest school west of the Rockies and the oldest west of the Mississippi River. What an incredible joy it was to teach there with the beauty of the school also reflected in the precious teachers, staff and students!

Day students and boarders come from all the Hawaiian islands as well as other Pacific islands.   Boarders keep the landscape beautiful and serve in the cafeteria for free housing with meals and in return, must contribute three work hours a day.

It’s spectacular graduation is celebrated by its uniqueness in design. The official picture above from the website shares a unique, beautiful event that takes place each year.  Some of the underclassmen climb Mt. Ball located higher above with torches beforehand and in the ceremony a few have climbed it again to light the “L” at night.  All below and even all the town of Lahaina further down by the ocean can celebrate the new graduates’ accomplishments.

I, too, have a graduation date after taking all of life’s courses.  I’ve experienced difficult and pleasant experiences through this pathway where I learned invaluable lessons.  I thank the Lord that this journey has brought my heart to repent of my wrong doing and to acknowledge Christ as my Lord and Savior.  When I die or if He comes first, my graduation from life to eternity will commence.  I can only imagine the joy of seeing my loved ones, at last, sharing the beauties of Heaven with me where Christ will outshine us all as we behold Him close-up and personal.

God, I am looking forward to my graduation to Heaven.  Your brilliance in my life is nothing compared to what it will be like to see you in all Your splendor! 

 

An Alabastar Box of Radiance

 

she-anointed-his-head-matt-26-7     A Memorial Tribute of the Christ She Served

There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat…Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Matthew 26:7 & 13 (KJV)

Vibrant, beautiful Sheila attracted friends to her with a winsome smile and glowing vitality of blessing others.  In church she was the first there on Sunday mornings praying at the altar before people arrived; the first one standing for praise and worship, singing with hands uplifted in love and reverence.  At Lahainaluna High School, I observed the bounce in her step where she was employed as a special education aide and with interactions between teachers, students and staff.

And slowly, life presented unbearable, hurting hurdles…her son, a heavy drug addict, succumbed to major mental  inadequacies; her daughter became unstable in relationships, and then her husband committed suicide. Through all the shaking and tears, a smile remained on Sheila’s face.  While carrying a broken, grieving heart, she still radiated the love of God!

The last time I saw Sheila was at the health clinic.  I was there for a routine doctor’s appointment, but she was there with a life-threatening illness.  Her verdict was swift and tragic–she had two weeks to live.  At her funeral she was dressed all in white, laid in a white-inlaid casket and encased in a white box.  My thought on seeing her…she looks truly like the bride of Christ!  Half way around the world in our next pastorate, I remembered the life dynamics of my precious friend, Sheila. Through her impact, a large group of ladies would begin a new women’s ministry called Radiance.

The Bible woman with the alabaster box of perfumed ointment knew the secret of displaying her love and beautiful devotion to the Master.  She was unafraid of taking her most costly possession to best visually demonstrate her loyalty to Jesus.  Although jeered by the men who saw her, Jesus looked into the very essence of her being to see a heart overflowing with warmth and intensity.  Her beautiful gift became a halo that she placed over Jesus head, that then oozed a fragrant oil that flowed and anointed him for a burial that would happen within the week…but the next week she witnessed her Risen Lord!

Radiance glows best in the lives of those who let you shine through them in multifaceted ways.  “What we keep for ourselves lives but for a moment. What we freely give from our hearts will last for eternity.” May I, too, reflect sacrifice of myself with an intense devotion and appreciation of the Divine. Isn’t that the very best way for You to radiate outward?

 

Maui Special Needs Youth With Big Hearts

All children can learnHowever, they taught me much more!

“…With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 KJV

Embraced by our new church family in Maui when we arrived in July, we settled into the parsonage with our two sons.  Wasting no time, I pursued employment by the Hawaii Department of Education. All positions had been filled for the upcoming school year in my areas of elementary and social studies so I offered to teach in special education, if possible.  I was honored to accept full-time employment of that with Lahainaluna High School.

Previously, I had subbed in special education in a full-time position where I met Louie and Robbie.  Louie was my energetic, vivacious young man who knew how to proceed through the locker-lined halls by taking a step, then banging both feet up on the lockers to the left, with another step before hurtling his feet to those on the right, back and forth, as he proceeded.  Robbie was dealing with traumatic issues at home and would have severe meltdowns at school. To calm him down in a chair, I would kneel behind him and just wrap my arms around while I soothingly spoke to him. These precious boys had engraved themselves on my heart.

Now with Cody, David, Becky and Mary Jane along with Ulu, my aide, the school year began.  All four had different mental challenges.  We enjoyed spending time with each other in a setting very unique  for instruction–a fully-equipped kitchen, a living room area plus the classroom .  Life skills were taught such as operating the washer, dryer and stove plus basic computer skills. Ulu, my aide, was also involved with public transportation and through her, our four students had access to the resorts in kitchen areas and with other supporting vocations there that might accommodate   interests after graduation.  Cody continued in regular gym classes.  Becky loved pecking away on the keyboard so was accommodated by being enrolled in a regular education typing class.

We continued the involvement with Special Olympics and were flown to the final competition in Honolulu to compete.  Ulu, Larry (my husband) and I plus the four students (with compliments of the state) took a fascinating trip. Our only expense of $18 a piece, flew us out of the Lahaina airport to the Big Island. Then we proceeded to the Atlantis Submarine to view fantastic aquatic life.  Land, sky and ocean travel were completed in one school day!

The uniqueness of that class with all their strengths and joys of learning has taught me that God designed each in such a splendid way. Their beauty of strength and character exhibited tenacity and joy in their individual journeys.

God, your heart is entwined within each heart of special needs youth.  Their radiance is manifested in smiles, in simple pleasures, in demonstrating their awesome personality in their individual journeys. In this fast-paced world, let me learn to manifest the simplicity of contentment wherever life finds me!