There's a small town in Kauai, Hawaii...it is a little quirky, different, rustic, and amazing all at the same time. It's called Waimea (Why-may-uh), and it just so happens to be my home.
We do not get much rain here. In fact, it is common to see a cactus on the side of the road. But the sunsets on this side of the island are the best. The night skies are so clear and star filled, that when you look up you can't help but gasp at God's beautiful creation.
The little old aunties will tell you story upon story about their lives and give you homemade dish-washing "scrubbies." They welcome you into their home without a second thought and treat you to any fruit they may have picked from their yard that day. When you go into their homes, don't be surprised if you see multiple clocks on their walls that show different time-zones around the world.
Historically, Waimea is the first place that Captain Cook landed when he came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. Later on, Waimea was where the first missionary house was built in 1829. However, today Waimea is considered "the sleepy west side of Kauai."
I never thought I would have a heart for this side of the island...when I first came to do my DTS in Kauai, I was on the Northern side of the island, which is directly on the opposite side of the island. Coming back to Kauai this year, I was not really sure what God would do in my heart, I just knew that God had called me to come back to Kauai, even if it would look completely different from what I had first experienced.
But since living in Waimea, God has shown me his heart for the people and community. And through that, He has been growing my heart for the community here; for the workers at the local grocer, the elderly, the high schoolers, and the homeless at the nearby park, etc. God has such a love and yearning for this town! And God is working!
We have run into numerous people outside of YWAM who have a similar passion and heart to see revival and hope brought back to Waimea. God has opened the doors to get more and more involved in the community through the high school and elderly home and a local farmer. Now that DTS has started, we have 10 students who get to learn about God’s love and passion for themselves and others, and as result they are able to make an impact in the community- bringing a unique mark of God’s love to the town of Waimea.
God is pursuing this town and the people within it, and YWAM Kauai gets to be a part of the amazing pursuit! It may not always be easy to walk out what God has called us to, and there will probably be some discomfort at times...but this I know in my heart: that God does have a plan for Waimea...a grand plan of redemption. He does want the people to know His immense love for them. And God wants to wake up this "sleepy" town. Whether I will see it all come into fruition or not, I do not know...but I do know that God has me being a part of the work He is doing right now in this town. And honestly, God is so worthy of any discomfort or hardship we may endure, because at the end of the day it is all to bring His Kingdom to Earth. And that is a far greater reward than anything this world could offer.
Written by Claire Hanshaw