Sunday, March 08, 2009

1st Presbyterian Church

I accepted the invitation of my friend, Rose, to attend her church. After picking me up at my hotel we drove up the Pali Highway and through the tunnel as if we were going to Kailua. But at the first traffic light we turned left and headed Northwest on Highway 83. She soon turned left again, onto the grounds of the Ko'olau Golf Club.

To my astonishment, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Honolulu co-exists with a functioning golf resort. This clearly wasn't like any Catholic Church I had ever attended! Rose gave me a brief tour, introduced me to several friends of hers and then we sat down for the service. It didn't have the formality of masses I was familiar with but everyone seemed full of great joy, which I admired

The highlight of the service was hearing a 21 year old woman from the Philippines talk about her life growing up in poverty and how an organization called Compassion International dramatically helped her and her family. It was a pretty powerful and emotional talk she gave. She never played the victim though but just matter of factly related her upbringing, which I dare say was probably much more severe than anyone who has a computer to read these very words.

Afterwards we were invited to view info packets about kids around the world who need sponsoring. I recorded the information about 4 of them, all in Latin America. I absolutely plan on sponsoring one and perhaps even two children once I get back home. For just $384 per year you can dramatically change the path of another's life; someone who is truly in need. Apologies if this sounds like an infomercial but the whole experience had a very profound effect on me. This agency reportedly has a solid track record on transparency and not wasting money on bureaucracy, two factors which are absolutely critical to me.
The church & golf course reside directly below some pretty amazing mountains. Next time I come back to Oahu I plan to hike up one of these!

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