Just another weekend in Hawaii.
A group of seven of us - Joel, Toby, Grant, DK, Margie, Riki and I - decided to hitch-hike to a beach we'd never been before to try and swim with some dolphins that are normally around. We left in the morning, walked for about 45 mins before we were picked up and taken a couple of miles to a store. We bought some drinks, and Margie prayed, "Holy Spirit send us a truck." Within seconds a truck pulled over outside the store and picked us up. While six of us were riding in the back, humming the theme song to Jurassic Park, Riki was loving on and praying for our beautiful driver Hale in the front. As we drove, we realised we weren't really headed the direction we wanted to go, but that was only because Hale wanted to show us around a couple of places first, before taking us to Two Step Bay. She had lived on the island her whole life, and never picked up hitch-hikers, even though she always wanted to. So she generously showed us some other beautiful beaches and houses before dropping us off at our destination. She was such an angel!
At Two Step we swam out far and could hear the dolphins singing when we put our ears under the water, but we never found them. We sat on the rocks for a while playing games before heading back to the road.
We started to walk to the highway, hoping to be picked up on the way. We never were. That was about 4 miles (about 6.5kms), uphill the whole way. Then we walked along the highway. Still no ride, for over 2 miles (about 3.5kms), mostly uphill again, and raining now. At one point, maybe a mile in, a car did stop and was able to take three - DK, Toby and Margie. We didn't want to separate, but for the sake of getting home, we did.
Four of us remained and walked until we found a cafe. Like wanderers in from the desert we stumbled inside, told our story, and in moments devoured four burgers, fries and two jugs of water. It was the greatest. meal. ever. Once we had finished we decided not to walk anymore, but just stand and wait to be picked up. And we were. Very quickly this time.
We got into a car with a strange man, playing strange music. The feeling in the car was kind of 'icky'. The man proceeded to tell us about his beliefs and how they opposed our own, and about the 'shadow people' he sees. The guys did most of the talking, telling him about what we were doing in YWAM and why, and when he stopped to let us out, Grant asked to pray for him. He scoffed and said whatever, so Grant did, just blessing him with God's love, and by the end the guy had a big smile on his face.
We got out of the car, and within 15 seconds, without even sticking out our thumbs, a truck pulled up and asked if we wanted a ride to Coconut Grove (5 minutes from campus). We all huddled in the back, looked at each other, and just laughed!
We were blown away by God's care. That he would send us on a three hour uphill walk, hot sun and then cold rain, us girls ending up barefoot on sharp lava rock gravel because it was less painful than our shoes, and not give us a ride because he wanted us to be picked up by that one guy. He cared so much that he would send us so far just for him. And I believe it was worth it- I'd do it again.
And then, we were blown away by God's timing. After three hours of no ride, and finally getting the ride we were meant to get, God provided the next one without a single step or thumb from us. It was as if he said, "Thanks guys, you did your job. Now you can go home!" If we hadn't split up, if we hadn't stopped for dinner, we wouldn't have met the guy, and if we hadn't prayed for him, we wouldn't have got the next ride all the way home, where we then saw the most beautiful sunset.
This was an amazing day, but it was also a lot to do with the quality of the people on this journey. There was no complaining, though we were tired and hurting. We looked after each other, we kept smiles on our faces, and we embraced the adventure. I'm so grateful to be on this journey with such amazing brothers and sisters. They have forever changed my life.
Riki and Hale - our angel driver!
Probably my favourite thing about living in Hawaii - hitch-hiking in the back of trucks!
Forever bonded by that day... Riki, Margie, Grant, me, Joel, DK and Toby.
And so happy to be home!