Thank you @JenniCatron :) I (and the rest of the @gracehonoluluHI team) are grateful for the 2012 Willowcreek Global Leadership Summit DVD's. (received it just in time for my bday!) We already watched one of the videos for our staff meeting and we loved it! I cannot wait to watch more!
There are perks that come with living in this state the rest of the world calls paradise The lovely weather... the background ukelele song you hear everywhere you go, coconut water and mai tai's served to you in every corner and constantly being surrounded by beautiful beaches.
Okay... Soooo i might have stretched the truth a little about the ukelele song and the coconut/Mai tai's. People here actually work (sometimes 2-3 jobs coz it's really expensive to live out here) and do chores and get stuck in traffic. We are also surrounded by water. Lots and lots of water. Too much water - in fact a couple of thousand of miles away from the mainland.
That being the case, we don't have a lot of conferences & leadership seminars for churches here in Hawaii. Smaller churches here often have to rely on the bigger mega-churches that can afford to bring in speakers and their teams (and pay for their hotels & food). We have about 2-3 big events a year but that's about it.
Which drives me absolutely crazy since I lived in LA and everything from leadership seminars to the catalyst conferences to the dream center to visiting saddle back or cornerstone or oasis, etc. etc. etc was available to attend and visit all year round. And you can hear these pastors and preachers for FREE!
In hawaii, If we wanted to join a conference in the mainland....We have to pay a lot of money to fly out anywhere. Coz the airlines have monopolized the fact that we are stuck in an island and that we have no choice but to pay crazy airline fees or stay stuck here and watch conferences online or read and live vicariously through whoever is livetweeting on our twitter feed. That doesn't even include our hotel / food / travel expenses.
So living out here does have repercussions.... BUT the one major perk i have seen this past year living as a missionary out here is...because of the limited resources we have, the local churches here rely on building with other local churches in the island(s) so that we can learn from each other. I've never seen this happen in any part of the United States before. In fact, i've never seen it anywhere. Senior Pastors and leaders from different congregations and denominations actually meet together and share and help each other instead of tearing each other down. It's quite amazing and beautiful to see. There is a unique kind of unity within churches that I've never seen or heard of. And I'm glad I God has allowed me, not only to witness it, but be a part of the network of the body of believers in these islands. I guess isolation has its perks ;)
Who would've thought that one of the ways to actually see and experience a united bride/church means having to fly out as a missionary and live in paradise. :)