It is called the “Aloha State” and with good reason, because in so many places, a person is greeted with this friendly expression of “Hello.”  It was the last state to enter the Union back in 1959, becoming the 50th state.  The land of which I write is Hawaii.  Recently, my wife and I celebrated our 6th Wedding Anniversary.  In doing so, we reflected back upon the great memories of our wedding day and of our honeymoon.  Brandi and I visited Honolulu, Hawaii for our honeymoon.
We were very thankful to know that the church does exist in Hawaii.  How sad would it have been had we found out that the church did not exist in this land of beauty?  It was our pleasure to find out about this island having a few congregations of the church.  It is true there are far fewer congregations there than here in Tennessee, however, we were thankful to know that the island of Oahu had at least a few                                       congregations of God’s people.
It was our pleasure to visit with two congregations while there.  We found both congregations to be very friendly.  While the cultures there and here are different, what remained the same were the acts of worship that were offered.  We were very happy to see Christians all of the way over in Hawaii worshiping in the manner as Christians in the First Century in Acts 2.  Acts 2:42 says, “And they  continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  The brethren with whom we visited had all of the acts of worship as do we.
It was refreshing to hear that we have members of our spiritual family surrounded by the vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean.  It was so good that they teach as does the Gospel about the Plan that we must obey to be saved, that of hearing (Romans 10:17), believing (Mark 16:16), repenting (Acts 2:38), confessing (Matthew 10:32), being baptized (Acts 2:38), and then living faithfully (Revelation 2:10).  It is good to know that they teach for a Christian who has gone astray to come back through repentance of sins (Acts 8:22) and confession of those sins (I John 1:9).
The congregation with whom we visited on Sunday morning even had a fellowship meal following the morning service.  It is great to know that they also appreciate times of feasts of charity (Jude 12).  While the food there was often far different than what we typically eat here, it was good to see that they fellowship with each other in that way.  While we may eat a lot of fried chicken here during these times, there they like to eat boiled octopus!
In conclusion, it is great to see that the kingdom of God on the earth, which is the church, has spread far and wide.  Daniel 2:44 says, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”  The church came during the days of the Roman Empire, and the church is still here today.  The church consists of the disciples of Christ from all lands.  Let us work to see the church continue to grow!
-Jason Gann, TBC Online Instructor