Clarence De Lude III (Native Hawaiian) shares news from a summer of connections for our Hawaiian mission.
This summer I was blessed to reconnect with members of the Cross-Cultural Ministry Program at Concordia University in Irvine, California. Tim Norton and I participated in an online podcast to share our work with Lutheran Indian Ministries.
In July, I joined the team from Navajo, New Mexico, for a mission trip to the Athabascans in Old Minto, Alaska, for Bible camp. One evening, an elder was walking with her chair to the river’s edge. I asked if I could carry it for her, so she asked me to join her to watch the sunset. We began our conversation with prayer and thanksgiving. Soon, she began sharing many of God’s blessings in her life. She also told me that she is dying from cancer. She has a strong spirit. Getting to know her came with mixed feelings. I was sad that I may not see her again—at least on this side of heaven—but I was grateful to share one glorious sunset with her, made even better because it lasted four-and-a-half hours.
Our Hawaiian mission will be fundraising throughout the year to take a team to have fellowship with the Navajo families during fall school break, sharing meals and arts and crafts with them.
Back home in Hawaii, our church and community addressed the needs of our homeless population. Hawaii’s homeless ranks first in the nation and has for the last four years, followed by New York and California by per capita. The homeless includes veterans as well as ohana, or families with children. The children are in a high-risk group for not finishing school and, therefore, continuing the cycle of generational poverty. My home church at Trinity Lutheran participated in Hawaii Food Banks distribution of food to the homeless. We included young adults home for summer break.
May the Lord continue to bless us as we reach out in Christ’s love among our Native peoples.