** Pisa Soli is the daughter of Luoa Soli (preacher at the Nu’uuli church of Christ in American Samoa where we worked). She lives and worships with the church in Honolulu. This is part of her story where she recalls some of the great things that God was doing during this week of the seminar in Hawaii. You’ll love it!! Enjoy the read.
Friday, April 8
I invited my friend Flori to the Unity of Believers seminar 6 weeks ago. I never followed up or reminded her about the
Ruth, Flori, Athena, and Pisa sharing a hug at church.
seminar as it approached (shame on me), but the night before the seminar, Flori texted me – “I didn’t forget about the seminar. I’ll come right after my class in the afternoon and in the morning if possible.” At that moment, I realized I need to pay special attention to my friend and her spiritual quest.
The Unity of Believers seminar took place on Tuesday, April 5 at the Honolulu church of Christ. Flori ended up not making it due to class presentations and discussions that ran over. I didn’t want to lose her again so I texted her [we’re big on texting] that our guest speaker, Wayne Collins, is willing to sit down with her and provide an overview of the seminar if she is interested. No response. I texted her again – “Just 1 hour of your time to hear this important message and I guarantee it’ll be worth it.”. She responded, “I’d love to come over tomorrow for bible study.” I was super excited…I had to contain myself from jumping up and down…although, I think I ended up jumping up and down anyways. A time was set and I was very thankful for this opportunity. About half an hour later I received another text from Flori and I was a little worried when I saw it was from her. I thought…oh no…she’s going to cancel because she remembered she had other plans. But no! She asked if it was ok for her cousin Athena (also a good friend of mine) to come! How cool is that? I shared the news with my family and we all prayed about it (as I’m sure, the Collins ohana was doing the same thing).
Pisa, Lima, Athena, Flori, Rafe, Donna, and Wayne studying the bible.
So on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. we all met for bible study (Athena, Flori, Pisa, Wayne and Donna). It didn’t take long for my 2 friends to feel comfortable around Wayne and Donna as they are so welcoming and loving. My friends had a lot of questions which Wayne referred to the bible of course. We examined scriptures and occasionally they would exclaim, “Wow! I didn’t know this was in the bible!” We stopped as we approached 7 p.m. because of our Wednesday night bible study and Athena had an exam the following morning. But Wayne didn’t get as far as he’d like because the girls had numerous random questions. So Wayne asked them, “When would you like to meet again and continue our study?” To which they responded, “Tomorrow! And we’re going to bring our husbands…well, we’re going to try. They need to hear this!” A few minutes later they remembered they had a community service project for school the following evening, they thought about it then said, “It’s ok. This is more important. We’ll be here tomorrow!” Wayne, Donna and I were so encouraged by their interest and willingness to learn more about God’s word. We were all very excited and continued to pray about our studies with my dear friends.
Thursday, April 7 at 3:40 p.m. – I arrived at the Collins’ temporary residential hale (house) with pizza and chicken
Donna, Kelly, and Wayne outside the church building.
wings (hey, it was the easiest dinner choice I can pick up). I told Wayne and Donna I wasn’t sure my friends’ husbands would come when I saw the house was set up for a bigger crowd (I know, I know, such little faith I have). They’re just not the type but I was still hopeful! [FYI-my friends and their husbands are around 21 years old] Athena and Flori arrived shortly and I saw only the two of them. As I went outside to greet them, both of their husbands did come! You could tell they didn’t want to be there but they came because their wives asked them and they knew this was important to them. Wayne, Donna and Kelli expertly made them feel welcome. Wayne summarized our bible study from the night before and the “wives” (Flori and Athena) would excitedly interject, “tell them and show them the scriptures”. Ten minutes into the study the “husbands” (Rafe and Lima) started to ask their own questions and expressed their thoughts. Our bible study session took off with a variety of questions and Wayne had to skillfully maneuver our discussion back to the concept of unity and the Lord’s church. About an hour later, Wayne asked if everyone wanted a break to eat pizza but they said “no, let’s keep going.” And that’s exactly what we did for 4 hours! It didn’t feel like it…we had so much fun! We eventually had pizza while the “husbands” continued to keep Wayne busy with questions. It was energizing, enlightening and encouraging! We admire these young couples and their hunger for the Lord’s word!
They have committed to attend worship service on Sunday (except Lima because he has military training) and one even said she’d like to be baptized…she just needs to pray more about her decision and let it all settle in. Please, please pray for Flori, Rafe, Athena and Lima as we study God’s word and prayerfully lead them to Christ.
Here are excerpts from their text messages after our bible studies:
This was such a wondeful time for all.
“We enjoyed it and learned a lot in the little time we had. Some of the things we discussed last night was like a confirmation. A lot of what I have heard other preachers preach I often question cause it made no sense to me and it was very helpful to have Wayne point out scriptures to back everything up. It’s such a blessing to have all of you help us. That’s exactly the kind of way I like to do bible study.”
“Rafe really enjoyed the study last night. They were supposed to go to rugby around 6 last night but he said missing it for bible study was worth it. He also said that he’s talked to other people about Christianity and a lot of them just go off what they think but not by the Bible..he liked how Wayne always pointed out to the scriptures and not once talked about what someone else told him or what he heard.”
“I have learned more in the last 2 nights than I did in the last couple of years while at WOL.” (a Pentecostal church)