Winter is almost over and spring is fast approaching.
A time of rebirth, renewal and expectancy is in the air. I always enjoy seeing nature change from winter to spring. It reminds me of the changing nature of our planet and the unchanging nature of our God who planned it and keeps the seasonal rhythm constant.
Recently I attended a meeting in Hawaii. I'm always thrilled to visit the island paradise, our 50th state, where it seems there is only one season filled with warm sunshine and cool trade winds. I'm always excited about visiting Hawaii, not only because of the beauty of the islands or the weather, but because it reminds me of the small island of Providencia, Colombia where my parents lived before moving to Panama.
I also enjoy the Hawaiian Islands because of the work of our sister Baptist convention - the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention. The blending of so many races and cultures has produced a state with unique opportunities, not unlike those we find in our own Golden State.
As I enjoy the beauty and the wonderful people of Hawaii, I also am confronted with the reality of the lostness around me. In the midst of natural beauty, there is a desperate need for the redemption of the lost.
One must never forget the reason for our existence: to lead men and women, boys and girls to a personal relationship with Christ. Hawaii, with all its beauty, is a unique mission field and is a place where God is working to bring salvation to peoples of many cultures.
The Hawaii convention's ministries extend several thousand miles throughout the South Pacific and include American Samoa, Western Samoa, Guam, Saipan and Okinawa. With obstacles such as language and distance on their doorstep, this body of fellow believers continues to reach the lost and make disciples.
California Southern Baptists can learn from Hawaii how to minister in a multicultural setting by accepting each individual with love and compassion. As we go through our daily lives, let us remember that opportunities abound all around us to change the lives of those with whom we come into contact. Let's continue to strive to that end.