BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP)—This summer, waves of volunteers hit the shores of Oahu, Hawaii, for the first-ever co-ed student-missions event sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union.
The event, dubbed “Collide/Lima Kokua,” drew high-school students to Hawaii “to give them the opportunity to make a difference in the world for Christ,” said Suzanne Reece, national WMU ministry consultant for the student team.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s missions auxiliary coordinated the event in conjunction with Hawaii WMU and the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention.
In partnership with 17 island churches, students and leaders served at 17 ministry sites and participated in ministry projects, such as Vacation Bible School for homeless children, backyard Bible clubs, painting, trash pick-up, church information distribution, prayerwalking and other projects.
The weeklong event was originally called simply “Collide,” but both national WMU and Hawaiian organizers wanted a name that would reflect their partnership and goals. Lima Kokua, Hawaiian for “helping hands,” became part of the name as a result.
The name was particularly fitting for Rogelio Maciel, 13, of First Baptist Church of South Houston.
“This was my first time doing a missions trip, and I went to help out with other people and show many people about Christ,” he said.
“The thing that meant most to me was seeing the kids in VBS learn about Christ. And when they grow up, they will teach others.”
“I got to play with the kids and teach them about God. It was amazing to hear their answers and comments about God,” Alicia Esquivel, 16, also from the South Houston church, said. “I enjoyed learning from the kids that I was teaching.”
In addition to hands-on missions projects, Collide/Lima Kokua participants also enjoyed a Hawaiian dinner, group worship experiences and cultural education.