A few weeks ago, the Revelation of Hope Hilo Team was able to steal away to the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii for some much–needed rest. We were able to visit Pu’uhonua O Honaunau. This is Hawaiian for, “City/Place of Refuge”. Modeled after the cities of refuge in Biblical times, this sacred place offered protection for all within its walls (Num.35). The ancient walls of this sacred refuge sit upon a flat lava shelf embraced by the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is sprinkled with hundreds of coconut trees, numerous fish ponds, and natural springs providing food and water for the ancient royal chiefs, their guests, and those who fled there looking for a second chance at life. This was a sanctuary of safety for those guilty of breaking the law as well as for those wounded in time of war. In the 1782 battle of Mokuohai, an enemy of King Kamehameha sought refuge here, later becoming the king’s prime minister. It was truly a place of second chances. As the sun faded in the western sky lighting up the stormy clouds in the heavens, I stood in awe of the powerful lessons of this sacred place.
“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” – Psalm 9:9-10
For right now, we are living in a time of war. The great controversy between good and evil is raging all around us. The casualties in this conflict are countless. Many have been deeply wounded by the sinister weapons of injustice, hatred, and racism. Multitudes suffer from the self inflicted wounds of ignorance, pride, selfishness, and sin. All stand guilty of breaking God’s law and rebelling against the King of kings. All is not well in our world. Social injustice is fueling civil unrest. Fear and bigotry have caused the human family to turn on each other. There is no safe place in our world. But then we hear the voice of Jesus calling… “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” – Mat.11:28-30. Despite the fact that we have broken God’s law and have rebelled against His kingship, God invites us to take refuge in His love and forgiveness. And just as the enemy of King Kamehameha later became his prime minster, we too can be reconciled back to God and can become ministers of His grace to a world full of oppression.
“The West Covina Hills SDA church held an evangelistic series from February 12 to March 5, 2016 with Taj Pacleb of the Revelation of Hope Ministries as the speaker. Opening night brought in 350 people and attendance was consistent throughout, never going below 280. The Holy Spirit worked mightily through evangelist Taj Pacleb, proclaiming Biblical truths with power and conviction. On the last night of the meetings, 14 people committed their lives to the Lord through baptism. Since then, 5 other precious souls have been baptized as a result of the series and, more Bible studies are being conducted in preparation for baptism. The realization and results of the evangelistic series was a demonstration of how the Lord is able to do great things through His church when the members are willing to trust in the Lord, submit themselves to Him, obey His commandments, and carry out His commission. As a result of the series, not only were precious souls added to God’s kingdom, but the faith and conviction of the members of West Covina Hills as well as other Adventist churches who attended the meetings, were renewed and strengthened. All praises be to the Lord.” – Sam Ang, Elder, West Covina Church