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Hawaii academy’s ‘Servant Group’ stirs souls, meets needs

HONOLULU (BP)–At least a half-dozen people have prayed to receive Christ so far this school year through the outreach of Hawaii Baptist Academy’s “Servant Group,” a student organization that reaches out to people on and off campus.

The professions of faith, in the Waianae community along Oahu’s leeward coast, followed the Servant Group’s annual camp at the outset of the HBA school year.

“This year we had the largest camp ever with 148 students, and it was amazing how these kids were used as agents of change even if for a few hours,” said Tina Mueller, an eighth-grade science teacher and camp counselor.

Setting out in teams with adult leaders, the HBA intermediate and high school students helped give food to homeless people living on the beach, did face painting and balloon art for residents at a care home for mentally handicapped people and prayerwalked in communities, picking up litter along the way. Other teams washed cars for free and led Backyard Bible Clubs. One team walked from bus stop to bus stop offering to pray for people and looking for opportunities to share the Gospel.

The day of ministry culminated in a Friday evening block party. HBA students served free hot dogs and juice to the people who attended — and talked and prayed with them.

“It was an amazing time seeing some of the students really get out of their comfort zone to reach out to this small town on the west side,” Mueller said.

The HBA camp theme was “Totally Consumed,” and when the students weren’t ministering, they were being prepared for ministry through powerful worship, messages and small group times that helped them understand how to be surrendered to God’s leading.

In one of the groups, students shaped from tin foil something that represented a hindrance in their Christian lives. The students later made one large cross out of these individual symbols, showing that they were leaving these hindrances at the cross.

“God holds us to a higher standard [than our peers],” HBA junior Kyle Jones said. “He calls us to live for him, not just at meetings or at camp, but every day, no matter where we are, whether we’re at school, home, the beach, wherever.”

Before sending the students into the community Friday morning, HBA Christian ministries director Rob Lockridge exhorted them to go out as healed and cleansed ministers. Using the scriptural symbol of anointing with oil, Lockridge urged the students to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the day’s ministry.

The service went on for hours as a vast majority of the students stood in line to be prayed for and to prepare their hearts for ministry.

“Even though there were only students in line, it was placed in my heart that I, too, can receive prayer and an anointing,” Nolan Namba, a physics teacher and camp counselor, said.

Following the block party Friday, students and counselors had time to share about “all the things God did to use them, change them, humble them and challenge them to be sold out for Him,” Mueller said.

“The Friday evening time was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen at HBA,” Lockridge said, “with kids just talking about how they saw God at work all day.”

Haines is just one example of students who say their lives were changed by the HBA camp.

“I left camp with confidence and faith. I overcame my fears of pouring out my heart and sharing my past with others,” he said.

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