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Hawaii convention welcomes Asian association

HONOLULU (BP) — Hawaii Pacific Baptists held steady their percentage of Cooperative Program gifts forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention causes and recognized a partner association with all of its cooperating churches in Asia.

Centered on the theme “Great Awakening!” based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, some 247 registered messengers and 73 guests gathered Nov. 5-6 at Olivet Baptist Church on Oahu.

Messengers adopted a 2016 budget of $3,105,550, a 5.4 percent decrease from the current budget. CP gifts of $1,335,000 are anticipated from churches, and a total of $751,500 is anticipated from the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources.

The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention will continue to forward 31.5 percent of CP receipts to SBC missions and ministries in North America and across the world, with 68.5 percent funding HPBC ministries. The budget does not include any shared ministry expenses.

One new congregation requested affiliation and was approved by messengers: Joyful Baptist Church, a Korean congregation in Honolulu. Messengers also approved the calendar of activities for 2016 and the report of the executive director-treasurer and the executive board.

Newly elected officers included: president, John Endriss, pastor of Engage Church in Hilo; first vice president, Robert Uyeda, associate pastor of the English Department of Hawaii Chinese Baptist Church in Honolulu; and second vice president, Wes Higuchi, a member of Kahului Baptist Church on Maui.

Recording secretary Hazel Capinpin, a member of Word of Truth in Ewa Beach, Oahu, was elected to a second term.

Two resolutions were adopted, one thanking those ending their terms of service to the executive board and convention committees and another recognizing SBC entities.

Pastors from the newly formed Asia Baptist Network, the HPBC’s seventh partner association, were recognized. The five congregations represented were Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan; Seoul International Baptist Church in South Korea; Songtan Central Baptist Church in South Korea; Tokyo Baptist Church in Japan; and Yokohama International Baptist Church in Japan.

Executive director Chris Martin spoke from Zephaniah on the judgement of God, noting, “This is the point of our lives now — to live by faith. That faith is a combination of two things — trust and obedience. You have to trust the Lord and follow Him in obedience. If you do not have either one of those, you do not have faith.”

Martin continued, “If we are the people who are saying, ‘Yes, God,’ we also have to be saying, ‘I cannot to do this without the movement of God. I cannot do this without an awakening.’ May it begin with us…. But unless God explodes into the lives of everyone in our churches, we will never be able to make a dent in the world that’s around us. But don’t be discouraged. Be encouraged. The power of God comes to us, and now is the time. Before His Hand comes in judgement, now is the time. Seek the Lord. Seek Him in obedience. Whatever He says, let’s do. Say ‘yes’ to the voice God and follow Him in faith.”

The annual message was given by a Christian worker from East Asia, whose name cannot be revealed for security purposes. He said, “God says, ‘I have raised you up. You will know my power so that you can spread My Word to the nations.’ God invites us to join Him because He made us for this. He needs for us to see what only God can do. Say to the Lord, ‘You are my refuge and my strength, all that I am. Every breath that I take, every day that I take until You call me home, I will stand boldly for You.'”

The annual meeting was hosted by Olivet Baptist Church, Olivet’s Japanese department, Nuuanu Baptist Church and the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of the Pacific.

Proceedings of the annual meeting were broadcast live via the Internet. Videos from the annual meeting can still be viewed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hpbc-hawaii.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held Nov. 3-4 on Oahu.

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  • Faith McFatridge