“Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord” – Acts 9:31
If the resurrection of Jesus that we celebrated at Easter is the singular most important moment in history, what is the second most important moment in history?
I believe it started right after the resurrection, when the book of Acts kicks into high gear. The apostles and the early church family were experiencing the hand of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The pressed history forward with miracles of multiplication. The book of Acts is the sermon series in church that is always full of excitement and adventure. It is all about family, community, radical growth and impact. What’s better than the radical growth of followers of Jesus and the spreading of the kingdom of God?
What is something that you have seen grow at an awe inspiring pace? Maybe it’s the physical growth of your kids? Perhaps it’s the blossoming garden you just planted, or the growth of the swell in just a few hours as you watch the ocean? It could be the expansion of your church congregation as people put their faith and trust in Jesus.
We are so blessed to be experiencing this season of explosive growth at the mission. To go from people thinking we were closed one year ago, to the place of miraculous multiplication of ministry all over the island, is something only God could do. And just like the verse above from the book of Acts, we are experiencing a season “Through the help of the Holy Spirit, that is being strengthened and growing in numbers, as we live in reverence for the Lord.” (Acts 9:31)
And instead of just telling you about the explosive growth, let me share one very simple, but tangible story, that I know will bless us all as we move into mothers day this month. Just today I heard a story from one of our hub spots and a young mother to be. This young mom was facing such a daunting season of pregnancy, that she made the bold step to stop at one of our hubs and get help. And the help she so desperately needed, as only God could do, came from the support and help of another mom. This mom, who volunteers regularly at the hub spot – sat with this pregnant mom, prayed with this pregnant mom, and then moved into high gear to help when this struggling mom had twins 3 months premature. A mom who was simply coming to help and volunteer, has now built a life giving relationship with a mom facing a tough season with two young twins, who are still fighting to stay alive. But as we speak, the twins are doing well, and last week the mom who came to help, gave her a simple gift – a blanket, a mug, and some perfume. Happy mothers day to all of you moms who just read this story and understand, and to all of us who hep celebrate mothers day, may this be a powerful reminder of how far just a little encouragement can go.
On that wonderful note, here is a detailed recap of all God has done over the last year at River of Life Mission. It’s an explanation of what the mobile and “hub” model of ministry looks like. It also includes incredible stories and statistics displaying all the miracles that have transpired here. . . in just one year!
Celebrating 1 Year of Hub Spots Bringing Mobile Hope & Help Directly to O’ahu Communities
What is a hub spot?
When you arrive at a River of Life Mission Hub Spot, you’ll find a gathering of people with a heart for neighbors in need. A Hub Spot is a mobile community service fair located at a partner’s site that provides River of Life Mission meals and ministry to bring help & the hope of Jesus to our VIPs – vulnerable important people – across O’ahu.
Here’s why the new hub spot model works:
Going mobile with our outreach services means we now bring a support system directly to vulnerable people in the communities they are in. We went from exclusively serving the Chinatown community to impacting about 40 communities island-wide. Along the way, we are gathering new partners and building upon existing collaborations to make connections, build bridges, and support more vulnerable communities in the work of life transformation.
Building upon our legacy of empowering church partners:
One key Hub Spot is located at Kailua Church of the Nazarene. Their outreach has multiplied, and they’ve branched off to operate 4 additional outreaches, known as Hub Camps, that consistently bring street outreach to their immediate community. Their Head Pastor is actively leading bible studies for our VIPs, and one guest was recently baptized at the outreach!
Expanding access to social service resources:
Cricket Wireless has been an incredible new resource partner for our Hub Spot model. Their teams have set up pop-up tables at many of our Hub Spot locations to help guests receive phones, which is a critical resource for connection, appointments, accountability, job interviews, and more. Cricket Wireless has distributed 60 phones at River of Life Mission Hub Spots this year.
1. 40 Hub Spots across 24 locations on O’ahu. Decentralized from serving the same community every day in 2022 to now impacting 40 communities island-wide.
2. Mobilizing 1,500 volunteers to serve in the first quarter of 2023.
3. Extending ministry via106 new social service touch points per week across all locations, bringing hope and access to cell phones, shower trailers, tele-health, housing, veteran services & more!
4. 55,825 meals distributed in the first quarter of 2023.
5. Rapidly engaging partners island-wide: 54 churches, 3 businesses, 53 resource organizations, and numerous families.
6. 77 people initiated their transition off the streets in the first year of going mobile.
As you read this list, consider all the ways you have contributed to this incredible work over last year. It is something only a diverse group of people, working and serving together, could accomplish. And it reminds me of the move of God in the book of Acts. So let’s keep pressing on together. Thank you for playing your part with the River of Life Mission to bring hope and help to people desperately in need.
God bless you!
Pastor Paul Gates