By Captain Shoshannah Ruwethin, Hilo Corps Officer
‘Ohana Camp in the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division was well worth the wait. From early this year, we had been anticipating a joyous reunion of the Hawaiian Islands corps at this biennial event.
All the details were ironed out for childcare, family food fun festival, worship teams, meetings outlines, housing, meals, travel arrangements and more. The weekend had come and ‘Ohana Camp was here at last.
Excited delegates from the neighbor islands rode on the buses to Camp Homelani and were met by helpful and faithful DHQ staff and our Divisional Leaders Majors John and Lani Chamness. Oahu delegates busily set up tents for their weekend lodging. Although, the phrase “It’s so hot!” could have been the motto for the weekend, even the sweat could not dampen the abundant smiles, laughter, and touching conversations of the 350 campers.
Around the beautiful grounds, you could see prayers, praises, and scripture verses written on pennants wafting in the breeze and setting the stage for what was to come. First timers and regular camp goers alike enjoyed the meetings, evening programs, the “ono” food and worshiping together, led by a different corps worship team each day. We even found time to rest, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, fish, go night crabbing, play basketball, volleyball, “talk story” with new and old friends, and relax with the familiar ukulele.
The teaching throughout the weekend from Colonel Geanette Seymour who recently retired from Territorial Headquarters in Sydney, Australia (evening sessions) and Majors Amy and Rob Reardon from Seattle Temple (day sessions and morning devotionals) challenged the camp to grab hold onto the fact that Jesus is the real thing! He invites us to be a part of His family – not to be content with the trappings of religion, but to grab on to the one true God who came to be with us because of His love – encouraging us all to live a life more abundantly with Christ Jesus.
A highlight of the Sunday morning service was the enrollment of three Jr. and nine Sr. Soldiers by Colonel Seymour and Majors Reardon.
All of the details showed God orchestrating that those in attendance would hear from Him and take home the theme, “This I Believe.” This was a weekend to remember.