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We Enjoyed a Break in Oahu

For the past week, Don and I had the privilege of relaxing in Oahu, Hawaii. Our lives have been so busy that this gave us some much-needed rest and recuperation—and time to focus on each other.

We delighted in being together without the normal distractions and responsibilities of home. We explored the island’s beauty. Lanikai Beach, reputed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its white sand, turquoise waters and two small islands nearby, was glorious.,and%20even%20a%20better%20metabolism.

At the Polynesian Cultural Center, we learned more of the Hawaiian islands’ culture and history. When the musicians sang in deep, beautiful three-part harmony, we couldn’t understand the words. But oh, the music was rich.

Location of our Break

Our hotel was next to the International Marketplace in Waikiki. I remember this from twenty-plus years ago, as a fun, open-air market where you could bargain. Now it is a mall with high-end shops, but still some delicious, reasonably priced food to enjoy indoors or out from their Food Gallery. One afternoon we saw and heard the Royal Hawaiian Band, and watched their elegant hula dancer.

Duke’s Alley, on the other side of our hotel, remains an outdoor marketplace where one can still barter and find bargains.

We walked at least two miles every day but one. That felt good. And we slept like babies. (Babies who sleep, that is!)

We met believers along the way – such fun to connect with others who also love Jesus.

Blessing at the Luau 

At a luau at Sea Life Park, we sat next to two sisters from Southern California. The older one mentioned attending a Christian school. “Oh, we’re Christians,” we said. “We are too. We love Jesus,” she responded, and we shared an immediate bond.

When we were invited up front to see the pig unwrapped and carried away from the in-ground oven, the MC said they always play a blessing over our time together.

And what did the musicians play?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Don and I looked at each other and smiled. That truly WAS a blessing!

Blessing of a Busser who loves Jesus

We stopped for an appetizer and Tropical Smoothie (highly recommended) at The Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu. A busser cleaned the table next to ours and asked how we were doing.

“Great,” we replied. “How are you?”

“I’m blessed!”

“We are too. Blessed by God to be here.”

As he walked away, he said, “God is good,” to which I responded, “All the time.” And he? “Amen.”

Blessing In an Elevator

A man stepped onto the hotel elevator with his daughter. After we greeted each other, I pointed to the cross he wore and asked, “What does that mean to you?” Without hesitation he replied, “I’m a Christian.” And we had a few moments of fellowship before reaching the ground floor.

Blessing In a Restroom

The cleaning woman sang, happy in her work. Then she made a comment about Jesus being good, talking to no one in particular. When I exited the stall, I asked “Are you the woman who talked about Jesus?” “Oh, yes. He is on my mind every day, every moment.” “Wonderful. I love him too.” Another sweet moment.

Blessing On the Airplane

I sat next to Cheryl, who has a husband and four children of her own. She and her husband manage a boy band. They came to California to perform at Maui fundraisers! Cheryl and I shared “God stories” during much of the flight.

“Come Back to Maui”

Two Maui residents said “Please come back to Maui. We need tourism to help our economy after the tragedy of the fires.” Their residents need jobs, income, housing, and compassion. We promised to return.

Our former pastor, Rene Schlaepfer, was in Maui the weekend before we came to Oahu. He preached in place of the pastor of Maui’s Hope Chapel. Twin Lakes Church has sent $226,000 to Hope Chapel to help the many in need, and Rene shared some of the stories of those who have come for help and returned to church as a result, saying “We realize we need this.”

We are so privileged to be part of the family of God that reaches out to help those in need, and to realize his people are everywhere, if we are just open to listening and asking questions of those we meet!


We’ve certainly enjoyed the beauty, relaxation, rest, and people we’ve met this week.

But the biggest joy has been spending focused, quality time together. We’ve talked and laughed and shared hopes and concerns for the future. We’ve loved each other in ways that at home, sometimes get put off because of busy schedules and deadlines.

So my challenge to you, and to myself, is what many others have said, especially after tragedy strikes.Spend intentional time with your loved ones. None of us has a guarantee of tomorrow. Live so you have no regrets when a loved one passes.

Focused time doesn’t have to be a trip to some other place. Whether it’s a walk and talk in the cool of evening, a lunch or dinner out, a drive into the countryside, or a family picnic, make time!

Blessing of a Walk with God

And walk with God, who has promised, not only to walk with us on this earthly journey, but to take his people to his home for all eternity when this life ends.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

The former things will have passed away and we will experience a new reality in a dimension we can’t even comprehend.

They will be like a well-watered garden,
and they will sorrow no more.
Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Jeremiah 31:12b-13

I pray you share this hope. If you’d like to know more, I’d love to hear from you.


  1. Mary K. Phillips says:

    Lovely, happy you had a wonderful bonding trip.
    When I tried to post it says I posted the same thing twice?…

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thankyou Katie. No worries, I deleted the duplicate. I never mind duplicate comments! Hugs.

  2. Jacquie Pronovost says:

    I loved your newsletter! You’re correct that we need to make time to be with our special loved one. At home, we get in routines & can be like shops passing in the night.

    A few weeks ago Gary & I flew to Dallas to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary & we had so much fun just focusing on each other instead of household chores.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Jacquie, thanks so much. I so agree with your thoughts about ships passing in the night. Congratulations on your 40th anniversary! So happy for/with you. And delighted you too had fun just focusing on each other. Love you!

  3. Love your message of hope! How wonderful to find Christian connections everywhere you go. God is so full of blessings. Also important to take time to focus on our loved ones. I’m glad you had the time and have committed to go again.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you Ruth. Meeting believers in other parts of our world is always a rich blessing from the Father. Bless you! Look forward to talking tomorrow.

  4. Laura Bennet says:

    Beautiful post! I love how God is connecting us who love him all over the world – especially when what we “see” in “fake” media is so much of the opposite. This is a time for us followers of Jesus to reach out to each other and to those in need. It’s so wonderful that we’re in churches and businesses that do that. I especially love your reminder to spent special time with loved ones. Brendan and I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii – 1 week in Hilo and 1 in Kona – for our honeymoon. It was such a special time. We’ve made it a point to take time away when we can and just enjoy each other’s company. We had a rough summer and I’m so grateful that we had a weekend away at the end of May for our anniversary BEFORE the events of the summer. I’m pretty sure God planned it that way. 😉

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you Laura! I too love making Jesus connections around the world. We realize we may be in the minority, but we are very far from alone–like Elijah when he complained that he was the only true prophet left and God assured him there were 700 (I think that’s the right number) more. What an encouragement.
      I’m sorry you’ve had a rough summer and trust life is getting a bit easier. I too am glad for your weekend away in May to connect before hitting some roadblocks. Blessings!

  5. Karen O'Connor says:

    What a lovely post, Carol. So happy you both can still travel together.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Such a blessing, Karen. Thank you. Our trips may get a bit closer to home but we’re still able to enjoy those times richly. Our love to you!

  6. Esther Loux says:

    What a beautiful picture of Hawaii you painted with your words! It seems not only were you refreshed with time alone but everywhere you went, you left the fragrance of Christ with your intentional interaction with people!! God continues to use you whether at home or on vacation! John and I have gone to Maui to celebrate out anniversary each year. Last year we started back to Hope Chapel after attending the Baptist church for 4 years. Maui is my happy place. So peaceful and calm. We love the people of Maui!!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you Esther! We too love the people of Maui and hope to be able to return soon, to help them rebuild their lives and economy. I’d love to attend Hope Chapel on our next visit. Not at all surprised it’s your happy place! Blessings to you and John.

  7. Carol Loewen says:

    No worries. I can take it twice! Thanks Katie. Hugs!

  8. Sue Swain says:

    Ahhhh, I can hear in my mind waves lapping against the shore, feel the soothing warmth of the sun, and remember the smell of Plumeria. Brings back a lot of island memories. What a special blessing you two got away and enjoyed one another, Carol. Love that you met many believers in Christ!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thanks Susie. Yes, it was a blessing to meet believers in various places. Just reminds us that God is with us, and that his people are everywhere. We are a BODY!

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