Really early Saturday morning Sherry, Cyndee and I headed for the airport. I chose the 6:30 departure to maximize our time. As we waited for the call to board the flight to Oakland, we heard our names called. As we approached the podium, the lady smiled, “I have bad news and good news.” Our flight was on a mechanical hold and we’d miss our connection (bad!) so they were putting us on the direct flight (REALLY good).
As we boarded the flight, the fellow on the row ahead of us recognized me. Turned out he was there with his son and daughter and their two children on a “Make a Wish” flight. Their three year old daughter had severe neurological disorders and they were going to the Disney resort. We ended up joining them, spending an extended prayer time, all sitting on the floor in a crowded “lounge” since their room was not ready.
After a delightful lunch by the pool with them, we headed to the airport only to discover that the flight change had confused our bags and they still had not found their way to Honolulu. We checked into the condo and ended up finding a K-Mart to purchase necessary items. The bags finally arrived around midnight and we picked them up on Sunday.
Sunday was Pearl Harbor. I felt a deep connection since my uncle Truman would have been stationed there had he not contracted rheumatic fever. I have done a lot of study of the whole attack so experiencing the place live was all the more ponder material. The presentation is of the infamy of the Japanese and the heroic sacrifice of the soldiers and the return to victory. But as we toured the Bowfin submarine with its torpedo rooms, the Arizona Memorial, and the Missouri with its huge guns, I felt the tragedy of war keenly. There was no triumphant “we won,” only a sadness for all the disrupted lives and ruined civilizations. I was glad to stand on the deck of the Missouri where the peace treaty was signed and remember that General Marshall, a deeply Christian man, lead the rebuilding of Germany and Japan, both of which are now close allies.
Sunday evening was the beach front Luau presented with much pageantry and celebration of the Hawaiian culture. I was particularly pleased that the hostess spoke the three greatest things, faith, hope and love, and sang a classic Hawaiian blessing song “E Kolu mea Nui” originally written for the congregational church in Maui. Her Christian heart spoke powerfully.
Monday found Cyndee and me taking the beautiful hike up Diamond Head. The morning was relatively cool so there was not much sweat. Donn laughed at my Alaska hat in Hawaii! Then Sherry joined us for the trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center. It has a very produced feel to it but there is no other place where Sherry and I will renew our wedding vows as part of watching a Tahitian wedding ceremony. After the very pagan ceremony, the host had us stand and answer the question: “will you ever leave?” with the “No” spoken in Tahitian.
Tuesday through Friday had me teaching 25 top notch young campus workers at Every Nation Training Institute. Sherry and Cyndee did things like visiting the Dole Plantation, the Arboretum, doing some shopping and such. I think I had more fun!