Archive for the 'News Updates' Category

Mar 18 2014


Published by under News Updates

Aloha! FINALLY I am sitting down (and able to hook up our laptop to wifi) to blog.

We left Illinois on February 7th (I think) and after a long, cross-country road trip and a flight across the sea, we arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii on March 3rd. Praise the Lord! We enjoyed time with family and friends and had wonderful unexpected opportunities to share our story and what God is doing through Mission: Kona Coast. God kept us safe and healthy and we are happy to have arrived in Kona.

We enjoyed a warm Hawaiian welcome at the airport, kukui leis and all, from our KCN ohana. Lots of hugs, kisses from our new friends and family as we meet and get to know staff and members of KCN on Sunday mornings. We have filled our schedule  with a staff BBQ, welcome potluck, meetings with Pastor Ryan about logistical matters, dinner and playdates with the Pauls (the other Missionary Pastor family) and of course trips to the beach and local parks. Lots of alooooooooha!

We were blessed to spend two weeks at the Holua Resort as a gift from friends. It was such a treat to enjoy a furnished, two bedroom house with a pool and space to settle in for a while. Since we arrived (and even before) we have been working feverishly to find a house to rent. At this point, we have experienced closed door after closed door. We are experiencing disappointment and discouragement and had no idea this is what would happen in the first few weeks. Almost all of our time is occupied with searching on Craigslist, talking to local people, making phone calls and sending emails to find a place to rent as close to our mission zone (Waimea) as possible. It is extremely difficult to get settled here. It is also tricky to prove our monthly income since our situation (ie living off of support as missionaries) is so unique and foreign to most people. Tony is beginning to search for a job which may help the housing process. For now, we will be living off of the generosity of our church family and may be bouncing around for a while.

Please pray that we continue to rely on God’s strength. We trust God but living in transition is not easy. Depending on God for our basic needs is different for us and quite a challenge at times. We are hopeful and appreciate your prayers, words of encouragement and support (financial and otherwise.) Your friendship and commitment to us means so much! Thank you for being a part of our team and for your involvement in advancing the Kingdom by reaching the lost.

Trusting Him,

Colleen & Tony

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Jan 27 2014

Mason Exodus Update

Published by under News Updates

Progress Update:

Our church sending service at College Church North Campus is Sunday, Feb 2nd. Movers come in one week (Feb 3rd) and we pack up our life to send it across the sea. We stay with friends for a few days and leave Illinois on Friday, February 7th. We will stop in Kansas City on our way to visit Tony’s parents in Denver. We are in Colorado for several weeks visiting family and friends. Then, through Arizona and on to San Diego where we drop our van at the port for shipment on Feb 28th. We will be a part of a special service via Skype at Naperville Trinity Nazarene while in San Diego on March 2nd. We fly to Kona on March 3rd and have furnished housing until March 17th. During that time, we will be house hunting and awaiting the arrival of our container. After that…we have no idea.

We trust that God will be the source of our strength and has gone before us. We are confident he has called us to this work and although we know changes and challenges lie ahead, we are thankful HE remains the same. This major move is emotionally and mentally exhausting but we feel supported and prayed for. Thank you for that.



Tony & Colleen

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Jan 06 2014

Building Our Team

Published by under News Updates

We are about 8 weeks from arriving in Hawaii. Living in an apartment in Bourbonnais (owned by Olivet) has been great for us. Being in town is such a blessing! Our list of to-dos seems overwhelming at times but in other ways, we feel like we are twiddling our thumbs mumbling “shouldn’t we be DOING something?” When you move, most of your list can’t be done until the last minute and as you may know, is difficult with kiddos around. So we grasp every opportunity to purge, organize, sell, donate…get our belongings ready as much as we can. We are also busy searching for the best deal on airline tickets, arranging shipment details, looking online for a house to rent and oh yeah, raising support.  We had a wonderful visit to Danville First where we felt loved, supported and prayed for. We have a few more church visits scheduled for the month of January. What a blessing it is to share our story and be with the people of God around the Chicago Central District! College Church has been so supportive and involved in our process. We are grateful to be a part of a sending church. Our last Sunday at North Campus will be February 2nd where they will cover us in prayer and “send” us into our mission field.

A bit about support: The Breakdown

Kona Coast Nazarene has the means to support  1/3 of our living expenses (plus a bonus towards our ministry.)

Tony will find a job to provide 1/3 of our living expenses.

The remaining 1/3 will come from YOU, our financial support team. Our goal is to have this portion taken care of before we leave.

You can get involved by joining our prayer team or supporting us financially and/or being a cheerleader. We need prayers and encouragement just as much (if not more) as we need to pay our monthly bills. We are confident God will provide for ALL of our needs as He has already done. We will post more about what it looks like to build and organize our team and keep you informed and connected with our mission and ministry.

Will you consider joining our team? To join our prayer or cheerleader team, email us at [email protected]

To support us financially with a monthly commitment or a one time gift, go to

Mahalo for your support!

All our Aloha,

Tony & Colleen (& girls)


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Dec 10 2013


Published by under News Updates

What will you do there? What will your church look like? How will you plant your church?

These are some of the most frequently asked questions for us right now. Although we know what God has called us to do, it is not always easy to answer and actually at times quite difficult to articulate it. But as we continue to spend time in prayer and preparation, our vision continues to take shape. Currently we are reading a ministry/church planting/leadership book Exponential by Dave Ferguson. And I read something in it yesterday that made me cheer out loud and filled my eyes with tears. I have been reading it over and over and my heart races each time. I picture a battle scene with hundreds of warriors (some of them babywearing women of course), swords raised, screaming and charging ahead. Here it is…

“…at least one-third to one-half of the American population will never come to churches like the ones you and I attend. Up to 50 percent of the population will not come to a church-owned facility no matter how cool or engaging it looks and feels. Even multiple sites won’t completely solve this problem. So what’s the solution? I believe that in the next decade we will need something more than megachurches and multisite churches-we’ll need reproducing churches filled with missional teams that go to the people and don’t just expect people to come to them. These volunteer-led teams will be part of every church that wants to reach an increasingly diverse world. We can no longer be content asking people to come to us. We need to go to them!”

And there you have it. A well articulated summary of what we plan to do. The battle is already won.


braveheart scene

“So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10




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Dec 02 2013

Why Hawaii? The Ministry Context

Published by under News Updates



Ministry Context

We live in challenging times and in a unique context for ministry. Statistically, 85% of churches have either plateaued in attendance or are shrinking, and of the 15% remaining, over 2/3 of them are growing for reasons other than conversion.  In other words, less than 5% of churches are growing because new people are being welcomed into the reign of God (by conversion). Churches must not only concentrate their ministerial efforts on evangelism, they must do it at a time when evangelical Christianity is suffering from an unfavorable reputation.

While most churches do not reach the lost, even those that do are experiencing a depletion of an entire generation: young adults.  As teenagers reach adulthood they are leaving the church at unprecedented rates. The result: only 27% of adults younger than 42 attend church; somewhere between 4% and 18% of adults under the age of 31 attend. No longer can the church assume attendance, assume in the famous adage from Field of Dreams: “If you build [a church], they will come.”

The churches in Hawaii share these challenges with the majority of American faith communities.  However, Hawaii is a unique ministry context. The state as a whole ranks 6th among states in lowest weekly church attendance.  Less than 10% of the residents of this side of the island attend church weekly. The Kona Coast is clearly a mission filed—a field ready for harvest (Luke 10:2).

Further, there is very little demographic consistency from one community to the next. The diversity along this coast resembles more of an urban metropolis (with cloisters of unique communities), while the geographic area spans over 100 miles (Hawi to Ocean View).  We have, in essence, a contiguous stretch of unique mission fields on the Big Island.

The need: effectively translate and embody the Good News in each unique, community mission field (eight “mission zones”—see map).

With urgency, KCN responds to these three challenges of our ministry context: 1) much of the Big Island is lost and living in darkness, 2) churches are shrinking and young adult are retreating, and 3) diverse mission fields are requiring unique outreach efforts. Kona Church of the Nazarene is called to respond by reaching the lost, discipling believers into permanent followers-of-Christ, and modeling the kingdom in diverse ways along the Kona Coast.

KCN is called to launch a big mission, MISSION: KONA COAST.

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Nov 10 2013

Unless the Lord [Sells] the House

Published by under News Updates


Lots of updates to share…

The big news is that we received an offer on our home a few weeks ago! We negotiated for almost a week and we thought it would end in disappointment because the offer was still too low to break even on our loan and cover all the costs. A woman from our church (a family I’ve known for a long time) asked on facebook how things were with the house and I said “sadly we walked away from the deal last night. Back to the drawing board.” She asked what the dollar difference was so I told her the amount we needed to break even. She said “Ok! Call the realtor. We’d like to make up the difference.” WHAT?! I was shocked and tears began streaming down my face. We knew God would sell our house so we could do what He was asking us to do but after receiving the initial,  (insultingly) low offer we just couldn’t see how He was going to make it happen. We prayed that He would do a miracle and apparently, this was how He chose to do it. I called Tony (he was at work) and we prayed for a bit. He called me back and said “I think we should accept.” I agreed and I told my friend “Ok. Thank you!” She shared with me that God had put it on their hearts to give and she felt very clear about that exact amount. How amazing. And what an amazingly creative God to think up such a scenario to prove He is in control and remind us once again that He is FOR us.

But wait…there’s more.

Next on the list was “find a place to live until we leave for Hawaii.” A pastor at our church recommended the missionary house (didn’t even know we had one) and we soon found out it was booked until July. Then, we called Olivet and sure enough, they informed us that they have an apartment available for us to rent while we are in transition. Why are we always surprised when God comes  through? He always does. We move out of our home and into the apartment on November 16th.

One more thing…

After our inspection we were notified that we had high radon. (In the words of Pastor Ryan “Ah radon! I hate radon!”) and that it requires mitigation. This process costs $1000. We wondered how in the world we would come up with that money. Tony joked “we’re going to have to make $1000 at our garage sale!” Yeah, right. Our garage sale was scheduled for November 2nd, along with our next door neighbor who recently sold her home. So, the night before we cleared out the basement and filled the garage with everything we needed to sell. The morning of the sale we put everything out on the lawn and hoped for the best. During the hours of our sale (8-12) it was a constant flow of people. Where were these people coming from!? (Answer: God sent them.) Some friends and neighbors but mostly passers-by. It was pleasantly surprising how well the sale was going! At the end of the sale, we counted up our cash. Can you guess how much we made? That’s right. $1000 God had done it again. We now had the money to fix the radon “problem.” We had the radon mitigated this past Saturday…thanks to the Great Provider.

We are in the midst all of the other details that come along with selling your home but GOD IS FAITHFUL. Our closing date is November 22nd and we are ready for that day to be over. We are also hoping to schedule some church visits to share our story and raise support. We will trust God with daily details and continue to purge and pack and enjoy our last days in a home that we have loved. We will continue to say “yes” to the little things. For one cannot say “no” and “Lord” in the same sentence.

Click on the link below to watch a short video of our story.

Thanks to College Church for producing it and helping us tell our story…for it’s God’s story.

Our Story

To Support us, click here:


The Masons

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Oct 29 2013

If I Had a Dollar

Published by under News Updates

If I had a dollar for each time we have heard “Hawaii? Sounds hard” or “Ohhhhhh, sure God’s calling you THERE”  we wouldn’t need to raise support. But we do…have to raise support that is. Here’s what it comes down to-a quick breakdown:

Kona Coast Nazarene will support 1/3 of our living expenses for the first 3 years of our 5 year commitment.

Tony will find a part time job which will be 1/3 of what we need to live on.

We will need to raise the remaining 1/3 of our first year’s living expenses and hope to do so before we leave in February.

BUT we hope to raise beyond our goal of 1/3 so that Tony can intentionally search for employment that will “get in” to the community rather than a job that just makes ends meet.


Fund Our Mission

Please find three options on the online donation page that support our ministry:

1) Waimea Transition (support our move there)

2) Waimea Furlough (support our health)

3) Waimea Mission (support our church plant)



Tony & Colleen





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Oct 21 2013

What will you DO there?

Published by under News Updates

This is one of our FAQs: “So what will you DO in Hawaii?”


It reminds me of that question that stay-at-home moms are asked by well-meaning people “What do you DO all day?”  My answer, concerning our new life in Hawaii is: Many of the same things YOU do and perhaps a few things that differ from person to person. Laundry, playdates, grocery shop, cook, clean, get together with friends, go to church, go to Mops, teach Bradley class, go to La Leche League…the list goes on. Most things remain the same, no matter where we live. (Throw a few beach trips or hiking adventures in there of course.) The biggest difference may be simply in one’s perspective. God has called us to a specific place to do a specific work…to Waimea to build His kingdom with Mission:Kona Coast. We believe God called us to Clifton in 2009. Were we doing kingdom work here? Absolutely. But now we are pulling up our tent stakes to follow the Holy Spirit to a new land. A place where we will rent a home, buy groceries at Costco, attend church, enjoy meals with friends, and live in a community. We will live with a missional mindset and intentionally build relationships with people in Waimea Town. We plan to do what families do in Waimea…hike, attend the Sunday rodeo, take the girls to dance class, get involved in community theater or join a running club. But in everything we do, we hope to “invite people to the heart of God.” It now reads next to our names “Missionary Pastors” but we were missionaries before KCN hired us. And YOU, as a believer and as Christ’s disciple are also a missionary of His gospel. So the answer to “What will you DO in Hawaii?” is really whatever God asks us to do when we wake up every morning. And I say what a way to live!



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Oct 02 2013

Waimea-or is it Kamuela?

Published by under News Updates


A Brief History of Waimea

Waimea – or is it Kamuela? And what is South Kohala? Unraveling the multiple and overlapping names is a good beginning for any history of Waimea.
When Hawaii became a United States territory at the turn of the century, “Waimea” referred to both the upland community and the slice of our island, an ahupua’a, stretching from today’s Lakeland to the sea, 10-20 miles long and four to nine miles wide. a view from the north side of Waimea looking toward Mauna Kea
Confusing matters more, there were sister communities with the same name on other islands. The postal service demanded a definitive referent. “Kamuela”, Hawaiian for Samuel, was selected, honoring a prominent resident. Later the descriptive “South Kohala was adopted for the larger jurisdictional region.

It is the original name, “Waimea”, however that has remained the heart bound and designate for the town and surrounding area. It’s meaning, reddish water, refers to the tint of the streams after filtering through the hapu’ forests in the Kohala mountains.

Throughout recorded times, huge swings of population have characterized Waimea’s development. Sources indicate that before European intrusion and King Kamehameha the Great’s battle to unite the island, the water shed area at the base of the Kohalas supported as many as 10,000 Hawaiians. The natives farmed, collected feathers, pounded kapa and thatched hale along the streams.
By the time the Europeans traveled through in the 1820’s the mountain population had dwindled to slightly more than 2,000. Fields were left fallow while the Hawaiians harvested and transported fragrant Sandlewood destined for China. Filling the denuded mountains and plains were aggressive black longhorns, desendents of a gift from Captain George Vancouver.
Cattle would dominate the Waimea scene for more than 100 years. For three decades their products were to replace sandlewood as important trade items for the island chain. To supply the growing number of whalers porting in Honolulu and Lahaina, meat was salted and barreled, but most of the longhorns were slaughtered for their hides and tallow alone. In 1830, aware of the cattle’s economic possibilities, Big Island’s Governor Kuakiki ordered the construction of corrals and the widening and surfacing of the footpath to the port of Kawaihae.
 a wise panioloColorful and skilled Latin American vaqueros arrived, teaching the natives and foreign cattle hunters techniques of handling the dangerous longhorns. Hawaii’s unique breed of cowboy, the paniolo, derived his name from these Spaniards, or Espanoles.
Others came to town. Blacksmiths, craftsmen, tanners, sawyers, missionaries, and adventurers. Waimea exuded a rough, exciting atmosphere not unlike a southwestern cowtown.
The era was short, lasting only as long as the wild longhorn were plentiful. By 1841 Governor Kuakiki had placed a kapu on killing wild cattle. The casual “beef establishment” as it was called, gave way to more controlled business of ranching. Parker Ranch, so visible today, was one of the first ranches to be formed. John Palmer Parker built the original headquarters seven miles out on the plains at Mana, along the main route to Hilo. Tame longhorns roamed unfenced, devastating crops. Both the wild bullock hunters and the farmers departed. Waimea town was quiet and empty.
Not until this century, when Parker Ranch radically expanded and emerged as a powerful business under Alfred Wellington Cater, did Waimea revive. Then it grew, responsive to the needs of the ranch and it’s employees.
World War II brought diversity and added prosperity to the community. Beef and vegetable prices increased. Farmers returned to cultivate the corn, beets, cabbage and a variety of other green vegetables. Farmland acreage increased from 75 in 1939 to 518 in 1946. The area teemed with soldiers who occupied homes, business facilities and a huge tent city. When they left, Waimea had an entertainment center, renamed Kahilu Hall, and an airstrip put to commercial use.
Out of it’s cocoon, Waimea was slated for rapid growth. It’s beauty and business potential would attract residents and commercial enterprises. People did come, but slowly. The 1940 population of 1,352 doubled in the following year. In the last two decades the census has quadrupled. By 1990 the population tallied 9,140 in South Kohala with 5,972 residents in Waimea town.
Waimea’s burgeoning population is diverse and strong. Farmers and ranchers are joined by educators from seven schools, employees of a string of seven world class hotels and nine golf courses, astronomers and technicians from two major telescope facilities, clergy from 14 or more religious groups and health professionals for the North Hawaii Community hospital, Lucy Henriques Medical Center and various dental and doctors’ offices. The town hosts Realtors, contractors, architects, bankers and entrepreneurs. Kahilu Theater anchors a cultural center of artisans and craftsmen. The expansive Hawaiian Homes Land attracts a substantial number of native Hawaiians.
Today, Waimea’s three shopping centers, two traffic lights, two fast food restaurants and twenty-plus other dining establishments are almost too commercial for some, but the era of rapid growth is here. Parker Ranch and it’s late owner Richard Smart, continue to shape the face and the future of Waimea through bequests to health, education and cultural facilities, it’s own large business holdings and a community trust.
Assessing and asserting a community view, Waimea Main Street is working to preserve the area’s rich history and unique character. An enchanting beacon of what a town can do collectively, Anuenue Playground, a community built project, will be joined on the other side of the Waikoloa Stream by a 10 acre nature park thanks to the initiative of the Waimea Outdoor Circle.
It seems that the next sequel of Waimea’s story is in it’s own hands and will be determined by the strength of community will and individual initiative.
by Mollie Sperry
(photos by Peter French)

We desire to invite people to the heart of God and build His kingdom by building relationships. Our method is to go and get them. With the Holy Spirit as our leader, our mission is to be the kingdom everywhere we go, in everything that we do. (Acts 1:8)

This mission of ministry moves away from program oriented ministry, where the most visible portion of the church in action is the sign out in front. It is a movement away from “pied-piper” ministry that falls apart when the leadership is dispersed.

We want to be facilitators of the people of God to move outward into communities, to usher in the reign and rule of God and to be physical, tangible evidence of His Kingdom….

We envision ourselves organizing and rallying people in community, in family and as individuals to literally go forth and become the Church.

God, you desire the redemption of your creation, especially Waimea. Your Son has made that redemption possible, and your Spirit has been sent to awaken us to this reality.  

God, who in Waimea needs your redemption?  What wounds need healing? What brokenness needs mending?  What darkness needs hope?  

For Waimea, I pray that your redeeming love and grace would be evident through your church there.  Amen



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Sep 29 2013

What are Missionary Pastors?

Published by under News Updates

Missionaries are those called to vocationally respond to the Great Commission, making the Gospel contextually relevant and meaningful.  Pastors are called to shepherd believers, share life in fellowship with a flock and guide them through growth in the Spirit.  KCN is taking advantage of both vocations by calling and placing missionary-pastors in each mission zone to reach the lost and heal the hurting.

Further, the Church of Jesus has always witnessed to the Good News through responding to and offering solution for acute social problems. By having missionary-pastors “on the ground” in each mission zone, KCN has the means to know the unique challenges of living in local communities while already having strategic personnel to begin change-making.  Local missionary-pastors are “first responders” for KCN to compassionately reach across the Kona Coast.



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