Kona Comes Together (The Container Covenant)

Dexen & Kaeden Matsuyama
These past few days I have been in awe at how God has been moving to meet the needs of the Matsuyama/Agustin Ohana. Then, through my Life Journal reading this morning, I began to see that this is what God has called all of us to… all of the time! I have included some useful links below to help you help the Matsuyama/Agustin Ohana. Here is my journal entry:

20 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from Moses’ presence. 21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. Exodus 35:20-21

God had made the need known. He wanted a place to meet with His people. That has always been His desire from the beginning of creation. Rather then divinely dropping supplies from Heaven He invited the people to come together as never before, to be personally involved with providing the raw materials, skill, plans, craftsmanship, and hard work necessary to build the Tent of Meeting. God will always be found at the intersection of sacrificial giving and spiritual hunger! He will always be found at the intersection of crushing need and compassionate collaboration. As my friend Doug Bursch likes to say, “the answer to our prayers are resident in the room”. God knew everything He needed was already with His people. The Israelites had been showered with gold and jewelry years before when God had led them out of slavery from Egypt. Now the very confirmation of their deliverance would become the provision for the worship of their Deliverer. They could have held on to it. No one was forced or guilted in to giving. When giving comes, not from guilt, but from genuine generosity of spirit, you will always end up with more then enough! In fact they did. According to Exodus 36:6-7, Moses had to ask the people to stop giving! That’s a miracle in and of itself!

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by asking for help from large groups of people through the online community, rather then from traditional employees or suppliers. Kingdom Crowdsourcing is what I call the Container Covenant. It’s what we read about here in Exodus 35, in 2 Kings 4 with the widow, in John 6:5-13 with the loaves and fishes, in Acts 4:31-35 with the selling of homes and lands at the birth of the church and many other examples throughout scripture (To find out more about The Container Covanant click here to hear a message I recently shared on the subject of God’s provision through His people). Kingdom Crowdsourcing is where we operate from the reality that God is our source of provision and has placed us strategically as a resource of provision to meet needs all around us in collaboration with other churches, communities and the online community. I witnessed this kind of Kingdom Crowdsourcing first hand just last week. God made a need known in our Kona community. A tragic fire had stolen the lives of two beautiful boys, Dexen & Kaeden, and every earthly possession from the Matsuyama family. In a matter of moments Dexter & Adrenne went from having all they needed to barely escaping the flames with their lives and the lives of their two daughters. What happened next is what we just read about in Exodus. God was setting up a new Tent of Meeting in Kona right over the Matsuyama Ohana and He began to stir the hearts of people here far and wide! The Big Island Giving Tree posted the need of the Matsuyama’s for clothing and food. Hundreds of donations began to flow in immediately.

Big Island Giving Tree

I was privileged to take load after large load and see the looks on the faces of the family as they saw how surrounded they were by people who cared. Other local companies got word of what had happened and got creative in ways to help the family.


Then a Go Fund Me account was started with the financial goal of reaching $10,000 through donations to give to the Matsuyamas to help them rebuild their lives. They blew past this goal in less then 24 hours. In fact, at the point of this posting, $50,243 dollars have been raised by 664 people from all over in just 4 days! If you click the link you will be able to see proof of Kingdom Crowdsourcing at work! There are some large financial gifts, but many were small and sure did add up. Why? Because, just as with the people of Israel and the Tent of Meeting, we were all of us stirred to be a part of helping the Matsuyama Ohana rather then guilted or manipulated in to it!

Raising money for the Matsuyama Ohana

Raising money for the Matsuyama Ohana

I am so thankful to live here on the islands and witness in real time the beauty of what I read about in scripture! I found You here at the intersection of crushing need and compassionate collaboration! I saw Your hands and feet in those who have been serving and loving and giving. I saw Your tears pour out and your arms surround Dexter as Jeff Guilloz shared how God brought them through the loss of their own child. I see Your light shining in the midst of these darkest times and I truly believe this is just the beginning! Help me to always live out of Your generosity rather then my scarcity. Continue to surround the Matsuyama/Agustin Ohana with Your unending peace, comforting presence and miraculous provision!