Aloha is Forever was originally titled "Where There is Hope." Shortly after our search for our son John Reece ended, we realized from the feedback we were getting from our emails that many people, even fellow Christians, didn't understand "hope."
In the midst of the most devastating situation we had ever faced, we always had hope. My husband liked to call it Hope #1 and Hope #2. I'll talk about Hope #1 in this post and Hope #2 in my next post.
Our son left on Thanksgiving Day 1999 to cross the Kohala Mountains on the northern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii. He calculated that he could do it in 4 days. However, he didn't return in time for work on Monday following the 4-day holiday.
Our Hope #1 that he would finish the hike successfully was based on his natural ability, his training, his good physical condition and his solid faith in Jesus Christ his personal Lord and Savior.
John had abundant natural ability. He was an outdoorsman, and a rugged, lover of adventure. He had grown up in the Amazon. When he was small we had taken him with us to Indian villages, on adventurous trips, on hikes and on river and camping expeditions. He had all the gear and much outdoor savvy.
While in college, he had taken a survival course. Admittedly the course was in winter survival, but the principles were still the same. He knew survival strategies and techniques.
He was in excellent physical condition. He had gone to Hawaii as a field biology intern with the USGS. After two months of hiking up on Mona Kea counting vegetation, he was as physically fit as he could be. He had also been taking every opportunity to hike around the island and to bike around it with his new mountain bike.
His faith in God was unwavering and had been since childhood. He had grown up believing that God cared about him, had a plan for his life and that he could impact the world as he lived his faith. He'd made a point of spending time reading and studying his Bible daily and meditating and communing in prayer with his Heavenly Father.
All of these factors contributed to our Hope #1 that John would come through his ordeal wiser and better prepared to face life.
But as the month of December progressed, Hope #1 began to diminish and Hope #2 began to replace it. To be continued...