Monday, February 19, 2018

Opukahaia Day

Yesterday was the first day of the bicentennial of the Hawaiian Mission Houses. It was a celebration of the life and passing of Henry Opukahaia, the first Hawaiian to convert to Christianity. He had a goal of bringing the Christian message back to Hawaii, and worked within the movement of the Second Great Awakening to see this happen. His untimely death, on February 17, 1818, meant that he was never to see Hawaii again, but the published memoirs of his life was a best seller in America and had a similar effect as Uncle Tom's Cabin in calling Northern Protestants to action.

In my own life and history, it seemed I had very little connection to the eventual mission that came to Hawaii. But through the celebrations surrounding the life of Opukahaia, I find that is not necessarily the case.

Along with Samuel Mills, Edwin Dwight, James Richards, and Adoniram Judson, Obukahaia was in a society of young men committed to beginning foreign missions. All of them were attending Andover Theological Seminary. Mills was one of the founders of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which sent the first missionaries to Hawaii. Judson became the first missionary to Burma. Judson is also considered the first Baptist missionary.

When studying in New England, Opukahaia lived with Judson's wife's family.

I am a long way away, in what is turning out to be a very small world.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Phase 3

It is hard leaving a museum that is not finished. Since 2013, we have been working on the design, fabrication and installation of the permanent exhibit at the IVDM.  Phase 1 was completed in April 2015, and Phase 2 in August 2015. But Phase 3 did not get finished. 
A couple month ago, we received a $30,000 grant to begin the work on Phase 3. This included the
building of the valances and drywall finishes - similar projects that were completed in December 2014. This work, we did in house. Which really means in the last three weeks I built walls, hung, and finished drywall. The new interim director at IVDM, Dr. David Breeckner, has a work ethic that is pretty outstanding, and the two of us were able to finish - at least the to a point where the walls could be painted.

I am disappointed that I will not complete the entire exhibit that was designed by Weldon Exhibits in 2013, but we sure came close!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

So, Let's Catch Up

Mid Ocotober, I applied for the position of Director at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives.

I had applied last January, but they did not make a hire at that time. So it was a job and a place we were familiar with. When I applied the second time, the process went very quickly. A phone interview the week before Thanksgiving. A site visit the week after Thanksgiving.

The phone call with an offer to hire came just a few days later. They wanted someone the first of the year, but I still had some projects to tie up.

So, February 2, was my on-island date. And to tie things up, I had to work right up to the day I flew out.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Year, New Adventure

Well, here we go again. On Friday, I arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, to take my post as Executive Director of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Histoic Site and Archives.

We are very excited for this new opportunity. It has been a whirlwind of activity since Thanksgiving. Tying up projects and trying to finish a couple grant projects at IVDM.

This part - the first few weeks - is always the hardest. I have arrived with two suitcases.

I am staying in a one-room AirBnB for the month and trying to figure it out. Start work tomorrow.