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  • Joni Elizabeth

Why Kona?

After graduating from a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM KC in December 2018, I returned home not at all sure what I would do next. I looked into different missions programs and YWAM staffing options. I considered getting a job and diving back into trying for a creative career. But as I adjusted to being back home, I began wonder if more training might be best. While I’d found so many areas of growth in my life and faith during my DTS, I wondered if could use some more development and grounding before I moved into places where I would help others.





If you asked me what my ideal travel spot would be, a tropical island would probably be near the very bottom of that list. However, during my training in KC, YWAM Kona (Hawaii) nudged onto my radar. I looked up their website to see what programs they offered. There was a writing school that caught my attention, as well as an illustration course, training in creative communications…


I had a handful of ideas opened on my computer to show my mom. She asked about one of the courses called “Foundations for Revival and Reformation”. I waved it aside, not sure why I’d picked it, commenting that it was “some sort of leadership school” as though that canceled it as an option for me. But my mom asked what it was exactly, so I read through some of the information. I confess, as I looked- actually looked- at R&R as a possibility, a deep realization settled over me. It was a sort of knowing that I hardly understood, but at the same time felt so certain of.


It took me a couple months before I made a decision. I looked at the more creative 3 month programs, aware that they explored topics I’d studied for years on my own and were very familiar to me. R&R, on the other hand, felt out of my depth. The program was longer (9 months) and the subjects seemed much more out of my areas of practice.


I didn’t feel like God would be mad at me if I were to pick one of the creative courses, but what I did feel was that He was trying to invite me to something different. Something new. Yes, R&R would most likely be a big challenge. Something dealing with leadership would of course be out of my comfort zones… But that might be part of the point.


I’m going to be real with you: there were many times (especially at the start) that I really really didn’t want to do this program. I mean, I’ve been through depths-of-despair levels of dislike for the idea. And you better believe I talked (argued) with God about it!


…But how foolish. Not my talking through things with God, but for thinking for one moment that my Good Shepherd doesn’t have my best in mind.


In His sweet patience, God has continued to invite me on this journey and I’m amazed how He’s poured hopeful, joyous expectancy into my heart. This course that I’d at first shied from is now something I’m so excited to venture into. Yes, fear still tries to trip me up. Most of the time I’m still feel so uncertain about what this road even is… But my Beloved is here. He’s pointed out this path to me and it’s a journey we will go on together. I know it will be hard, but I also have faith that it will be so good.


Wanting to write this post, I’d been praying about how to share. How do I explain why I’m going in a direction when I don’t even know where that direction will lead?


Then, this morning, I found God reminding me of things from my past.

He reminded me of words I’d received from people over the last couple years- things that have been repeatedly spoken over me.

God pointed out ways this path even made sense. Not in how it would get me to next mystery step, but how it actually clicked with some of my history.

He showed me His gentle, intentional involvement in my life, assuring me of His presence then, now, and in the unknown future.


I don’t know any measurable, planning details “why Kona”. But the reason for my “yes” and for what purpose I’m going: it is for the One who’s taking me there.



If you would like to support me as I continue to seek God’s will for my life, you can find ways to pray and give via the “SUPPORT” tab at the top of the page. Thank you for going on this journey with me!

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