How I met Jesse
written on March 28,2020
“Hey Annette, whats up? hows things goin? I was just wonderin, do you have time to tell me the story of how you met Jesse Paul?”
“Sure, I’ve got all the time in the world. We’ve been under quarantine from this corona virus, so I’ve been writing again. It’s crazy sometimes what it takes to slow us down?” ‘Yep, good things can come out of hard stuff.’ Jesse always said that too. In fact, he lived it.
We had all started meeting in a small warehouse near Umeka’s restaurant, not far from Old A (the old Kona airport). It was Wednesday night, and a small group of us had started meeting for a bible study and prayer group every week. Adriano told us about a friend named IGOR who sold used furniture from a local warehouse close to the industrial part of Kona, it ended up being the perfect spot for everyone to meet. It had tons of used furniture for people to sit on and it was located close to town, so that made it easy to get to for people either walking or riding a moped.
On this one particular Wednesday night people were arriving and starting to mingle. Jesse and Jenny came walking in through the warehouse doors. They were both sporting their Hawaii casuals, jess in his gym shorts and wrinkled shirt (his wrinkled clothes came to be his trademark) and Jenny in her sweet summer cotton dress. They were both wearing their slipah’s (slippers-its what the mainlanders call flip flops), both of them looking pretty carefree. Jenny was a very pretty petite young lady from China and Jesse was tall and extremely thin with a genuine glow around his face. As I anticipated meeting these two new guests I had so many questions flooding through my mind.
The first thing I did was put out my hand for a handshake which quickly turned into a hug and then we introduced ourselves (in that order). With a big smile on his face, he said, “My name is Jesse” then the first thing that came bursting out of my mouth was; “You have the Holy Spirit all over you!” The smile on his face was exploding with joy, he looked intently in my eyes and said confidently, “So do you!” It was an instant connection on a whole different level. Our eyes locked in God’s powerful love as a brother and sister in Christ. It’s the most incredible thing to experience. Seeing the glow of the Holy Spirit on a brother or sister in the Lord. There’s nothing quite like it.
As we circled around there together sitting on the warehouse furniture, Aaron was next to Pastor Brian while he played worship music on his left handed guitar. Everybody started singing, all eyes closed with arms lifted up high toward heaven. It’s these special moments while realizing that singing out-of-tune or not remembering words to the songs don’t really matter. It’s never about that. The heart of worship is about the heart. God Always looks at the heart. I remember as a little girl my grandma would say to me ‘God is tone deaf’. As a child I didn’t understand what she meant, how could a perfect God be tone deaf? But now I understand. My grandma knew how to worship.
There would be many more worship nights like this one. Many more people would come. We would have different locations, often down at the pier. One of the most special worship nights we had was when we were meeting at Grandma Janet’s condo. The Ywamer’s always had mandatory Wednesday night meetings so often times some of those people would come a bit late. One night I remember Jesse came into the meeting about an hour late, we had just ended worship time and when he walked in, he had brought with him about 15 people. How we fit more than 25 people in that tiny 2 bedroom condo still astounds me. Jesse and a few guys were in the kitchen grazing on some vege’s and I asked Jesse if he could share a few words with us about what the Lord had been teaching him. He instantly started to share about what happened that day at the Walmart parking lot and how he had met a couple of ladies from Germany and he was so joyful that he had a chance to talk with them and pray with them. I soon found out that asking Jesse to preach was like ‘on command’ for him, if you asked him what God was doing in his life, he would just start to preach. And it wasn’t like he preached a sermon necessarily, it was more like parables and stories that he would tell. It was his own stories from his day or his week. It was how the Lord ministered to him and through him. It was always about other people and the love God had for them. Jesse would share from a heart bursting with love and never from self interest or from his own agenda. He was magnetic, people wanted to hear what he had to say because they knew he loved them unconditionally. I know I sure did.