Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Student Ministry Newsletter- Feb ‘09


2009 did not begin quietly for Aloha Church of God's students. We rang in the new year with the Insomnia 2009 all-night party, hosted by Vancouver's First Church of God.
Over 300 middle and high schoolers got crazy at this annual event.

Highlights included two concerts (The Nathan Arnold Band led us in worship through midnight)...

...a message by Pastor Don Doe...

IMG_1031.JPG inflatable obstacle course, door prizes, an interactive game with Warner Pacific College...

...adrenaline-soaked sleep deprivation (even through 6 a.m, as we snapped this pic while waiting in line for breakfast)...

and a Mountain Dew chugging contest (between Ben and Kenny) gone horribly wrong. Anyone with a hankering to see a photo of Ben's anticlimactic, gut wrenching (no pun intended) finale should request to be added to my "private" contact list.


We are concluding our study of the church's beginnings with a unit on instructions for spiritual growth, as found in the epistles of the New Testament.
One of the more memorable moments was staging a minor food fight between theater students Alissa and Kevin to illustrate loving (and not so loving) methods of resolving disagreements. This vignette, taped by Derek and featuring a random cameo by Will, also touched on themes of gender discrimination and legalism.
Public service announcement: any foods harmed in the filming of this production will be matched by a donation to the Food Cupboard ministry.


We would like to say a special word of thanks to those who have already helped out our student ministry in 2009:

  • Wendy: for being the best ministry volunteer leader ever!

  • Sharon (pictured further below with Pastor Tim, at his installation ceremony): for teaching our students while Garth and Kathy were in Canby at the SHAPE pastoral development retreat, for filling in as our supportive Reaching Servant , and for helping us with our fundraising efforts.

  • Janelle: for being a guest speaker on January 14, inspiring our students with her own disciplines for spiritual growth.

---and last, but not least---

  • Pastor Tim: for starting out strong with his pastoral leadership and following the vision that God has given him for our church.
    We were pleased to honor him at his installation ceremony on January 25th.

    We got even more bang for our buck when Ben gave his debut rock star performance for his dad during the service!

In Christ,

Youth Pastors Garth and Kathy Hamilton

Here are a couple of bonus pictures, not included in the church newsletter:

After getting knocked out of a Wednesday night crowdbreaker, Derek cries out to the heavens, "Why?"

ROMANS 16:19 SAYS!!... Well, our student ministry does strive for excellence in what is good. But who knew that praising God could be so hard on the furniture?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inspiring Update on My Dad

Note: Check out the photos I added to some older posts this week, including our vacation to South America. Also, my August 2, 2008 blog entry has one of my favorite pictures of Bo and me hiking together.

After being diagnosed last month with Clark Level IV melanoma on his neck, my dad Doug Hamilton (or Bo, as we call him) had a successful surgery last week. On Tuesday, Bo received the news: he is now probably cancer free! Praise God for answered prayers!!

This photo is of Bo and Vive driving away from the hospital, just hours after his successful melanoma surgery! Bo looks great!

Our family has received a flood of support throughout this ordeal. Bo wrote a note thanking the hundreds of people (whom we know of) who lifted him up with their prayers and encouragement. You can follow the link to his note here:

If you prefer Microsoft Office Live, you can click here

Here is the condensed version of the story: The doctors had originally told Bo that this reoccurrence of skin cancer had spread so quickly that it may be inoperable. Worst case scenarios projected a surgery that might have left Bo severely disabled, threatening to forever alter his active lifestyle.


Preparing for this possibility, our family prayerfully spent countless hours in the past month on the phone, over coffee, and in correspondence with each other and with friends.

On the Friday before Bo's surgery, my sister Summer and I met Bo for a hike near Washington State's Moulton Falls.


On Tuesday, February 10th, our family met with Bo at 6 a.m. at Kaiser Sunnyside hospital for his melanoma surgery. After less than 2 1/2 hours, we received word from the surgeon that the tumor was removed, and that the removed lymph node did not show any signs of melanoma. In other words, they were able to cut the surgery short due to the cancer being less widespread than the test interpretations had indicated! Bo didn't even need skin grafts!

The picture at the top of this post sums up how that day, as well as this chapter of Bo's life, came to a joyful conclusion. Summer's note on Facebook recounts the day with loving detail. For those of you not registered with Facebook, I have posted it here

On behalf of my dad and the rest of our family, I want to say thanks to all of you who have kept Bo in your prayers during this time. We are grateful that his pre-operation tests were misinterpreted, yet we also know that the Lord had a mighty Hand in all of this. We are truly blessed!