Saturday January 13, 2018 will be a day that I will remember forever.

About 8:00am I was woken up by my phone sounding an obnoxious alarm. I was a bit confused and disoriented because I had purposely not set an alarm the night before, in hopes to sleep in a little. I scrambled to find my phone to shut the alarm off. When I grabbed my phone the screen illuminated with this message: “EMERGENCY ALERT! Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Words will not be able to describe all of the things running through my head at that moment. I pulled myself up and sat at the edge of my bed. I quickly texted a friend of mine here just to be sure my phone wasn’t acting crazy, and sure enough, it wasn’t just my phone.

I continued to sit there unsure of what to do. If a missile was headed my way there wasn’t anything I would be able to do in order to stop it, nor was there anywhere to go that a missile wouldn’t impact. I did a quick search online to see what was going on out there but couldn’t find anything. I sat there and prayed for God’s protection and His peace to cover our Islands.

I decided to call my parents and younger brother to explain the situation and tell them I loved them one last time. When the words “I love you” came out of my mouth I couldn’t help but choke up. I thought to myself, “I may never get to say these words to them again.” After I hung up the phone I remained sitting on the edge of my bed in complete silence. Sweet memories rushed through my head and complete peace and joy filled my body. It was the strangest thing. In a time that should be filled with chaos and confusion, I had peace and joy. 

As I continued to sit on the edge of my bed I couldn’t help but think of all the people in fear for their lives. Running to shelter, or to see their child one last time. Life is short. Especially when you get an 8am wake up call saying that a missile is about to destroy you and your home. It’s terrifying actually. But, my job isn’t done. You see, the thing is that most of the people in fear for their lives on January 13th had no idea if they were about to go to heaven or hell, and thats not okay with me.

I walk the streets of Waikiki Beach and hundreds if not thousands of people pass me by, and most of the time I never even give them the opportunity to hear the gospel. In my life I often become content with living in my nice “christian bubble.” I have my routines and schedules and I enjoy the comfort of familiarity, but thats not what God has called me to. God didn’t give us the gift of salvation and freedom for us to keep it to ourselves. He gave it to us with a mission to share that gift with the world. And thats my mission today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably the worlds worst evangelist, but you never know when death is going to look you or your loved ones in the face and I just want to be sure that I offer the gift of salvation whenever I can.

I want to challenge those of you reading this to put yourself in my shoes, or better yet put yourself in the shoes of an atheist who came to Hawaii for their dream vacation, yet is paralyzed with fear after finding out a missile is headed their way. What would you do? Run to hug your family one last time? Cry out to God for mercy? In those moments sitting on the edge of my bed, all I could think about was if I had given God my all. Have I been bold enough to share my faith with my close friends? Have I stepped out and talked to the cashier at the grocery store? Have I prayed for the homeless man on the street? The answer was no. Sure, maybe not all the time, but I know for a fact I didn’t take advantage of every opportunity God had given me. This was a wake up call for me and for thousands of others. I want to do a better job at making sure people get the opportunity to have eternal life, and I’d like it if you’d join me on this mission. 
Until All Have Heard,

DTS Staff
Joe Thompson