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May 16

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They cleaned the house from top to bottom, refinished floors and painted. “I have never felt God’s love that much,” Maricruz says.

3 High School Students Join Oahu Branch

 

From left: Rachel McCabe, Zach Busekrus and Racquel Kaikanani Leong. 

By Chris Meehan

Three high school students have come underway in the Oahu branch. Action trips, the community’s music and a desire for Christian friendships all played roles in attracting the students.

Zach Busekrus has many family members in the community. His email address includes the phrase “Busekrus and proud of it,” but he says it wasn’t obvious that he would follow the family tradition. “My Action trip to Indianapolis changed my perspective,” he says. “I saw that the community is trying to make a difference in the world. I wanted to be a part of that.”

He already has some solid experience as a difference-maker. Last year, Zach organized classmates to produce a video on the genocidal violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.  The video, “One Day for Darfur,” combines an interview with a Holocaust survivor and some graphic footage of genocide victims, accompanied by a reggae tune. The video won first prize (out of 500 entries) in the Youth Xchange Video Competition sponsored by Hawaii public television. It also caught the attention of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, who have helped Zach and his classmates meet some Darfur aid workers and refugees, and have also funded some of their activities.

Racquel Kaikanani Leong hadn’t heard of the community at all until she started tagging along when her mother was working at the parish where the branch meets. She noticed the sound of singing echoing out of the church basement. “There was something about the music that drew me in,” she says. “It was like a calling, and it intrigued me to no end.” She eventually spoke to Mike Busekrus, Zach’s Dad who invited her to a meeting. “I checked it out, and I soon joined Action and loved it.” Racquel traveled to Allendale last summer and came underway in the fall. Her interest in music and songwriting have led her to start writing raps, and she performed one of her compositions at a recent branch meeting.

Rachel McCabe first considered coming underway after seeing the community’s impact on her sister Mary (Servant Branch), now a student at the University of Minnesota. But before making the decision to join herself, she went on two Action trips to Allendale. “Allendale’s day camp and home-repair projects make it a cool place for people my age who love God,” she says. The opportunity for Christian friendships in the Oahu branch also helped draw her in. “People in the community have God in their lives. It’s hard to find people on fire for God at school,” she says.

Oahu branch leader Tom Duddy says he’s grateful that the Lord brought these three students into the People of Praise. “They add enthusiasm and energy to our branch, and that encourages us all.”

Responses

  1. eileen horan says:

    Thank you, Rachel, Zach and Racquel for reminding us of the importance of our lives in POP. What a blessing to have you underway and in our family!

  2. jeff brummer says:

    Yahoo! Welcome Zach, Rachel and Racquel. You are a blessing to us (and the world).

  3. Annie Putzier (indy campus) says:

    Praise God!! It is so good to hear these three stories. I'm especially interested in the raps by Raquel, and hope to hear one myself! Keep composing!!! (ps. Come visit Indianapolis, what a wonderful place it is to live and go to school, and I speak as an out of state student - grew up in the Servant Branch, Minnesota.)

  4. Pat Walsh says:

    This was a great read. Glory to God for his work among us. Pat

  5. Racquel Leong says:

    It is so great to be a part of this family we know as People of Praise! I love it and want to thank all of you for the support! :) God bless!

  6. Anne Brewer says:

    God loves us so much! He's blessing all of us through you!

  7. Eileen Cramer says:

    I love how God knows just how to get each of our attention!! I am grateful to have you as a new brother and new sisters! Your energy and life renew us all even here on the mainland! You will be in my prayers!

  8. Wil Juare says:

    Great news, wow Zack has certainly grown a lot, physically and spiritually. We thank God for his continuing to draw people to him.

  9. Bruce Wansart says:

    Music can be a great attracter to the Lord.Being in the music ministry i can appreciate their drawing to the Lord!

    It remines me of the lines to a song--He has put a new song in my heart--giving praise to our God!

    I hope their walk with the Lord, continues to be inspiring.

  10. Thomas "F1y" Brophy says:

    God Bless you guys... by the way that was an amazing video, you guys totally deserved that award. I hope i can see you all around this coming summer...

    Peace and Love from CO Springs

    F1y

  11. Paul Kane says:

    This is great news for the Kingdom of God! I'm glad to be working with the three of you on the team! Glory Paul Kane (South Bend)

  12. Kim & Bruce Doffing says:

    My heart sings at seeing your radiant hearts and faces for the Lord! A gift to all of us in this wonderful People of Praise!
    :)

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