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I was born on a sugar plantation in Waipahu, Hawaii. Then at
the age of five we moved to Ewa Plantation on the same island of Oahu. Plantation life is
very slow and easy. I was one of five children that were raised by a very religious
Catholic family, which was good. It kept us in line. The picture on the left was taken
during my first Holy Communion.
In 1962 we moved to Ewa Beach because my dad got another job at the steel mill. Life got faster.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I got my first musical instrument for Christmas which was a ukulele. I used to strum the heck out of it so much so that one day my mom was having one of her days and smashed it over my head, which only wanted me to play even more because of the effect it had on people. Later I started taking guitar lessons. By the age of 13 I had my own electric guitar and amp and started listening to Jimi Hendrix, Clapton, and the Doors. I never was into the drug scene at that time. I was high on the music I played and heard. Music was my god.
After I graduated from High School I was playing in a rock band called Albatross doing various gigs. I then got drafted into the United States army in 1971. I went to basic training in Fort Ord, California. Then I went to advanced training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I got my first experience of racial prejudice. I could not understand how people could have hate for other people they know nothing about. I got stationed in Stuttgart, Germany and met up with the local musicians there who turned me on to drugs. I started playing with a soul band, for six months, then with a rock band which lasted about a year. But the drugs continued. I got out in 1975 and came home with a new religion: I was god. I looked up my old buddies and found out that my old job as lead guitarist was taken but there was an opening for a bass player.
In Search for the Truth
From gig to gig it never was fulfilling. Drugs, women and alcohol...
Nothing satisfied. I would go home to an empty house, feeling empty inside wondering what
was wrong. I felt like I tried it all, but nothing satisfied the emptiness I had inside.
One day I was at my brother-in-law's house at the beach. I was on the beach alone, looking into the sunset. I saw a figure of a woman that I had never seen around here before. I just gazed, looking at her, not really wanting to talk to her, but noticed how beautiful she looked. I never met her that day.
I was playing at a night club called Wailani Inn, which was a discotheque. During my break I met this very same girl. We ended up moving in together. Little did I know that this woman would later become my wife.
I can really see how God had His hand on our life even back then. It was like God just stuck us together, two people with different lifestyles, yet the same. We were in need of Jesus' saving grace and mercy. At that time Madeleine was reading a book about the Lord's return and she started telling me about Jesus. I was interested but not enough to make a commitment. For one thing, we didn't know how.
The band broke up and then I started playing guitar for a contemporary Hawaiian band that was affiliated with Cecilio & Kapono and some other groups that were up and coming at the time. We were being groomed for an album only to be let down at the last minute. I was getting pretty sick and tired of the ups and downs but "Mikki" (Madeleine's nickname) stuck with me. At the time she was also searching for the truth and started reading a lot about the Lord. (Click here to find out about Madeleine's testimony)
I got a gig playing on Kauai with a band called Tropics. We played four nights a week at the Spindrifter night club. The strangest things kept happening to me while I was on Kauai. I kept running into God. For example, everywhere I would go, I found tracts that would talk about God. We had a kokua bowl (which is like a tip bowl) and I kept finding messages from God on how to get saved. One tract really stood out and really struck home. It was called "This Was Your Life." It was about a guy who had it all: a nice house and car, money, and he would say to himself, "Oh, boy did I do good." Little did he know that his soul would be required of him that night. That really made me think of the mortality of my life and how short my life was.
Another example was I'd be hitchhiking to Kapaa and got picked up by a pastor who invited me over to his church. Later on in the week I went by his church and peeked in the window. I got scared because of the transparency of everyone there and it really convicted me of my sinful life. So I left. Later on I found out that Mikki and the church she was attending were praying for my salvation.
On New Year's Day, 1977 I came close to stepping into eternity. I almost got into a head on collision when my buddy next to me fell asleep at the wheel. I jerked the wheel away from the oncoming car and knew God spared my life. A couple of nights later I cried out to God to show me if He was real and to help me with this empty feeling inside. I knew I would have to make a decision on how I would live the rest of my life. I decided to go back to Honolulu where Madeleine was on fire for God. I warmed myself around her words as she told me how Jesus loved us so much and how He wanted to give us new life. That's when I truly fell in love with this woman. She had something in her that attracted me that was deeper than any fleshly desire. The Lord was really moving on my family. During the course of two months, my brother, my sister-in-law, I myself, and my other brother all came to know the Lord.
We were married in 1978. Since then God has blessed me with three beautiful children, a life with Him in eternity, and a new song in my heart. My music is now dedicated to bring Him glory, honor and praise forever. Amen. God is the revealer of the heart and I just encourage everyone to let Him shine His Light in every closet as we approach the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle. Be encouraged and let God rule and reign in every aspect of your life.
As we enter into these troubled times, it seems darkness is prevalent in every aspect of life. There seems to be a mixture of light and darkness, which can only equal gray. Our God is a holy God and He's calling us to holiness. The meaning of holiness may differ from people to people. It all depends on your closeness to God. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, the scripture tells us. As we get closer to God we become more like Him, and less like the world. What fellowship has light with darkness? The Lord has been showing me the meaning of the scripture in Psalm 1 and how we as believers need to come out from those things which we think God winked at, meaning those secret sins. Be encouraged for it is God who does this wonderful work in us.