Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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Bill Buley / The Garden Island
John Small, president of Jesus Reigns, center, offers encouragement and praise during the Jesus Reigns march on Saturday that started at the Historic County Building in Lihue.
Roger Aguda walks with sons Mark, center, and Reggie in the Jesus Reigns walk and celebration on Saturday in Lihue.
Roger Aguda, joined by sons Mark and Reggie, walked in the Jesus Reigns parade Saturday.
He was there for one simple reason.
“Because I love Jesus,” he said.
About 100 people joined the celebration that included the 30-minute march starting at the Historic County Building while carrying flags on a cloudy afternoon.
The sang the words, “every praise to our God,” as they went, walking to the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall and circling back for music, dance, prayer and worship.
It was a public showing of faith, said organizer John Small, and the purpose was to “exalt Jesus above anything.”
“Jesus reigns,” he said.
During the parade, people carried state flags, as well as many of the nations of the world and Jesus Reigns flags. People from different Christian churches participated.
A few passersby in cars honked and waved.
Jesus Reigns started seven years ago in the Philippines and today, all 82 provinces celebrate Jesus Reigns on the same day with upwards of 2 million people attending.
Last year, 200,000 people participated in Cebu alone. Now it has spread to Japan and Indonesia.
Also last year, it was held for the first time in the United States, starting on Kauai, where about 300 people participated from different churches and denominations to lift up the name of Jesus, according to a press release.
Jesus Reigns Hawaii is scheduled Oct. 8 on Oahu, for the first time.
Small said the goal is to have the Jesus Reigns celebration in all 50 states on the same day every year. With a divided nation, it’s critical that the church be united, he said, and the Jesus Reigns celebrations help do just that.
Charlie Ortal, born and raised in the Philippines, migrated to Kauai in 1979. Today, the missionary spends most of his time in the Philippines.
But on Saturday, Ortal held a flag high as he and the group marched along Hardy Street.
Ortal was pleased to be part of the celebration and pointed out how much it has grown from a few hundred people when it started in the Philippines in 2012.
“My heart is just so full of joy being a part of this march here in Kauai to declare that Jesus reigns over Kauai, over the state of Hawaii and even throughout the United States,” Ortal said.
His faith remains strong, despite the troubles that can sometimes seem so overwhelming in the world.
“No matter what is going on with nations around the world — disasters, wars, calamities — the Lord is still in control,” he said. “He loves it when his people declare that he reigns over their lives.”
Bill Buley is editor-in-chief of The Garden Island. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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