Posted on February 6, 2017
In ancient times, ho'ailona (omens or signs) have always been a part of Hawaiian life. For example, for many Hawaiians, the "anuenue" (rainbow) was usually associated with two things: bad fortune or good fortune. Despite its beauty, size or appearance, a rainbow may mean "danger" ahead or the death of a person, while on the other hand, it could mean, "good fortune" for another. For example, the appearance of a rainbow when a child is born or the sight of approaching rains that will dispel a season of drought. In Hawaiian life, visionary experiences of ho'ailona, like the anuenue, range from the natural to the supernatural and may defy explanation, but, it still remained important to the visionary.
In the Bible, the first mention of a "rainbow" is in reference to Noah and the Flood where God says (Genesis 9:12-16): "I am making an agreement between me and you and every living creature that is with you. It will continue from now on. This is the sign: I am putting my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of the agreement between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow appears in the clouds. Then I will remember my agreement. It is between me and you and every living thing. Floodwaters will never again destroy all life on the earth. When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it. Then I will remember the agreement that continues forever. It is between me and every living thing on the earth."
Like the ancient ones, we can either perceive the rainbow to be a sign (a reminder of God's promise to Noah that no other flood will occur) or a blessing (establishing a new beginning). Personally, I prefer both because I always see the "rainbow" as the start of something, both good and new. If you really think about it, Noah's story is similar to our international students that attend Mid Pacific. Traveling from different countries, they seek new promises, new hopes, new dreams, new opportunities, even, welcome a new family and it is good. Like the colors of the rainbow, our international students add to the diversity of our school and bring cultures together. Simply, walk around campus and you can feel an "international" presence as different cultural languages are spoken and all cultures embrace one another. It's a wonderful sense of 'ohana (family)! Lastly, there's a children's song that says, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." That's our identity at Mid Pacific! Different colors of a "rainbow" coming together for good that God calls, "precious." As our school lies nestled in beautiful Manoa, rainbows take residence and each time that I am privileged to see one, I imagine the faces of our students. We're a "one-of-a-kind" family. WE CALL IT, "OWL NATION!"