Plaza of Nations opens at UofN in Kona
In a ceremony rich with celebration and symbolism, YWAM founders, Loren and Darlene Cunningham led the University of the Nations campus in Kona, Hawaii in dedicating the new Plaza of the Nations on Friday, February 20. The plaza, a circle of flags surrounding a fountain with symbolic statues, sits at the entrance to the GO centre guest facility and provides a memorable centrepiece for campus activities.
Hundreds of guests worshiped, danced and proclaimed the praises of God around the dancing waters of the fountain, with its three sprays representing the Trinity. The centerpieces of the fountain are three seven-foot bronze statues by Ruth Anderson depicting YWAM's call to come, to worship and to go out to the nations.
David Hamilton began the event by reading an excerpt from the book "Is That Really You, God?" about Loren Cunningham's vision of waves of young people spreading out around the globe which sparked the movement which became YWAM. That vision is now depicted in thousands of glass mosaic tiles that encircle the fountain. The design was created by Joseph Avakian and carried out by master tile setter Mark DeFazio, Plaza project director Beryl Moon, and volunteers Anoushka Armstrong of Israel; Monika Avakian of Germany and Tiki of Fiji.
Loren and Darlene honored Beryl and Ruth for their countless hours devoted to the project. Both women gushed praise for the many volunteers who helped with the project and those who gave generously to make it happen.
Children resident on the campus circled the Plaza in a flags celebrations; Discipleship Training School students carried torches and flowers; and 35 staff and students proclaimed praise to God in their native languages. Shannon and Luki Wooching performed a beautiful worship dance as did staff from Heartbridge Performing Arts and Island Breeze.
At the end of the celebration, four generations of the Cunningham family led the campus in a responsive declaration of faith and purpose from the Psalms and Romans 10.
Following the dedication, the crowds spread into the plaza to read the memorial pedestals and to seek out friends and classmates names on the thousands of personalized bricks which make up the floor. Personalised bricks are available for purchase at www.uofn.edu.