Kaneohe Church Members Are Kalaupapa-bound This Week

Keli'i (left) and Kawai Andrade, Allen Kaneshiro, Kahaunani Okayama, Jean Kanoho, and W. Keikilani and Kanani Lyons preparing for the July trip to Kalaupapa. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo, ltabudlo@midweek.com.

Last year’s trip to Kalaupapa by Kaneohe volunteers was so successful, they’re about to embark on a hana hou mission, after a June fundraising blitz with a lau lau and garage sale.

Kaneohe Congregational Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said to be the oldest Protestant church on the Windward side, is sending a group of 12 this week to minister to the Kalaupapa community.

Firmly rooted in Hawaiian tradition, the church encourages its youths to take advantage of such an experience for the personal growth that it brings.

They help out by clearing away invasive plants under the direction of staff from the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. In turn, the volunteers get to experience the historic place firsthand and hear stories from residents of the community.

The five-day Molokai adventure began July 23 for a team that’s divided equally among teens and adults, four of whom also went last year.

According to trip coordinator “Uncle Allan” Kane-shiro, who also planned last year’s successful venture, they held the garage sale especially for those who could not afford to pay their own way.

To learn more about the project, or to offer financial support, call 235-2764, email Kaneshiro at kahaluu@aol.com or visit the church’s website at kcccmalliance.org.