top of page

A Youth and Young Adult Hawaii Mission Experience

While SSP had teams focused on one project at one site the whole week at a Native American reservation or community, the Hawaii Mission Experience consisted of different mission projects each day in different towns.

long line of kids in blue.jpg

     Day 1 was spent at the Manoa forest removing invasive growth from a patch of land. Taro was then planted, the root famous for making poi, the Hawaiian staple food. The rainforest challenged the group with ankle-deep mud and armies of mosquitoes. “Hand to land” was mission accomplished. In the afternoon, the group visited a pond restoration site at Pearl Harbor where a local kumu (teacher) shared about the indigenous fishpond culture, predating the Christian missionaries and modernization.


     On the second day, 250 food bags were assembled at the Susanna Wesley Community Center, followed by a tour of the historic Bishop Museum in Kalihi. Day 3 was at the Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu to learn about the immigration patterns of plantation workers and to see the various ethnic living quarter replicas. The group got their feet wet in the afternoon by removing invasive lily plants and other weeds at the fishpond. More weeding was done the next day at a dry lo’i (taro patch), plus learning the plant’s anatomy. Local hosts welcomed us and provided background info at each site.


     Cultural presentations were in the evenings. The documentary Act of War:  The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation was viewed, plus commentary from a descendant. Another night was a hula lesson rendition to be presented at the Sunday morning worship service. The third night was devoted to weaving ti-leaf leis and understanding its meaning. The group was also introduced to an oli (chant) to be given at various locations as an offering of respect and asking permission from ancestors before entering.


    Like the SSP daily schedule, the group camped at the Kilohana UMC campus, sharing in food prep and clean up. There were spiritual awakenings (morning devotions), spiritual sandwich discussions over lunch, journaling, singing, affirmations, and a prayer walk/hike. Kilohana members prepared meals, provided bedding, and organized transportation.


     Though the schedule was hectic and tight, the group was treated to beach time, shaved ice, and shopping at the huge island swap meet at Aloha Stadium.


     The event was intended to depart from the usual tourist destinations and have a closer peek into local island life.


     “It’s so beautiful here, I honestly didn’t want to leave,” commented one participant.


     Another wrote on their evaluation, “…I love this place. I love all the diverse communities and being a servant to this aina. This trip has inspired me to want to come back on my own time and help in any way I can.”

     We hope to host more groups in the future. 

     For photos of the event or to view the worship service on July 16, 2023, you may see us on Facebook at Kilohana United Methodist Church.

bottom of page