The young adults of the Kapolei Sāmoan church spent Global Youth Day 2022 loving the forgotten in Hawaii. Their outreach began at the shores of Waikiki, spanned the harbors of Kaka’ako, and stretched to the plains of Kapolei.
By Landen Muāsau
Alofa i Pagotā (Loving the Imprisoned)
“For the Lord hears the poor, and does not despise His prisoners” (Psalm 69:33, NKJV).
The day of service kicked off with handwritten letters to friends and family in prison. Writing letters is uncommon nowadays, which made this activity very personal and intimate. The love from heaven goes beyond steel bars and reaches even the dark places of prison.
Alofa i Tuaoi (Loving our Neighbors)
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NKJV).
The middle of the day was spent passing out 2,000 GLOW tracts in Waikiki and Kaka’ako, a place known for its high concentration of the homeless. It seemed that no one was interested in the tracts or in small conversation, and the young adults were hitting a stumbling block. They noticed many in Waikiki were too occupied and in a rush to enjoy their vacation in paradise.
The team reassessed and changed their approach, using their gifts to reach out. One member of the group is a teacher and knew how to engage with children; she began passing tracts to them, and they in turn gave it to their parents. Another member of the group used his gift of language to spark conversations; in one situation he spoke Arabic with two Muslims. When he gave them the “Why Do I Go to Church on Saturday?” tract, they happily accepted. Others started getting creative, leaving tracts on restaurant tables, store registers, directory shelves, newspaper stands, and parked cars. What started as a disappointment finished in victory.
Alofa i Mātua (Loving our Elders)
“When I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me” (Psalm 71:18, NKJV).
The day concluded with a home visitation in Kapolei to an elderly member, Leleiga, who is no longer able to attend in-person services. Hymns in the Sāmoan language were sung, and prayers filled the home to close the Sabbath. Although Leleiga is hard of hearing, she praised God with her hands and spoke words of affirmation, gratitude, and blessing over the young adults.
After a full day of service, one lesson was learned: keep loving the forgotten, for it may provide the hope they need.