Our outreach team in Maui started Saturday off by serving at the local Citizens Church. The church was hosting an event for families affected by the fires in Lahaina. There were gifts, food, drinks, games, and live music. We arrived before sunrise to help set up and stayed through the afternoon to help clean up afterwards. Afterwards we went to one of the distribution hubs that was giving out food to families who had lost everything in the fires. When we arrived, there was a huge army truck carrying several types of fruits, vegetables, and other foods. We started unloading the food for people to take back to their tents. John, the driver of the truck, was an interesting character to say the least. When we first met him he was shirtless and singing along with the radio at the top of his lungs. Our team joked that he could be a character in the movie Jumanji

Initially John didn’t talk to us much, but he seemed to know all the locals. When we finished unloading, we followed John to the next stop to distribute food to more families. He noticed that we followed him, and talked to us a lot more than before. We asked if we could follow him to the rest of his stops, and he was delighted to have our help. He even let some of us ride in the truck with him! At our third stop, John introduced us as his friends and we met several locals, including a lady that went by Auntie Bea. She gave us many connections to help distribute food to people who were directly affected by the fires, and told us about how much hurt the fires had caused. 

At the fourth and final stop, John began to talk story with our team as we unloaded the last of the food. He shared about the history of Hawaii, how it became a state, and reiterated what Auntie Bea said about the hurt caused by the fires. John told us that we could help the locals by talking story with them and making them feel seen and heard. As John was preparing to leave, we asked if we could pray for him. He agreed, saying that he believed in “everything and the universe.” As our team prayed for John, rain started to pour down on us. Saara, a member of our team, remembered that in the Hawaiian culture, rain means blessings. As soon as we stopped praying for John, the rain stopped. That day with John left a lasting impression on our team; we started our outreach feeling encouraged and believing that God wanted to work through our team to bless the people in Maui and Lahaina. 

Anna Kuhn

YWAM Ships Kona Staff

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