Closing Halawa’s Church
By Reynolds Ayau
To the people of Molokai, aloha! My name is Reynolds Ayau and I’m the Kahu for a little church in Halawa Valley called lerusalema Hou Church. Our little church is badly in need of replacement. Dry rot and termites have made it a total hazard.
To try and remedy the situation, we had to contact the landowner. The landowner, God bless her, said, “I didn’t know I owned the property so I’ll donate it to the church.” That was over three years ago and we are still waiting for the County of Maui to approve the necessary subdivision. Both the landowner and the church have spent a lot trying to please the Maui County government.
We had to send people to Oahu to research the previous owners of the land all the way back to the original owners. Lord knows what it cost the landowner trying to subdivide. How can they tell us what we can or cannot do on the land when they don’t even know what they are governing?
We can’t wait any longer, as the building is getting to dangerous to use. We will be closing the doors by the end of June and try and find somewhere else we can praise and worship in. What is so sad is that we have been here for 67 and a half years. My members’ grandparents started this church after the 1946 tidal wave hit the valley. It was dedicated on Oct. 31, 1948. There are so many memories, weddings, funerals, blessings, baptisms and rallies. We probably could have gone another 68 years without their rules and regulations. There aren’t too many churches in Hawaii where 95 percent of the members drive 27 3/4 miles to worship the Lord.
I always wondered why our Hawaiian people were so eager to be self-governed. Now I understand, this so-called “government — OF the government, BY the government and FOR the government — leaves no room for the people!
Now that I’ve gotten it off my chest, please forgive my lack of compassion, you office workers on Maui come over to Halawa Valley and understand the peace and tranquility we enjoyed every Sunday and know why we don’t want to give it up. God Bless our County Government, amen!
What a tragedy–this failure of government creates an unacceptable loss to Molokai’s history and community. Makes me sad I never got to attend a church service there.
Is there any hope of saving it? What would it take?
Please let me know if any preservation campaign gets started to save this irreplaceable structure.
Can’t we start a Gofundme for it and see what we get?
yesterday I saw on the news that Maui county approves that the church can be restored. now we need to raise funds. it really made me emotional to see the pastor weep. if you have set up an account which collects donations, I am going to give some money, can’t give much but every bit helps. and I believe there will be some volunteer carpenters and some donated lumber too. let us pray about this. I really trust that this church is not going down. I painted water colours of it about 10 years ago. one of the most spiritual and peaceful places I know.
Has anyone created a GofundMe account or is there any organized groups raising money for this worthy cause?