**THIS IS A LIVE BLOG**
**IT WILL BE UPDATED AS INFORMATION COMES IN**
Tuesday, 8. 22. 2023 - 5:36 P.M. EST
Pastor David Kapaku
Aloha mai kakou, greetings Church, friends and families.
- President Joe and First Lady Jill Biden flew into Maui, got on a military osprey helicopter that landed at the Kapalua Airport (JHM). It was a sight to see the helicopter hover. The president was gracious in his words offering sympathy and empathy to over 200 people were experiencing loss. He spent more time at the Lahaina Civic Center than was anticipated giving home and promises to be part of the rebuilding process. Biden is the first president to visit Maui. His presence alone filled the room. With concerted efforts, Maui will be stronger.
- Around 2,170 acres burned in Lahaina and surrounding areas with 90% containment.
- Death toll comes to 115 scouring 100% of single-story residential homes. Phase II will search two-story residential homes and apartments. This may be where the bulk of deceased will be discovered as many older people were not able to leave their residents.
- Out of a 1000 missing, around 850 are still unaccounted for according to Mayor Bissen.
- Water in Lahaina is unsafe to drink because of certain chemicals. If you need water, take 5-gallon buckets either to Lahaina Gateway Center, Puamana, Kahoma Village or Honokowai to be filled.
- Due to bad water in Lahaina, Lahainaluna High School, Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena Elementary School are not open. The air quality is fine but not the water. This problem has students enrolling in other schools in the area or other side. Maui Preparatory Academy accepted about 120 new students. Thank you, Maui Prep.
- Speaking of schools, the Kahana Door of Faith may be hosting the Hawaiian Technology Academy (HTA) to enroll students from grade K to 12. Yesterday, we had a meeting to go over details. We'll let you know more.
- Still, 1800 residents are without electricity.
- Spectrum is doing their best to get the internet back online. They work in concert with the electric company. Kahana Door of Faith has Starlink. Can't stream or play games, and only five people are able to use it. You can use your cell phone.
- Those who were displaced are transitioning from shelters (large public facilities like gymnasiums) to hotels. About 1900 hotels rooms are helping in the transition coordinated by the Red Cross. To be eligible for a room, one must register with FEMA. Also, a free shuttle from hotels coordinated with Red Cross is available.
- There are lot of people asking me about coming to Maui on vacation. This is what the county is saying. Maui is open, but they are asking visitors to refrain from visiting west Maui at this time. I am hopeful it will open up on the west side soon.
- We are not taking CLOTHES. Please do not drop off bags of clothes at the Fellowship Hall. We are not a distribution center. Second, lot of the clothes that were donated were mildew and un-useable. Please see Kahu Michele, Facility Director, for permission to use property (buildings, facilities, chairs, tables, etc.) Please respect the chain of communication.
- Mahalo nui loa to many who helped with community needs. Your tireless efforts and energies will not go unnoticed. Many are praying, giving financial support, and words of encouragement. We'll take all of it. And through all of this, let us not forget the LORD. He is our PRESENT help in troubling times (Psalms 46). He was PRESENT yesterday. He is PRESENT today. And He will be PRESENT tomorrow. Trust the LORD, He got this. Blessings.
Saturday, 8. 19. 2023 - 8:36 P.M. EST
By Pastor David Kapaku
Aloha mai kakou, greetings Church, family and friends,
- Unfortunately the death toll in the fires comes to 114. About 78% of Lahaina has been searched. Next week, Lahaina should be open to those who have had homes, property and businesses. If this pertains to you, be careful. Wear a mask and gloves. There are hazardous materials still burning, like plastic, asbestos. Watch where you are walking as not trip over steel pipes or fall into a hole. Look over your property, assess the damage, then move out.
- Everyone, be careful about the conspiracy theories out there. It's on social media. Garbage.
- The fires in Lahaina are 91% contained, not extinguished. About 2200 acres were burned.
- DMV in Lahaina will be open Monday from 9am to 2pm.
- Family Assistance Center will be moving to the Hyatt Regency ballroom in Ka'anapali. They can help furnish information about love ones missing.
- Medical personnel will also be at the Hyatt for those needing health attention.
- About 400 displaced students will be channeled to other public schools. Legend, Cruz and Haven Storer will be at Maui Preparatory Academy in Napili. Legend is a senior at MPA.
- Electricity is now on for 11,000 homes out of 12,000. Getting better.
- There were about 1100 GoFundMe accounts set up to assist people who have lost their homes and other valuables. Please be careful when you donate. For me, I'm not a fan of GoFundMe because they take out 11% of your donation. What I do is message the person for a mailing address, so they receive 100% of the donation. Many on GoFundMe have a goal of $10,000. GoFundMe will take $1100 of the total goal. No thanks.
Saturday, 8. 19. 2023 - 2:31 P.M. EST
By Pastor David Kapaku
Aloha mai kakou, greetings Church, friends and families,
- The road out of Lahaina and into Lahaina is open. If you are planning to go out of Lahaina, leave early in the morning, maybe around 7am. Traffic is not bad. With lots of tourists not on the west side, road traffic moves. Plus, construction crews and utility companies start around 8am then the traffic gets tight. If you're driving north to south, the stoplight at the Lahaina Post Office is the last working signal. After the post office, the signals are not on. The lane begins to merge into one lane right around Fleming Road into Lahaina town. All entries into Lahaina town side streets are barricaded and fenced off. No one should be walking or biking into Lahaina town. The road will continue to be a one laner into the by-pass. Drive carefully.
- Speaking of post office, due to the fire, mail service was re-directed to the main Wailuku Post Office about a week ago. Good news. Starting today, Saturday August 19, mail service to the Lahaina branch will resume. Not sure about packages though. Anyway, that's good news.
- Slowly businesses are opening up. Grocery stores like Napili Market and Times are open. Not sure about Island Grocery.
- Need water, food, clothes, medical supplies and attention, etc?, Walgreens and Lahaina Gateway are open. Lots of stations there. Is the boat ramp and Napili Park still operating?
- Zephyr Insurance is using the Leadership Center to help clients process their insurance claims. They brought a team from Oahu and a guy from Florida. The guy from Florida is the emergency expert since Florida has lots of hurricanes. Thank you Kahu Michele for helping people in this manner.
- Robin Muto and crew brought items to the church. It's housed in the Leadership Center. Thank you, Robin.
- Financial donations have come in, and more will be coming in to assists attending members with relief. The ministers will make decisions on reimbursements. Pray for us as we handle this delicate matter. Pray that we will use godly wisdom and discretion. As leaders, we aim to be transparent and accountable.
- As church leaders, we are adamant about the usage of church property (healing center, fellowship hall, leadership center, tables and chairs, etc.). Kahu Michele is the Church Property Director. Talk with Kahu Michele about usage of church property. Chairs and tables have KDoF labeled. A bunch of tables and chairs are missing. Please return
- Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ living in the southern part of California. A category four hurricane is there. News report says that rain will be a factor over a 24-hour period.
I will keep you posted the best I can.
Wednesday, 8. 16. 23 - 10:52 P.M EST
By Pastor David Kapaku
Aloha mai kakou, greetings Church, family and friends,
I wanted to give an update on the situation at west Maui.
- 10,000 (out of 12,000) customers have electricity. First reports said that it would take a month or more to restore power. Phone service works. Can someone email me if the internet is working on the west side?
- 682 community volunteers have donated their time and efforts.
- Territory of Lahaina and outskirt areas searched 38% leaving 62% unfinished.
- Death toll at 110. Within the 62% of unsearched area will come the bulk of deaths.
- About 35% of bodies autopsied completed.
- Federal Government approved 100% reimbursement.
- President Biden have plans to be on Maui August 21.
- 8. A thousand hotel rooms are available for the displaced. Maybe President Biden can reserve his room.
- Around 492 FEMA personnel are on Maui.
- 10. Mayor Bissen is waiving property taxes for those affected in property loss.
- More National Guards have been sent to Maui.
- Gov. Green opened the main road from Kahului to Lahaina. After 10pm, it will only be open to residents on the west side and emergency crews.
- Four gas stations are open: Ohana Fuel and Shell (Blackies) in Lahaina area; Shell Station in Kahana and the ABC Station in Honokowai.
- Dust screens will be installed.
- Word has it that investigation in Lahaina will take another week before it can be opened. As mentioned in earlier post, people stay out of Lahaina and let the first responders do their job.
- For those who lost property, get professional help when settling property claims with insurance companies, etc. Also, watch out for scammers wanting to purchase property. Lots of real estate vultures out there.
- Franklin Graham's Samaritan Purse should be on Maui, but I have not heard.
The bulk of information given is from the mayor's and governor's office. The other bits of information come from those in the community.
Please pray as two storm fronts are approaching the islands: Hurricane Greg and Hurrican Fernanda. They will be moving south of the islands, but their wind gusts may be around 25 to 35 mph. According to meteorologists, the hurricanes should get weaker the closer they approach. Their affects should reach us by Thursday and Saturday.
Another thing, semantics need to be clarified. When the Fire Department says the fire has been 100% contained, they mean the fire is not totally out. It can re-ignite. When the Fire Department says the fire is 100% extinguished, they mean it is totally gone. When people heard the fire was contained in Lahaina, they assumed the fire was 100% extinguished. People need to learn this.
Thanks to the nameless volunteers who gave of themselves to better Maui. Thanks to those who donated supplies to assist families and friends. And thanks to so many people donating funds to bring relief for those suffering. May the LORD bless you.
Tuesday, 8. 15. 2023 - 9:04 P.M. EST
By Pastor David Kapaku
Aloha mai kakou, greetings Church, friends and family. This may be a lengthy email, but I figure if you can sit and watch a two-hour movie or sit and listen to a twenty-minute sermon that seem like two hours, you'll persevere to the end. Pastor Kenny Inman from Casey White Oak Church of God in Casey, IL told me about the difference between flies and bees. When you approach flies, they scatter. When you approach bees, they organize. This is not the time to point fingers. This is not the time to blame. This is the time to organize. And we've got help.
I wonder what was going through Nehemiah's mind as he saw Jerusalem's destruction. Prior to his visit, he received firsthand reports from those with boots to the ground. He wept when he heard the news. Nehemiah, with the blessings of King Xerxes, went to Jerusalem to assess the damages. He was devastated. Nehemiah toured the city in silence. He saw walls burnt and torn down; the Temple and sacred places destroyed; homes were obliterated; and some of the gates into the city were impassible. And with boldness he declared to those who accompanied him, "Jerusalem is in ruins, let us start to rebuild". Like bees, they organized and began the work.
The following are updated points.
First, the outpouring of aloha to Maui's people have been extraordinary. Food, gas, propane tanks, medical supplies, water, clothes, etc. came in and are still coming in. There are main areas of distribution. This morning, a small craft airplane flew over Honokohau Valley announcing on a loudspeaker about these distribution centers and their locations. Convoys of trucks are hauling supplies to neighborhoods for those who cannot come to the centers due to lack of transportation. The bees are organized.
Second, Electricity and phone service have been restored to many on the west side of Maui. Not sure if Spectrum internet had been restored. Two gas stations are now operating: Ohana Fuel in Lahaina and the Shell Station in Kahana. Lines may be long. Grocery stores at Honokowai and Napili are open.
There was caution concerning water lines on the west side. Lahaina area was warned not to drink or use the tap water due to benzene. Drink, bathe, cook, etc. with bottled water. For bathing purposes, my suggestion is to go north and jump in the ocean to cleanup. Then rinse off under the park showers. Use biodegradable soap while you're at it. However, not all parts of west Maui were affected. Ka'anapali, and northward are fine. The reason for bad water is some of the water pumps were destroyed from the fire, thus, bad water. The County is trying to fix the problem. The bees are organized.
Third, presently, people's physical needs are being met. No one's need is being denied. In fact, Aunty Cathy Lum Lung looked at the abundance of donations at the boat ramp and said, "We're over blessed." Whoa Aunty, slow down. But she's right, we have lots to be thankful for. People have stepped up in the community. People in the church have stepped up looking and cooking for neighbors. People in the church have been busy finding lodging for displaced people and family. Hotels are sending their guests home replacing them with displaced people. According to Mauinow.com, 400 hotel rooms are available for the displaced, and over 1400 Airbnb were made available. The bees are organized.
Fourth, like a good shepherd, he finds his sheep. Everyone in the church has been located. Due to lack of communication via cell phones, internet and no electricity -coconut wireless was able to locate eveyrone. Many have emailed me asking about friends on Maui and where they were at. Thank the LORD the flock is intact. Mahalo to everyone on the search. The bees are organized.
Fifth, the losses are still being uncovered. Families have lost loved one, homes, property, businesses, pets, employment -name it and there's loss. Over 2800 structures (businesses and homes) were decimated. Historical places are gone. Many churches and religious institutions were not spared. Hundreds, maybe thousands are still missing.
FEMA is in town. The local government and state are attempting to bring relief. As of this email, only 25% of Lahaina has been combed by the National Guard and Rescue Teams. That leaves 75% yet to be searched. And it is in that remaining percentage the bulk of people were. Presently, about 96 people perished. The death toll is rising. About 20 sniffing dogs were brought to Maui to locate bodies.
To the residents on Maui, let the first responders do their job. Stay out of Lahaina for now. There are lots of hazardous materials still burning. There are places the fires have not been extinguished. Be smart and safe. There will be a time to go back to your property, please have patience and wait. And when you do go back to locate your property, please wear a mask and gloves. What you inhale today may affect your body ten years from now. Again, let the first responders do their jobs. The bees are organized.
Sixth, many have been asking about sending supplies, funds, etc. As of this email, the immediate physical needs are being met but send funds.
Seventh, many on this email list have asked how they can financially contribute to Kahana Door of Faith. I recently sent out an email of where to send funds. Let me post it again. Make check or money order payable to: Kahana Door of Faith. Mailing address:
Kahana Door of Faith Church
5095 Napilihau St. 109B
Lahaina, HI 96761
A receipt of your contribution will be sent in 2024. Thank you to those who have sent their financial donation, and mahalo to those planning to make a contribution. The bees are organized.
Eighth, the aftermath. While people's needs are being met physically today, I worry about the aftermath. About 95% of the work will occur during the aftermath, the rebuilding period. This is where I am focusing many of my efforts. But before we rebuild, we have to clean up. It will be messy. It will test our resolve. The bees are organized.
Final Thoughts. On a sobering note, pausing to catch my breath, I reflected today on the seven days that changed Maui forever. But more than that, it changed all of us. I was listening to Oprah Winfrey tell of her visitation to one of Maui's shelters. She met a man named Julius whose legs were singed; 3rd degree burns from the fire. The tires on his cars melted. He abandoned his vehicle and ran for his life. Oprah asked him, "Julius, what do you need?" He replied, "Nothing. I have my life." Oprah watched people in the shelter care for each other, something she had never seen before. When crisis hits, people usually go into self-preservation mode. Oprah, perhaps for the first time noticed the Aloha Spirit in action. It touched her to think people on Maui took it to the highest level called ALOHA.
The Prophet Ezekiel said, "I sat where they sat, and I cried." That's Aloha at its finest. Blessings.