Haili Congregational Church

Hilo Hawai'i

"Proclaiming Jesus Christ to Hawai'i and the World"

We will be having "In-Person Service as well as Virtual Service beginning on Feb. 27th at 10:00 a.m. For More information please see our announcements page

PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - THE TWO STONES

“I am the resurrection and the life.” – John 11:25

The first authentic record of the 2 1/2-ton Naha Stone deals with its voyage from the far away island of Kaua’i. It was said that it had rested hard by the Wailua River but was placed upon a double-hulled canoe by the High Chief, Makali’inuikualawalea, and by him brought to Hilo on Hawai’i Island, then, placed in front of the ancient temple Pinao, of which, but one single stone now remains. It is believed that the Naha Stone had the peculiar property of being able to determine the legitimacy of all who claimed to be of the royal blood of the Naha rank. Immediately after a boy of Naha stock was born, he was brought to the Naha Stone and was laid down, while the priests (kahuna) prayed to the gods and chanted. We can only imagine how anxiously the parents watched their baby, for one faint cry from those infant lips would bring upon a shame which would endure throughout its lifetime. As a result, the child would be an outcast amongst the common people and make its way through life as best as possible. But should the infant be endowed with the virtue of silence, then it would be declared by the high kahuna to be of true Naha descent, a royal prince by right and destined to become a brave and fearless warrior. By ancient prophecy, only the chiefs of the Naha blood could violate its sanctity by moving it, and by doing so, be declared the king of the island. As a 14-year-old boy, King Kamehameha ‘Ekahi moved the stone and fulfilled his destiny.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - THE BEAUTY OF INTIMACY

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” – John 15:4

One of my favorite Hawaiian native plants is the ‘uala. It grows easily and close to the ground. Its fruit, the sweet potato, tastes ‘ono (delicious). Mashed and mixed with water, the ‘uala made a “sweet potato” poi. Its leaves were steamed, boiled, or baked. For early Polynesians, ‘uala was an important staple of their diet. They grew nearly 200 varieties of this plant. It was very vigorous and would grow in areas of little rainfall, even, poor soil, yet flourish in areas where the soil was loose and porous. This food source was drought-resistant and when well-tended, produced a bountiful crop. As an old ʻōlelo noeau (wise saying) stated: “He `uala ka `ai ho`ola koke i ka wī” (The sweet potato is the food that ends famine quickly). The vines of the ‘uala grew extensively, often times, taking over an area and expanding in ground cover. It was used as medicine as a laxative and for the treatment of asthma and sore throat. One variety was used for fish bait, while old vines and leaves were placed beneath the floor mat as padding. The ‘uala expresses the natural connection of the vine and its branches as it bore fruit in abundance for our ancient ones.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - THE LITTLE THINGS

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. – Zechariah 4:10

Centuries ago, the high-ranking men of the ali’i (chiefs) wore a Hawaiian feather helmet called, a mahiole. They were constructed of the aerial roots of the ‘ie’ie vine and woven into a basket type framework which gave a light and strong body. They were perfectly fitted to an individual and protected the head, the most sacred part of the body. The mahiole was decorated with bird feathers, a documentation of the exquisite feather work techniques of our kupuna (elders). These feathers were obtained from local birds (manu). The black and yellow feathers came from a bird called, the O’o. The Mamo provided black feathers and both the ‘I’iwi and ‘Apapane provided the distinctive red feathers. These birds were never harmed or killed but caught by trained bird catchers. These were skilled men that could imitate the call of a bird and lure them close to their hiding places. Nets were also used as well as pua (flowers) to entice and attract the manu. Once it drew near and thrust its bill into the flower, the birdman would capture it. After a few feathers were harvested, the manu was then, released. Each mahiole required hundreds of feathers. Once collected, they were bundled and tied together in small portions before being fastened onto the framework. A net of olona fibers were laid over the framework, then feathers would be placed and tied close to each other to form a uniform covering of the surface of the helmet. Starting from the bottom, each new row concealed the quills of the feather below. The mahiole represented the political status of male chiefs and their various seats of authority.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - CLEARING THE WAY

“This is what the Lord says: Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find a resting place for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16

In ancient times, Hawaiians believed that the “clearing” of any obstruction or blockage was necessary in order to proceed forward on the “right track” of things. To hoʻomaʻemaʻe (to clear, unburden, remove, or empty). “Blockages” were considered “warnings”. It was anything that prevented a safe pathway or positive outcome to take place. It could be a negative attitude of character, nature, or disposition. Due to this obstacle, a planned trip may need to be cancelled; a voyage re-planned or an important family decision delayed, until a “clearinghouse” has been established. For example, before ho’oponopono (conflict resolution) could be exercised within families, a clear path was needed if blockages, such as anger, disunity, and disharmony existed. In such cases, consultation amongst the kupuna (elders) needed to be made. To relieve obstacles, Hawaiians believed that prayer was a significant “clearinghouse” resource to remedy the situation.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - CHECKMATE

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

Konane is a traditional Hawaiian board game like checkers yet requiring the strategic skills of chess. It was played on sizeable boards called, papakonane, or papamū. These boards varied in size and surfacing, and the game lasted longer if there were more spaces on the board. The papamū were made by selecting stone or wood slabs and marking out a grid of the desired size. Drilling or grinding depressions for the lua (pits), especially the piko, the center lua of wooden boards were sometimes decorated with human teeth or bone. To complete the set, pōhaku liʻiliʻi (small stones), ‘ili’ili, black lava and white coral markers, completed the set. However, a formal papamū was not necessarily needed. Instead, impromptu games were played on lauhala mats, or any smooth surface which could be marked. Konane was a relaxing and recreational way of enjoyment as well as to reinvigorate oneself after a long day. Though it was enjoyed by both men and women, the older men played it the most and as tournaments were commonly held, the game of konane would last for days. Bets were made and the stakes were high ranging from goods, such as kapa blankets and clothing, lauhala mats, to larger wagers of jewelry, land, sexual favors, or even one’s own life.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS

Dear children, let us not love in words or speech, but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18

Growing up, the word, kaukau was often used to associate with eating or drinking. Kau meant “to place”. Though kaukau had different meanings, it may have been falsely aligned and corrupted with the Chinese word, “chow” or that food is “placed” (kau) before a person. However, in the Hawaiian perspective, kaukau had no association with drinks or eating of a meal. Instead, it was a form of correction meant to “present a problem or situation for consideration”. In the Hawaiian practice, kaukau was done in a calm, reasoning, and teachable manner.
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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - LIFT UP YOUR HEAD

In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:37

In 1865, Kamehameha V passed an “isolation law” to separate those with leprosy from society. They were to be sent to Kalawao, Moloka’i. In this place, deep, rough oceans of the North Pacific served as a barrier on the east, west and northern shores. This southern boundary was at the foot of one of the highest cliffs in the world. A year later in January 1866, the first boatload of patients was cast off between Waikolu Valley and Kalawao, the first Kalaupapa settlement. They had no facilities, only minimal supplies and just the clothes they had on at the holding station in Kakaako on the island of Oahu. Since then, over 8000 men, women and children were taken to this isolated peninsula. 95 percent were of Hawaiian ancestry and left to survive on their own. By December, despite being separated from their families, despite their affliction, 23 men and 12 women formed the Siloama ---“spring of Siloam”---Church at Kalawao. Though they would never see their families again, they found strength in God. Regardless of their circumstances and objectionable conditions, they did not stray from their faith, but instead, held on to their hope in God.

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PAPA MAKUA DEVOTIONAL - WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 2:5

The Hawaiian word, po’o refers to the head as a part of the body but may also refer to a position of director or leader. In the physical sense, it is the center of our emotions and intellect, though our na’au (gut or intestines) may associate as well. However, for our kupuna (elders), the po’o was a dwelling place of one’s own spirit as well as a temporary home for aumakua (ancestors) and other good spirits. In this understanding, the head on down to the shoulders was considered kapu (taboo) as a part of the body. Touching and hitting of the po’o was not allowed, including to pat the head of a child, wear someone else’s papale (hat) or sit and rest on a person’s bed pillow. This cherished principle also applied to royalty. No commoner was allowed to sit or stand in a higher position (over the head) of a ranking ali’i. However, this changed as King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) ended the kapu by building a raised area of seating directly over the royal pew in Kawaiaha’o Church.

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HAILI CHURCH

211 Haili Street

Hilo, Hawai'i 96720

OFFICE

Telephone/Fax: 808-935-4847

Email: office@hailichurch.org

KUHIO CHAPEL

144 Desha Avenue

Hilo, Hawai'i 96720