‘We Love God and We Love People’: Maui Churches Take in Survivors from Hawaii Wildfires

KAHANA, HI- AUGUST 15: Lunch is served at Citizen Church with the help of Mercy Chefts to
Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maui’s wildfires have claimed the lives of at least 114 people, have left more than 1,000 missing, and have destroyed around 2,000 buildings, but churches across the Hawaiian island have brought light to a dark and dire situation.

King’s Cathedral — one of the largest churches on the island — has sheltered 900 people since fires broke out in the community of Kahului.

Hawaii Public Radio’s Russel Subiono reported that Pastor Shannon Marocco worked with government officials in tending to the survivors by offering them “three meals per day, clothing, toiletries and 24-hour first aid care.” Marocco said they are also receiving love and support from generous donors across the globe:

“We had thousands of Amazon boxes show up to our church,” Marocco told the outlet. “We’re really praying that God would allow us to be a storehouse.”

Members of the church are now working on providing temporary housing on church property for those who need it.

They bought 10 acres of land across from the church, along with dozens of portable, tiny houses.

In the community of Lahaina — 23 miles away from Kahului — a couple leading their Filipino congregation have 20 members sleeping in their parish hall of Koinonia Pentecostal Church, NPR News reported.

Pastor Estrella Arquero said in addition to providing shelter, they have food, gasoline, water, and even pet supplies for survivors.

“That is what we are called for to do,” Arquero said. “That we care for people. In fact, the mission of our church is we love God, and we love people.”

One family from their congregation — a husband and wife — had fled the fires in such a hurry that she put two different slippers on her feet.

The wildfires across Maui have the highest death toll in modern U.S. history, NBC News reported.

On Monday, President Joe Biden arrived on the island to talk with survivors and view the damage, Breitbart News reported.


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