Louisiana Conference Donates $10,000 to Hawaii for Wildfire Disaster Relief

August 14, 2023

In a display of solidarity, the Louisiana Conference has announced a donation of $10,000 to aid in the disaster relief efforts in Hawaii, which has been grappling with the devastating aftermath of rampant wildfires. The fires have wreaked havoc on the island, leaving destruction and despair in their wake. 

The Louisiana Conference, well-acquainted with the challenges and devastation that disasters can bring, has stepped forward to offer financial assistance. This gesture underscores the strength of the United Methodist connection, showcasing the power of communities coming together to help those in need.
Louisiana knows what it takes to recover from such disasters by standing firm in faith with resilient hearts and spirits.
Bishop Delores J. Williamston

Bishop Delores J. Williamston expressed her deep condolences for the victims of the fires, saying, "I know the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church understands deeply what it takes to recover from devastating storms that destroy whole communities. We know, as a connectional body, we stand with and beside our sisters, brothers, siblings, family, friends, and children in great need right now in Hawaii. Louisiana knows what it takes to recover from such disasters by standing firm in faith with resilient hearts and spirits to get through fire, floods, and storms. Let us move forward in hope and remember that God answers prayer. Please consider what you can give individually and collectively to help our neighbors in Hawaii."

How to Help

The best way to give is to donate directly to the California-Pacific Conference. You can click here; please make sure to choose Lahaina Relief.

You can also send a check to the Hawaii District Office, 20 S. Vineyard Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813, made payable to Hawaii United Methodist Union.

Monetary contributions are highly beneficial, as they provide the most effective support. Donations in the form of supplies, hygiene kits, and similar items are currently causing an excessive influx on the island, creating logistical challenges. Opting for monetary donations not only aids the local economy's recovery but also fosters the growth of local businesses.

Donate Now: Choose Lahania Relief

Dr. Tom Choi is the District Superintendent in Hawaii. He says the wildfires have devastated parts of Maui, especially the historic town of Lahaina, where a United Methodist Church resides.

He describes the damage as "apocalyptic." The Lahaina United Methodist Church campus, including the church and parsonage, are feared lost, as well as many other historic buildings, including Waiola Church, one of the oldest churches in Hawaii, marking its 200th anniversary this year.

"I have heard from Pastor John Crewe. He and his family are safe, as well as others in our United Methodist family," Dr. Choi said. "We are relieved to report that Honolua United Methodist Church and Ala Lani United Methodist Church are safe. We will keep you posted as this crisis unfolds, including ways in which you can lend your support and assistance. This is the time when the people called United Methodist are at their best. Thank you for your grace, prayers, and hopes."

Rev. John Crewe, pastor of Lahaina United Methodist Church, posted on the church's Facebook page, saying that when the town of Lahaina rebuilds, the church will not emphasize short-term financial goals over people, the environment, and the culture of Maui. Instead, they will envision a Lahaina with vibrant communities and infrastructure that respects the ecosystem.

"We must not forget this horrible tragedy and let the same thing happen again," Rev. Crewe said. "When we rebuild, we must fight to make the people and our environment the priority. Jesus told his disciples as he was empowering them to carry on his work, 'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.'”


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