On July 14, 2009, Ka Pa‘alana’s Mālama Mobile Outreach Team hosted a group from St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Alewa Heights, which included nineteen students who were in Hawai‘i on mission from various Coptic Churches in California under the leadership of H.G. Bishop Serapion (bishop of Los Angeles).
The missionary students, led by Father Daniel, assisted with the set up of the preschool, the packing and distribution of food and basic needs items, and engaged with keiki at the learning centers. They also socialized with the residents on the beach, asked questions about life in Hawai‘i, and shared the purpose of their mission.
During the preschool, the children enthusiastically welcomed the mission students and eagerly participated with them in the various educational activities. The mission students bonded closely with the keiki and taught them games and songs that they use in California.
A group of the students and Fathers also visited Ka Pa‘alana Preschool at Pai‘olu Kaiāulu shelter in Wai‘anae and assisted the teachers in the children’s activities.
After site, Ka Pa‘alana hosted the students to lunch at Pōka‘ī Bay where Father Daniel explained in depth the mission of the church and what they hoped to accomplish during their trip to Hawai‘i.
The Coptic Orthodox Church, which is ethnically based out of Egypt and traces its roots over thousands of years back to the beginning of Judaism, is committed to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ through loving acts of servanthood. Their goal in Hawai‘i is to carry out God’s commission through helping existing community outreach programs such as ours in serving those in need.
The collaboration was so successful that Father Daniel asked if their group could assist our program again that week. Ka Pa‘alana gratefully accepted their offer and hosted the students again on Thursday, the 16th.
That day, the group divided up into four groups and each group accompanied a different Ka Pa‘alana preschool team to their site. It was a great way for the students to see the larger scope of how Ka Pa‘alana is reaching out to serve our Leeward Coast community. The students shared that they had a very blessed time playing with and helping to teach the children at the preschools. The Ka Pa‘alana staff also expressed a deep gratitude to the students for their help in the set up and conducting of the school.
After preschool, all the preschool teams met up with the students at White Plains Beach Park in Barber’s Point for lunch.
The mission group shared again that they hoped to continue working with us in the future, and the staff of Ka Pa‘alana expressed our thankfulness for the friendship and service of the Coptic Orthodox Church and look forward to the next time we can serve with them.