KAPAA — When Kapaa Missionary Church began planning for its new certified kitchen, there was some uncertainty.
Where would they find the funds? How would the work be done? How long would it take to complete the project?
Yet, they pushed ahead. Three years later, their questions were answered.
“We just took a step of faith to trust that God wanted us to do this, and God blessed us with everything we needed to get it done,” said Pastor Jed Young. “And now, it’s such a blessing to the community.”
On Saturday, the church celebrated completion of its “Love One Another Soup Kitchen.” About 75 people attended the event that included music, food, brief speeches and plenty of praise, prayer and thanks.
“We wanted to meet tangible needs, but we also wanted to give real hope for those who come in,” Young said.
The $260,000 project included $100,000 in donated labor during construction. The remaining funds came from grants from the Wilcox Foundation, the Antone and Edene Vidinha Charitable Trust, and donations. Young said checks came in from people who weren’t members of the church, but wanted to help.
“It is done and it is debt free,” Young said, to which someone shouted, “Praise God.”
The new kitchen with commercial grade equipment and plenty of space replaces a much smaller one. It will allow the church to continue serving 60-75 hot meals to those in need every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
The church also gives away about 50 food boxes each Saturday and operates a clothing closet.
Deborah Crippen, co-chair of the soup kitchen, said the project was about “love and hope.”
When people are hungry, stressed and don’t have a place to live, it’s hard to see past those challenges, she said.
“It’s certainly our goal to help meet those physical needs first, then help meet their spiritual needs,” Crippen said. “We want to show a love that surpasses all understanding.”
Stacie Victorino, a 30-year member of Kapaa Missionary Church, said it was exciting to see a project so long in the planning come to fruition.
“A lot of people worked together,” she said.
Mike Crowder, who used to attend the soup kitchen for meals and now volunteers there, said it was an important program for the community.
“It saves people,” he said. “I’m a testimony to that.”