HANAPEPE — Volunteer Colleen Tehero did more than tell people about the King’s Chapel Harvest Festival on Sunday.
She personally drove them there.
She got behind the steering wheel of a bus and stopped in Kekaha, Waimea and Salt Pond Beach Park, picking up moms and dads, grandparents and keiki.
“We’re building bridges,” Tehero said.
Another volunteer, Jeanne Raposas, was delighted to see the Hanapepe Recreation Center overflowing with young and old, because she wanted to share the good news of Jesus Christ and let them know “anything is possible.”
“We want to bring them hope,” she said.
More than 150 people came to the festival that included a dinner, music, entertainment, games, groceries, pictures and prizes. It was all free, with more than 100 volunteers pitching in.
“It’s just a gift to the community,” said King’s Chapel Pastor Steve Franks. “We want everybody to have a good time.”
Most of the giveaways were donations for the community outreach held on the Westside for the first time. There were shrieks of excitement as prizes were given out, including an iPad.
When everyone left, they were invited to take a sack of groceries with them. Many did, smiling and offering grateful thank yous.
“It’s just a joy for us to do this,” Franks said.
In a closing talk, he invited those who don’t have a church home to feel free to visit King’s Chapel.
He said some are suspicious when they hear about free dinners and prizes and wonder what’s the catch.
“No real angles here,” Franks said. “This is what we’re supposed to be doing.”
The event is another way for the church to give a boost to those who might need it and start the holidays with a joy-filled and blessed evening, said Minister Vicki Franks, Steve’s wife.
Families, couples and individuals mingled together under one roof, and outside as well.
“We want to be able to bless the community,” Vicki Franks said.
One guest, Blane Weigel of Kekaha, described the evening as “very fruitful.”
He said he enjoyed the dinner, music and fellowship, but more than anything, was just happy to be there.
He said he suffered a stroke on Christmas Eve last year and the road to recovery has been a long one. There were days he wasn’t sure how far back he would come.
But Sunday, he was walking, smiling and talking story.
“For me to be standing here talking to you is a miracle in itself,” Weigel said.
Tehero said she was happy to volunteer to bring people to the festival, “just to let them know someone cares for them.”
But it’s about more than one night of food and fun.
“This doesn’t end here,” Tehero said. “The best is yet to come.”