‘I need your prayers’

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Malie de la Cruz performs during the 15th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon on Saturday at Kilohana luau pavilion in Puhi.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Pastor Alex Kendrick, keynote speaker at the 15th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon, delivers a talk about “Fighting your battles in payer,” on Saturday at the Kilohana luau pavilion in Puhi.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    People react to the praise music during Saturday’s 15th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon at Kilohana luau pavilion. From left are Cherish Pascua, Kalani Duhaylongsod and Eileen Miyasato.

PUHI — Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami stood before about 1,000 people Saturday and said over the coming 100 days, there would be an audit — of Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.

It will show where he is strong, where is he weak, and where there is opportunity to improve.

“One hundred days from now, I’ll be a better person, I promise you,” he said during the 15th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon at Kilohana luau pavilion.

“Here’s what I need from you,” he continued. “I need your prayers.”

The crowd cheered.

“We will,” shouted one man.

The three-hour event featured prayer, praise music, hula and an inspirational speech from Pastor Alex Kendrick, writer, actor and director, involved in several successful Christian-themed movies.

On a sometimes-rainy, windy morning, pastors led prayers for different areas, including government, businesses, creative arts, churches, marriages, families and county concerns.

“Lord, we know we’re in a spiritual battle,” said Pastor Lon Malapit. “We know that time is short.”

The All Kauai Worship Team led by Pastor David Leong brought the crowd to its feet, and people raised their hands, some closing their eyes and singing along.

It was a spirit-filled three hours that started and ended with pastors urging people to focus on the Bible, prayer and putting God number one in their lives. A revival, they said, was needed. They were asked to bow their heads and hearts before God.

“C’mon, lift your voices, folks,” shouted Pastor Nathan Hanohano of One Way Ministries.

Kawakami shared five things his mother, Arlene Kawakami, who died on Sept. 4, 2015 at the age of 71, taught him: Say thank you; never judge others; always forgive; leave a person or place better than when you found it; and when people stumble, give them your hand.

His mother told him, the only reason to ever look down on someone was so you could help them up.

“And she said never judge. Only God can judge,” he said.

Kendrick delivered a colorful, motivational, 45-minute talk about faith and giving the glory to God in all circumstances.

From 1999 to 2014, Kendrick was an associate pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church, in Albany, Georgia. In 2002, he and his brother, Stephen, founded Sherwood Pictures, which produced “Flywheel” (2003),”Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008), “Courageous” (2011) and “War Room” (2015).

In 2015, the Kendricks founded Kendrick Brothers Productions. Kendrick said during a recent interview that their focus is not box office numbers but the number of people they can touch with their movies with a gospel message.

“What we try to do with every film that we make is aim it at the church but include the gospel so those who see the movie but don’t have a relationship with Christ will hopefully be drawn to Him,” he said.

Their next film, due out this summer, is “Overcomer.”

Kendrick described how, early in his career, he had a desire from the time he was a boy growing up in Georgia to make movies and tell stories, but the path toward that goal had many roadblocks and stumbles. Instead, he became a youth pastor, and films seemed beyond him.

“When am I going to get to make movies?” he wondered.

The seemingly impossible happened — he needed $20,000 to get started making a movie for his church and, without asking anyone, he was contacted by others who said he was in their hearts and he got the money he needed. That led not only to the start of making movies, but to their success at the box office.

That success, Kendrick said, didn’t happened because of him.

“I learned the difference between a good idea and a God idea,” he said.

He recalled facing tough times and questioning God why things weren’t working out as he expected. It was then he remembered that a message of “Facing the Giants” was praising God when the team won, and praising God when the team lost.

“We praise God because he’s God, not just because of what he does for us,” Kendrick said.

He wrapped up by saying Kauai, while a beautiful island, has troubles. People struggle with depression, with drugs, with lost hope.

“Does Kauai need to be healed?” he asked

Yes, many in the crowd answered.

“So, people of God, what should we do?” Kendrick asked.


Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Rev Dr. Malama March 10, 2019 6:38 am Reply

    Return to The Hawai’ian Kingdom Constitution and “heal” the crisis before us!

  2. Craig Millett March 10, 2019 9:46 am Reply

    A far more important question from the mayor would be: “What does Kauai need from me?”

  3. Joe Public March 10, 2019 1:25 pm Reply

    Hope you do a good one of all the departments and audit your County email, numerous County employees are using it for personal business. Don’t believe me, run the audit.

  4. Leslie Dietz March 10, 2019 7:42 pm Reply

    Great article on an amazing event!!! Mahalo for your coverage and continued prayers for our Mayor!!!

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