Paying it Forward

Recently, New Hope was able to partner with Hawaii Pacific Health's Information System Department in an amazing opportunity to be a blessing at Christmas time. Throughout the year they recycle their cans and bottles and put all their funds towards creating beautiful, large fruit baskets. This year they donated 100+ of these baskets to New Hope.

At our Midweek service Pastor Elwin Ahu distributed these baskets to those in attendance with one assignment: each one was to pass the blessing forward to someone in need. Here are some of the stories we received from those who chose to "pay it forward.".

Pastor Elwin Ahu
I met with our Life Group and decided to bless a brother who has been faithfully serving the Lord. The downturn in the economy has seriously jeopardized his livelihood and ability to support his family of 3 young children. It came as a complete surprise to him. For us as a Life Group, it felt good to be able to breathe "life" into a family, to give them a future and a hope.

Pastor Rod Shimabukuro
Wayne was barely making a living and having lost his apartment over a year ago due to rent going up, he found himself homeless. It's been over a year, while still holding a day job, each night he finds a place to lay his head at Ala Moana Park. It was an honor presenting Wayne with the gift basket and I asked if I could pray for him and for what. He agreed and asked for protection and enough to live on and find a place to rent. He also affirmed his faith and trust in Jesus, and said he would share the basket with his (homeless) friends! WOW...even Wayne, "paid it forward!"

Arlene Iwano
I was able to pay it forward by passing out the baskets to the many attendees at the Midweek Service. Somewhere within that time I truly felt the Christmas presence, not presents! Up until that moment I was just plain ole busy-my son's graduation from UH, shopping for presents, baking, etc. Thank you Hawaii Pacific Health Information Systems, you've touched more lives than you know! Merry Christmas

Babz Vidinha
I picked up a basket in the hopes of giving it to a couple homeless friends that I knew. Unfortunately, I didn't see the regular people that I was looking at a Christmas gathering Thursday evening I asked a couple of friends if they knew of anyone they could gift this basket to. It went well. They gave the basket away & wished them a Merry Christmas & many blessings..... My friend, offered to give it to a person in Kaneohe. Needless to say, it went forward and not backwards. Merry Christmas and Happy New's to paying it forward in all things that we do. Praise God. I think this is a fabulous idea and should continue on a regular basis.

Beverly Chang
Original intent was a no-show. After a short prayer, the Student President of ASUH-HCC, happened by. Together he and I were able to gift the basket to a needy UH-HonCC student family who was one of 5 Christmas Trees donated to families with gifts as part of HonCC Gives Back Project and KHON-Lokahi.

Bernie Toyama
My co-worker was so happy to have received her basket. I told her that God spoke to my heart and told me to bless her. She nearly had tears of joy in her eyes. I am so bless to have been part of this "Pay It Forward"

Bobby Hall
We have this homeless girl who comes to our shop everyday. She starts cleaning up around the shop and outside too. She does this for mere contributions or a meal. I would like to bless her with this gift.

Debra Reese
Went to Sand Island McDonald's after service. After eating and exiting the door a homeless elderly man was in the parking lot, I told him, "Would you accept a gift basket from me and invited him to join us on at our services, he accepted.

Dorothy & Ronald Tenn
We would like to bless our neighbor with the fruit basket. We are not sure if they attend any church. They seem to be a hard working couple with 3 children and grandparents. The husband just got a full-time job and wife works part-time. God really blessed us and hope to share the Lord's words with them. It will be God's will and time.

Gen Lewis
I gave the basket to a homeless man named Vladimur. He was sitting at the park in the Kakaako. He's someone I've seen sometimes walking in the downtown area with his loaded cart. He was very nice and appreciative.

Gretel Among
On the way home from Midweek service, I kept asking God to show my daughter and me who to give the basket to. At an intersection in Pearl City was a man in a wheelchair with a child on his lap and a woman walking beside him. We made a U turn to catch up with them at the bus stop. When we gave it to the man we let him know it was on behalf of New Hope and wished him a Merry Christmas. He thanked us and introduced us to his wife and daughter. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of this Christmas spirit.

Guy Arakaki
To bless someone takes personal time. Lots of it, time to listen, time to understand and time to act. This was a great lesson for me. I gave it to a former volunteer who works for a high school and asked him to give the basket to someone at the school who could use a blessing and to call me. Thank you for a great Christmas lesson.

Judy Nakano
Gave fruit basket to the Lokahi Project along with other things.

Keith Takeshita
On Saturday, before I cam to church I went to the women's, HIS and saw a mother and 2 infants sitting on the sidewalk. I asked her if she knew who Jesus Christ was, she answered "yes" and I told her that Jesus wanted me to give her the gift basket, I also gave her the monthly New Hope Calendar and 2 booklets of "our daily bread" and $10 and told her that God loved her.

Kimo Sales
The basket was given to "Wes" He's a father of teenage children who works full-time but is homeless. After talking with him I found out he's a member of Hope Chapel Kahuku.

Kuulei Perritt
I gave the basket of fruit to my relatives. She has been the bread winner for the family for a long time. She is a Christian along with her husband at ward of life. She has a perseverance that is second to none!! She appreciated the gift very much. Thank you!!

Laurie Shiroma
Once again I've been given a great opportunity to spread some love to complete strangers. At a gas station on my way to work I saw a homeless man with a wagon full of something sitting in the rain with just an umbrella my heart went out to him I then added to the gift basket a hot cup of coffee and a pastry. I had a chance to wish him a Merry Christmas and share with him a little about where the basket came from. I'm reminded that the little things do count...God bless you and your family, have a safe and wonderful CHRISTMAS!

Marsha Kochi
3 baskets were given to the homeless in the Waianae area.

Marshall & Virginia Mole
While I was driving the Lord must have put my neighbors into my mind. She is a single mother of two and they just moved in about a month ago. We never actually met them before. We knocked on the door and introduced ourselves. We said that we was blessed because we just came from church and wanted to bless them with the basket. The little girl immediately shouted Merry Christmas. They all said thank you and closed the door. I guess with both of our different schedules we usually never cross paths but on this night Jesus wanted us to share his joy and peace. AMEN

Neal Nagamine
I blessed my mother and father whom I am so freely blessed to have as earthly parents. They have been saved and believe in Jesus Christ. They are a true blessing to me, my son Shae and also to the rest of my family.

Randall Fermin
The daily grind of life has left a friend of mine in desperate need of help. I gave the basket to him to inspire hope in his life and invited him to New Hope as a way to find himself. I have asked him to seek God for help because he is missing something in his life that only God can fulfill for him.

Pastor Richard Waialeale
3 baskets to be given to homeless around Ala Wai Elementary School and invite them to church at New Hope South Shore on February 1st.

Rose Lariosa
I gave it to someone who had just broken her ribs and just came out from cancer eye surgery, with many other on-going health issues. With that being hard enough, she has no family in Hawaii. She had not been eating very well because of her poor health, so I when I gave her the basket, she said so excitedly, "That's my dinner!"

Thank you again to Hawaii Pacific Health, Information Systems Department for allowing us the opportunity to bless others!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! With blessings and joy!