The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

HomeI MUA Newsroom Faith in God during dark times helped these KS staffers thrive
KS Cultural Specialist Hau‘oli Akaka and Kealapono Literacy Coach Chloe Keane share how their faith in God helped them triumph over cancer and a crumbling marriage, in the Lent Week 6 and Good Friday Hawaiian-focused devotionals below.
Faith in God during dark times helped these KS staffers thrive

Shared by KS Kealapono Literacy Coach Chloe Keane. (Reflect on this devotional from Sun., April 9 through Sat. April 15.)

When I said “Yes” to Iesū at 33, I was broken and looking to people and accomplishments to make me whole. I tried to do everything on my own and rarely admitted I needed kōkua. My marriage was going to end and my ʻohana was torn in pieces. I sought the advice of television sitcoms, magazine covers, popular music, celebrity lives, and/or popular belief, to think and live. Life was exhausting and I needed a Savior. 

In the lonely and quiet moments, I realized how prideful I had been and how entitlement drove my lifestyle; relationships were on my terms, and I really believed I was a self–made success. I barely acknowledged Akua’s presence in my life.

I was tired and knew I would lose my ʻohana if I didn’t change the way I was living. I said, “E Ke Akua, I’m not sure what to do.  “E ʻoluʻolu, e kōkua mai. Please help.” He reminded me of Roma (Romans) 8:31: A ʻo ke Akua me kākou, ʻo wai lā ke kūʻē mai iā kākou? – If I am for you, who can be against you?

In surrender, I found comfort. In surrender, I was led out of brokenness and found freedom. In surrender, I found my Savior. He responded, “I’ve been with you the whole time…It won’t be easy, but I will never leave you.” Ua kaukaʻi au i ka Haku Iesū. I surrendered and depended on the Lord to hoʻōla mai iaʻu – save me.

My husband and I sought what Ke Akua wanted. He challenged us to realize our greater call to live selfless and sacrificially for each other, our kids, and the legacy we would leave. The journey would be tough, but we’d come out stronger than before. Ke Akua clarified our purpose and renewed our commitment. He breathed ola hou – new life into us.

Til this day, we are working toward the marriage He intended for us. Through His word, prayer, and fellowship, we are reminded that when we seek Ke Akua’s ways above ours, He blesses us with so much more than we could imagine. Our ʻohana now has a stronger foundation in Him and gets to serve others in ways we had never dreamed of. In gratitude, we try our best to make intentional deposits now, for the future we hope for in Him.

Kolosa 2:6–7
No laila hoʻi, no ka loaʻa ʻana mai o Kristo iā ʻoukou, e hele ʻoukou i loko ona;
I hoʻokumu ʻia, a i hoʻokūkulu ʻia i loko ona, a me ka hoʻomau ʻia i ka manaʻoʻiʻo i hōʻike ʻia mai iā ʻoukou, a ma laila e hoʻomāhuahua aʻe ia me ka hoʻomaikaʻi aku.

Colossians 2:6–7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

One becomes a new creation in Christ and when we continue to walk in Him, we will always be safe from falling. To walk in Him is letting the Gospel transform every aspect of our lives. Iesū’s life and teachings gives a new way to live by. Ke Akua is doing the work of building us up and helping us take the shape He desires for us. Through Iesū, the restoration and fulfillment of Ke Akua’s purposes in creation are made.

I LOKO ONA, ua noa au i ka maluhia – IN HIM I am free and have peace.
I LOKO ONA, aloha ʻia mai a e aloha aku au. – IN HIM I am loved and can love.
I LOKO ONA, ua kala ʻia mai au a e huikala au. – IN HIM I am forgiven and can forgive.
I LOKO ONA, he ʻohana paulele koʻu a mau nō Ia me aʻu. – IN HIM I have a family of faith and He is always with me.
I LOKO ONA, hiki nā mea a pau. – IN HIM all things are possible.

E Ka Makualani, Lord Heavenly Father, ke Hoʻomaikaʻi aku nei au iā ʻOe. I thank You for being with me always and pursuing me with an unconditional aloha that fills me afresh. I am humbled and honored for the restoration You are doing in us and hope that each day we can be a reflection of Your aloha. Please help us to continue to be rooted and built up in You, overflowing with thankfulness. Aloha au iā ʻOe e Ke Akua. I love You Father. Ma ka inoa o Iesū, In Jesus’ name, amen ʻāmene.

What might be something Ke Akua is asking you to surrender to have a relationship with Him? What is He prompting you to do? Ke Akua gives us a second chance (or more) and yearns for us to turn to Him. May we look no farther – I loko Ona, in Him – we are complete.  

It is to His glory, that I share a personal tale of our family’s history…His story, with you…be blessed! (Scroll down to view video.)

Shared by KS Cultural Specialist Hau‘oli Akaka. (Reflect on this devotional on Good Friday, April 14)

Isaia 41:10
Mai makaʻu ʻoe, no ka mea, ʻo wau pū nō me ʻoe; Mai weliweli hoʻi, no ka mea, ʻo wau nō kou Akua. Naʻu nō i hoʻoikaika aku iā ʻoe, A naʻu hoʻi ʻoe i kōkua aku; Ua hoʻokūpaʻa aku au iā ʻoe i ka lima ʻākau o koʻu pono.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

On this day, Pōʻalima Hemolele (Good Friday) just two years ago in 2015, my memory transports me back to the island of Kauaʻi o Manokalanipō, hemolele i ka mālie (tranquil in the calm).

It was Spring Break and I was a chaperone among a group of advanced haumāna ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and their kumu of the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. Their huakaʻi itinerary was filled with many meaningful Hawaiian cultural and ʻāīna-based experiences. Haumāna and kumu would kipa (visit) and launa (interact) in the ʻōlelo makuahine (Hawaiian language) with nā ʻohana Niʻihau in Kekaha. We worked alongside kūpuna and kupa o ka ʻāina cleaning Hāloa (figurative for kalo) and making paʻiʻai at Waipā. The haumāna visited wahi pana (legendary, storied places), gathered Kauaʻi’s fragrant lauaʻe and wove lei for hoʻokupu presented with mele hula honoring the aliʻi and ʻāina.

Each night, before we would hiamoe, we would have an ʻohana gathering to recount and share with one another our highlighted experiences of that day. We read and recited heluhelu haipule and sang hīmeni haipule before our final pule ʻohana for the evening. On Maundy Thursday, the eve of Pōʻalima Hemolele, our ʻohana lesson focused on Halelū (Psalm) 23:4.

ʻOiaʻiʻo, inā e hele au ma ke awāwa malu o ka make,
ʻAʻole au e weliweli i ka pōʻino: no ka mea, ʻo ʻoe pū kekahi me aʻu;
ʻO kou mana, a me kou koʻokoʻo, ʻo koʻu mau mea ia e ʻoluʻolu ai.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The haumāna shared their personal testimony about those in their lives that made them feel safe and valued: kūpuna, mākua, kumu, coach, Iesū and Ke Akua. Amidst their heartfelt sharing and pilina, our haumāna and I were unaware of the events that would soon unfold on the next day, Pōʻalima Hemolele, as they prepared to hiamoe.

I was quietly suffering and in great pain that evening. While caring for the group alongside their kumu, I managed to conceal my discomfort, being careful not to cause unnecessary worry or anxiety among our haumāna. I was literally bleeding internally. I discretely informed the other kumu and quietly left our hotel in Waipouli that late night to drive myself to the emergency room at Wilcox Medical Center in Līhuʻe just five miles away.

En route to Līhuʻe, I cried in my excruciating pain to Ke Akua to give me His comfort and blessed assurance, to be by my side and not forsake me. I cried out to the Lord to lead me safely to the hospital along the unfamiliar, dark and rainy road that late night. Our ʻohana devotion just hours before and Halelū 23:4, was resonating and becoming even more meaningful to me at that moment.

At Wilcox, the emergency crew was quite busy that night. Waiting in the examining room seemed like an eternity. I was still praying fervently for my help to arrive. At long last, they took my vitals, began administering pain relief through an IV and conducted a series of CT scans and tests. Then a very calm, soft spoken kauka (doctor) entered the room. By his accent and his physical features, I suspected that he was from somewhere far from Hawaiʻi. When I inquired, he told me that he was from the Middle East.

This kauka examined the test results and x-ray images and determined that I was not suffering from a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, gall stones or even indigestion. He calmly diagnosed that there was, however, a suspicious tumor in my left kidney. In his reassuring demeanor and good “bedside manner,” he advised me not to worry. He assured me that I would be in good hands as I would be admitted into the hospital for further observation and treatment. He told me that my primary physician and medical center on Oʻahu would be notified. He articulated to me that upon my return home, I would receive more thorough diagnostic testing to determine if this tumor was malignant. If indeed it were, then the appropriate treatment and the medical care needed would be administered soon.

Even in my uncertainty at this potentially life-shifting news, I felt an overwhelming sense of maluhia (peace) come over me that hour. I thanked Ke Akua for sending this kauka that night, to give me understanding, relief and peace. As this kauka was preparing to leave me, I thanked him too and asked him to tell me his name again. “Amitai,” he replied, showing me his name tag. “It’s Hebrew.” He grinned and left.

I never saw him again. However, in my curiosity, I discovered that his name meant “truth” in Hebrew and that Biblically, “Amitai was the father of Jonah in the old testament. Was this just a coincidence that my first name is Jonah? By this revelation, my heart believed that Ke Akua, in his infinite love and wisdom (and perhaps  a sense of humor), was assuring me that the Father would not forsake me this day and in the days ahead, just as He had not forsaken His beloved Son, Iesū Kristo on that day of his crucifixion.

As Ke Akua would have it, I was hospitalized on Pōʻalima Hemolele. By this time, the other kumu and haumāna were informed of my situation. However, it would not disturb the rest of their huakaʻi ma Kauaʻi. Ke Akua made sure that they too, were in good care – hemolele i ka mālie - of our Kauaʻi kamaʻāina friends, kumu and ʻohana for the remaining day. Our ʻohana devotion and the scriptural reading the eve before was intentionally meant for us all, though prepared and chosen (or rather it chose us) weeks in advance before our trip.

I was discharged and given medical clearance to fly home to Honolulu that Easter weekend. Further tests confirmed that I, indeed, had kidney cancer in a primary stage. Over the ensuing months, I underwent a series of operations and medical procedures to remove my left kidney and the malignant, cancerous tumor. I am a cancer survivor!

I praise Ke Akua every day for giving me hoʻōla hou (new life and salvation), manaʻolana (hope) in Iesū Kristo. Ka Lā Ala Hou a Ka Haku (Easter) has greater meaning for me personally and spiritually. I am a witness to His healing grace. I testify to His glory every day!

Let us remember on this day, Pōʻalima Hemolele, that Kristo ka Haku carried the burden of all of our sins as mōliaola no kānaka, sacrificing His life for all of us that we may be huikala ʻia (forgiven) and ola hou. This is the most immeasurable ransom, wouldn’t you agree? What might be your own moʻolelo, your personal testimony, of your own encounter with Iesū Kristo at the cross? What draws you closer to Him?

E ke Akua Ola, nani hemolele Kou lokomaikaʻi. Poinaʻole Kou aloha iā mākou ma o Kāu Keiki Hiwahiwa ʻo Iesū Kristo, Ka Mōliaola no Kānaka. Nāna nō i hoʻōla hou mai ai mākou a mau loa aku nō.

O Living God, Your grace is absolutely glorious. Your love for us through Your sacrifice of Your Precious Son Jesus Christ for our sins, we shall never forget. By His sacrifice and resurrection, we have all been given the promise of eternal salvation.

Ma Kona inoa mākou e pule mau ai, ʻāmene, ʻāmene, ʻāmene.

Sing along with Hau‘oli Akaka and son, and KS Kapālama junior ‘Elia Akaka as they sing the Good Friday hīmeni, “I Pā Mai A Ola Au” (He Touched Me) in the video below. Download the lyrics here.

Kamehameha Schools envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values like KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. To that end, KS created Hawaiian-focused Lent devotionals for KS students, families and others to reflect on the coming of Easter. Here, KS Kealapono Literacy Coach Chloe Keane and her husband Justin share their story of how surrendering to God's love saved their marriage, as part of the Lent Week 6 devotional. Visit the I Mua Newsroom at to view Chloe Keane’s moving story.

Kamehameha Schools envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values like KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. To that end, KS created Hawaiian-focused Lent devotionals for KS students, families and others to reflect on the coming of Easter. Below, sing along with KS Cultural Specialist Hau‘oli Akaka and son ‘Elia Akaka - a KS Kapālama junior - as they sing the Good Friday hīmeni, “I Pā Mai A Ola Au” (He Touched Me). Download the lyrics at Visit the I Mua Newsroom at to read Hau‘oli Akaka’s heartfelt story of how his faith in God helped him overcome cancer.

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