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Hawaii Mission Trip

Pastor Tyler Kaufmann and Sherri Kaufmann

Elkhorn Hills UMC members Darla Langendorfer and Sherri Kaufmann recently returned from a mission trip to West Kauai UMC in Kekaha, HI, organized and led by Pastor Tyler Kaufmann of Lenexa UMC, Lenexa, KS.  Here are some details about their amazing trip.

Thank you Darla and Sherri for sharing your photos and your comments about the Mission Trip.

Mission Trip Purpose

Our trip to West Kauai UMC in Kekaha, HI, organized and led by Pastor Tyler Kaufmann served 2 purposes.
  1. Connect with our United Methodist brothers and sisters in another part of the world, by opening ourselves up to learn about the way they express their faith within their culture and endeavor to gain new perspectives on our own cultural mores back home.
  2. Aid and support our brothers and sisters in their mission on Kauai to “build up disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
These purposes were fulfilled in an intertwining fashion through the following activities:
  • Waimea Town Celebration (8 day long cultural celebration, which is Kauai’s oldest and largest festival on Kauai’s west side) where we learned from the locals how to prepare food for sale, make leis and other crafts for sale, and set up booths.
  • Construction and landscaping.  We aided the local congregation with building projects primarily focusing on Kekaha church and parsonage.
  • Record and transcribe Mr. B’s music (Bind hymn book at Lenexa UMC)
  • Visit local cultural hot spots.

Mission Trip Details

There were 9 attendees on this 10-day Mission Trip:  Darla and Sherri from EHUMC and 7 from Lenexa UMC, including Pastor Tyler Kaufmann, Pastor Peggy Hillmon, Tom Renich, and Janet Renich.  We stayed at the church’s camp at Kokee’.  It was beautifully rustic and secluded, taking us 45 minutes to drive one way every day.  We began every morning in group devotional with each one of us taking a day to lead. The church ladies took turns making us lunch every day. It was so delicious.

Activities

Overview

We did yard work (despite the poisonous centipedes!),  painted the parsonage and church, cleaned the church and social hall, painted the parsonage, performed a little cement work and construction projects on the parsonage and church.   Tyler did a fantastic job balancing work and fun (sight seeing).  Pastor Peggy Hillmon provided the children’s sermon during Sunday worship and Tyler provided the sermon.
Tyler took us sightseeing every day. On a few mornings before we left for our work day, he would take us to lookout points of Waimea Canyon. He took us to beaches, made us a wonderful BBQ, and saw awesome sunsets. We stargazed on our return trips to the camp.
We toured the Kauai Coffee Plantation. We whale watched, saw large turtles. Tyler took us to see waterfalls and a rainbow that seemed to last forever and we got to see where it’s pot of gold was!   We attended a luau, which was fantastic and had a great show of dancing and learning of the different cultural dances of Kauai.

Diary

Monday, Feb. 13th—Fly to Kauai and wait for our mission partners to arrive. We made our ascent up the Waimea Canyon to the Kokee’ Methodist Church Camp, where we stayed for 10 days. Just beautiful!
Tuesday, Feb. 14th–We went to the West Kauai Methodist Church and assessed all the projects to be done.  We made the trip to get all the supplies and food we would need for the next 10 days.
Wednesday, Feb. 15th–The ladies did landscaping and cleaning of the church. The men worked on a plumbing project and other projects.
Thursday, Feb. 16th–more landscaping, painting and cleaning.  The men put up new screens on parsonage.  A cement project for water heater was started.
Friday, Feb. 17th–painting trim on garage and parsonage completed. Cement project completed. Ladies learned how to make leis.
Saturday, Feb. 18th–We helped prepare food for the Waimea Town Celebration. Time for more sightseeing.
Sunday, Feb. 19th–We attended church and were treated to a fantastic BBQ, complete with Kauai favorites and a pig! We learned how to make ribbon leis.
Monday, Feb. 20th–We helped set up tents for the Waimea Town Celebration. We cleaned up the Fellowship Hall at the church, which involved cleaning out old garage sale items, removing carpet from 2 rooms, taking down ceiling tiles and loading a big truck for removal of items.   An enclosure for the water heater was made.  More painted was done.
Tuesday, Feb. 21st–the big trip was made to the dump. Water heater enclosure was finished and painted.
Wednesday, Feb. 22nd–We made our final descent down the mountain. We assessed all we had done for the church and said our tearful good-byes.
Thursday, Feb. 23rd–We all departed our separate ways for our long trip home.

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