From a Thankful Heart
Shon Kihewa

 

Shon Kihewa is not a stranger to church. As a regularly attending member of Kaumakapili church, a cousin introduced Shon to New Hope several years ago. Shon was intrigued as his cousin always talked about a pastor of great humor and leadership that constantly made everyone laugh and captured the hearts of the congregation. Being new, Shon would ask many questions, but would always be met with the reply “no worry, it’s going to be great.”

Shon would attend church off and on and was often asked to pray at several different gatherings. Always remaining strong in prayers, he would receive positive feedback on how well he prayed in both English and Hawaiian. A couple of times, people would even ask Shon if he was a pastor.

Distorted Perceptions

Even though Shon had shown a great report with God in prayer, his walk with God wasn’t as solid. “I realized that I’d been using the Almighty One as a crutch, and would only run to Him in time of need,” recalled Shon. This became painfully apparent to him in November of 2005. “Everything was just work and drink, and when I did drink, it would be an all night event. My godchildren would call me to find out when I would be coming home, and looking back, it feels as if the Lord had been working through them to get to me.” But it all came to a head when Shon was pulled over for a DUI violation.

As a first time offender, Shon was afraid, especially fearing losing his job. Working as a Handi-Van Operator requires a Commercial Drivers License, and Shon lost his for a year as a result of the DUI laws. “On the day of my conviction, I could only think of two things, the Lord and my job. Praying hard, the President of the Hawaii Teamsters Union (who attends New Hope Leeward) had taken me out on union leave for a year, keeping my job as an Operator safe.” While waiting to be able to return to his regular job, Shon worked a desk job for his union and also took the time to contact Pastor Elwin Ahu for guidance, direction and inspiration. “It was that phone call that I made to the Ministry Center and the prayer from Pastor Elwin that drew me back to New Hope.”

"Start small, but start now"

Since then, Shon has taken the steps in restoring his life. “I still remember one of Pastor Wayne’s messages where he said, ‘start small, but start now.’ I will find love in my Lord and Savior as well as opening my heart to Him,” Shon recently wrote in a letter. Having read “Rising Above” and “Attitudes that Attract Success,” Shon learned that it takes a painful situation to truly change a person’s life. He also completed the “Growing Deep, Growing Strong” seminar and joined the Men’s Ministry and Fraternity. But the biggest step Shon took in righting his life was when he was Water Baptized on June 11, 2006.

After all that he’s been through, Shon truly has a heart of gratitude for what God has done in restoring his life. “I must say that since last November, my life has been blessed just by attending every service and listening to the sermons and teachings of New Hope. I truly would not know where my life would be if it wasn’t for New Hope Christian Fellowship.”