Aloha. Hafa Adai. Yokwe. Ran Annim. Kaselehlia. Hello.

Welcome to The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division blog! Here we feature stories, messages from our Divisional Leaders and photos from our programs. We will also share event information and volunteer opportunities. If you'd like to contribute to our mission and see more stories, please donate here.

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 10: Mar. 23-27

Hawaii Business Conference


Last week was a wonderful time of fellowship and learning at our annual Hawaii Business Conference at Camp Homelani. We appreciated the opportunity to learn from our colleagues on important subjects like HR, Finance, Development, and Contracts that keep our Division running smoothly on a day to day basis. Thanks to Major Mark Gilden, our Divisional Secretary of Business and Darlene Martin for coordinating a great retreat.

As we sat in a number of department presentations held throughout the day, it reminded us of 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” We each have a part to play and each role is critical; whether we are behind the scenes in maintenance, in the office doing clerical work, or out in the community sharing God’s love, we each have the privilege to serve others through the work of The Salvation Army.

On Friday, eight Officers took part in our first Divisional Leadership Development training. Captains Celestine and Shoshannah Ruwethin from our Hilo Temple, Lieutenants Micheal and Jessica Stack from Kona, Major Angie Sholin from Honokaa, Captains Bob and Jill Steiner from Kahului, and Lieutenants Shawn Keoho from DHQ, are the first “class” to be selected and will go through monthly seminars that help them develop spiritually, professionally, and personally so that they can lead people to Jesus through the work of The Salvation Army. Our desire is to be an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12) and know that this training will help us become better servants in our ministry. We thank Major Vicki Gilden for her passion to facilitate and develop this program for our Corps Officers.

General Eva Burrows, who was Promoted to Glory on March 20, 2015, is a fine example of servant leadership and we thank God for her life and dedicated service.

Have a great week!

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Majors John & Lani Chamness

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 8: Mar. 9-13


Aloha Salvation Army ‘Ohana,

We are thrilled to announce that our community partner, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii, is the title sponsor for our 2015 Partners in Community Service (PICS) Gala! Thanks to the dedication of Majors Phil and Debbie Lum, Bram Begonia, and many other Kroc Center Hawaii staff who developed this incredible partnership over the years, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii has committed $25,000 toward this event. Their significant contribution to the development of our Kroc Center in Kapolei, outreach in the community through the NFL Play60 event for youth, and support of thousands of families statewide, are just a few reasons why they will be recognized as one of our Outstanding Partners in Community Service this year.

Other community partners that we will be recognizing on Friday, May 1 on “The Great Lawn” at our FTS Campus are: Central Pacific Bank, Kyo-Ya Hotels and Resorts, and dedicated volunteer and board member, Ritchie Mudd. Funds raised from our PICS Gala will go to support our Pathway of Hope initiative this year.

We know that community needs are just as numerous and diverse as the people we serve at The Salvation Army. We continue to seek ways to change people’s lives, serving people from all walks of life without discrimination – from infants to seniors who need help.  In everything we do, we’re building toward the future –whether we’re supporting children’s education, creating new community programs, or providing a pathway of hope for families to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. We are seeing progress every day, through the efforts of dedicated volunteers and employees,  and through the heartfelt giving of our community partners. Lani and I hope you will join us in recognizing our distinguished partners this year. For more details, go to The Development Department is still seeking table sponsorship, in-kind donations for our silent auction, and volunteers.

God bless,

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Majors John and Lani Chamness

New Year. New Hope.

new year new hope

“The Salvation Army taught me how to become a better mother, a responsible, sober adult and a culturally in-touch Hawaiian woman,” said 33-year-old Kea Reeves, a single mother who is approaching her last months at The Salvation Army’s Family Treatment Services (FTS). She’s graduating with her degree in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, will be reunited with her children and plans to work with children with autism on Hawaii Island.

Kea is one of many women in The Salvation Army’s FTS program, specifically designed to transform the lives of women struggling with addiction, domestic violence and profound trauma.

One of the things we strive to do in all of our programs and services is give hope to those we serve. For Kea, she sought help in overcoming her addiction, but she didn’t realize that she would receive love, care and support from our case managers, counselors and staff. It was at FTS that she was reintroduced to her Hawaiian culture and was encouraged to pave her path to becoming a sign language teacher.

The possibilities are endless when you have hope.

Learn more about our programs and services at

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 7: Mar. 2-6

Chamness' Tanzania 2

Aloha Salvation Army ‘Ohana,

Over the past week-and-a-half, Lani and I had the opportunity to go to Tanzania in Africa and visit with our dear friends, Colonels Ted and Debbie Horwood. We thank you for your prayers for travel safety and health. During our week, we were blessed to see their amazing ministry and welcomed new Cadets and shared in their “Messengers of Light” session. The word of God is certainly living and active throughout the world, especially in the language of Kiswahili in Tanzania!

Did you know that The Salvation Army is in 126 Countries around the world? Being in Tanzania reminded us that the work of The Salvation Army is vast and meets the endemic needs and specific crises worldwide. The Salvation Army is there to provide compassion. We are a ministry for the aching heart and weary soul. No matter where we are in the world, we are one army, one mission, and one message.

Reflecting on our time in Tanzania is also a reminder of the seeds that must be sown here and work that needs to be done locally. From March 6 to 8, we’ll be holding our SAY (Salvation Army Youth) Summit at Camp Homelani. Countless lives are changed each year at our Youth Camps and this will be an opportunity for our leaders to develop a culture that equips and encourages young people to become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.

We also are looking forward to spending time with many of you at our Hawaii Business Conference at Camp Homelani. Our two-day conference will provide time for fellowship, learning, and an opportunity to grow in all business-related areas throughout our Division. Being good stewards of the resources that are provided to us is essential for the success and advancement of our work here in Hawaii and across the Pacific Islands.

We’re excited for a productive March and pray for God’s continued guidance and wisdom as we lead this Division.

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John and Lani Chamness

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 4: Feb. 9-13

Valentine's Day meme

Aloha to our Salvation Army ‘Ohana,

One thing that we enjoy about living in Hawaii is that we not only express love, or aloha, towards our significant others, but also to our extended family and neighbors. Valentine’s Day is a day that encourages us to love one another and reminds us of those who are in need of love as well.  We see this when our Revolution Hawaii team goes out into the depths of Chinatown to feed the hungry and pray for those who are struggling; through our clinical staff at our ATS and FTS who care for those that need our rehabilitation services; and at the Lahaina and Kahului Corps that provide our William Booth Safe Haven program to the homeless.

In the book of John it says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)

This week, we encourage you to show love to someone in your life who may be going through a rough time or simply needs a hug. We know that the simplest things in life to us can mean the world to someone else. Let’s go out and continue to do the most good as we are reminded of God’s love for us all.

Mahalo and God bless you,

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Majors John and Lani Chamness

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 3: Feb. 2 – 6ADHS3

Our Adult Day Health Services (ADHS) participant, Neff, is definitely a charmer! He enjoys the social activities that The Salvation Army ADHS provides every day.

Aloha to our Salvation Army ‘ohana,

Did you know that we were able to help more than 117,000 people in 2014? It’s all because of supporters like you! Last week, we finished our 2014 Annual Report. We featured Melanee (see her photo in our last post) and her incredible journey from battling a drug addiction to becoming a hardworking, successful and ambitious mother. This is just one of many stories we have at The Salvation Army. In our 2014 Annual Report, you will also see where your money goes when you donate. Take a look at our digital booklet here to see how your support makes a difference.

We are also excited to launch our Partners in Community Service (PICS) Gala! Themed “Vintage Hawaii,”our gala will honor four key supporters of The Salvation Army in Hawaii and funds raised will go to support our Pathway of Hope Initiative. We hope you’ll consider joining us on Friday, May 1 on The Great Lawn of our Family Treatment Services Campus. Click here for more details and stay tuned for our announcement of honorees in the weeks to come!


Our Kroc Center is now holding art classes for keiki. 

One of the events that many of our staff are looking forward to is The Kroc Center Hero Run on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Find your inner hero and join us for our Kroc 5K Hero Run. Make it a fun-filled day for the whole family and come dressed as your favorite hero. There will also be a 1K Keiki race just for our youngest heroes, ages 14 and under. The race course is flat and uses the road surrounding Kroc Center Hawaii. Enjoy prizes, food and entertainment following the race. All proceeds benefit Kroc Center Hawaii’s Scholarship Program.

2015 is off to a great start!

Have a great week and God bless,

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Majors John & Lani Chamness

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders


Week 2: Jan. 23 -30Mel and Azure001

Melanee, pictured here with her daughter Azure, is one of the clients that found hope through our Family Treatment Services. She is now a part-time massage therapist, sells real estate and is working on a second degree. 

Aloha to our Salvation Army ‘Ohana,

It’s hard to believe that January is coming to an end. We are excited in moving forward to continue our success in 2015. It is perfect timing, as we are having distinguished leadership from our Territorial Headquarters visit this week to review and make recommendations on areas of growth, see how we capitalize on our strengths, and build on opportunities for the year.

Here are a few highlights this week:

· Improvement in 2014: Increased outreach to the homeless through our Revolution Hawaii program that invites adults ages 18 to 29 to help homeless individuals and families through providing basic necessities and the word of God.

· Strengths: Thanks to our staff, we provide excellent recovery programs, growing corps and a growing list of supporters (donors and volunteers like you!).

· Opportunities for Growth: One of our major goals this year is to further develop our Pathway of Hope initiative. We already have families that are on their way out of poverty through finding stable jobs, safe housing and a supportive community. We want to be able to offer more services to more people who are in need of hope in Hawaii.

The list of opportunities are endless and we are constantly looking for ways to increase our services to those in most need. Both Lani and I welcome your suggestions and covet your prayers as we continue to lead our Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division throughout the year.

Mahalo Nui Loa,

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Majors John and Lani Chamness

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

Week 1: Jan 19 – 23

Major Lani and I hope that all of you were able to spend time with your loved ones over the holidays. Mahalo Nui Loa to ALL of you and your service to the community  through Thanksgiving, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Fill the Truck,Live Nativity and the Red Kettle Campaign. We would not be able to reach our goals and start the new year strong without your help!

With  the  New  Year comes new ideas and hopes to build a stronger sense of community throughout our Division as we continue to strive to be of service to  those  who  are in most need. Each week, we will share with you some of the  upcoming events and latest news from our Divisional Headquarters. This will be an ongoing process and we look forward to hearing your feedback on how to best develop this means of communication.

2015  is  a  chance for us to reflect on the impact that The Salvation Army made  on  over  117,000  lives  throughout  the Hawaiian & Pacific Islands. Jeremiah  29:11  says,  “For  I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,  plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a  future.” One of the most powerful things we can offer those we serve is the  opportunity  for  a bright future and hope. With hope comes education, stable  jobs  and  recovery  for  families  that have endured hardship. The Salvation Army is prepared  to  arm these individuals with the tools and resources they need to become sufficient.

This year, we are excited to publicly launch our Pathway of Hope initiative and will keep you posted on further announcements via this blog. You’ll also  see how the work that you do on a daily basis fuels a movement within our Corps and Programs that will change lives in 2015.

Lani and I are deeply grateful for your service alongside of us and we look forward  to your continued partnership to support our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.