ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hearing the Voice of God in The Heart of Waikiki

Updated on May 28, 2011

Every so often you come across an experience that boggles the mind. This was one of them.

About two years ago, I experienced a theophany (God experience) in the heart of Waikiki. I was at a wedding rehearsal dinner when I heard a voice say, "I am commissioning you as my priest."

The voice was not blaring or overly dramatic; just a simple summons clearly spoken to my heart. It was unmistakable.

What made it more intriguing was the locale of my call, Helumoa. This place in Waikiki served as the seat of authority for the kings and queens of Oahu for hundreds of years prior to the invasion of Kamehameha I (1796). Kamehameha also held council here until he moved his head quarters to Honolulu.

On that mysterious night, Waikiki was celebrating the birth of King Kamehameha I. Leis draped his statue, ukulele strings filled the atmosphere, tourists flocked to concessions, plumeria scented the air, coconut trees waved oin the breeze. I heard the MC exhort the crowd with these words, "Welcome to Helumoa, the ancient seat of authority for Hawaii."

I do not understand all the ways of God. It's an enigma to me why he does certain things in certain ways. I am part Hawaiian. My family name is Kapeliela. I can trace my lineage all the way back to Kamehameha I.

I sensed God, the creator of the universe, the rightful king, commissioned me as his priest at Helumoa. My niece chose a restaurant in the heart of ancient Hawaiian history because my nephew was the manager of this Italian eatery. God chose it for his reasons.

This sacred ground is now covered by concrete and festooned with garish lights and popular boutiques and restaurants. I was eating at one of them when I heard God's voice. Only a small patch of coconut trees and a plaque serve as reminders of the ten thousand tree plantation that once fed the kings of Hawaii on this spot.

I take some solace in the fact that the rent from this property goes to support the children of Hawaii. However, it would be awesome to see just for one day the old Waikiki filled with tropical fruit, bubbling streams, verdant taro patches, pristine beach, and only torch light to brighten the night. All of it is gone today. Only the memory exists.

Yet, in some mysterious way, God spoke to my heart and commissioned me on this sacred ground. Why? I really don't know. Yes, there was some connection to the way kahuna were commissioned in the past, but I am a follower of Christ, not an animist or a polytheist. I do not follow the god's of Hawaii, but a religion birthed thousands of miles away between Asia, Europe, and Africa. I follow the God of the Torah and the New Testament. I follow a religion from the Middle East, not the West.

Why would the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob call me into ministry on a spot favored by the pagan kings of the past? Honestly, I do not know. Maybe he is just creative. Maybe he honors the rich traditions of the Hawaiian people minus the human sacrifices and internecine wars. Maybe he honors my connection to Kamehameha I. Maybe he is just God and to try to figure him out is futile. Maybe that's it. Who knows?

After this theophanic experience, I conducted my nieces wedding one week later at a spot located right across the street from Iolani Palace, the next place of authority after Helumoa. The spiritual connections were unmistakable. The reception was held at the State of Hawaii Art Gallery (downtown Honolulu); which once housed the Armed Forces YMCA; which once was  the old Royal Hawaiian Hotel built by Kamehameha III, the place I had the rehearsal dinner at (The New Royal Hawaiian Hotel was built in the 1920's in Waikiki).

I sang at the reception and had the eerie feeling that my ancestors did the same thing on that spot. Who knows if they chanted or did hula? It just felt strangely familiar.

A few days later, I attended another wedding as a spectator in another sacred spot on Oahu called Kualoa. It was a place where the old kings and queens of Hawaii trained, received spiritual instruction, and rested from the rigors of ruling. My kahuna ancestors practiced their craft on these grounds.

I walked the land. That's what I needed to do. I didn't feel or sense anything overly spiritual. It was a beautiful place to have a wedding. Ti leaf, ginger, ferns, mango trees, and other flora filled the land. It looked like the Waikiki of old.

We sat in an open air reception hall and ate Hawaiian food, complete with poi and lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves). I started up a theological conversation with a guest at the wedding, which then led him to ask how he could find God. I showed him how to find God. He shared, "I don't know you, but I sensed I needed to talk to you. How can I find God?" It was kind of simple. I didn't hear a voice. I just did the priest thing. I directed him to God. I prayed with him to receive God into his heart.

I left Kualoa with my wife amazed at the spiritual thread God was weaving in my life. Connections were forming before my eyes. I decided to continue to walk and experience whatever God wanted me to experience.

Four days later, I performed a wedding at a school founded by Kamehameha III called Iolani School (heavenly hawk). It was conducted in a chapel called St. Clements, a famed English martyr, known for his gift of evangelism and healing. The wedding reception then moved to the Prince Hotel in Waikiki on the fringe of the ancient compound of Helumoa.The Hawaiian royalty symbolism continued to abound.

Since that time two years ago, I have left my senior pastorate to focus on teaching, writing, composing songs and praying. God continues to remind me of my Hawaiian cultural connections and his love for me. I'm still trying to piece together what transpired over a period of two weeks. I'm still piecing. I now work with more Hawaiians who have deepened my love for these islands. People have come up to me and said that I am connected to Kamehameha I. I don't know what it all means, but that's okay.

All I know is that I heard the voice of God in Waikiki and since then I've been on a spiritual odyssey. The journey hasn't ended yet. It hasn't ended for you too. We are all on the same journey to some extent. We are all on a journey to find truth. Aloha pumehana. Malama pono (heed these words).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • The Minstrel profile imageAUTHOR

      The Minstrel 

      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Bless you faith dream. Yes, God's ways are mysterious. We just need to trust and obey.

    • FaithDream profile image


      7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you sharing this great testimony. God works in mysterious ways and He never makes mistakes. He is doing a good work in you.

      I've never been to Hawaii but what I have seen and heard, it is paradise. You are blessed my brother.

    • The Minstrel profile imageAUTHOR

      The Minstrel 

      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you Dave and Lifegate

      I agree. There is a spirit of worship in these ancient places. Thank you for your sensitivity to the out-of-the-box things of God. He moves in mysterious ways. You folks are great. I am glad to have brothers like you.

    • DavePrice profile image


      7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      Before the Gospel was spread throughout the world, many peoples worshipped the One True God even though they may have had practiced it in ways different than the Israelites. Just because there was no formal knowledge, that doesn't mean their hearts did not truly seek God. There are many native cultures whose practices worshipped God, but were wiped out because they didn't follow the "Christian" standard - what they may have lacked in knowledge they more than made up for in desire to honor the One God and they did it the best way they could think of at the time. I believe that God honored these practices far more than we might like to admit. I truly believe that there exists a Spirit of true worship in those ancient places, and I feel you have been tuned into this by your honest deep desire for God and your wonderful pursuit of Him. Let them be holy places again, if only in your heart, and rededicate them to Him - I think you'll be amazed at how much more you will receive. Love you, brother

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for sharing a little bit of you, a little bit of history, and a lot of God. Bless you as you continue your spiritual journey.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)