On weekends, when Dr. Elliot Kalauawa isn’t seeing patients at the Waikiki Health Center, he makes house calls in the Kapolei area.
But the house calls are not for medical treatment. Kalauawa goes door to door to share the gospel as a Jehovah’s Witness.
“I really enjoy it,” Kalauawa said. Undeterred by occasional rudeness and lack of interest from people they meet at various front doors, he maintains that Jehovah’s Witnesses are simply doing what the Bible tells them to do, all the while “developing a relationship with Jehovah.”
Kalauawa, an elder at the Kapolei congregation, spoke at the Jehovah’s Witnesses regional convention last weekend about showing love through patience and kindness. “You put up with their weaknesses, and you don’t expect perfection from others,” he said.
Thousands are expected to attend ongoing three-day conferences that started June 26 and will continue on weekends until Aug. 21 at the Mililani Assembly Hall at Mililani Tech Park. Talks and presentations — centered on the theme “Imitate Jesus” — are scheduled for 9:20 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The event is free and open to the public.
Kalauawa, who became a Jehovah’s Witness 31 years ago, said he had to overcome a major conflict between his religious and professional beliefs, because Jehovah’s Witnesses are opposed to blood transfusions. During his residency he resolved the dilemma by having other doctors order transfusions.
“I can’t impose my religious beliefs on my patient; I have to honor their wishes. … That way I wasn’t violating my conscience,” Kalauawa said.
Throughout his 29 years at Waikiki Health, Kalauawa has focused on working with outpatients, which does not involve ordering transfusions, he said.
”One of the main reasons I went to work at Waikiki Health Center was because it allowed me time to do more for my ministry as well as to serve a patient population I liked. You see, I grew up in Palolo Housing with people that were poor, on welfare. … I was raised by a single parent.” He developed a desire to serve people from the same background.
Now, as chief medical officer at the center, Kalauawa said, “I love my work.”
He also thrives on knocking on 40 to 50 doors in a single day, averaging five or six hours over a weekend. He steps up the door-to-door ministry when he takes vacation time.
Also among those attending this summer’s conferences are Charles and Momi Bow of Aiea, who were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses and have been attending the faith’s conferences since 1988.
While at a symposium last weekend titled “Imitate Jesus’ Use of Power,” Momi Bow said she appreciated advice offered to parents on serving as a role models for their children. The couple said they have raised their 9-year-old daughter, Roxy, to work hard and treat others as she would like to be treated, as the Bible directs.
They bring their daughter along when they walk door to door, and the girl has learned not to “get provoked” when most people turn them away, Momi Bow said.
“Even to cute little girls, people say, ‘No, I don’t want to hear it.’ It’s OK because it builds up her fortitude as far as accepting rejection, but at the same time she’s doing something good, so she should be happy about that.”
In addition, Momi Bow said, “She also sees those (residents) who are really friendly, and it keeps her positive, it keeps her going. Knowing that there may be one or two people for that day that are really nice, it just kinda makes your whole day.”