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Easter becomes a day of giving at drive-thru service

  • Video by Dennis Oda

    More than 700 faithful drove through First Assembly of God Church's parking lot in Red Hill while wearing masks to make donations and listen to prayer while observing social distancing guidelines.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Faith Miura used a pole to receive donations Sunday during First Assembly of God’s drive-thru Easter service. Worshippers stayed in their vehicles as they donated food and supplies. Worshippers also received a package with a small cup of wine and bread for Communion.

    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Faith Miura used a pole to receive donations Sunday during First Assembly of God’s drive-thru Easter service. Worshippers stayed in their vehicles as they donated food and supplies. Worshippers also received a package with a small cup of wine and bread for Communion.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Pastor Fred Harris, center, and daughters Lasha Sibblies, left, and Jasmine Harris sang Sunday while facing a row of parked cars as people listened to First Assembly of God’s Easter service.

    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Pastor Fred Harris, center, and daughters Lasha Sibblies, left, and Jasmine Harris sang Sunday while facing a row of parked cars as people listened to First Assembly of God’s Easter service.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Pastor Horace Chee-Manuia gave Communion packets to Carol Alabanza, passenger side, and Leslie Tokunaga during Sunday’s drive-thru service. Worshippers stayed in their vehicles as they donated food and supplies.

    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Pastor Horace Chee-Manuia gave Communion packets to Carol Alabanza, passenger side, and Leslie Tokunaga during Sunday’s drive-thru service. Worshippers stayed in their vehicles as they donated food and supplies.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Above, Anderson Thomas, left, Etmor Anmondha and Steven Milne organize the donations.

    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Above, Anderson Thomas, left, Etmor Anmondha and Steven Milne organize the donations.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Pastor Scott Sonoda held deli meat that will be donated to kupuna or first responders.

    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Pastor Scott Sonoda held deli meat that will be donated to kupuna or first responders.

Hawaii counted 13 more coronavirus cases on Easter Sunday — for a statewide total of 499 — as more than 700 faithful drove through First Assembly of God Church’s parking lot in Red Hill while wearing masks to make donations and listen to prayer while observing social distancing guidelines.

“I will never forget what I witnessed this Easter,” said Klayton Ko, First Assembly’s senior pastor. “It will always be a special part of my heart to see people coming out because they love the Lord.”

Also on Sunday, a petition on change.org received nearly 3,000 signatures in calling for the resignations of four top officials at Maui Memorial Medical Center, which did not require the use of personal protective equipment for all employees as the novel coronavirus spread to at least 15 health care workers via patients or other employees. Eight of the 15 employees who tested positive are connected to the medical center’s oncology ward.

>> Photo Gallery: First Assembly of God Church holds drive-thru Easter service

The state Health Department said that all of the 13 new cases reported Sunday are adult Hawaii residents. None of them required hospitalization.

The state’s coronavirus death toll remained at nine Sunday: six on Oahu and three on Maui.

So far there have been 350 cases on Oahu, 84 in Maui County, 39 on Hawaii island and 21 in Kauai County.

The 13 new cases included five on Hawaii island, four in Maui County, two on Oahu and two in Kauai County.

A total of 310 patients have recovered, including 10 more reported Sunday.

By county, Honolulu has seen 230 patients recover, Maui has had 40, the Big Island has had 27 and Kauai has seen 13.

The COVID-19 Information Center said that of the 18,611 coronavirus tests so far conducted by state and clinical laboratories in the islands, 497, or just under 2.7%, have been positive. The number does not include the two Hawaii residents living outside the state who are also counted in Hawaii’s total of 499 cases.

Pastor Ko called First Assembly of God’s first drive-thru Easter Sunday “something we’ll never forget.”

In all, almost 300 vehicles carrying more than 700 mask-wearing worshippers turned out Sunday to drop off food and personal protective equipment for kupuna and health care workers in lieu of a traditional Easter Sunday service.

More than 125 volunteers also showed up, and were outfitted with masks and gloves to deliver prepackaged Communion packets and accept donations of cash, rice, canned goods, toilet paper and masks and gloves. The personal protective equipment is intended to be distributed to 670 health care workers at Kaiser medical centers, The Queen’s Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center and Castle Medical Center.

“We had an awesome day of worship, a very unique Easter celebration, but it was nonetheless something we’ll never forget,” Ko said. “People sat in the parking lot for over an hour listening to a live worship.”

The church received cash and “two box trucks’” worth of donated goods that will be tabulated today.

But Ko knows for certain that the church received one single donation of $2,500 and another check for $1,000 from St. Francis Hospital, which he hopes to use to make bulk purchases of toilet paper from Costco to distribute to needy kupuna.

“Toilet paper is No. 1,” Ko said. “That is essential.”

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