This morning’s Deseret News contained a report focusing on Church members in the Hawaiian Islands after their large earthquake yesterday. The line that caught my attention was the hometeaching angle, which if you think about it, makes absolute common sense. Quoting President Eric B. Shumway, BYU Hawaii President, and an area Seventy:
“I was very pleased to hear that the home teachers in all of the wards were out checking on people,” he added. “Roads have been damaged and rocks have fallen, and some buildings were damaged — but no loss of life to our knowledge, at this point.”
What a great example of the Hawaii Saints in looking out for their community of fellow saints. If their wards are anything like ours, they have an emergency preparedness program in place, the backbone of which would be hometeachers and the youth of the Aaronic Priesthood.
While some Church buildings on the main Island were damaged, there were no reports of injury. The missionaries were all accounted for and safe.
The church’s famous Polynesian Cultural Center is also located in Laie. “I’ve heard of no damage whatsoever” to the center, he said. “We just felt the shake on Oahu and lost electricity.
But none of the stake presidents have reported any damage, except on the big island.” “Maui was not damaged,” he said. “They felt the shocks, but the stake president tells me there was no damage on Maui and no damage on Kauai.” Maui and Kauai are other islands in the Hawaiian chain.
Earlier in the day, church spokesman Dale Bills, in Salt Lake City, said church authorities in Hawaii reported all missionaries are safe and are accounted for. “While assessment continues,” he said, “initial reports show no injuries among church members and minor damage to church facilities.”
Living in earthquake country out here in California, I can recall going through several similar quakes in my youth–particularly in Southern CA. I’m grateful the damage was mostly limited to property and not people.