Now Meeting in Front of the Honolulu Zoo
Church in Waikiki
I recently read that there are as many as 127,000 people in Waikiki on any given day. This number is made up of approximately 20,000 residents, 32,000 workers and 75,000 visitors. What is more amazing about this number is that when you search for a church in Waikiki, only a handful can be found. There aren’t even enough to churches to cover the people who live in Waikiki! In contrast, the area of Ewa Beach has been called the Bible Belt of Hawaii and has only approximately 16,000 residents and over a two dozen churches. This is staggering. This seems to support what we had often heard which is that local people avoid Waikiki like the plague.
When people think of Waikiki, the world class beaches and hotels come to mind. Most people don’t think about going to church in Waikiki. Church isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Waikiki. When we decided to start a church in Waikiki, we did so with a word from God. Like all the other big decisions we’ve ever made, we prayed and asked God where we should go. When God told us that we should go to Waikiki we assumed that He was sending us to the least and the lost. There is a large group of homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts and drunkards that call Waikiki home. Additionally, there are many tourists who need a place to go to where they will be loved and cared for during their vacation.
For RK, the church started with a thought: Wouldn’t it be great if people came to Waikiki because they heard that Jesus was there? Waikiki was once a place where healing magic was performed. There is a rock monument in the middle of Waikiki that was erected by the ancient Hawaiians to commemorate this fact. We want to make Waikiki a place of healing again. We want to make Jesus, the Healer of the Nations, famous in the place where nations gather together.
We are learning that there is so much more to Waikiki than tourism. We have found ourselves among some of the poorest people in the islands living amongst all the decadence in Waikiki. The homeless here in Waikiki have become our church. We talk story about Jesus on Tuesday nights and eat a meal together. On Sundays we meet behind the Waikiki Band Stand, under the Banyan trees. We see them as mighty men and women. They are the nameless and faceless ones who will change Waikiki. Right now, they don’t know that they are mighty men of valour but they will. We will be there when they realize who they are and recognize Jesus for who he is. We will be there when they bring healing to Waikiki.
Of course I'm biased...I'm the pastor! =) This church isn't like other churches you've been to. It's a small, family like atmosphere. You'll think you're at a barbecue, not at a church! They love Jesus and love people and their whole mission is to make Jesus famous in Waikiki.
— RK Castillo, Waikiki May 22, 2012
Pastor RK Castillo has been blessed with the ability to relate to all types of people regardless of whether you are homeless or affluent. I felt very comfortable with the setting; I have always heard that a church was not a building and that is a true statement. Sitting under a tree in Waikiki and hearing the Word was one of the best church experiences I have ever had. If you want an atmosphere where you will feel comfortable and loved, then this church is for you.
— Roger May 31, 2012
Do you want to learn about the love of Jesus in a non-threatening atmosphere? If so, join New Life City Church in the park with RK and Kelike. You will leave feeling loved, blessed, inspired and ready to share the love of Jesus with others!
— Terri, Waikiki May 25, 2012
RK & Kelike Castillo love Jesus and love people! They are the perfect couple to connect with to learn about the love of God and help make Jesus famous in Waikiki. We visited last summer and love what they are doing! JOIN THEM!
— Gail, Waikiki Jun 3, 2012