Tag Archive: family


Jason BalkenPahoa, Hawaii — An auto body repairman, Jason Balken, provided the low bid to do body work on my van.   Meeting him for the first time in the town of Pahoa, Hawaii, he was in a wheelchair, I was shocked. It was a pleasant surprised to find a diligent man who did not have a “pity party” attitude, you know the “woe with me” kind of person. Jason showed me his past work and I gave him the job. Finding him to be an intriguing person, I began to ask questions which led me to a very faithful spirit. Here is their story.

Coos Bay, Oregon – Involved in a horrific motorcycle accident in 2005, a couple of months before Christmas, Jason Balken shatter his skull, broke his back in three places, broke his sternum, and wrist.  As Jason lay on the ground choking in his own blood, he remembers thinking he was going to die. Then he felt his crying daughter grab his hand and say, “don’t leave me”.  It was Jason’s wake up call, he hung on to life until the emergency team arrived at the scene. Jason felt he was dealt “a dealt blow, but with by God’s mighty hand made it through”.  The emergency team later agreed, telling him “you should be dead” and was very close to being a quadriplegic. Jason’s best friend Todd Casey said “it was divine intervention that saved Jason”

At the hospital Jason was induced by the medical team into a comma to cope with immeasurable pain.  While in a comma, Jason remembers clearly being alone on a desolate white sand beach on a tropical island; he felt very happy and at peace, it was like heaven. Fish would swim to him and he would catch them with his hand then cook the fish on an open fire place. Then one day in a storm he saw two big men approaching him, Jason had no fear and experienced a peaceful encounter.  The two men escorted Jason into the ocean and they began walking under water, at this point he woke from his comma, and was back at the hospital.

Jason and his faithful wife Valerie were married for seven years before the accident, they have four children, Geran, Mary, Grace, and Kyah. Before the accident they owned and operated a coffee shop called Kaffe 101, which they converted to a Christian Coffee shop. People said the shop would fail as a Christian coffee shop, instead it did very well.  Eventually, Pastor Matt Fox of  Brandon Christian Fellowship, purchased the coffee shop and the shop successfully continues today.

In the hospital Jason had hundreds of friends and customers visit him, so many that Pastor Fox asked the church to limit their visits, and made the same announcement on a local Christian radio station.

Jason was transferred to the Medford Oregon Rehab Center that had about 10 patients. The professional staff at the rehabilitation center told Jason it would be years before he could drive. Jason had faith in God healing him, although the staff said he was in denial. One month later Jason drove away!  Jason was also informed that the average life expectancy of patients like him who experienced that amount of trauma, was ten years. It’s been now twelve years, and Jason says his medical vital statistics are better today than they were at the time of the accident.

When I asked him if the accident had given him a new purpose in life, he replied he is “being used by God”.  Jason’s favorite scripture is “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” Job 13:15 NIV

Yes, Jacob is most certainly being used by God to give hope and faith to those who have been physically afflicted. Never give up.  “Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible”.  Matthew 19:26 (KJV)

Testimony of Healing by Jason Balken

by Carl Okuyama

 

where-is-aliyah-foundNaalehu, Hi. – Last year elementary school student Aliyah found a $10.00 bill in Union 76 Wiki-Wiki Mart; it was on the floor in front of the sales counter. Knowing somebody lost money she shared her story with Peter, her bus driver, who turned it over to the store’s lost and found. Since nobody claimed it we had to find Aliyah during school break.

A Facebook post looking for Aliyah was initiated. YAY, we found Aliyah! “Liking” the story other people donated to Aliyah to reward her for her integrity and honesty, including a California Judge who has been on the bench for 27 years. Aliyah was presented with the $10 bill plus $161.00.”Honesty Pays”.

In today’s society it seems people are losing their honesty and integrity; our children are seeing horrific news on TV and portable social media devices.  Children are seeing too much about presidential candidates accused of lying or cheating. What kinds of impression are we leaving for our children who will lead our communities and country’s future.  We all can help by encouraging and promoting honesty and integrity… let’s make a country of honest children.

Thank you to Aliyah’s parents Pastor Troy and Heather Gacayan; we were pleasantly surprised that Aliyah’s parents are the senior pastor at River of Life Church in Pahala. Peter Serfin, Bus Driver, works for the Volcano School of Arts and Science; Peter is the former Editor of Orchid Isle Magazine, he enjoys helping children.

Together we can train children in the way to go.

by Carl Okuyama

 

Congratulations to the Newlyweds!

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Meet the newlyweds Mr. & Mrs. Edgar and Chelsea Agonias, Jr. Married on April 23, 2016, at Anna’s Ranch Heritage Center, Kamuela, Hi. It was heart touching to learn that when dad said his wedding vows, his two girls (L-R) Audri and Kerianna started to cry; standing with them their cousin.  Best wishes, blessings, and long life to the Agonias family; that made Pastors Kelvin and Gaye Chai very happy. They are planning to be baptized on May 1, 2016.

Marriage is one of most wonderful events in our lives, the bonding of two individuals to love and cherish one another, to accept each other unconditionally, nurturing and sacrificing for each other, and to share the work and joy of raising a family.

Life’s road has its mountain top highs and challenges in the valley, marriage is about sharing the those high places and getting through those challenges to gain wisdom and inner spiritual strength. We pray that you together sing in the rainy seasons and on mountain tops.

“Love is patient, kind, not envy, not boast, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong doing, forgives, not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves. Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NIV

Each person and couple is different, each having special gifts and talents. It’s a new season in life to start their own family and new team. Congratulations to the parent’s of the newlyweds, a job well done of the highest calling.

We wish you long life, good health, joyful children, a growing family, and much peace. It Starts at Home. Yee Ha! Way To Go! 

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Meet the new Mr. & Mrs. Kaopua and Kapualei Tripp-Borge. Married on March 19, 2016, at Kamehameha School’s Kapalama Campus, Bishop Chapel, Honolulu, HO

Happy One Year Anniversary to Ryan & Stephanie Quinajon-Lau. Married October 18, 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Ryan & Stephanie Quinajon-Lau, Married October 18, 2014

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Mr. & Mrs. Brandon and Pomai Longakit Bartolome, Married February 18, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. John and Lillian Ide celebrated their 56th Wedding Anniversary Saturday, June 14, 2014. When ask how they did it he said, “love, respect, and thank you Jesus!”Starts at Home would like to share your photograph of your wedding or earlier photo.  We’ll share and celebrate your new covenant and joyful occasion.  We wish you much happiness and hope many children to come from your loving and nurturing spirit.

Mr. & Mrs. Jessie Curtiss

Mr. and Mrs. Jessie and Trixy Curtiss, Married June 15, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Kurt and Arlene Fujioka. Married February 25, 2012, “soMaui’d”

Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Crystal Kalahiki, Married June 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Dustin and Ashley Malama-Poplardo, Married January 1, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Christian and Kimberly Okuyama-Ross, Married November 11, 2011, Mililani, Hawaii

Mr. & Mrs. Ku’i and Amy Horwitz-Hanapai, Married August 1, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Jason Ferreira
Jason and Sarah Ferreira, Married September 5, 2010

Chris and Sarah Leialoha – Married March 20, 2010

Grant and Corrie Higuchi – Married June 6, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Carl Cadavona, Married September 2010

Here Come #3 Child

Mom a few week’s before giving birth to Justin. Kimberly 3 years old, Jeffrey 2 years old, and Justin coming soon.

The year was 1983, Amy is at the Hilo Hospital and she just gave birth to Justin, our third child. Kimberly was three years old and Jeffrey two years old, they both were eager to visit mom and their new brother.  Like the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, before leaving for the hospital I asked the children, “we’re going to visit your brother, the poor guy has no teeth, no toys, and some clothes; do you think you can share and help him?”  Jeffrey and Kimberly quickly noded with a smile and said “yes”, Kimberly handed over a toy and said “he can have this”.  This was one way to plant seeds for a helpful and sharing family.

It’s now 2015, thirty-three (33) years have passed and Kimberly, RN worked at Queen’s Hospital’s Trauma Center of the Pacific, and Queen’s Mililani Emergency, she and her husband Christian just had their second child his name Cody.  Although time has changed the spirit of helping and sharing has carried on.  Now, her daughter Andee who just made three years old, in the name of building and helpful family is being promoted to a new and very important job – Mommy Helper. Congratulations Christian and Kimberly, you’re great parents.

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Andee gives Cody her first kiss, she’s been waiting for this day for months.

Teach sharing and helping others.  It’s good to facilitate the concept of “ours” verses “all mine”.  “All mine” promotes selfishness, egotism, and a may foster a bully in our mists.  A challenge for an informed parent is knowing the concept of siblings not wanting to share their mommy or daddy when new siblings are born, this can pose a challenge as the earlier born children doesn’t want to loose or share the attention of their parents to the new baby.  A suggestion would be mom or dad asking the children to be a Mommy or Daddy Helper, to help with small chores that give children the  opportunity to be with their parents and be complimented and encouraged.

These chores are performed together with the older child, newborn, and parent. This may take the form of helping change the baby’s clothes, feeding the baby, giving a bath, pushing the stroller, changing the diapers, going shopping, or other family chores together.  When showing the newborn to family and friends, you can keep the older child in the conversation by asking “Andee, uncle Justin wants to know how much did Cody weigh at birth?” Keep giving the children the attention they shared before the the newborn arrived. Keep up the great job you’re doing!

By Carl Okuyama

Andee's smile says it all.  Andee is now a Mommy Helper.  Yay!!!

Andee’s smile says it all. Andee is now a #MommyHelper and #DaddyHelper. Yay!!!