Dozens of people are dead and entire communities have been destroyed after hurricane winds pushed wildfires across two of Hawaii's islands on Wednesday. People were forced to escape into the sea in some areas as fire tore through resort towns.
Harvest at Kumulani Chapel, affiliated with Greg Laurie's Harvest Chapel, says in a social media post that "Residents were forced to jump into the harbour waters to avoid the fast-moving flames and much of historic Lahaina has been destroyed and continues to burn."
The fire began on Tuesday as a small brush fire but winds gusting up to 120 km/h from Hurricane Dora caused the fire to spread rapidly.
Several news agencies are reporting Thursday morning that at least 36 people have been killed in the fires on the islands of Maui and Big Island.
Kumulani Chapel says that in the past seven years they've seen 2,000 people make decisions to follow Christ. Now, the church is asking people to "Pray for God's provision for those who have lost their homes." The church is also asking people to "Pray that we can be a light to those who are hurting.
Pictures circulating on social media show a 200-year-old church building being consumed by the flames. County officials have estimated that damages could reach $1 billion or more.
Kahului Baptist Church is among a group of churches left scrambling to care for people. The church has opened a shelter and is doing its best to provide food and goods to people. The church has also set up a mobile hygiene trailer, allowing evacuees to have showers and do laundry.
Laurie says in a social media post that Kumulani Chapel "will be there to bring hope and the gospel to the hurting people of the island of Maui at this critical time."
kakoo_haleakala posted on IG— ⁿᵃ'ᵉʰᵘˢᵃᶠᶠᵉʳʸᵏᵃʰⁱᵏⁱⁿᵃ (@aku_maka_) August 9, 2023
"Please pray for Lahainā, Maui and all places currently affected by brush fires This is the current situation on Honoapi'ilani Highway. VC @tiare_lawrence @kakoo_haleakala #lahaina #lahainastrong #maui #hawaii #lahainafire " pic.twitter.com/owpzGXRcn2
Please pray for the people of Maui!— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) August 9, 2023
As you know, we have a Church there that God has blessed powerfully called, @KumulaniChapel
We have seen some 2000 people make commitments to follow Christ there in the last 7 years.
But a horrible wildfire has engulfed Lahaina.