Pastor Turns Personal Tragedy Into A Call To Help Others - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pastor Turns Personal Tragedy Into A Call To Help Others

Leanne Lee Leanne Lee
Pastor Kevin Akana Pastor Kevin Akana
Pastor Akana's father Thomas died in 2004. Pastor Akana's father Thomas died in 2004.

By Leland Kim

KAHALUU (KHNL) - A viewer e-mailed our Talk Story page to tell us about a special windward man.  Pastor Kevin Akana has turned a personal tragedy into a mission to help others.

Pastor Kevin, as he is known, has served his congregation for a decade. But for the past four years, he has focused on helping those struggling with crystal meth addiction. His mission -- a tribute to his father -- helps those who need a second chance at life.

Leanne Lee is a loving mom and a counselor, but her life wasn't always stable.

"For me, I was an alcoholic and a drug addict," she said.

She got help from the Windward Baptist Church.

"I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't do anything without the drug," said Lee.

Pastor Kevin Akana started a ministry to help crystal meth addicts.

"We help them in taking the steps to get their life in order," he said.

For Pastor Kevin, this ministry is personal. His father struggled with crystal meth addiction.

"He had retired from the fire department and had gotten involved with it, probably just experimented with it," said Pastor Kevin.

His father tried fighting it for ten years. Then one day in 2004, Pastor Kevin received a phone call letting him know his father was found dead on King Street.

"He didn't have to die," Pastor Kevin said. "So it was at that point where I felt God called me to be responsible to start a ministry that would help others so that they can be spared."

Pastor Kevin has helped a couple hundred people kick the addiction and lead productive lives.

He says his dad would be proud of what he is doing.

"If I was able to talk to him, I would like to just express to him that how much I love him and I miss him," Pastor Kevin said.

In losing his father, he has created an opportunity to help other families.

"I really don't have too much family here and it was me against the world," said Lee. "And now this is my family."

A family born out of love, commitment and faith.

Pastor Kevin said his goal is to open up a transitional house with a day care center and a job training site. To find out how you can help, click on the "Church's Mission to Build a Transitional House" link on this page.

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