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Pastor Greg Laurie to deliver faith-filled inspirational message at 'Hope for Lahaina' event

Nearly nine months after the devastating wildfire in Maui, the community is still struggling and suffering from the after-effects of the destructive blaze.

Pastor Greg Laurie, founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii, wants to help provide for the needs of those struggling on the island, both in the physical and spiritual sense. 

Laurie, along with former “American Idol” contestant Danny Gokey and worship leader Leeland, are hosting an outreach event called “Hope for Lahaina” on Sunday, April 28. They’re aiming to preach a Gospel message to the people of Maui and be a source of encouragement and uplift for the people who are trying to regain a sense of normalcy after losing everything. 

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Speaking to Fox News Digital this week, Laurie said there remains a “lingering sadness” over the island, long after the clouds of smoke and ashes faded. 

“The reality is settling in,” he said. “Sadly, some have left the island altogether.” 

While the event is called “Hope for Lahaina,” Laurie said “hope” is an acronym that stands for “Holding On with Patient Expectation.” 

“The Bible tells us that hope can function like an anchor in a person’s life,” he said. 

In Lahaina, this is playing out in quite a literal sense, said Laurie. A “massive anchor” now stands where the Pioneer Inn, a historic inn that was the oldest continuously operating hotel in Hawaii, once stood.  

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“The anchor survived that horrific fire, as did the famed Banyan tree,” said Laurie. “That tree was originally planted in 1873 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first mission by missionaries to the island.” 

The Banyan tree and anchor, said Laurie, “symbolize what we are doing.” 

Poster of Hope for Lahaina event with images of Leeland, Greg Laurie, and Danny Gokey

“Hope in God anchors us in tumultuous times, and God can bring ‘beauty out of ashes’ and we can live and grow again,” he said.

That hope, said Laurie, “is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.” 

“Hope in God anchors us in tumultuous times.”

Harvest, which has a location in Lahaina, has “been able to step in the gap and bring both practical help and hope to the people of this island,” he said.

Thanks to donations from across the country, Havest Maui has provided food, clothing, school supplies, housing and more to people who survived the fires.

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“We also had mental health specialists on the island speaking, as well as at events for families — from inspirational movie nights to outreaches to thousands of kids,” Laurie told Fox News Digital. 

He continued, “We’ve assisted local area schools by building temporary classrooms for their children and have continued to support Maui’s first responders, who are also victims of the fires.” 

Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries

The aftereffects of the fire are particularly hard for children, he said, who are now bussed 90 minutes to and from school each day after their original schools were destroyed. 

“Rebuilding here has been slow,” said Laurie. 

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Aside from physical assistance, Laurie has also worked to meet people’s spiritual needs. 

“Our weekly worship services and Bible teachings are the heart of all we say and do,” he said. “We’ve had Harvest Maui pastors trained in biblical trauma counseling to support those in the community who need assistance.” 

“Harvest Maui is here for the long haul.”

“Harvest Maui is here for the long haul,” said Laurie, noting that his church will soon be moving to a more permanent facility to accommodate its growing congregation. 

“I cannot emphasize enough how important spiritual help is to people, especially at a time like this,” he said. 

Pastor Greg Laurie/Harvest Ministries

The situation in Lahaina, he said, is not unlike the story of Lazarus in John’s Gospel. 

Following Lazarus’ death, things “looked like the bleakest of circumstances,” said Laurie. 

“Jesus came and changed everything,” raising Lazarus from the dead. 

And “Jesus,” he said, “is still in the life-changing business today.” 

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