Last Week at a Glance… Tea Garden, Intern of the Week, & Young Life Leaders Visit Makanalani

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‘This week we had our first full day in the tea garden! Our tea, Naikela Botanicals, is grown, harvested, ground, and packaged at the Makanalani farm. The proceeds from our tea garden also go towards sending kids to camp for free! The pictures below are two step-by-step procedures we use to package and harvest. Packaging requires weighing the tea and properly sealing the container for sale. Harvesting requires picking suitable plants or on this specific day, hibiscus calyxes, removing their seeds, and spreading them out on a board to be dehydrated. It amazes me how every ounce of the tea powder comes from freshly grown & hand picked plants!

Each week I want to take a moment to introduce you to a different intern. This week in the spotlight is Ariel!! Ariel came from California to do the internship. She is so sweet and has been so much fun to work alongside. Here is a little insight into why she joined the internship program and what she has been learning so far!

1. Can you give us a brief summary about how you found out about the internship? “I found about the internship through a friend at church. He sent me the link and said “You have to go!” I looked into what the program was all about, began praying, waited, and received my sign that the Lord wanted me to be in Kauai for this season.”

2. What has God been teaching you since you’ve arrived? “Since being here, God is teaching me to be still, quiet my thoughts, and trust the work He is doing within me. Often I try directing my own path, but God is patiently showing me how to let go and let Him lead.”

3. What has been one of your favorite things so far about the internship and the island? “One of my favorite things is being surrounded by like-minded people who crave to grow in faith and leadership. The entire island is so beautiful, but one of my favorite things is the adventure and clear night skies. You can see thousands of stars and the moon reflects off of the ocean so intensely. It’s so peaceful.”

4. What has been the most challenging yet rewarding? “The most challenging and rewarding is working on the farm. It can be hot, pouring rain, we could be pulling weeds, picking citrus, landscaping, or shoveling mulch, but whatever task it may be, the reason why we do what we do for the kids and for the Lord makes every drip of sweat worth it.”

5. What would be your advice to someone interested in applying? “My advice to someone interested in applying is to do it! Do the research, pray about it, and if the desire in your heart continues to grow, click that application and expect one of the best experiences! I want everyone to be fortunate enough to experience this too!”

Young Life Hawaii had the opportunity to stay at the Makanalani house! We hosted their leaders so they could have a retreat to further grow in their vision and prepare for and strengthen future events and programs. Young Life is fueled by believing kids have the right to know about life and life that is found in a personal relationship with Jesus. It starts with adults that have a heart for these kids, who take the time to understand them, and who form a genuine relationship built upon love, trust, and consistency. The Young Life staff believes in empowering students to play important roles in businesses, politics, professional leadership, spiritual leadership, and leadership within their families and communities. They even developed a student leadership program known as Halau Kama’aina Alaka’i. This group was founded in 2015 as a pipeline for developing leaders to bridge the gap in extreme diversity among the Hawaiian Islands and to give them theology, spiritual formation, cultural intelligence, and personal life skills development training.

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