My new book Preparing the Way presents a remarkable full color pictorial account of how Native Hawaiians joined with American Protestant missionaries in New England and together brought Christianity and the Bible to Hawai‘i. The pioneer American Protestan mission sailed from Boston in 1819 and arrived in 1820.
Preparing the Way presents a concise pictorial account of the historical first American Protestant mission to arrive in Hawai‘i as told through the lives of three Polynesian men: ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia (Henry Obookiah) and his close companion Hopu (Thomas Hopoo) were instrumental in requesting the American Board of Commissioners to Foreign Missions to send a Protestant missionary company to Hawai‘i. The untimely death of ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia in 1818 led to the publication of his Memoirs, which in turn drew financial and spiritual support from across the United States for the formation of the pioneer mission company. The pioneer company departed for Hawai‘i from Boston in October 1819. Their arrival in Hawai‘i led to the conversion to Christianity of the majority of the ali‘i nui rulers of Hawai‘i and their people, and the rapid spread of literacy as the Hawaiian people sought to read Bible scriptures printed in the Hawaiian language. In 1822, the Tahitian Christian ali‘i Auna arrived in Hawai‘i and explained the Christian religion in Polynesian terms to the rulers of Hawai‘i, ensuring the success of the mission to Hawai‘i.
The publication of Preparing the Way coincides with the celebration in New England of the Hawa‘i Mission Bicentennial of the sending of the pioneer company from Boston in October 1819, and the arrival of the Sandwich Islands Mission in Hawai‘i in spring 1820.
Christopher “Chris” Cook, author of the The Providential Life & Heritage of Henry Obookiah, a ground-breaking, modern-day biography of the legendary first Native Hawaiian Christian. In Preparing the Way the author’s indepth research and collection of previously unpublished photographs and illustrations, tells the true story of this mission to Hawai‘i made infamous by novelist James Michener in his fictious best-seller Hawaii.
Cook portrays the Hawai‘i mission through the lives of three notable Polynesian men.
Surprisingly, the author notes that the Hawai‘i mission sailed from Boston Harbor in 1819 at the invitation of a native Hawaiian scholar who gained a college-level education in New England schools. ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia, the first known native Hawaiian Christian, welcomed American missionaries to his homeland with a Macedonian Call. “Come help us.”
The celebrity ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia acquired following his untimely death in 1818 in the rural Connecticut village of Cornwall set in motion the mission, resulting in the Hawaiian Islands becoming a Christian nation within a generation.
Hopu, ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia’s young companion, sailed with the pioneer mission company, taking on the mantle of ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia. Hopu played a vital role in establishing the early mission stations, in Kailua, Kona and in Honolulu.
Auna, a handsome Tahitian warrior-priest who embodied the saintliness of ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia and the strength of the famous Hawaiian king and conqueror Kamehameha I, landed in Hawai‘i in 1822. Auna told of how his homeland had embraced Christianity. This messanger from the Polynesian homeland of Hawai‘i followed the ancient Hawaiian tradition of new religious revelation coming to Hawai‘i from Kahiki (Tahiti), thus inspiring the rulers of Hawai‘i to embrace Christianity, forever changing their nation.
Preparing the Way is available by ordering online or by phone from Logos Bookstore in Honolulu.
Logos Bookstore of Hawaii is our local supplier of books. Please order by email: [email protected] or call 808-596-8890 for local calls or 1-800-303-1533 for Neighbor Island or Mainland calls.
“Preparing the Way”, retail price is $22.95; with Hawaii sales tax, total per book is $24.03.
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