Joy Fellowship is a senior Christian ministry at Kalihi Union Church that was formed in 2005. A group of about 50 gather every Thursday for singing, prayer, bible study, crafts, fellowship, exercise, and lunch.
"Our goal is to remain faithful, obedient, joyful, thankful, and becoming into the image of Jesus Christ," explained Alan, who has been leading Joy Fellowship for the past two years. "We welcome anyone of any age to join, fellowship, and worship the Lord with us."
Joy Fellowship has been providing lunch at each meeting since its inception. When Touch A Heart joined the KUC ohana in 2019, we were asked about preparing the lunches and have been doing so every Thursday. Their favorites include kalua pork and cabbage, stir-fry dishes, furikake chicken, and anything with lots of vegetables.
"Touch A Heart and Joy Fellowship have fostered a very close relationship with each other, especially with their foodservice interns," Alan said. "Some of them have spoken to Joy Fellowship in person and on Zoom. We've attended and participated in the Touch A Heart graduation ceremonies. We've written letters to some interns who have graduated from the program. We've prayed for Touch A Heart, the training program students, and graduates."
Our apprentice Lacey added, "As we aspire to touch hearts by preparing lunch for Joy Fellowship, it brings us joy to feed our extended family."
The Touch A Heart team sees the Joy Fellowship members like our Kupuna and Family Meals customers—as their own grandparents or family. The opportunity for us to feed and serve each week helps our interns and apprentices redeem their lives and give to the community in a positive way. Our team, especially those moving into incarceration, can share openly without fear of judgement because Joy Fellowship is a source of compassion, empathy, and hope.
"There is very little difference between the two programs. Our missions are the same," Alan said. "We all are God’s children. He loves us all the same. We love each other in Christ."