American Minute from William J. Federer
Henry Opukahai’a was an orphan raised by his uncle to be a pagan priest but he became disillusioned with rituals and chants and left Hawaii for New England with a friend, Thomas Hopu.
They were befriended by Yale students and became the first Hawaiian Christians.
Henry studied Greek and Hebrew and translated parts of the Bible.
In his memoirs, which sold 500,000 copies after his death in 1818, Henry Opukahai’a wrote:
“My poor countrymen, without knowledge of the true God, and ignorant of the future world, have no Bible to read, no Sabbath.”
This inspired Thomas Hopu and Hiram Bingham to be the first missionaries to Hawaii, arriving MARCH 31, 1820.
Devising a 12-letter alphabet, they translated the Bible, set up a school, a church, a newspaper and convinced women to wear dresses. Idolatry and human sacrifice had previously been ended by King Kamehameha II and his Queen mother Ka’ahumanu.
To read more or to listen click: Christianity Comes to Hawaii
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