THE VILLAGE OF MILOLI’I
Miloli’i is 33 miles south of Kailua-Kona. Uniquely located at the base of the 1926 lava flow, and at a 1,500 ft decent from Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy, Miloli’i is distinct from the greater South Kona District. Geographic seclusion is not the only distinction of Miloli’i, the village is relatively untouched by the tourist industry, has experienced very little development and growth in the last 20 years, and it’s per capita poverty rate is among the highest on the island.
Miloli’i is affectionately known as the last fishing village in Hawaii. This is not cultural nostalgia; instead, many of the people that still call the village their home depend on the ocean for sustenance. Further, the natural elements are the framework for village life. Without immediate access to a grocer and without electricity, all villagers depend on the sun (solar panels on each home), the ocean (fishing, diving, “throwing net”), and the rain (water catchment tanks) for their livelihood.
A steady fixture in village life and culture for more than 150 years has been Hauoli Kamana’o Church (“Blessed Assurance Church”). One of 20 Hawaiian churches built by John Parish, Hauoli Kamana’o is perhaps best remembered for the day it “surfed” intact 300 yards to its current location. It was the year 1868 when big seas hit the coast of the Big Island. Tremendous destruction occurred and many lives were lost in villages along the coast; Miloli’i and Hauoli Kamana’o Church were spared. While the original site of the church is still submerged under the sea, the current building—just like the people of Miloli’i—stands tall and blessed.
Miloli’i Beach Lots Subdivision is an exception to every Village rule. The subdivision—which resembles rural community—descends the mountain four miles along the Miloli’i Road. While the villagers are predominantly working and lower class Polynesian-Hawaiians, those that call the subdivision home are of a drastically different socio-economic and socio-cultural “heritage”. Distinct from the village, the subdivision and the village are immediate neighbors and is therefore included in the scope of ministry in this mission zone.
*Information taken from Kona Coast Nazarene