Page 7 - MidWeek - August 3, 2022
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       Mami Ogiwara
The Good News Returns
For as long as Mami Ogiwara could remember, she’s always wanted to help improve the health of her community. With this goal in mind, she decided to compete in the Miss Hawai‘i Volunteer com- petition.
By Aaron Chinen, volunteer with Jehovah’s Witnesses
 “The goals of helping women fur- ther their education, and empowering them by supporting and giving them opportunities to shine really resonated with me,” Ogiwara explains. “I also liked the fact that the organization partnered with the American Lung Association to promote lung health in Hawai‘i.”
Thousands of these carts will be rolling down the streets of communities like Honolulu and across the world this week as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work some 24 months after putting it on pause due to the pan- demic.
on doors, local congrega- tions have also resumed free in-person Bible studies along with personal visits to those who have invited them back to their homes.
“cart witnessing” began in large metropolitan areas around the world, the practice quickly spread to the tens of thousands of smaller commu- nities, becoming a fixture in rail and bus stations, airports, harbors and main streets.
Ogiwara’s platform, “strong spine, strong mind,” was inspired by her in- volvement with yoga as well as her mother’s battle with breast cancer. When Ogiwara was informed that she had a genetic predisposition for the de- velopment of breast cancer, she chose to respond to the devastating news by learning how to take control of her own health.
acle Network.
“To give back to the communities
“We’re back doing our pub- lic ministry!” says Christopher Song, local spokesperson for Hawai‘i. “Actually, we never really discontinued reaching out to our neighbors. We did so through phone calling and letter writing. We are eager to see our neighbors face to face once again in order to share the comforting good news the Bible provides.”
“While we understand that the pandemic is not over, we are entering into a phase of learning to live with COVID-19,” says Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We are sensitive to the risks that still face our communities and our volunteers, which is why we will not resume door- to-door ministry at this time.”
“The last couple of years have been difficult for every- one,” says regular volunteer Stacie Ishisaka. “So being able to have those in-person visits gives us opportunities to share comfort and hope from the Bible, which is what we all need now.”
“My journey with yoga and hula has taught me that strengthening our men- tal and spiritual health can optimize our physical health, and vice versa,” she says.
that have shaped me into the woman that I am, and continue to grow into, has always been a priority for me,” Ogiwara shares.
Mobile displays of Bi- ble-based literature have been part of Jehovah’s Wit- nesses’ public ministry in the U.S. since 2011. While
To learn more about Jeho- vah’s Witnesses, their histo- ry, beliefs and activities, visit their official website,, which features content in more than 1,000 languages.
When Ogiwara was crowned as the inaugural Miss Hawai‘i Volunteer last fall, she was filled with excitement and deep gratitude. With this achievement, Ogiwara was determined to use her position to help make Hawai‘i a better place to live.
Although her reign as Miss Ha- wai‘i Volunteer will come to an end in November, Ogiwara is dedicated to making her last months with the title count.
While the organization is not yet back to knocking
pre-pandemic fixture is back on the sidewalks: smiling faces standing next to color- ful carts featuring a positive message and free Bible-based literature.
f you happen to be in Waikīkī this week, you may notice that a
  “We never really discontinued reaching out to our neighbors. We did so through phone calling and letter writing. We are eager to see our neighbors face to face once again.”
  As the spokesperson and chair of Young Leader’s Cabinet of the Amer- ican Lung Association in Hawai‘i, Ogiwara has been working to improve overall lung health across the islands. She’s helped raise more than $10,000 for American Lung Association in Ha- wai‘i and has also submitted testimony before the state legislature in favor of banning flavored tobacco products.
“Currently, we are in the process of designing a school program to reach out to the youth of Hawai‘i to discourage the use of e-cigarettes or flavored to- bacco products, and to remind them of the importance of the basic foundation of life — our breath,” she says.
Additionally, Ogiwara has volun- teered with various local organiza- tions such as Hawai‘i Literacy, The Salvation Army and Children’s Mir-
“Never think that your actions are not great enough,” Ogiwara says. “The more hands and hearts involved, the greater changes we can experience in the community.”
Ogiwara notes that volunteering is one of the most fulfilling things that she’s ever done and encourages others to do the same.
— Tasha Mero
Jehovah’s Witnesses are happy to be resuming their public ministry for the first time in more than two years.
 Photo courtesy Robert James McPeek

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