Community and God united in time of need


POSTED: Saturday, August 29, 2009

Christ told his disciple Simon Peter to show his love for him when he said “;feed my sheep”; in the 21st chapter of Luke in the Bible. This was something that my husband, David Mohetau, took seriously. He always looked for ways to help others both physically and spiritually. He gave his time, money, attention and even twice gave the shirt right off his back when someone was in need.

On April 1, 2007, he became the one who was in need of others' help. Early that Sunday morning, I found that he was not at home. For years he had been in the habit of taking long walks, but due to a head injury from an auto accident five months previously and reaction to medicine, his reasoning and sense of direction were impaired. Our eight grandchildren and I set out on a drive and walking tour to find him.

He loved to fish for octopus at Laie beaches, and we looked there first.

I saw a neighbor and asked whether he had seen David. Within minutes a group of neighbors and church members joined the search. People walked the beaches for miles each way. The Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University Hawaii campus were covered.

Food arrived, hugs and encouragement were given, the media was contacted, banners and fliers appeared, and the phone and doors were manned.

A local policeman who had known “;Uncle David”; all his life had the helicopters and dogs out the next day. The students at Laie Elementary School were shown the fliers, and 600 pairs of eyes were alerted to watch and report. Prayers and fasting began for us.

On Tuesday a search of every inch of Laie was organized by our bishop. People I knew, people I recognized and people whom I had never seen before showed up for searching assignments. A group went into the foothills above Laie.

Late Tuesday, April 3, a body was reportedly spotted at nearby Malaekahana Beach Park. Other searchers were called off, but those in the foothills decided to continue for a few more minutes. They were the ones who found David in 13-foot-high grass where he had fallen and was unable to get up. The searchers and God returned him to us alive.

I never hear of a missing person now without cutting out the picture and description so that I can watch, pray and fast for them. I love my Savior and want to feed his sheep as we were fed. Tevita David Mohetau died last Oct. 12.


Janace Mohetau is a member of the Laie Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.