In December of 2008, RAM participated in the Kaneohe Christmas Parade. We decorated a float and enjoyed passing out flyers and tracts to all those who attended.
After 6 months of sobriety, completing 12 foundations, getting a full time job, and paying all prior fines, a RAM client is eligible for graduation. We have had three graduation ceremonies thus far. Here are the first two:
At RAM, we enjoy hanging out together and having BBQ’s.
At RAM, camping is a bonding experience. We enjoy being outdoors and having a great time.
At age thirteen Stan Jumawan, Jr. started smoking marijuana – with his mother. Jumawan’s life sounds almost too horrid to be true. With his mother dealing marijuana and his father dealing cocaine, drugs and alcohol were nearly as accessible to him as a glass of water.
Following the example of his parents and peers, Jumawan started smoking and dealing marijuana in the fifth grade…
A year later he began smoking crystal methamphetamine (ice) and drinking alcohol. “All my whole family was into dealing drugs when I was growing up. That’s all I was around,” Jumawan said. He also said that he started stealing weed and selling it to help him pay for lunch, nice clothes, and bus fare.
His addiction led to crime at an early age. By the eighth grade, Jumawan began stealing cars with older friends. “My friends was older than me. So whatever they was doing, I was following,” Jumawan said. “I was into taking parts, taking rims, carborators.” Jumawan said that once they were through with the cars they would burn them and leave them on the side of the road.
Another major event occurred during Jumawan’s eighth grade year – he nearly died from cardiac arrest due to smoking too much cocaine. However, he continued on in his drug and alcoholic lifestyle.
His life of drugs and crime caused him to be in and out of Ko’olau Boys Home throughout the rest of his intermediate and high school years. However, Ko’olau Boys home hindered rather than helped his young life. “Once I came out of boys home, I was more worse because when I went boys home I knew people from Waianae, Waimanalo, Kailua, North Shore,” Jumawan said. He continued, “When you get sent to one bad place where everybody supposed to be bad, that’s the kind friends you goin’ hook up with.”
He said that he could stay with them whenever he was in trouble with the law. He also mentioned that if he was wanted for some little crime he did in Kahalu’u, then he could stay with a friend in Waimanalo or Waianae.
They also helped each other with crime. Some boys burglarized houses and then traded the stolen goods with Jumawan for drugs. Jumawan acquired many of his firearms in this manner.
During his tenth and eleventh grade years, his life was engrossed in criminal activities. Jumawan said that he was involved in shootings, robberies and “crazy things that people only see on TV.”
In his senior year of high school, he assaulted a man who owed him $930 for drugs and was convicted as an adult. “When my class was graduating I was in Halawa (jail) getting ready for be shipped to the mainland,” Jumawan said.
Jumawan remained in jail for the next six years and eleven months of his life. Many of his friends from the boys’ home were already in jail getting drugs through some of the Adult Correction Officer’s (ACO’s). When Jumawan entered, he joined them.
Throughout the rest of his life he was in jail or out on parole. At one point in time while he was out on parole, he was wanted by the police for three cases of assault from three different islands. He said that he was one of Hawaii’s top ten most wanted criminals.
During this last time in prison, the courts allowed Jumawan to be released on bail under the following two conditions: someone needed vouch for him by letting the courts and authorities know his location if he should break the law and he needed to go straight into a drug treatment program upon his release. “The only program that accepted me was RAM (Rebuilders Addiction’s Ministry),” said Jumawan.
By the time Jumawan entered RAM, he desired to change his lifestyle. “I came to this program with one heart that was broken,” said Jumawan. He also said that this was the first time in his life that he realized he needed help. “Nobody could help me. Only God goin’ help me,” said Jumawan.
RAM has given Jumawan a support system. Jumawan said, in reference to the men in RAM and people from the church that attended his most recent court hearing, “This the first time in my life I ever seen one courtroom full with people there for support me for me.” He continued, “They believe in me. My father never even believed in me.”
Jumawan also said that RAM helped him to trust in God and give his life over to God. “I gave my whole life and my freedom to him [God]. Now everyday, I just pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance. I walking with God and he give me daily blessings everyday. I happy for that,” said Jumawan.
At age 34, Jumawan is eight months clean and continues to move forward with his life. He just got his general excise tax license to start his own second-hand store on the Windward side to help people in need.
He also speaks to the youth at schools and churches about his “hopes, strengths, and experiences.” “I tell them straight up the things that I did and that they no like be in that game. That game is one dead end game.” He also tells them, “Pray to God, God goin’ help you. But before you pray to God you gotta know God and before you know God you gotta give your life to God.”
Jumawan is restoring his relationship with his father. “Me and my father used to fight. We used to like kill each other,” Jumawan said. He also said that his father used to shoot at him with his gun and that Jumawan would “rip up all his (Jumawan’s father) house.” “This the first time in my life that I close with God that me and my father can talk,” said Jumawan.
Through God and RAM, Jumawan’s whole overall philosophy of life changed from selfishness to selflessness. “Before, I cared less about anybody. It was all about me,” said Jumawan. He went on to say, “Now, if anybody ever needed help, I’d give my shirt off my back. I’d give my last dollar.”
Although Jumawan’s life started out on a rough path, Jumawan sees hope for a better future through God. “God is awesome. He allowed me to have a beautiful wife.He works in my life and allows me to be a humble person and take it [life] one day at a time. All I can do is trust in God,” he said.
From alcohol, to drugs, to gangs, to prison – Howard Kahue, a leader at Rebuilders Addictions Ministry (RAM), has been through it all.
At first glance, you might not guess that Kahue, a deacon at Windward Baptist Church and a role model for the men at RAM, came from a nightmare of a past.
His past gives him credibility with the more than thirty-five male clients who are part of the program. Kahue leads the men by example and encourages them to seek God and stay sober. He believes that if God can change him then God can change anybody.
Kahue began his downward spiral at age nineteen. A family member offered him crystal methamphetamine, “ice,” at a party. “From the first time I tried it, I was hooked,” Kahue said. In reference to the strength of the addiction, he said, “I would put my life on the line for drugs any day of the week.”
Kahue’s life of drugs led him into gangs and crime. He joined a gang called Eighteenth Street. He said that the gang taught him how to steal from stores, get through alarm systems and burglarize homes without being detected. He also witnessed his best friend being shot and killed by a rival gang member.
After leaving the gang, he went into treatment because none of his family members wanted to take him in. “I felt like if I went to treatment, that would be my way of getting back in with my family,” he said.
Kahue went through fourteen different programs and detoxified from drugs forty-four times. However, he continued on in his drug abuse. Depending on the stages of his life, his drug of choice ranged from crank and crack cocaine to shooting up heroine and ice with needles.
For about a year and a half he injected ice daily. “I don’t hardly remember anything from that year and a half,” he said. “I was shooting up ice badly. I don’t even know how I’m still alive.” At the end of the year and a half, he robbed a restaurant and held the manager hostage. He went to prison, where he looked at facing twenty years.
Since the defendant died while Kahue was in prison, the charges were dropped and he was released. When he came out of prison he met Jodi, his wife, at a bar. As they got to know each other, she inspired him to quit drugs. “I felt that I finally found something that was more important to me than drugs,” Kahue said.
Kahue then went into Hina Mauka, a drug rehab program, and was clean and sober for over a year. He became a leader and example for others, but he did not have God in his life.
A year later, he drank and did drugs for three months straight. “I started doing criminal activities again,” Kahue said. He said that Jodi stayed with him throughout everything. She gave him money so that he would not steal from other people. “I depleted Jodi’s account of $20,000. I used to call her to tell her that I pawned her jewelry. She would then go back and buy her jewelry from the pawn shop.” Kahue continued, “I started bringing people that I used to lead, back into drugs. I messed some people up really bad.”
Kahue heard about RAM from a friend and decided to try it. He stayed in the program for five hours and left. However, he went back a couple days later and stayed.
When he came into the program, Akana said, “I knew from the first time I met Kahue that there was something special about him.” He continued, “I saw his potential, his personality, his heart, and his desire. I went the extra extra mile to get him to come into the program, which I normally don’t do.”
Kahue said that Pastor Akana made the difference between RAM and the other programs. Akana took Kahue with him wherever he went. Kahue watched Akana’s life and was inspired to change. “He had an inner strength that wasn’t violent or threatening, but loving. He had a love for the Lord that I didn’t understand. I wanted that,” Kahue said.
About a week or two after joining RAM, Kahue put his faith in Jesus Christ. “It was a drastic change for me,” Kahue said. “I quit drugs and stopped swearing. I am more aware of how I act.” He also said that another major difference in his life is that he feels badly when he does wrong.
His values took a sharp turn as well. “So many things mattered to me before that had to do with drugs and standard of living. I got all the drugs and all the girls and all the whatever,” Kahue explained. “Now the only thing that really matters to me is what the Lord, my wife, and my peers think of me.”
Now, at age 36, Kahue desires to be a servant to the men in RAM and be an example of how the Lord can change lives. Tom, a client in RAM, said that Kahue has greatly influenced his life. “I like his attitude, his whole outlook on the RAM ministry, and his focus on God. I like the energy that he brings in wanting to serve God and be of service to us,” Tom said.