Born and raised in Manoa Valley, I never dreamed of becoming a pastor. In fact, as a child and adolescent I felt an innate resistance toward anything “religious.” The love of my life was playing football, but my football dreams crashed and burned after three losing seasons at Roosevelt High School. As a disillusioned young man, I drank heavily with my buddies and lived aimlessly.
One day, I’m minding my own business at Kapiolani Community College, when a high school classmate approached me and said, "Hey Russell I want to tell you about Jesus!" Immediately my walls went up and I thought to myself, "I don't want to hear about Jesus!" But I did notice that my once angry classmate had love in his eyes. Long story short, at age 21 I became a Christian.
In 1977, I graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.S. in Human Development. I realized that what made the biggest difference is my life was knowing Jesus. So, in 1978 I went to Western Seminary, in Portland OR, to train to teach people about Jesus.
After three months in seminary I missed my girlfriend, Judy Lee, from Kalani High School, so much that I asked her to marry me. She said, “Yes!” Together, we finished our last three years of seminary in Portland. Over the years the Lord gave us three wonderful boys, Jonathan, Corey, and Kelcy, as well as two handsome grandsons, Bryce and Dylan.
I have been a pastor now for over 35 years. Five years ago, we started Streams of Life Fellowship to bring God's blessing and transformation to those in Manoa Valley and beyond. It is my prayer that anyone that “Streams” touches will experience God’s radical transformation and blessing. If, God can radically transform someone like me, I'm sure he can transform you!
In His love,
Teaching is in his blood.
As the firstborn son of Howard and Betty Inouye, Craig was naturally influenced in the educational
arena; his parents were both educators.
His family answered God’s call to move from Seattle, Washington, to Tokyo, Japan, where his father
Howard accepted a position to teach at an English-speaking school for the children of Christian
missionaries. During his formative years, Craig attended this same school, Christian Academy of Japan, along with his two sisters, Jeanne and Janice. When their home church in Seattle called his father to fill in as the interim pastor, they returned to the states, and soon after, younger brother Stephen became the newest addition to their family.
Craig spent his high school years back in Seattle—this time, not only as a pastor’s kid, but also as a
teacher’s kid, since he was in his dad’s algebra and geometry classes. It’s no wonder Craig decided to
become a teacher! After double majoring in Math and Economics with a Bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University, Craig began his teaching career in the Seattle public school system. In 1999, he accepted a position to teach math at Kalani High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Since he was then-single, his students took it upon themselves to set him up with the most eligible English teacher. After a rigorous vetting process (on her part…haha), Lisa became his wife.
God brought Craig and Lisa together in 2004, and their commitment to be obedient to His calling led them to eventually become involved in Streams of Life Fellowship from its inception. Throughout the years, Craig served on the Leadership Team in various roles and capacities and utilized his teaching skills by leading Bible study classes. In the process, he has worked alongside Pastor Russ Higa for over 15 years—Pastor Russ was even involved in their wedding!
In November 2017, Craig and Lisa once again obeyed God’s calling, this time for Craig to serve part-time as the Assistant Pastor at Streams of Life Fellowship, while he continues to teach at Kapiolani Community College. In this new season, they endeavor to seek God’s wisdom and rely on His guidance to lead those at Streams with the same love He has demonstrated to them.
Craig’s Final Thoughts:
“God continues to challenge our growth as we endeavor to become more like Him. Our prayer is that we would be worthy ambassadors for Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV) “ We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Manoa Valley is the most beautiful place on earth. I believe God is doing great work and a revival is
around the corner.
My wife Jess and I have served in a variety of ministry roles. Although I look local, I was born in South Korea, adopted at the age of 5 months old, and grew up in Christian home in Columbia, Maryland. I was 14 years old when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Jess and I moved to Honolulu in 2012 to volunteer full time at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) School of Biblical Studies. I met Pastor Russ in 2013 when he came to YWAM and shared about Streams of Life Fellowship (SOLF), a new church he was planting. Afterwards, Pastor Russ spoke to me and gave me a flyer. I thought to myself, “NO WAY am I going to that church!” But God very clearly told us to go to Streams in the coming new year. So in January 2014 we went, and we instantly felt welcomed and cared for.
In July of 2015, we left Hawaii to move to Tennessee to volunteer with a discipleship ministry called The Red Schools. In the summer of 2017 a family from Streams asked us to house sit for them while they were away in Colorado. We jumped at the opportunity to be back in Hawaii. I remember I was swimming at Ala Moana beach, and as my head went under water, my subconscious said, “I want to live in Hawaii!” Then during this visit, Russ asked me if I’d consider pastoring at Streams of Life Fellowship.
In May 2018, we gave away almost everything we owned on the mainland, crated our 100 lb. Great
Pyrenees dog, shipped our miracle van, and flew from Atlanta to Honolulu.
Jess and I have been married for 9 years and this is the fifth state we lived in.
I’m blessed to serve at Streams of Life Fellowship with an amazing Pastoral team, volunteers, and family. My hope is to raise up passionate, competent, and committed followers of Jesus that have the vision and skills to raise up other passionate, competent, and committed followers of Jesus. Jesus is passionately in love with us and I’m excited for us all to walk more deeply together with Him.