By Rev. Fa’aso’o N. Auva’a
From a grateful and sincere heart, I take this opportunity to speak on behalf of all the pastors and the wives, the elders, deacons and their wives, and the rest of the Samoan Baptist Ministries in New Zealand.
We would like to extend our thanks, our gratitude to National Leader Rodney Macann, the President, National Consultant, and the staff, for their generous gifts, donations of clothing, food, monetary gifts, and prayer after Samoa was hit by the tsunami. The villages of Lalomanu and Satitoa have been blessed by two large containers, especially the building of a new primary school for the village of Satitoa in Aleipata.
Things have not been simple, yet they have been made possible because of that love that you all have for Christ Jesus. It is for that reason that I believe in my heart what Paul said to the Corinthians: “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4).
I would like to thank National Administrator Kelvyn Fairhall and his team for quickly responding to our requests and preparing all the supplies of boxes needed to help the people of Samoa who had no food and clothing, and bringing hope to families who lost loved ones.
We would also like to thank Peter Mihaere, Paul Thomson and the team, for the project to build a new primary school for the village of Satitoa.
Our greatest thanks is to Rodney Macann for travelling to Samoa, which has been like a healing to a wound for all of us Samoan pastors and wives here in New Zealand. Though he has been busy, he took the time to experience the devastation there and to see what the Baptist Union could do. Rodney’s visit has meant so much to us all, and we see how much he loves the Lord and his calling.
Regarding Rodney’s trip to Samoa, Ben Taufua, adeacon at Grey Lynn Community, said that he felt a sense of healing and of comfort from God within his heart and soul. The tsunami claimed the lives of 14 members of Ben’s family, including his 98-year-old father.
Pastor Seupule of Samoan Baptist Church Wainuiomata, Wellington, also lost five people from his family.
Rodney’s trip to Samoa has comforted our brothers who mourn over their dear loved ones lost in the tsunami. On behalf of all the Samoan Baptist churches, we thank him for his faithfulness, love for the people of God, and for representing all the Baptist churches here in New Zealand.
We also thank all the Baptist churches that offered time in transporting boxes of gifts from the community and their churches. Thank you for your generous giving. May the God of grace abundantly bless all of you who gave and prayed for our people in Samoa.
Thank you for your kindness, your love, during the time of great loss and suffering.
Paul expressed and blessed the Thessalonians with these words: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (Thessalonians 3:16). We bless you all with the same words.
May you all have a blessed journey this New Year by the grace and the mercy of God, through Christ. May His will be fulfilled, just as He has called us all, to complete His work in the Baptist family of New Zealand.
• Fa’aso’o is an elder of Samoan Baptist Ministries, New Zealand