Success stories abound at the Apia Harvest Centre where new programmes are making a difference in the lives of couples and young people.
‘Teen Challenge’ was launched in May this year under the leadership of Papaliitele Niko Lee Hang who is the patron, together with the support from the Apia Harvest Centre Bible College.
The programme has its origins in the United States of America.
Rev. Fa’afetai Fata Meafou, Principal of Apia Harvest Centre Bible College said, ‘’ We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Courts, Administration and Justice in May this year. Since then, 118 cases have now being referred to us for our rehabilitation programme.”
“The last two Sundays, there were seven couples who graduated from the programme. Two couples tied the knot while others renewed their vows.”
The programme also targets the youth of Samoa who have been in trouble in life by placing them in the Teen Challenge Programme.
Eric Poe, who is the Director of the Teen Challenge Programme said, “ I have seen great changes in the lives of youths who are under the Teen Challenge Programme since they have taken part.”
Mikaele Iosefa, 21 years of age from Moataá was in court on the 28th of February this year because he got himself into a brawl and was then transferred to the Teen Challenge Programme.
“It’s been eight months now since I began participating and I feel that I have been reborn and can forget all that I have done in the past whether it was good or bad.”
“I finally believe that God loves me.
“Changes in my life have been noticed by my family in that I have spent more time with them especially during family prayers in the evenings rather than roaming around the village.”
Witnessing the Bible Graduation on Friday night, made me eager to enrol at the Bible College, he said.
With a need to have a job to provide for his family of eight, Mr. Iosefa has hopes to work at the Samoa Stationary and Books.
Another youth who is now volunteering his time in the programme having already finished the rehabilitation programme is Atlanta Sola, 21 years of age.
Mr. Sola said, “Getting into the Teen Challenge Programme will definitely help me to achieve my dream which is to become a Pastor. Before, I used to talk to my mother about it but she wasn’t happy has she wanted me to go and look for job.”
“I first entered the Teen Programme at the beginning of this year when I got into a fight with some other youths. The fight started because of my friend but I jumped in to help out not thinking what the consequences would be.”
“To me this was God’s plan that I would achieve my goal, by getting into trouble, landing in court and ending up at Teen Challenge.
“With all the hardship that I faced, my advice for the youths of Samoa is, listen to your parents, take and use their encouraging words so that you will be a good girl or a boy in life.
“In the long run, the Teen Challenge Programme will be also be given to the Samoa Qualifications Authority to assess in order to be officially recognized,” says Rev. Fa’afetai Fata Meafou, Principal of Apia Harvest Centre Bible College.