Missionary work brought Marie and Lloyd Tsuruda to Samoa one week ago.
The couple from Tennessee, U.S., is here to attend the Samoa National Prayer Conference, which concluded last night.
It is also a time for them to visit friends and enjoy Samoa’s scenic view.
“We went to To Sua Ocean Trench, and we went to the swimming pool by the waterfall, which was just so beautiful, and then we went swimming in the ocean, we went to the beach, and then we went to Sinalei Resort,” Marie said.
Marie started missionary work when she was a teenager and she has visited 72 countries just evangelizing and growing God’s kingdom on earth.
Lloyd on the other hand, had just started travelling with his wife last year, and they have visited 22 countries together.
At times, they shared that their three children, two teenage daughters and their younger son would join them in travelling for missionary work.
And when the opportunity came for them to join in praying for Samoa, they felt that it was God’s calling, which they say has been one of their best destinations so far.
Curious as to know the reason, the Dear Tourist team asked why Samoa.
Marie shared: “The people, the culture here I just love it, because it’s a Christian family-based culture, everywhere I go I hear worship music and it just inspires me with a piece of God’s presence everywhere and the people are just so friendly, I feel like I’m part of the family already. And also the family values that they’re telling me about, it just means a lot to me, and I just love it. The people are basically the best part.”
Lloyd couldn’t agree more: “And it’s very safe because the people are so friendly and Christian-oriented and you don’t have to get really nervous. There are a lot of places that we travel, we have to make sure of where we’re going or to get nervous because we don’t know what to expect.
“And I personally like the different churches in Samoa because in other places, you don’t even know what to expect when you get there, I mean when you get off at the airport, and you go straight through to Customs you are told that this is a Christian country, it’s unique because in other countries you wouldn’t be able to identify yourself whether you’re a Christian or not, in other places we’ve been too, we have to be careful if we’re a Christian.”
The couple also loved the local dishes.
“We had the fiafia night in the hotel, the roasted pig was nice and then we love the food they’re bringing in from the different denominations to the conference, it’s like I’m getting a taste of all the restaurants,” Marie said.
Being first timers to Samoa’s shores, they both agreed that development depends on the people of Samoa.
“I think Samoa has a lot to offer. I like the way it is, but if they want more tourists then it’s up to the country, I mean they can develop more things,” Llyod said.
Marie also shared her opinion: “My perspective on that is, I’ve been to Hawai’i and it’s more crowded there, compared to here, so here I feel like I have it all to myself, so I don’t feel as commercialized, like I do where I am just a tourist, I feel like I am a family member and that is a big draw for me and I will definitely be back because it isn’t developed like other places, I like that.”
The prayer week, they explained, involved Samoa’s government leaders, government pastors, the government prayer houses; under the organisation One in Christ and its aim is to bring the different denominations together to pray for Samoa.
“We are just glad to be a part of it, because we can tell that God will do bigger things here when they come together in unity and prayer,” Marie said.
The couple expressed their intention of returning.
“We intend to come back later in the year to start a children’s crusade and that’ll be fun for the kids and just to come and pray with the people here.”