God is where strength comes from.
That’s a truth 77-year-old Ta’amale To’elau from the villages of Sapunaoa, Falealili, swears by.
He works hard to take care of his family following the single principle, not to rely on anyone else’s strength but the strength from God.
“The one lesson I always teach my children is to always put the Lord’s work first,” he told the Village Voice.
“If they listen to me then they will see the blessings come their way and no matter how hard they try and use up those blessings, it will never run out.”
“That’s not all; I also tell them that whatever they have, if they use it to help others then they will be blessed. The best way I can teach them is to walk the talk myself.”
“So if I don’t finish selling my taro or other goods within the week then I will give it out to those who need it.”
No matter how old Ta’amale gets, he will work very hard to provide for his family.
“I am getting very old but I am still working hard,” he said.
“I work hard simply because I want my children to live a good and happy life; I don’t want them to live a life where they need to rely on other people’s strength. I want them to live on their own strength.”
Even when it comes to his children, he refuses to live on what they make and never asks for assistance from them.
“I am not the type of person to beg my children for assistance when comes to things I need,” Ta’amale said.
“Whether it’s village obligation or what not, I don’t ask them for help. I do accept their help if they want to show love through blessing me but other than that, I don’t ask.”
“The only thing I tell them is to never forget the love of the Lord and to help those that need their help.”
No matter the type of work Ta’amale does, he does it with a smile on his face.
“The one thing I believe is that the work that I am doing is the work of the lord,” he said.
“Even when it comes to chores I see it as working for the lord because I try and bless others. I know that my children have a lot of money but I just don’t want to burden them.”
“I have already taught them that when they are older they should not expect others to help them out but to work hard to look after their own family.”
According to Ta’amale, there are no problems he faces and he has even worked hard to the point of affording two cars.
“I have recently bought a new car and the other car is what I use to transport the goods that I sell here at the market,” he said.
“The truth is with my E.F.K.S. Congregation. No one has been taken to jail if they do not go through with church commitments, they do not force anyone to give.”
“Whatever you give is meant to be given out of joy from the heart.”
He also has a message for those who say there is poverty in Samoa.
“If I am to be honest with you, people in Samoa are only poor if they are lazy,” Ta’amale said.
“That is what I know is true. You cannot just pray to God to provide you with everything and then after the prayer you just go and sit around and wait.”
“That’s not how life works. How can you expect others to help those who do not help themselves? Work hard to take care of yourselves first.”
“That’s my opinion on the matter. You will die if you are lazy and refuse to work.”