The Salvation Army - Autau O le Fa’aolataga is celebrating its official opening in Samoa next weekend, start from 3 until 5 August.
After months of preparations they are excited to be officially launching their mission of “caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society through Christ at their worship and community centre in Moto’otua.
Hundreds of people from NZ and Samoa will be attending the opening celebrations.
“People may not be aware that the Salvation Army is a Church as well as one of the largest providers of social services in New Zealand and Australia,” said Lt. Colonel Rod Carey, Regional Leader and Pastor.
“We are an international movement, and an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Our message is based on the Bible. Our ministry is motivated by love for God. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.”
The celebrations commence at the Moto’otua Church on Friday night at 6.00pm with a prayer meeting “nothing happened without prayer” says Colonel Carey. “We have witnessed so many answers to prayer and lots of miracles as we’ve been establishing out services” God is so good”
On Saturday morning there will be outreach concerts in SNPF Plaza from 10.30 -11.30am The National Salvation Army Choir, Spiritsong from New Zealand, and the Waitakere West Auckland Samoan Worship Band will bless and entertain people shopping in the plaza.
Saturday afternoon at 2.00pm at the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale the official opening will take place. “We are delighted that The Hon Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi will bring words of welcome. The Prime Minister was one of the first to extend an invitation for The Salvation Army to come to Samoa” says Colonel Carey. Commissioners Andrew and Yvonne Westrupp our Territorial Leaders from NZ will bring words of greeting from the International Leader of the Salvation Army, General Andre Cox based in London and also from the Salvation Army in New Zealand.
“Everybody loves a free Gospel concert” says Colonel Jenny Carey –Regional Leader and Pastor so on Saturday evening at 6.00pm a Concert will be held at the Tourism Fale featuring the Apia Protestant Church choir, the Fa’atoia EFKS Youth Cultural Group, the Waitakere Salvation Army Samoan Worship Band and the Salvation Army National Choir from NZ. “We will praise and celebrate giving thanks to God in for his goodness and love in providing all that we need to set up our ministry to the people of Samoa”
The Salvation Army Church has been holding services in Moto’otua since May and is attracting many people to its Sunday services. “We preach the message of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and coming again and emphasise the power of the Holy Spirit to help us witness and work for the Lord.” says Colonel Carey.
A church service to conclude the opening weekend is being held on Sunday at the Tourism fale at 10.00am. “The Salvation Army is place where everybody is somebody and Jesus is Lord, so everyone is welcome to attend” says Colonel Carey.
Since arriving in Samoa they have established key partnerships with social service providers, Goshen Trust Samoa Mental Health Services, Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration Probation and Parole Services, and Samoa Victim Support Group. “We haven’t come to compete with other churches or social service agencies but to partner and collaborate for the good of the people” says Colonel Rod Carey.
The first social service they will deliver is an Addictions Services, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programme. They have employed two qualified and experienced Drug and Alcohol clinician’s and mental health professionals from New Zealand. Aukusitino and Natalie Senio both worked for Pasifika services in District Health Boards in Auckland and come highly regarded. “People needing help with Alcohol and Drug use and abuse can now find free, professional, confidential and credible help through accessing our services.” says Colonel Carey. Addictions Services Team Leader, Aukusitino Senio says. “We take referrals from family, social services agencies. Health, Justice and also self-referrals. If you need us we’re here to help”
Captain Miriama Simanu –Pastor, runs a drop in centre every week day morning at the centre in Moto’otua. “Drop by sometime for a cup of coffee and a listening ear” says Captain Simanu.
The Salvation Army is grateful to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand and the New Zealand High Commission in Samoa for their generous support for the Alcohol and Drug programme through the International Partnership Aid Development Fund.
“Our vision statement is, The Army that brings Life” says Colonel Carey, “Life in all its fullness. We are an Army that cares for the least, the last and the lost. There are no guns in God’s Army. We fight with love, prayer, God’s Word, and serving people so they can be free from addiction, poverty, brokenness and despair.”
“We are looking for more volunteers to help us in our work” says Colonel Jenny Carey. “If you are interested in finding out more about serving in the Salvation Army, come along to our opening weekend. You can also visit us at our centre at Moto’otua during the week or ring us on 7706666.”