Church celebrates milestone

By Sarafina Sanerivi 31 December 2016, 12:00AM

The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Saoluafata was a place of celebration yesterday.

More than a hundred people assembled to celebrate the church’s 90th birthday.

The celebration started on Thursday with a parade and entertainment from the youth.

It ended yesterday with the unveiling of a new monument in front of the church, and a special service of thanksgiving, which was led by the Commanding Reverend Elder for Apia Sasa’e, Reverend Asotasi Time.

The names of the previous pastors who served at Saoluafata and their wives are written on the monument including all the names of church families who are currently attending the church.

Reverend Asotasi reminded everyone that they should always remember to thank God and give him all the glory.

“This is the day that the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it,” he said.

“As we gather here today, we shall remember to thank God for his love and blessings. He made this possible and brought us this far, therefore, we should give back the glory, honor and praise to Him.”

For Reverend Limua’a Samuelu, who is currently serving at Saoluafata, he said the celebration was very important to him and members of the congregation.

“This is a very special day for us,” he told the Weekend Observer.

“This church was established in the year 1926 and today, we are commemorating 90 years since the church was established. So this is a thanksgiving service to thank God for His blessings, love and guidance.”

Looking back, Reverend Limua’a said the church had overcome a lot of difficulties along the way, and they were able to endure it all with God’s grace and love. 

“When we first came here, the elders told us about stories of how the church was established here at Saoluafata. 

“They said back in 1918 during the epidemic influenza and famine in Samoa, a lot of people from all around Samoa and Apia suffered from the influenza and famine. But not so many people from Saoluafata died because of the epidemic influenza.

“People also came here to look for food here at Saoluafata. And it was such a blessing and to come this far with all God’s love and protection and that is the main reason why we are celebrating today. 

“We have this special commemoration every year. But since we are celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Church, we decided to make it a big celebration and invite all the people of Saoluafata from all around Samoa and overseas as well to come and celebrate with us.”

Moreover, Reverend Limua’a said the celebration is vitally important for it can be a remind the children and future generation of the struggles our ancestors went through just so we can have what we have now.

“That’s one of the reasons for this service,” he said.

 “It’s a reminder for us to never ever forget the love of God for us, his children.

“It can also be a reminder for our children and future generation, to remind them about the struggles of our ancestors and our forefathers and their fight so that we can live peacefully and freely. 

“And this service is to remind them so that they can continue on the good work and continue doing great things for the Lord and to always thank him for everything. 

“We’ve seen a lot of blessings from God for this village and congregation over the years and that’s one reason to celebrate. 

“There are challenges here and there along the way, but that’s just natural and that’s life. But with God at the forefront of everything, we can achieve great things. 

“So today, we are so happy to have some families from overseas and friends here with us to witness this very special day for us.” 

By Sarafina Sanerivi 31 December 2016, 12:00AM

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