Paia Savai'i opens new church building
A special celebration was held at the village of Paia, Savai'i, on Friday to mark the opening of its new Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S) building.
The new structure is a significant step for the church's presence on the big island; it came at a cost of more than $540,000 and it comes fully furnished with fans and air conditioning.
Reverend Elder Tanielu Apineru presided over the service for inaugurating the new building.
Susana Tunumoso Iosia, the wife of the C.C.C.S .'s Chairman, Reverend Elder Tunumoso Iosia, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon and blessing the new building.
The constructions of the newly opened church lasted some eight months, according to Reverend Anthony Kosena, the pastor for C.C.C.S in Paia.
Now that the new structure has been realised, Reverend Anthony said all credit must go to God.
"We give thanks to the Lord because he made this possible," he said.
"We are overwhelmed with joy."
Reverend Anthony said the project involved surmounting several difficulties to reach completion.
"It wasn't easy," he admits.
"Financially, it was very challenging as this kind of development requires a lot of money.
"Another main problem for us was in terms of human resources. We only have eight (8) church family (matāfale) plus the pastor and his family.
"Altogether, there are only 83 people in the congregation including the new born babies as of November. So it was not easy to raise money and to fund the whole construction.
"But all turned out well in the end and we are very happy and grateful to everyone who contributed to the completion of our work.
"We express our sincere gratitude to each and everyone who has helped us in so many ways from the beginning of this work up to this day.
"We couldn't have done this if it weren't for the people who helped us and lent a helping hand.
"We only pray that the Lord continue to bless each and everyone who contributed and helped us with this.
"God bless and may you all have a happy festive season."
Reverend Kosena and his wife, Lealofi, have now notched up ten years' service for the Paia parish - another milestone worthy of recognition on Friday.
Friday's celebration attracted hundreds of people to witness the momentous occasion of the Church's commissioning.
The previous Church building was 30 years old.