Santa visits Campus of Hope
Christmas came early for victims of abuse at the Campus of Hope, after Santa and Mrs. Claus paid them a visit bearing gifts.
Jim and Mindy Wiese are missionaries from Missouri, America who are part of the team of committed volunteers at the Campus.
The Campus is under the care of Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.).
The couple is responsible for the spiritual development of the children through their weekly Christian Living sessions.
It has been an arrangement that had contributed to the healing and recovering processes each child at the Campus goes through.
This Christmas the Wiese couple put on the traditional Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes to treat the children of hope to a day of laughter and thanksgiving.
Mr. Wiese told the Samoa Observer that their message for the children is that Jesus loves everyone.
He added that Jesus is the hope for the world.
“We also tell the children that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by God,” he stated.
The couple has been volunteering at the campus for close to a year.
“The kids are like our family; one child grabbed my arm and said that I am their grandpa,” Mr. Wiese said.
Mrs. Wiese said that this year was the first time they wanted to do something special for the victims at the campus to spread Christmas cheer.
She said that they presented around 80 gifts for the children of different ages and the funds were donated by Church of God World Missions, Cleveland Tennessee in America.
The gifts consisted of different shapes and sizes from coloured balloons, to books, stationery and sweets. And the children were more than grateful.
“We wanted to help the children by providing materials for learning,” she said.
“Every Tuesday morning we volunteer at the campus by teaching Bible stories for the children, they need love.
“It is a great feeling to put a smile upon a child’s face that has been broken, to see sadness change to joy even if they may not know their stories. We told them, E alofa Iesu ia te oe [Jesus loves you].”
The Wiese couple has done other charity work within the community with donations to street vendors and school students plus balloons.
The children of hope reciprocated by entertaining Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The president of S.V.S.G., Siliniu Lina Chang, said that it was always a blessed feeling to witness God’s love for us through the good samaritans who enter the Campus of Hope.
“The beautiful Christmas gesture by our missionaries turned Santa and Mrs. Claus is humbling, and we are very grateful,” Siliniu said.
“Thank you Jim and Mindy Wiese for going the extra mile to show the children of hope that you care.
“We appreciate you and we pray for good health so that you’ll continue with your missionary in Samoa.”