Church Minister still homeless after earthquake

Seventh-Day Adventist (S.D.A) church minister, Pastor Lane Selota Seufale, and his wife have been living without a home since their house was destroyed by an earthquake late last year.

The couple, who continue to be in need of a new home but have been offered temporary lodgings by a church member. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, pastor Seufale’s wife, Iliganoa Seufale, said the brick walls of their house started to come apart when the severe earthquake struck. 

“The walls of our house [...were] severely cracked; the earthquake caused severe damage including the partial collapse of the house so it was unsafe for us to stay,” she said. 

“[Luckily a] couple offered us a home to stay in for the time being while we completely take down the house with plans to build a new one.”

With cracked walls and a damaged house, floods, heavy downpour and insects would overtake their house almost every night. 

“We were not able to continue as planned, building a new house but expectations did not go so well as we could not afford to do so,” she said. 

“Now we’re just waiting for when we will be able to [rebuild] and we’ll be living in [someone] else’s home for the time being.

“During the recent heavy downpours and floods across the country, our plantations of crops and vegetables we rely on for food were completely washed away.

“We’ve always relied on those plantations to save us money but now it’s all gone and life has gotten harder going forward.”

Pastor Seufale and his wife moved from Savai’i to Matautu in Lefaga in 2019 in response to their church calling.

According to Mrs. Seufale, they were welcomed to a plain and simple house which did not dampen their desire to serve the church and residents at Lefaga.

The couple’s children currently live overseas leaving only two of them serving in the country.

When the Samoa Observer visited the site of their house at Matautu on Friday, it had almost entirely receded into the ground. Only its foundations and debris from the wreck could be seen lying near the S.D.A. church.

Mrs. Seufale could not recall exactly when their house was destroyed late last year but earthquakes registering  5.2 and 6.7 and 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the nation in September, October, and November last year. 

Pastor Seufale and his wife previously served at Saipipi in Savaii and it has been 10 years that they have been serving the S.D.A. church. 

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