Big island brings scripture to life on Sunday

Salelologa wharf was packed from dawn on Saturday to the last light as families and relatives from Apia returned to Savai'i to bring scripture to life as the big island celebrated White Sunday.

The entire island was in high spirits on Sunday as children wore smiles, shiny new shoes and white outfits while they performed in dancing, singing and skits that were at the centre of the day's celebration.

Most were followed by the family to'onai (Sunday feast).

For the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, the main theme for this year's International Bible Reading Association (I.B.R.A) was: "Abide with me". 

Children enacted the gospel message with stories from the Bible.

The Methodist Church's theme - "Children are gifts from God" - was reflected in children's performances of singing, dancing, acting and performances. 

"White Sunday is more than just dressing up and seeing who gets the nicest shoes," said Reverend Vaueli Sanerivi of the C.C.C.S at Faletagaloa Safune.

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"It's a celebration of God's gift to us. We do thank God for blessing us with children almost everyday, but sometimes we tend to forget how precious these children are and how much joy they bring into our lives.

"White Sunday is a day where we remember the importance of children in our lives and we use this opportunity to remind them that they are precious in the eyes of the Lord.

"This is a day we also get to see the different talents of our children. From acting to singing and dancing to playing piano and conducting songs.

"It helps them gain confidence and encourage them to enjoy their youth and teen and what better way to celebrate than to give thanksgiving to the Lord."

For Taramara Taoa from Safune, she was overwhelmed with the love her parents expressed for her and her siblings.

"I am not the only girl in the family but my parents bought me two sets of new white puletasi for White Sunday," the nine-year-old told the Samoa Observer.

"My three brothers were not happy when my parents bought them one pair of new white suit for each of them, especially my twin brother.

"They said it was unfair for me to get two new pair of white clothes. But my dad said I am the only girl from our family who is partaking in this year's white Sunday as my baby sister is just two-years-old.

"I also got me a new red puletasi from my parents which made me so happy because we don't have a lot of money, but my parents made sure we are happy."

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