Lalomalava Church lights up Savai'i Christmas
It is that time of the year again and on the big island of Savai'i, the spirit of Christmas is alive and well.
With just three weeks away from the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, families and congregations all around the island are putting in a lot of work to "light" up the mood this year. This is especially noticeable at the house of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa's Pastor at Lalomalava, which is attracting an audience at night.
The masterminds behind the beautiful decorations and arrangements of Christmas lights are Reverend Sotiaka and Vanu Roma, who are currently looking after the C.C.C.S. at Lalomalava.
Bringing Christmas cheers and putting smiles on the kids' faces, is the mantra behind the initiative to fully decorate their house with Christmas lights, says Reverend Sotiaka.
"We were called to serve this parish in 2017," Reverend Sotiaka told the Samoa Observer.
"Before that, we stayed in New Zealand and it was like a trend during this season for families to put up Christmas lights and decorations.
"So we thought we decorate our house too and light up to bring the Christmas spirits to our people here in Savai'i."
Seeing the smiles on the children's faces when they see the bright colorful lights at their house, is satisfying, added Reverend Sotiaka.
"And that is the most important thing," he said.
"It's the least we could do to light up the mood and gets everyone excited for the season of Christmas."
Nevertheless, Reverend Sotiaka added that giving back to the community inspires them to continue this initiative every year.
"There is not much to do here in Savai'i compare to Upolu," he said.
"In Upolu, parents have a variety of places they can take their children to, to relax and have a good time during the festive season.
"They can take them to the movies, to the playground and see the lights in towns.
"But our island and our people are still developing so we thought we'd do something to give back to our people and children, to allow them to come and enjoy the lights."
This year, Reverend Sotiaka and his wife decided to put up their lights a little early, to bring in positivity as the world continues to fight the global pandemic that has affected thousands of lives across the world.
"The goal is to light up our moods and spirits as we prepare to commemorate the birth of our Lord and savior.
"With so many uncertainties happening not only in Samoa but also the world, we were motivated to dedicate our efforts in putting this together so we can bring in positivity and light up our spirits and moods.
"It's something we love and enjoy to do and we are happy to do it for our people, especially our kids.
"We've been getting a lot of positive feedback from the community, especially those who live in the nearby villages."