Church elders' service recognised
Seven elders from the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa were recognised for their long service to the church in a ceremony on Friday morning at Fale Iupeli in Malua.
Reverend Fa'au'uga Matautia Epenesa and Maima Matautia were among the seven elders with family members, children as well as congregation members joining in congratulating them on achieving the benchmarks.
Aged 70 and hailing from the village of Matautu Falealili and his wife, Maima, have served the church for over 36 years, Rev. Fa'au'uga joined the church in 1985.
“This is such a memorable event for us (elders) to be thankful for after serving the church and the time has come for us to get retired for that all the glory is with the Lord, for all of his love and guidance upon us, as we served as a servant for his Ministry,” said Rev. Faauuga.
But the journey over the last 36 years hasn’t been easy and while he is happy that it has now come to a close, the work of a missionary will always be work in progress even after they exited their church ministry.
“The journey was not easy to comply with the struggle and the hard work and as we all know how the work has rolled for that we are grateful for everything despite the many challenges we have faced,” he added.
Rev. Fa'au'uga and his wife first served the C.C.C.S. at Saleilua Falealili from 1980 to 1984 after graduating from Malua Theological College.
He then became part of a sub-committee where he served as a Secretary for Komti o Feau Eseese (K.F.E.) for a five-year term while being the Chairman of the Finance Committee which he served for six years.
The recognition by the church of Rev. Fa'au'uga and his six colleagues also coincided with the birthday of the 70-year-old.
Rev. Letupu.Matautia, the eldest son of Rev. Faauuga said he is proud to see his parent’s achievements within the church getting acknowledged.
“They have played an important role for us (their children) I remembered from the very young age, the bible teaches us everything in life they have pushed us to have faith in God and put our only trust in God, they love our families and served them but especially to put God’s first in everything, money is not important to them but sharing their thoughts and helping people who needed help the most,” he added.
Two of Rev. Faauuga’s children are both serving God’s ministry and they hope to take after their parents by becoming missionaries.
Rev. Faauuga and his wife have four children: three boys and one girl. They also have 13 grandchildren. Five of the longest-serving elders in the church are from Samoa with one from Hawaii.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the proceedings of the annual conference were streamed through videoconferencing for those who lived abroad.
The annual conference will close on Monday with the selection of a new treasurer and deputy chairman for the next term.