‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil’, this verse from the Psalm of David Chapter 23, according to Reverend Utufua Naseri sets the guiding principle of SVSG’s work for 2017 as we set sail in our journey together with the God of Miracles.
Held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Mulivai on Sunday, Father Falaniko Matulino, the Head of the Apia Vicariate of the Catholic Church welcomed the Head of State, Afioga Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, the Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Fiame Naomi Mataafa, members of cabinet and hundreds of leaders from churches, villages, government ministries, partners and friends of SVSG who came together in prayer.
It was really a coming together of a Family, to pray and to uplift together our support services to the God of Miracles.
Church leaders from different denominations took part during the service. We had Reverend Taumafai Komiti of the Methodist Church Matafele; Associate Pastor Faamatuainu Amosa Pouoa of the Apia Harvest Centre and Reverend Dr. Mosese Mailo, Principal of the Piula Theological College offering our prayers. Then we had our bible readings by Pastor Sauileola Timo of the Seventh Day Adventist Afega and President Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Malie Stake.
The beautiful hymns were sung by choirs from the Catholic Church Luatuanuu, CCCS Church Toamua, Methodist Church Matafele and the SVSG Village Representatives who travelled all the way from Falealili. And the big island of Savaii did not want to be missed out on the Thanksgiving Service. Elderly and SVSG village representatives from Savaii travelled on the last ferry to take attend the service.
And through Rev. Utufua Naseri’s sermon, SVSG’s Family was reminded that in our journey, we will encounter difficulties and challenges, but only through the divine intervention of the God of Miracles, will we be able to endure and continue. He reminded SVSG and its family of supporters “to take guidance from the Psalm of David as it speaks honestly about the reality of life; that there will be green pastures associated with good days, then still waters, mountains, the obstacles that we have to overcome, then hatred and rejection associated with the valley of the shadow of death.”
But throughout the despair, the uncertainty, the rejection, the hatred or when we are trapped at ground zero, we will find love in God’s grace, as we ‘Journey Together with the God of Miracles’.
SVSG Patron Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau together with the Chair of the Board, Ms. Georgina Lui acknowledged the coming together of the SVSG Family in prayer. Faafetai, Faafetai, Faafetai tele lava.
On 26 January 2017, the Staff Social Committee of the Samoa Stationery & Books (SSAB) presented Samoa Victim Support Group with ST2,000, as a gift for the start of the new year.
SSAB has always supported the work of SVSG but this donation was from the staff’s social funds. The social conscience of the SSAB Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Fiti Leung Wai is admired for it appears to be now adopted by members of her staff. So thank you to the staff of SSAB for this wonderful and positive inspiration for the start of the new year.
Sometimes, it is not only the gift itself that matters, but the act of support which is needed from time to time, to show us that the work is appreciated. This serves to strengthen our spirit in continuing the work.
From the SVSG Board, thank you Fiti and staff. The gift and your show of support could not have come at a better time.
“Journey together with the God of Miracles” is the theme for the 2017 Thanksgiving Service for the Samoa Victim Support Group’s extended family of supporters, donors and friends.
To be held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Mulivai on Sunday, 29 January 2017 at 6.00pm, the Thanksgiving Service will bring together the SVSG Family to worship, to pray and to thank our Heavenly Father for His guidance throughout 2016.
As we started on our journey in 2017, we once again seek His wisdom and grace, to lead and guide our journey throughout the year.
All the churches, the government ministries and corporations that we work with, the diplomatic corps that have assisted us, the business community that have walked in faith with us, the partners that we have fostered along the way and the individuals that believe in the Cause, are invited to join us in prayer.
Let us uplift our supporting work for the victims of crimes and the vulnerable people in our community to the Lord because a community that prays together stays together.
To God be the glory always, as we journey together in His grace.
“Folau ma le Atua Fai Vavega”
Michael and Anna Wade all the way from Vancouver in the United States of America were at the Campus of Hope today spending a full day with the kids. They had organised games with the kids, and the kids taught our American friends how to play Samoan rugby.
The day ended with a barbecue and ice cream provided by this kind couple who included a day at the Campus on their holiday in Samoa. The kids enjoyed themselves as this was a wonderful treat during school holidays right before school starts. The SVSG Board are deeply grateful to Michael and Anna for taking their time out for the children.
May you enjoy the rest of your holiday in Samoa and God Bless you in everything you want to achieve.
This is a programme initiated by Pastor Jeremy & Shelley Faumuina of the SVSG (Christchurch) with the assistance of the Christchurch Network of Churches. The programme involves a group of girls from the shelters travelling to New Zealand to experience a homestay arrangement with members of the Christchurch Network of Churches. They stay for 3 months with these church members undergoing rehabilitation to ready themselves to return back into society as confident and matured girls. The girls look forward to been picked for this programme and enjoyed themselves during their placements. All expenses for this programme including airfares are covered by Pastor Jeremy & Shelley with the assistance of the church community in Christchurch.
The Board of SVSG expresses their gratitude to Pastor Jeremy & Shelley Faumuina and the Christchurch Network of Churches for their continued support and commitment to SVSG.
Malo lava Lina and the Board,
We are grateful for another successful Homestay. It’s been a great time and huge adventure of learning, growing, healing and dreaming for our girls and for us seeing joy and hope being restored.
In 2 weeks, they will return to the shelter where they are excited to share their experiences and pass on to their friends all they have learnt.
It’s been a challenging but rewarding 3 months, but we are confidence they will return with more confidence and maturity after experiencing a bigger world that is full of endless possibilities. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them and we are grateful again to Lina and the Board for entrusting them to our care.
We have thoroughly enjoyed having them with us and we are even more convinced at the importance of the Homestay Program and the benefits it brings to the girls.
The girls are sad to leave Christchurch but excited to see you all and their friends at the shelters.
Shelley will travel with them back to Samoa on the 8th February.
Jeremy and Shelley
While we start on our journey for 2017, SVSG would like to acknowledge the coming together of some of our families from here and abroad, to visit, to donate and to volunteer at the Campus of Hope during the Christmas Holidays.
We have the Blackburns, who were referred from our SVSG Sydney Team late October 2016 with a Family Bio. “Hi, we’re the Blackburns and we are proud to be associated with SVSG and so looking forward to providing whatever contribution that we can, and comitted to providing support for the long term. We learnt of the great work that SVSG does through our friends the Liney family, whom we have known for over 10 years.” Ian Liney is the Principal of the Wyong Christian Community School in Sydney who had coordinated annual visits and donation from the School for the Campus over the years.
Then we have Ernest and Hannalei Betham and children presenting donations from the Lions Club of Apia. As a family, they visited the Campus before Christmas, bearing bulk supplies of the necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, milk and other miscellaneous items to assist with the daily caring for the children.
“Thank you so much Oloipola Terrence Betham and the Lions Club of Apia for always being on board to support the children. Thank you also to Ernest and Hannalei for making it part of a family activity to visit the children before Christmas.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
This is what genuine and durable partnership is all about. With families, it comes naturally; that supporting the children at the Campus is just like helping their own children, even if it’s just fixing their broken pipes, holding the babies, donating supplies or just being there. It’s all about families.
The Tanoa Tusitala Hotel once again coordinated a fun day for the children cared for at the Campus of Hope. As part of their annual Christmas activity, the Hotel staff and their children came together to host the children of hope for a day of fun during the weekend.
It started with fun games, a splash in the pool which was the most exciting activity, followed by lunch and snacks.
They were treated as guests and they felt special. It was just amazing watching them laughed and splashed around in the pool. And Tanoa Tusitala Hotel staff were all smiled as they once again hosted an enjoyable event for the children.
Treating the children for Christmas is an annual event by Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, staff and their families, which forms part of the community support SVSG has been blessed with. This is what genuine and durable partnerships is all about.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledges the ongoing support from Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and staff through this partnership. Thank you so much Lafo Fuimaono Terama and staff for continuing with the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel’s tradition of supporting the community through the work of SVSG. “We draw strength from knowing that there are people out there, other than ourselves who genuinely care for the children of hope.”
Pacific Ezy Money, as their annual giving back to the community donates to five different non-government organisation including Samoa Victim Support Group. Each organisation received $1,000 each. Samoa Branch Manager, Magele Dan Ah Kau presented the donation to SVSG Board Member, Mulipola Anarosa Molioo. Pacific Ezy Money has been a regular and loyal supporter of SVSG. The Board expresses its appreciation and gratitude their kindness.
Samoa Victim Support Group was always fortunate to have a goodwill partnership with Yazaki. Yazaki had always assisted with the work of SVSG in providing necessities for the children when needed or having their management assist in co-ordinating fundraising activities for SVSG. Today Yazaki reaffirmed its longstanding partnership with SVSG by providing food supplies and toys for the children. Funefeau Oliva Vaai who is the liaison person for SVSG within Yazaki, with the Yazaki Vice President and the Yazaki management team presented gifts for the children in the form of food supplies and toys today to reaffirm its partnership with SVSG. The Board of SVSG expresses its appreciation and gratitude to Yazaki for their kindness and their longstanding support for SVSG.
President of SVSG Samoa