The Seventh Day Adventist Church Youth Group comprised of seven (7) villages from Tiapapata to Vailoa Saoluafata was the latest visitor to the Campus of Hope today, as the country prepares for the children’s White Sunday.
Lead by Pastor Mo’i Tipasa and the Youth President Fa’amanatu, the visit formed part of the youth group’s retreat for White Sunday. And it was at the youth retreat that the Good Samaritan message was revealed as per the gospel according to Luke 10: 35 “Take care of him, and whatever you spend besides this, I will repay you when I return.” Pastor Mo’i shared on how he had approached the Campus of Hope three times (3) in the past and always returned outside the gate, as he could not face the children. The Good Samaritan message during the youth group retreat assured Pastor Mo’i that it was time to visit the children. The youth group’s visit not only shared on the word of God but also God’s blessings through monetary donation of $2,000 to assist with the children’s daily needs.
Pastor Mo’i encouraged the children through the word of God, from the book of Jeremiah 29:11, that before we were all born, God had a plan for each and every one of us, a plan to prosper and not to harm, so they should never lose hope. The same message of prosperity is also true for the land accommodating the campus as it has seen transformation from just a bare land to a secured home environment with adequate facilities for the children.
Pastor Mo’i however shared that as a Good Samaritan, it is not easy to listen, let alone, to obey, but the message during the youth retreat was strong and clear, that if they help those in need, they will be blessed.
And it has been a blessed week for the children of hope as the Good Samaritans came as individuals, as families, as churches to bless the children with their presence and gifts.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, who was with the children during the visit acknowledged Pastor Mo’i, President of the SDA Youth Group F’aamanatu and the youth. “Thank you for your obedience to God’s message as Good Samaritans. It is not from us, but Him who will repay you all as He has promised.”
MIKA FAMILY FROM NEW ZEALAND:
Mika and Agnes Mika with their young family from New Zealand took time out from visiting families and friends, to treat the children.
Through singing, the Mika family encouraged the children never to give up hope. Mr. Mika shared with the children on the hardship his family went through as it struggled to make ends meet, but they never gave up.
Miscellaneous food supplies were donated by the Mika family for the children. “Thank you Mika and Agnes for stopping by to visit the children, and encouraging them through sharing your own story.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
The highlight of the children’s White Sunday treat from the community this week was the beauty session with Peata and the team from Peata’s Salon, who treated all the children to a new hair style. It took hours for the team as they groomed the children according to the style that suits them.
To Peata and the team, the cost to them in terms of the clients forgone during this busy time while treating the children at the Campus, did not matter. Most importantly to them was the smile they put on the children’s faces, as they happily showed their new hair style to each other.
It was just simply amazing just to watch the transformation and the smiles on the children’s faces. “Thank you so much Peata for this kind gesture, you surely gave the children a beautiful treat this White Sunday.” SVSG President, Siliniu Lina Chang.
The children of Hope wish all the children of Samoa a blessed White Sunday.
CHRISTINA SWANN & FAMILY FROM NEW ZEALAND:
It has been a blessed week for the children survivors of violence and neglect cared for at the Campus of Hope shelter facility. This is through local and international supporters of Samoa Victim Support Group who visited, fellowshipped and treated the children for White Sunday.
We had Christina Swan and family from New Zealand who shared on the life changing experience after visiting the Campus.
According to Christina “One of the most humbling and touching experiences of my life, visiting the House of Hope orphanage ……. I don't even really have to words to express how I'm feeling … I know for sure the time they gave me has changed my perception on the importance of time I share and give away, their cuddles have changed my perception on what a small gesture can do for another. And their eyes those curious, bright, hold me, hug me, love me eyes, they have changed my life!”
“Thank you so much Christina and family for the time spent with the children, they loved it and appreciated it. Thank you also for the gifts you brought for the children.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
Samoa Victim Support Group’s work for the abused and neglected children had received an additional help with the coming on board of a qualified Social Worker Sister Schwenke, of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.
From Sydney Australia, Sister Schwenke is now into her 5th week of missionary work for the LDS Social Services under the LDS Welfare Department managed by Elder Meliula Fata. Included in this missionary work is to provide support for SVSG’s work.
Sister Schwenke’s expertise has now assisted SVSG with its work with families and with children. She has been helping the children survivors of violence and sexual abuse at the Campus of Hope shelter facilities, as well as in the SVSG office, for walk in clients.
According to the SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, “SVSG welcomes the support from Sister Schwenke and a much needed help for the Child Protection Team.”
On Friday, the Executive and the staff of the Samoa Victim Support Group swapped their normal yellow uniform for pink, in support of the Samoa Cancer Society Pinktober Awareness. The support initiative will continue every Fridays for the month of October.
Dressed up in different shades of pink, the staff went about their normal duties to support victims of family violence, while supporting a sister NGO with its own community awareness to fight cancer in Samoa. Thank you to the Family Court Judge for being in tune with the change in uniform of its Court Support Officer presenting cases to court while supporting the Pinktober awareness.
And while SVSG’s work and that of the Samoa Cancer Society differs, their work share the same objective and that is to support and to help the people of Samoa, because cancer, like violence, does not discriminate. It can happen to any of our loved ones; from our children to our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.
“On behalf of the Chair of the SVSG Board, we wish the Samoa Cancer Society a successful awareness to fight cancer in Samoa.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
President of SVSG Samoa