(This week Gary has invited Nellie Taumate to reflect on her CWM experience)
Foremost, I give thanks to our God Almighty for His continuous blessings upon us. I would also like to thank the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Council of World Mission for the opportunity to be part of the round the table discussion last month. To the Minister Rev. Gary and his good lady Suliana, to my church family and my whanau I cannot thank-you all enough for your prayers and continuous support. Fa’afetai lava.
Where do I start? I could write a book about my experience but for now, I can only say, “Wooow!” CWM took me on a journey of HOPE from day one till we said our goodbyes. Things which I only see on the movies were and are happening in the Pacific which was an eye opener for me personally. There were many depressing issues discussed but Human Trafficking and Violence in Society were the hardest for me to accept with mixed emotion. Seeing the numbers of children at the victim support centre House of Hope in Samoa and hearing their stories about the scars and unbearable pain broke my heart. I sat through their performances speechless, balling my eyes out with the realisation of how fortunate we are to have been brought up in loving and caring families with the support network from our church families. As an individual, I questioned why this is happening and where is God in all of these? CWM round the table gave me an insight, that in our lives, Babylon is never far away and it will always somehow be an obstacle in the way. BUT we should always remember, John 16:33 “God has already overcome the world” so let us be HOPEFUL, continue on dancing to conquer all the Babylonians because God has a plan for each one of us Jeremiah 29:11. This journey has allowed me to think again about the simplest things that I get upset or worried about is nothing compared to the pain and shame those children live with. On our last day we were asked a question “Whose BEAT are we dancing to?” I guess we all have our own answers but for me we should dance to God’s beat and be His instruments playing His rhythm, giving hope to others because HOPE needs something to StAND on.
All Glory to God. Fa’amanuia le Atua ia te outou uma. Faafetai Lava.
Nellie Vineta Letia Taumate
Rev. Gary Mauga
Thoughts and comments by our minister, Gary.
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Rev. Gary Mauga