Appeal to help Samoan farms affected by Cyclone Evan
In December, Tropical Cyclone Evan left a trail of destruction across the Pacific.
Hardest hit were Samoa and Fiji, and both countries are trying to recover from the storm. In Samoa especially hard hit were the farms, which supply food for the villages as well as a source of income for them in local markets and elsewhere. To help with the recovery over the past few days the Australian based Organic Matters Foundation has been running an appeal to raise A$10,000 to assist.
CCCS traces its beginnings to the arrival in 1830 of missionaries sent by the London Missionary Society (LMS), accompanied by missionary teachers from Tahiti and the Cook Islands and a Samoan couple from Tonga.
They arrived at a time of fierce warfare and fighting between local chiefs, and the people who were weary of violence and bloodshed readily received the missionary's gospel of peace.
When a renowned paramount chief of a much respected family lineage, Malietoa Laupepa, officially accepted the new religion, all his followers and kinsfolk immediately followed suit. Similarly, Tui-Manu'a, the sovereign ruler of the Manu'a islands also embraced the LMS emissary. The Kingdom of Manu'a became a LMS and Congregational stronghold.Within a few years, virtually the whole of Samoa was converted to Christianity. Huge numbers of people from simple and noble lineage soon offered themselves for overseas mission work. In 1839, only nine years after the arrival of the LMS, the first twelve Samoan missionaries left for mission work in Melanesia. Ever since then, Samoans have continued to take the gospel message to other Pacific islands, e.g. Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu,Niue, Tokelau, New Caledonia, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Wallis and Futuna. Many of these early Samoan missionaries never returned home; they occupy many of the unnamed and unmarked graves in the islands of the Pacific. By the 1980s Samoan missionaries could be found in Africa, evangelizing on the streets of London, to remote villages in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica.
Malua Theological College was established in 1844, with the main objective to teach and educate local students so that each village of Samoa would eventually have a theologically educated pastor as spiritual leader. By the end of the 19th century, a pattern of ministry had emerged. It was modeled on the Samoan village structural organization and aimed at preserving, as much as possible, the value systems of the Samoan way of life. The church community functions in the same way as the village, where five main groups – matais (titled men), spouses of matais, untitled men, unmarried women, and children – each have their own individual and corporate roles and responsibilities for the maintenance of order and welfare. The village congregation is the basic unit of the CCCS with the pastor as the spiritual leader.
The Samoan church during the missionary period engaged itself in the "social redemption of humanity". This vision was based on the church's understanding of God's sovereignty. It saw the divine purpose of redemption not in individual terms only but also in corporate, social and political terms. The newly acquired faith had its focus on the transformation of life and society. That legacy remains a motivating force in the nation's idealism as well as in the church's commitment to active social efforts. The church has been able to maintain five high schools, one girls' college and one theological college.