The Seventh Day Adventist Church of Samoa and Tokelau, has called for all youth activities of the church to cease, in response to the measles epidemic state of emergency.
The General Secretary of the Church, Pastor Sione Ausage, relayed the church reaction form headquarters at Lalovaea yesterday.
The church circulated notice of the epidemic control measures, to all members around the country, before the state of emergency became official.
“The notice to all our branches in Upolu and Savaii was to hold off on all our church programs that involves children, in the target age group from 6 months to 19 years old and 20 years old to 35,” said Pastor Ausage.
“ We also stopped all prize giving for our schools.”
Regular weekend church services are, however, continuing as usual, but parents are advised to make sure the children in the targeted group are healthy and well.
“We also advised them that if they are sick or their children are sick then they need to stay home, but this outbreak will not affect our normal services on Saturdays.”
The General Secretary believed in the teachings of the church that the measles epidemic gives testaments in the readings of the bible that Jesus Christ is coming very soon.
“This is no surprise to us as Christians,” Pastor Ausage declared.
“The bible says, when we see these things happen, then we must know that we are in the end days and Christ is coming very soon.
“Therefore, we must be ready, these things will also test our faith as Christians and how strong our faith is of the Lord, so to us these are the signs and therefore we should not panic.”
Pastor Ausage noted that the state of emergency has not affected any planned activities for the year.
“By the time the emergency was declared all our school exams were done except for the SSLC for the Year 13 students and the SC for the Year 12 students.
The church have scheduled a tentative programme for some of the classes for the New Year depending on the lifting of the state of emergency.
Pastor Ausage urged the people of Samoa not to panic but to hold on to the faith.
“This a time for all of us to stand together and pray for our country so that this epidemic will soon leave our shores.”