The 2020 Week of Prayer and Fasting officially ended on Friday with a church service at the Mt. Vaea Prayer House.
More importantly, the annual tradition is now 30 years old, started in the aftermath of the Cyclones Ofa and Valerie in 1990-1991 respectively.
The major damages the natural disasters left behind in Samoa in lives and moreso in the national economy, led to the undertaking for divine protection.
The National Council of Churches, NCC, is always at the forefront of this yearly mission of faith that started off at the end of every year.
The change to the first week of the New Year in recent years was in the belief it should be for a year-long protection and not just during the Cyclone season.
The General Secretary of the NCC, Rev. Motu Ma’auga, is loud in his belief that the call for divine help has worked.
“Even with the tsunami of 2009, a series of smaller cyclones and flooding and the measles epidemic just ended, we are far better off than the suffering of wars, famines and death in other parts of the world that are worst off,” Rev. Ma’auga argued when asked for his thoughts during the week.
As a man of the cloth, he believes in the powers of the divine and that Samoa is a country blessed by faith.
He knows what the unbeliever critics say behind the back about the Week of Prayer as a simple exercise for people who dashed for the tongs when the hands are burnt.
His only disapproval is the lack of national unity in praying and fasting together.
“Fasting and praying is our appeal to God for His protection and we should do so by sharing the faith and devotion together.
“We have been doing this for 30 years now and after doing it for quite a while we should be able to do it as one.”
Rev. Ma’auga underlined the Christian faith in the country and the powers of prayer on a person, family and a nation.
‘Everything is possible with the Lord if we pray, fast and believe in His mercy.”
“Our week of prayer is for us to be humble before the Lord, and to seek His will for Samoa over this New Year,” Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said in his 2020 New Year address.
“Through both achievements and tribulations, we have seen His grace at work, turning despair to hope, doubt to faith, pride to humility and sadness to comfort and solace.”
The Head of State and Masiofo, Member of the Council of Deputies, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and church and community leaders attended the Friday closing service.