More fruit in American Samoa!

Pat with Amy (middle) and Mena (right) studying Gods word

Praise God! Kimega (Mena) gave her life to the Lord this past Sunday.

April 24, 2011

It is with joy and thanksgiving that we received the news that Kimega  (Mena) was baptized into Christ.  I remember her sweet spirit and beautiful smile as we spent time with her and studied God’s Word together three different days.  She listened attentively and read the scriptures from her Samoan bible, but each day she said she wanted to study more and she was not ready to become a Christian yet.  I kept hoping she would decide before we left, but it was all in God’s hands. “This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (MARK 4:26-27)  Praise God for the power of His Word!  Mena, we love you and look forward to the time when we will see you again.

Amy, who became a Christian while we were in American Samoa, was so excited and part of the bible studies with us.  Here was her message to our team to let us know her excitement for Mena’s wonderful decision.  Christ’s transforming power is definitely contagious:

“hi its gud to hear ur doin well on ur side..but have a great news for ya to tell your Mom n Dad..=) rememba Mena dat was takin lessons wit ur Mom n Pat before yall left?? she’s now a part of our family in Christ..she was baptized on Sund…ay(24th) and im so proud of her for makin da rite decision not only to save her from her sins but to have Jesus takes lead of her wheel in dis journey we’re in..sooo do tell the gr8 news esp. to da group dat came k..couldn’t wait to tell ya n ur parents the good yea hpeflly wit Pati n othas soon…do keep in touch k..tke care n God Bless!!

Donna Collins

And God added 3 more…

L-R (Flori, Rafe, Wayne, Athena, & Lima) are all excited!

Monday, April 11

This is the Great news of the bible studies of the previous posts:

Two sweet, Godly young Samoan women by the names of Athena and Flori studied the Bible with us over several days.  At first Donna and I studied with the young women, but after coming to a more complete understanding of what the Bible teaches about salvation and the Lord’s church, they wanted their husbands to learn what they had been learning.  Lima and Rafe came, hesitant at first, but when they saw what the Bible teaches in areas they had never considered, they joined in

Flori is ready to give her life to Christ.

whole heartedly.  Donna and I believe we have never seen a hunger for God’s Word like we see in these young couples.  It is so exciting to be around them in their desire to be what God wants.  We had a final study Monday night and Lima, Athena and Flori decided to be baptized into Christ. Several of the members of the Honolulu church came and the excitement and “birthday” party afterwards was incredible.  Rafe wanted to think and pray about his situation…he is away with the National Guard for a month.  I believe he is not far from the Kingdom.  Please pray for these wonderful couples. Athena has called her mother in Samoa to

Flori being baptized into Christ! And Heaven rejoices!!

meet with Luaao Soli and Flori has called her brother to also meet with Luaao.  Last night Flori brought her two sisters to study who were anxious to see what had caused Flori to be baptized…sweet ladies.  I love the Samoans they have such gentle, kind, and hungry for the Word spirits.  I told Don Poole that this start with these wonderful people is why the Unity Seminar was successful…God is alive and well and still sits on His throne. 




Athena is ready to be baptized. Pisas son Malachi looks on...maybe we have a future preacher in our midst!


Wayne preaching on that Sunday at Honolulu!

Lima's baptism with an excited Athena looking on.


Collins with Ken & Margaret Davidson and their son Doug. This is a Christian couple Wayne & Donna want to be like when they "grow up". : )

Meanwhile, back in American Samoa

Felila Mose came forward after the song of invitation this morning, she want to be baptized into christ.

Even though our American team has left the beautiful island of American Samoa, God is definitely alive and doing much work with our beloved brothers and sisters.  We wanted to update you on the excitement and great things going on since we left the island.  The Nu’uuli church has added 3 new brothers/sisters to the family of God.  The first Sunday Felila Mose came

Salimu (elder at Nu'uuli) taking Ofisa Apolonia confession before being baptized into Christ

 forward to give her life to Christ and be baptized.  Then the following Sunday, Ofisa Apolonia, was convicted by the lessons he had been hearing the past few weeks and made that same great decision to be baptized into Christ.  Both Felila and Ofisa are now saved and part of the family of God.  Praise God for these new Christians!!  And then it got even better.  One of the sisters at the Nu’uuli church shared this great news: 

“Vae Tamapolu is very special. She was born with disabilities (unable to hear or speak). She communicates through sign language and when most of her friends were baptized, she asked for someone to help her understand the bible and God’s plan of salvation. A lot of people helped out and we worked very hard to help her. We rejoice in her decision. Please keep Vae in your prayers!”

Vae Tamapolu is very special.

The Tamapolu family is very excited for this news.  Vae had seen the gospel in action over the last few weeks.  She studied with several different people and wanted to understand God’s word for herself, just as her friends had done.  God worked in her life as well to bring her to this decision.  What a great God we serve!!

The Tamapolu family at little Vae’s baptism.

Siulolo Soli also shared with me on Skype that Donna and Pat had challenged her to start a women’s evangelistic bible study at Nu’uuli.  Siulolo is a dynamite sister for the kingdom and is on fire for the Lord to share his love with others.  So she not only started a women’s study on Tuesday’s each week, but she also started another one on Saturday mornings.  Now that’s passion for the Lord.  Please pray for these studies as well as many others in American Samoa and that the Lord will continue to work and bring many more precious souls into the kingdom.  Praise God!

An Amazing “Jesus” story by Pisa Soli.

** Pisa Soli is the daughter of Luoa Soli (preacher at the Nu’uuli church of Christ in American Samoa where we worked).  She lives and worships with the church in Honolulu.  This is part of her story where she recalls some of the great things that God was doing during this week of the seminar in Hawaii.  You’ll love it!!  Enjoy the read.


Friday, April 8

I invited my friend Flori to the Unity of Believers seminar 6 weeks ago. I never followed up or reminded her about the

Ruth, Flori, Athena, and Pisa sharing a hug at church.

 seminar as it approached (shame on me), but the night before the seminar, Flori texted me – “I didn’t forget about the seminar. I’ll come right after my class in the afternoon and in the morning if possible.” At that moment, I realized I need to pay special attention to my friend and her spiritual quest.  

The Unity of Believers seminar took place on Tuesday, April 5 at the Honolulu church of Christ. Flori ended up not making it due to class presentations and discussions that ran over. I didn’t want to lose her again so I texted her [we’re big on texting] that our guest speaker, Wayne Collins, is willing to sit down with her and provide an overview of the seminar if she is interested. No response. I texted her again – “Just 1 hour of your time to hear this important message and I guarantee it’ll be worth it.”. She responded, “I’d love to come over tomorrow for bible study.” I was super excited…I had to contain myself from jumping up and down…although, I think I ended up jumping up and down anyways. A time was set and I was very thankful for this opportunity. About half an hour later I received another text from Flori and I was a little worried when I saw it was from her. I thought…oh no…she’s going to cancel because she remembered she had other plans. But no! She asked if it was ok for her cousin Athena (also a good friend of mine) to come! How cool is that? I shared the news with my family and we all prayed about it (as I’m sure, the Collins ohana was doing the same thing). 

Pisa, Lima, Athena, Flori, Rafe, Donna, and Wayne studying the bible.

So on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. we all met for bible study (Athena, Flori, Pisa, Wayne and Donna). It didn’t take long for my 2 friends to feel comfortable around Wayne and Donna as they are so welcoming and loving. My friends had a lot of questions which Wayne referred to the bible of course. We examined scriptures and occasionally they would exclaim, “Wow! I didn’t know this was in the bible!” We stopped as we approached 7 p.m. because of our Wednesday night bible study and Athena had an exam the following morning. But Wayne didn’t get as far as he’d like because the girls had numerous random questions. So Wayne asked them, “When would you like to meet again and continue our study?” To which they responded, “Tomorrow! And we’re going to bring our husbands…well, we’re going to try. They need to hear this!” A few minutes later they remembered they had a community service project for school the following evening, they thought about it then said, “It’s ok. This is more important. We’ll be here tomorrow!” Wayne, Donna and I were so encouraged by their interest and willingness to learn more about God’s word. We were all very excited and continued to pray about our studies with my dear friends. 

Thursday, April 7 at 3:40 p.m. – I arrived at the Collins’ temporary residential hale (house) with pizza and chicken

Donna, Kelly, and Wayne outside the church building.

 wings (hey, it was the easiest dinner choice I can pick up). I told Wayne and Donna I wasn’t sure my friends’ husbands would come when I saw the house was set up for a bigger crowd (I know, I know, such little faith I have). They’re just not the type but I was still hopeful! [FYI-my friends and their husbands are around 21 years old] Athena and Flori arrived shortly and I saw only the two of them. As I went outside to greet them, both of their husbands did come! You could tell they didn’t want to be there but they came because their wives asked them and they knew this was important to them. Wayne, Donna and Kelli expertly made them feel welcome. Wayne summarized our bible study from the night before and the “wives” (Flori and Athena) would excitedly interject, “tell them and show them the scriptures”. Ten minutes into the study the “husbands” (Rafe and Lima) started to ask their own questions and expressed their thoughts. Our bible study session took off with a variety of questions and Wayne had to skillfully maneuver our discussion back to the concept of unity and the Lord’s church. About an hour later, Wayne asked if everyone wanted a break to eat pizza but they said “no, let’s keep going.” And that’s exactly what we did for 4 hours! It didn’t feel like it…we had so much fun! We eventually had pizza while the “husbands” continued to keep Wayne busy with questions. It was energizing, enlightening and encouraging! We admire these young couples and their hunger for the Lord’s word! 

They have committed to attend worship service on Sunday (except Lima because he has military training) and one even said she’d like to be baptized…she just needs to pray more about her decision and let it all settle in. Please, please pray for Flori, Rafe, Athena and Lima as we study God’s word and prayerfully lead them to Christ. 

Here are excerpts from their text messages after our bible studies: 

This was such a wondeful time for all.

“We enjoyed it and learned a lot in the little time we had. Some of the things we discussed last night was like a confirmation. A lot of what I have heard other preachers preach I often question cause it made no sense to me and it was very helpful to have Wayne point out scriptures to back everything up. It’s such a blessing to have all of you help us. That’s exactly the kind of way I like to do bible study.” 

“Rafe really enjoyed the study last night. They were supposed to go to rugby around 6 last night but he said missing it for bible study was worth it. He also said that he’s talked to other people about Christianity and a lot of them just go off what they think but not by the Bible..he liked how Wayne always pointed out to the scriptures and not once talked about what someone else told him or what he heard.” 

“I have learned more in the last 2 nights than I did in the last couple of years while at WOL.” (a Pentecostal church)


And God started working in Hawaii

Wayne teaching at the Unity of Believers seminar in Honolulu.

Tuesday, April 5

The Honolulu church had planned to host the Unity of Believers seminar on this Tuesday.  The idea of this seminar was to gather preachers, pastors, and other church leaders from various types of churches and bring them together.  The Honolulu

Listening and studying.

church worked hard to have a great seminar and it turned out with great results, but not the way we expected.  The original plan was to explore how believers might find unity in accordance with the Lord’s prayer in John 17.  Instead we had friends of Pisa Soli who could not make the scheduled time and requested to study the bible privately.  We will share the result of this in our next post.  About 25 to 30 were in attendance to

Bernice and Donna stop for a bite to eat.

the seminar and it was a great time of study of God’s word and fellowship and it really set the tone and picture for what would happen over the next few days.  God was working in many ways.






Martin is ready.

Several listen in on the seminar.

Jay & Sarah are all smiles.

Taking a Rest in Hawaii

See Donna, Sarah & Wayne call all be silly.

We arrived off the red-eye in Honolulu Friday morning…April Fools Day.  Wow, the rest of the team was very fortunate because Jay was dead tired from traveling to pull one of his famous April fools day pranks.  Oh well, maybe next year.  We spent the next

Donna, Kelly, and Sarah at Nu'uanu Pali lookout.

 few  days relaxing and enjoying the beautiful sites of Oahu.  Wayne and Donna were gearing up for another round over the next couple of weeks.  Kelly Collins joined the group in Hawaii.  Jim and Pat Lamb were going to be leaving on Sunday April 3rd to come back home.  Martin, Jay & Sarah would be leaving soon after that.  It was nice to have a few days to decompress and

Jim, Sarah, and Pat enjoy the view.

remember that last 2 weeks and what God had done in American Samoa.  God provided us great opportunity to reflect on our time.

On Sunday, we reconnected with the Honolulu church of Christ brothers and sisters.  It was a good time of worship and fellowship.  Jay was invited to lead singing on Sunday morning

Jay leading singing at Honolulu church of Christ.

 and did it with great enthusiasm.  And it was just our luck to be there on the Sunday they have the after church potluck.  So we were able to spend time eating and fellowshipping with the family there.  We spent some time with Ruth & Pisa Soli, whose family we had spent the last 2 weeks with in American Samoa.  They were so excited to see us as they had been following this blog with many of you and

Several of the Christians at Honolulu.

experiencing the excitement of several of their church family  in American Samoan and the wonderful times they had.  We also reconnected with Bernice & Iona, Don, and many, many other Christians at Honolulu.  They really made us feel welcome.

It was sad to see Jim & Pat have to leave and we realized our team was not going to be together like it had been.  We were so thankful and encouraged by their efforts these last 2 weeks.  They were such warriors for Christ and definitely made the Lord smile on their servant spirit with his people.

Collins over Honolulu.

Wow-oa! What a view!

Can Jay make it underneath the waterfall? Stay tuned.

Sarah, Jay, Wayne, Donna, Kelly, and Martin.

Ruth Soli, Sarah & Donna at the Honolulu church.

Malachi and Pisa Soli at church.