Samoa marks 100 years of literature evangelism

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Apia, Western Samoa 

“The history and growth of the Samoan work is closely linked with literature evangelism and publishing,” says Sone Mariner, a Samoan literature evangelist who has been a leader in the church’s publishing ministry in Queensland for many years. “It has been used by God to sow and spread our message, and to convert some of the pioneers of our church.”

How incredible this has been, it started off with an idea and now the whole Mission membership will remember how God has led in using our publishing program in Samoa.

As they planned for a recent visit to Samoa, Mr Mariner suggested to John Brereton, director of Adventist Publishing Ministries for the South Pacific Division (SPD), that 2015 had been the 100th anniversary of the literature evangelist work in Samoa. On June 8, a special breakfast was held with the current team of Samoan literature evangelists, officers and staff of the Samoan Mission, and visiting leaders of the Trans-Pacific Union Mission, as well as visiting SPD leaders.

Pastor Kenneth Fuliese, president of the Samoas-Tokelau Mission, accepted a plaque from the literature evangelists marking this milestone and the contribution literature evangelists have made to the Samoan church in that time.

Noting the highly religious culture of Samoa, Mr Brereton says Adventist books are an important way break down barriers with believers from other churches. “Our literature evangelists mainly sell English-language spiritual books, with lots of books for kids and families,” he reports. “And our books seem to be greatly appreciated by people from all faiths.”

According to Mr Brereton, this work continues and the results are visible. “We had people at our meetings who had become church members after buying a book from a literature evangelist,” he says. “We have a good group of literature evangelists in Samoa today and we have had a full-time leader in Samoa for a year now. And it was great to work together as a team for the time we were there.”

Samoan literature evangelists with church leaders from across the South Pacific.

Mr Mariner says there are plans for a further celebration and promotion of literature ministry at the Samoan Mission’s camp-meeting in December. “How incredible this has been, it started off with an idea and now the whole Mission membership will remember how God has led in using our publishing program in Samoa,” he reflects.