About four years ago, Peka and Tiatia left Samoa for New Zealand with their two girls. They settled in Auckland but both came from different denominations and struggled to find a church to attend together.
At this time Peka was keen to do a refresher course on her Samoan Teaching Diploma. After seeing an advertisement for a course at a Christian compound in the area, she made enquiries and discovered it was exactly what she had been looking for but with an additional requirement—she had to study the book of Hebrews and the Christian Reformation. Through this study she discovered the biblical Sabbath and that the church of previous centuries had changed it to Sunday. At one of her lectures she asked the class why they worshipped on Sunday if Saturday was the true biblical Sabbath. She was told that all they did was teach it as is, but it was an individual choice.
They were so keen in the church and baptism that they often asked me when they could be baptised.
At this time Tiatia was working at a construction site and one of his workmates offered him a Samoan translation of The Great Controversy. He took it home and offered it to Peka, the book-lover of the family. She read it and was amazed; this book answered all her questions and more. She wanted more books, and her husband’s workmate, Si’u, was able to get five more. At her church’s weekly Bible studies, she shared her experience with her pastor and he decided they would study the book as a group. For four months they studied The Great Controversy. Peka proposed to the class that they make a decision based on this new light from the Bible and The Great Controversy.
However, they wanted more time for further study.
Ready to follow the truth as much as possible, Peka and Tiatia farewelled the study group. Many of the group shed tears, begging them to stay, but they had made up their minds.
They started to keep the Sabbath on their own while looking around for a church to join. There were only two choices: the Seventh-day Adventist Church or the Israelites. They prayed and fasted. The next morning Peka received an anonymous email from Israel, of all places. It said: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the true church.” It was settled. That very week they received another invitation from Si’u, asking them to attend visitors’ day the following Sabbath. They attended and knew they had found their community.
Pastor Chris Sululoto, of the Samoan South Auckland church, said, “They were so keen in the church and baptism that they often asked me when they could be baptised.” In March, they publicly accepted Jesus and the Adventist Church through baptism. On August 13, Sone Mariner preached at South Auckland church, supported by some of the JumpStart literature evangelists. Now Peka wants to join the JumpStart team, witnessing for Jesus through the literature ministry.
Sone Mariner, South Queensland team leader of Home Health Education Service.