Bringing glory to God through song

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One Tonga concert organiser Robina Nakao.

An Adventist businesswoman is bringing glory to God through a gospel music spectacular that attracts thousands annually.

Robina Nakao is the dynamic force behind the annual “One Tonga—Glorifying God Through Song” choral event. It is part of Heilala Festival Week, the biggest annual event on Tonga’s calendar.

The mother of two has been organising the concert since 2008. Featuring youth choirs from the various churches around Tonga, it is attended by 2500 people, plus thousands more outside the venue. Guest of honour is the Queen of Tonga and, this year, the King is said to be attending the July 7 event, coinciding with his 60th birthday.

“It’s the only event where I see churches come together in one spirit,” Ms Nakao said. “People say there’s something very different when you come into this concert; it’s God’s spirit, He is there.

“It’s so big now, everyone talks about One Tonga. It just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It also means that it’s an event of the highest calibre.”

Queen Nanasipau’u giving the opening address at the TPUM women’s congress.

Music has the power to bring people together, according to Ms Nakao. “It is more powerful than any sermon. I see the way it just speaks to people’s hearts.”

Ms Nakao is the children’s and health ministries leader at her local Adventist church in the Tongan capital of Nukuʻalofa. Last year she started a health program called Lose and Live, targeted at the diabetes epidemic that is sweeping the country. Participants have their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and BMI tested and take part in a nine-week challenge, which includes regular exercise sessions. She has run the program three times; the most recent challenge winner lost 18.8 kilos.

“I’m just amazed how God has been able to use me,” Ms Nakao said. “He has kind of pushed me out there and just done some amazing things.”

Ms Nakao organised the opening ceremony, parade and closing gospel concert for the 2019 Trans Pacific Union Mission Women’s Congress, which began last Wednesday and concluded this morning.

Opening ceremony of the TPUM women’s congress.