Serving Others in Western Samoa
Today we welcomed Mrs Sherwood to talk with us about the time she spent living, with her husband (Mr Sherwood), in Western Samoa. Although they were not sent to Samoa by the church, as missionaries, during their time living in Western Samoa they had the opportunity to help and serve the people who lived there.
Western Samoa is not a wealthy country and one of the requests that the Anglican church there had was for St Mark's Church (in Opawa) to help support them by providing a guitar for the youth group. This certainly goes to show how precious possessions (which we might consider as readily available) were to the Western Samoa Anglican Church community.
While living in Western Samoa, Mrs Sherwood showed servanthood by volunteering her time to make toys for the children in hospital, working at the Secondary School helping to teach children to speak English as a second language and by helping support women's groups in the area. She was involved in many church groups and in this way she was about to take with her the love and support of St Mark's Church, Opawa. St Mark's Church also provided money so that the service books in Western Samoa could be reprinted as they were getting old and very tatty. The service books were printed in English and Samoan.
Mrs Sherwood talked with us about the tradition of 'White Sunday' in Western Samoa. This was a time when the children were treated exceptionally well for the day. They received a brand new outfit (generally the only new clothing they received all year) and were served first at the mid-day meal.
We really enjoyed learning from Mrs Sherwood, not only about what it was like to live in Western Samoa, but also about her thoughts and feeling about her time there.
Some though provoking words that Mrs Sherwood left us with were:
"We went with skills to share and to help the people of Western Samoa ... but my husband and I decided, before we even left New Zealand, that unless we also learnt something from the people of Samoa, our journey would be wasted."
Challenge: Comment below and let us know what you learnt today that surprised you or perhaps made you appreciate how lucky you are to be living in New Zealand. Can you think of things that we have in New Zealand that we take for granted and we should show more appreciation for (think about the houses that the people live in, the roads and transport or even the way people were served at meals when they are gathered together as large groups).
Laura, Mrs Sherwood and Olivia B model keepsake necklaces from Western Samoa.