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Double Celebration for Salvation Army in Samoa 

Double Celebration for Salvation Army in Samoa 

Combined celebrations to mark the official opening of The Salvation Army Samoa Region’s new site and their fifth anniversary took place in Apia from 22 to 24 July. 

Among those attending were Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell, territorial leaders, along with hundreds of people, including members of the local community and representatives of partner organisations. 

About 110 people gathered for a Saturday awards evening which recognised the achievements of staff and volunteers. 

On Sunday morning, Commissioners Mark and Julie jointly cut the ribbon at the new Salvation Army base at Vaivase, in eastern Apia, marking its official opening.  

A Sunday morning service with about 130 people included the enrolment of junior soldiers and testimonies by four corps (church) members who had been involved with The Salvation Army in Samoa since its beginning. The service—which also included children’s singing and dancing performances—was followed by an umu (a traditional feast). 

On the Monday, around 45 people, including representatives of partner organisations, government, NGOs and other stakeholders, attended a celebration event with singing, prayers, speeches and more cake, followed by a tour of the new site.   

All Salvation Army services—the corps, an alcohol and drug programme and the regional headquarters —have moved from an urban leased space to the new Salvation Army-owned site about 1.5km away. The new site is in a garden setting and came with four dwellings which were renovated for office space, a full kitchen and interview and meeting rooms. A fale lotu (church building) was purpose-built, featuring open sides with drop-down awnings, an arrangement well suited to the local climate. 

Captains Julie and Eric Turner, regional leaders, said the Vaivase site provides more room in a more relaxed setting, removed from busy traffic and provides increased scope for ongoing growth and development of the mission in Samoa. 

‘Everyone loves it here. When we have an event it’s hard to get people to go home,’ says Julie. 

‘The extra space and large lawns open up opportunities for sports activities, for children to run around, and for gardening and growing of food,’ says Julie, who notes that the church has grown in the short time they’ve been at the new site. 

Says Eric: ‘We’re very grateful for the support of the territory in providing the funding for this development and that Commissioners Mark and Julie could be with us as we celebrate the opening and the mission’s fifth anniversary in Samoa’. 

‘A big thank you also to the corps members who have really got behind the new site, putting in many hours of landscaping and preparation work to provide a lovely environment for everyone,’ says Eric. 

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