American Samoa

11 08 2012

American Samoa is a great holiday destination—so we are told!  Situated northeast of Australia (& New Zealand), in the Polynesian Pacific, the Territory of American Samoa, is a centre for Tuna fishing, and canning. The major limitation to productivity, here, is the ongoing effect of of devastating hurricanes. A total of 69,500 people live on an area of 199 sq. km. The people are primarily Christian—95% in fact.  There is a YWAM base here, and evangelical churches continue to make a fruitful contribution to community life; there is quite a large Mormon contingent present too.

  1. A large numbers of Samoans became Christians when the London Missionary Society, first sent missionaries in the 1830′s.
  2. Englishman, John Williams—’the Apostle of Polynesia’—firstly encountered human sacrifice, infanticide (burying a little child alive) and a common level of sexual promiscuity. The work of the gospel within the first believers eventually brought reform to all this. Williams battled with the LMS, for the necessity of a ship, to do his regular work and visitation in the region.
  3. The capital city is Pago Pago—once the major whaling port in the Pacific.
  4. In WW2 the number of U.S. Marines in Pago, Pago, outnumbered the local population, deeply affecting local culture.
  5. The currency, as you might expect in American dollars.
  6. The islands there include: TutuilaAunu’uTa’ū, Ofu‑OlosegaRose Atoll and Swains Island
  7. They play cricket, baseball, basketball, soccer, Rugby League, and …. yep, American football.
  8. In 2009 there was a major Tsunami, with flood damage, and over 120 people lost their lives.
  9. The possibilities of damage due to the fault-line tectonic plates, or from wild weather, are ever-present.

Prayer: Thank you for the influence of the gospel in this place. May this beautiful part of your world continue to be a blessing to those who live there, and for all who visit. May the church continue to bear witness to Jesus Christ in the hospitality, and participation in the world. 

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