Miss American Samoa promotes Safe Summer
As Miss American Samoa Arrielle La’asaga Tuilefano Falealili Maloata reflected on the challenges our community’s youth will face over the summer months, she had the inspiration to reach out to them through a fellowship meeting she co-organized with the young adults of her church, Great Life 684.
“With summer around the corner, my church and I wanted to have a church service for the youth of American Samoa to kick off their summer break,” explained Arrielle. “With so much going on like teenage pregnancy, drug use, and violence, the young adults of Great Life 684 wanted to emphasize to the youth that with God on their side they can overcome any hardships or temptations they face in life.”
The resulting service, termed Encounter to describe coming together in fellowship, took place this past Saturday at TJ’s Gym in Tafuna, and featured a special testimony by Arrielle, as well as music, drama and activities designed to create an atmosphere both spiritually uplifting and fun for the youth in attendance.
“We invited all the students from different high schools as well as college students and pretty much anyone who wanted to join us,” said Arrielle. “The purpose was to minister to the youth to get on the right track before summer break. So much can happen in the two months when they have nothing to do that we wanted to remind them about the love of God so that they’ll think twice before they make any choices that change their life negatively.”
With Arrielle leading the service, before her testimony the youth enjoyed songs of praise and lively dramatizations on overcoming life’s many temptations. When her turn came to speak, she recalled her own experiences growing up to remind the audience that even for her, being young had its share of hardships. When facing these challenges, she remembered Jesus’ advice that "in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."
To illustrate what Jesus had to go through to “overcome the world”, Arrielle utilized a film clip of him being brutally persecuted by the Romans. “None of our problems can compare to the trials Jesus went through when he was mocked and crucified for our sins,” she said. “Jesus did not question God's actions on his life so why should we? God is Love and he would never give us anything he knows we cannot handle.”
The service so moved the spirits of the youth in attendance that at its end more than 15 of them accepted the call to join the leaders at the front to make commitment or recommitment to God.
“Our service was such a success in that so many people came out and it amazed us how much the youth was so receptive to the word,” Arrielle reflected afterwards. The evening’s success has strengthened her conviction to set a positive example in her position. “As Miss American Samoa it is my platform to encourage the youth that living for God is cool,” she emphasized. “Since the youth are so into cool things nowadays, myself and the Great Life 684 young adults want to let it be known that nothing can be as cool as the love God has for us.”
Arrielle said that the encouraging turnout has led to Great Life 684 planning another Encounter to be held soon. “This would not have been possible without the support from our church Great Life 684 as well as the young adults who continued to put forth their commitment in serving God to prepare for Encounter. Also a Big thank you to IMPECS, Samoa News, MASI, and Talaleomalie Mortenson for their generous donations and heart to give back to the youth of American Samoa.”
Assisting Arrielle with organizing the Encounter were Great Life 684 young adults Pae Tuiasosopo, Siva Tuiasosopo, Karl Cayanan, Rex Galea’i, Tala Luvu, Desmon Ta'ase and Kasyan Roby.
(Source: Flow Productions)