Student Life staff Joshua Taylor (second from left) and Michael Jeffs (third from right) with students at an outreach event on campus at the National University of Samoa.
Talofa Lava! Samoan Language Week is coming up (27 May – 2 June), and the theme for 2018 is “Alofa atu nei. Alofa mai taeao – Kindness given. Kindness gained.”
Kindness is a reoccurring theme in the Bible and is mentioned throughout. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), it is a matter of choice (Colossians 3:12), and we are to show kindness even to our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Above all, we are instructed to show kindness to those around us because we have been shown incredible kindness by God Himself. Ephesians 2:4-10 says:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
By God’s kindness He has saved us by His grace. Now we have the amazing privilege to show kindness to others, and in particular, share with others this great news of grace! That’s exactly what Joshua did in Samoa with seven others from Tandem Ministries.
The group flew to Samoa last August to encourage the campus team who were ministering to students there. Joshua had a conversation with one of the students and had the opportunity to share the gospel and explain the concept of grace.
“So Mikaere and I were sharing [the gospel] at the National University of Samoa and we met these two guys. I ended up sharing with one of them named Kuresa. We connected and hit it off actually – we had a lot of things in common. I shared the Samoan KGP which he appreciated and [explained] that he didn’t need to prove himself to God. He told me that he felt like he could never live up to the standard he had felt put on him all his life. He was even in tears. God was definitely at work allowing Kuresa to understand that it was only through God’s grace that he can be saved and that he didn’t need to and in fact can’t do anything to earn it.”
“Alofa atu nei. Alofa mai taeao – Kindness given. Kindness gained.” This Samoan Language Week, why not reflect on the kindness God has given us, and share that same kindness with others? And in light of celebrating the Samoan language, let’s pray that the gospel would become available in all languages for all people.
If you have a friend who prefers Samoan, you might want to use the Samoan KGP. The KGP stands for “Knowing God Personally”, and is a tool to help you share the gospel. You can freely access it through the GodTools app, which works offline in 60+ languages!