Given the aftermath of the natural disaster Tonga is dealing with, in my first blog
for 2022, I wanted to share a song I co-wrote with my friends Bill and Joyce Afeaki over 20 years ago now, 'Tonga e'. It celebrates the island kingdom and her people. Bill and Joyce are pictured here with their daughter Angela during our Cathedral Tour in 2005.
I was with a group of Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary recently including a Tongan sister who asked me to play the song. It brought back some wonderful memories of when I used to sing with Bill and Joyce and their daughters. They were great days and seeing 'Sister' delight in her identity and dance to the song was very uplifting.
It is heartening to see so many people getting behind efforts to support the people of Tonga during these challenging times. And of course all those on the ground.
Our Gospel this Sunday is taken from Luke 5:1-11 and tells the story of the call of the 1st Apostles who left everything and followed him. Jesus says to Simon Peter, 'Do not be afraid'.
Fear is a very natural reaction to things beyond our control. Who wouldn't be afraid to experience volcanic eruptions, tsunami waves and a possible Covid outbreak? Tonga is carrying a heavy burden. Christ in calling for us not to be afraid is inviting us to place our trust in him no matter what. He is with us. The disciples set out just as all those who now set out generously picking up the pieces of their lives and work together to rebuild their homes and communities.
Loving God, bless the people of Tonga.
Listen to Tonga E track 9 from my album 'Awesome God'. Thoughts and prayers for Bill, Joyce and family too at this time.
As we celebrate 'Waitangi Day' this weekend as well, I have made available my song 'He waiata mo Waitangi for you to listen to. I was inspired to compose the song after visiting Waitangi in 1990 the 150 year commemoration of the signing of the treaty.
Blessings on your week and 2022.