The Kingdom of Tonga is a sovereign nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 2000 kilometres north of New Zealand. The country has over 170 islands – of which 45 are inhabited. Its covers an area of about 750 kms, scattered over 700,000 kms.
Tonga is a strongly Christian nation. Christian missionaries first went to Tonga in the late eighteenth century. Today the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Roman Catholic Church and the Free Church of Tonga are the main church groups in the country. The Christian Brethren Churches also have a presence in Tonga. Kiwis, Graeme and Colleen McNae, served in Tonga in the 1970s, working in evangelism and developing the local churches. The McNae's continue to work with the Tongan community both in New Zealand and in Tonga.
On January 15th, Tonga was devastated by the violent eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai. It triggered a tsunami that touched much of the Pacific. There was considerable damage caused by both the eruption and the tsunami. The Tonga Gospel Fellowship leadership have requested assistance to help build a new home to replace one destroyed by the tsunami. The home belonged to Theresa Lourente, originally from the Philippines, who has worked in Tonga with Child Evangelism Fellowship since 1995. She works with children and youth in local churches and schools. This new home will both be a place for her to live, and a place to minister from. Read about the project here.
This year a team of church leaders in Tonga and New Zealand have been working together to build a new home for Theresa. In Tonga, the local churches have worked with builders to get the concrete floor laid, and the concrete brick walls built. In New Zealand, the team has been gathering materials and loading a container of materials to ship to Tonga. A small team from MMM is heading to Tonga early next year to complete the house. We are thankful to many who have contributed to this project. Read the latest update here.
Pray for Tonga
- Pray for the ongoing recovery of the country from the effects of the volcanic eruption and tsunami.
- Pray for the leaders in Tonga, especially the King and the Prime Minister
- Pray for the testimony of the churches in Tonga
- Pray for the Christian work around the country including that of the Tongan Gospel Fellowship and Child Evangelism Fellowship.
- Pray for the completion of the new house being built for Theresa, and the work that she does.
Additional funds are still required to complete the house project. Please consider making a financial contribution to the project through GC Aid. You can make an online donation at www.gc3.org.nz/donate.
Financial gifts also can be made to GC Aid by online banking. Please deposit contributions to 06 0729 0522196 00 (include ‘Tonga’ in the particulars & your mobile mobile number in the reference).