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island nations, was closed immediately without
exception. Even our Lieutenant Governor en
route home from the United States mainland
remained stranded for months in Hawaii. I was
now stuck in American Samoa, while my wife
was back at home in Samoa!
With churches and schools closed, workweeks
reduced, and business hours and occupancy
levels reduced, Emi and I just encouraged one
another to do what we could for the Lord while
apart. She rallied her teachers and they all did
weekly home visits to bring students their
assignments. Great opportunities were created
to visit and pray with families and to give them
Meanwhile, we distributed nearly all 15,000
of those Bibles! I cannot tell you how many
people we were able to witness to as the world
raged about COVID-19. Since we could
not go house-to-house with all the social
distancing requirements, God opened other
ways. Several of the large stores allowed us
to set up distribution centers in the front of
their stores. There were times we had crowds
and the word spread all over the island. People
began contacting us day and night to get their
copies. The threat of COVID-19 breaching our
shores made many mindful of eternal matters.
Praise God that everyone who got a copy of
God’s Word in his or her own language also got
the special inserts with the plan of salvation
and other helps! My friend and distribution
partner, Pastor Mac, and I earned nicknames
in American Samoa. Wherever we went,
people would say, “Hey, you are the Bible guys.”
I like that.
Emi and I would remain apart for nearly four
months, encouraging one another through
phone calls and wondering if we would ever
be reunited. Finally, in mid-June, flights only
between our two countries opened again.
What a sweet reunion Emi and I had at the
wharf! As we took that two-hour drive back to
the house, we asked one another, “Was it worth
it? If we had it to do all over again, would we?”
As much as we missed each other, we both
agreed that we would. We had seen all that God
did in both ministries, how He opened those
windows just wide enough and long enough at
the most critical times and how He kept our
hearts united through it all.
What can God do on tiny islands in the middle
of an epidemic and a pandemic? More than I
could ever have imagined! W
Services resume in American Samoa.