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Life is such a battle for many. No matter what communities we live in rich or poor we all have our own challenges. Growing up there are several words or phrases you constantly hear from your parents, grandparents and Tongan society.
- Ko e fonua masiva (Tonga is a poor country).
- Ako ke lahi. Study hard.
- Lotu ke lahi. Pray diligently.
But unlike the teens here at Roosevelt High, we had role models to look up to, expectations of our parents and the prayers of our grandparents that we build our families, communities and contribute back. But what of those kids featured on this clip. How many kids are out there with no support. Who have lost there way, feel disconnected or have no sense of purpose. All I can say is pray and be prepared. Don’t say no to the opportunities that come a knocking, give it a try. That is all we can do in life. We do not have to be confined to the stereotypes society tells us will be our future. Watching this clip reminds me of one of my favourite hymn verses, we all have worth we must stand up and be counted and with support of people like Coach we can value, encourage and protect that treasure.
Tama Tonga, tu’u ‘o ngāue,
Ho koloa ke fakamonū.
Lotu ki he ‘Eiki ma’u pē,
Ke ne poupou ki he lotu
‘O malu’i ‘a Tupou
Tongan man, stand up and work,
your treasure must be expressed.
Pray to the Lord always,
for his support in prayer
To protect Tupou.
Click to hear Hymn 391
One of the few memories I have of Sunday school back in the Kingdom is the fehu’i mo e tali that kids learn at Siasi Tonga Tau’ataina. I loved hearing it because the answers were always said back in a tune chant like manner which made it easy for kids to learn off by heart. Here are some of the first basic questions that all the children learn at Sunday School about God. I often out of the blue ask these simple questions of my kids as a reminder of Gods presence and love for them. And always good to practise as much Tongan as possible with them. These are also great basic questions that you can use to build your vocabulary and ask other questions.
A great tip to learning Tongan is comparing bible passages in English & Tongan. Kids learn Tongan by reciting bible verses and hymns durnig Faka-Mē or White Sunday in May which is a great way to pick up vocabulary. Here is a visual of a well known bible passage Matthew 7:7-8. Simply compare the verse and recite by heart and you will add to your vocabulary. For more Tongan bible passages share and let me know you like them.
- Kole = Ask
- Kumi = Seek/ find
- Tukituki = Knock
A beautiful passage in the bible, reminding us the reason for the season.
Isaiah: 9:6 For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.