Citizens across the Pacific island nation of Tonga were invited to participate in a national day of prayer and fasting on Sunday 28 February.
The national fast was opened by the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga at Sia’atoutai Theological College, conducted by the Chief Secretary of the Church on Saturday evening.
The fast concluded with a devotional on Sunday afternoon at the Liahona High School Campus near Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were asked by the Tongan Government to conduct the service.
Some 200 participants took part in the meeting including the Honourable Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Prime Minister of Tonga, and members of his cabinet, senior government leaders, nobles and leaders from many different denominations.
Elder ‘Inoke Fotu Kupu, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained the purpose of this monthly national fasting and prayer effort.
“We ask Heavenly Father to protect our people, at home and abroad from COVID-19; to bless our youth in their social challenges and education; to bless our King, Prime Minister and the leaders of our Nation and to bless our Tongan families at home and abroad with their social and economic hardships,” he said.
Prime Minister Tu’i’onetoa gave opening remarks at the devotional, followed by messages from local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Prime Minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the leaders of all religions for their support of the nation’s monthly fast.
The program was covered live on TV Tonga and livestreamed on the Tonga Broadcasting Commission website.
The meeting followed a national day of service called “Come and Help” on Saturday 27 February where members and friends of the Church from all 21 stakes (groups of congregations) in Tonga engaged in projects such as cleaning and picking up rubbish in public areas; painting schools, community halls and churches; cleaning cemeteries; fixing fences; mowing lawns; and collecting old vehicles and equipment.
Hundreds of members from several different churches, as well as their leaders, participated in the community service efforts.
In addition, several government and community leaders worked together with Latter-day Saint leaders in organising the various service projects.
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