“Stories don’t end; they just turn into new beginnings.”
That’s a fitting description for 20 graduates of Malua Theological College celebrated success with their families, friends yesterday.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and other Members of Parliament were among the hundreds of relatives and friends from Samoa and overseas who crowded the Women’s Fellowship Hall at Malua to witness the momentous occasion.
A special service was held to start the celebration where Reverend Elder Tavita Anesone reminded the graduating class this is not the end of their calling from God.
Instead, he encouraged them to continue relying on the Lord and let him be at the forefront of their next journey.
The President of M.T.C Class of 2016, Melepone Isara, spoke on behalf of the graduating class to thank all their families, friends and the college for their support.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Mr. Isara described their four-year journey at Malua as “enjoyable.”
The man from Vaitele-fou, Moata’a, Pu’apu’a, Avao, Vaie’e and Faleasi’u returned the glory to God for his guidance over the years.
“I also want to thank my parents, my family, my friends, the Principal and staff of Malua for their ongoing support throughout our four years at Malua.”
He couldn’t stop smiling yesterday for his dream has finally become a reality.
“This was something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “It was a dream that I had for a very long time. And so in 2012, I decided to pursue this dream and I was fortunate to get the opportunity and started here in 2013.”
Looking back to his four years at Malua, Melepone said it was a journey filled with challenges.
“There were a lot of challenges, especially the first year.
“ But it was what I expected and we came prepared to face all the challenges. And we were able to overcome all the difficulties and all the surprising challenges along the way. So today really is a special day and we are giving back all the glory to God for His love and guidance.”
Nevertheless, Melepone said that the skills and knowledge he learned at Malua is something he will always take with him everywhere he goes.
“I learned a lot of new and different skills from the time I spent here at Malua. I entered the college in 2013 with a few skills but I can say that I am taking away a bag full of skills from this journey. And I will continue to use those skills on our next journey.”
So what’s next for him and his wife Tupe Isara?
“We’ve been awarded a scholarship to go to Fiji. The scholarship is for two years, and we will leave everything to God to guide us through the next chapter for us.”
The Graduating Class of 2016
1) Eroni & Litia Sitanilei (Toamua/Savaia)
2) Fa’alata & Sarai Leaumoana (Paia, Safa’toa, Sataoa)
3) Fiamalua & Fa’apisa Peleseuma (Ulutogia/Sapapali’i)
4) Francisco & Olive Fatu (Utuali'i/ Lalomanu/ Salelavalu)
5) Kuresa & Easter Tavalani (Saleimoa)
6) Panapa & Tema Alafau (Lelepa)
7) Rupi & Tamara Apaola (Saleimoa/Safune)
8) Rupi & Kanona Leota (Salesatele/Sapunaoa/Matautu Falelatai)
9) Soliga & Falelauiulaaepouitoa Aleki Te’o (Afega/Tafua)
10) Sumeo & Sauimalae Leota (Falelatai/ Vaiusu)
11) Va’asaumamao Lafa’aua (Vaovai/Uafato)
12) Fatilua & Vaitu’utu’u Fatilua (Leusoali’i/Lauli’i/Lona Fagaloa/Moata’a)
13) John & Rotanya Kalolo (Atafu)
14) Latu & Malua Afioga (Moata’a/Vailele/Aufaga)
15) Le’efu & Ie Pule (Lepa/Vaivase-tai)
16) Melepone & Tupe Isara (Vaitelefou/Moata’a/Pu’apu’a/Avao/Vaie’e/Faleasi’u)
17) Timoteo & Ilasa Tapelu (Magiagi/Siumu/Avao/Safotu)
18) Ututau & Samaria Tauati (Vaivase-uta/Vaiala)
19) Vailele & Eseta Lemalu (Matautu-Lefaga/Safotu)
20) Letaulau & Tina Pesaleli (EFKS Nu’u-fou/ Vaitele)