Three months after Cyclone Gita devastated Tonga, work has begun to rebuild classrooms at Beulah Adventist College, a Seventh-day Adventist school on the island.
A team of nine volunteers from the United States arrived on May 12, 2018, to coordinate the construction work. Beulah alumni currently living in the United States have sponsored the team, while Tongan alumni, parents, church members, teachers, and students are taking turns to supply meals to the volunteers during their three-week visit.
Construction work has also been boosted by donations from Littleton Adventist Church and their local community in Denver, Colorado, United States.
“Volunteers are working very hard, together with the locals and the TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) students to speed up the work,” said Felisa Ma’u, head of the English Department at Beulah.
“Beulah College is the first school in Tonga to start rebuilding [after] the damage from Cyclone Gita. Praise the Lord!”
A “mini-opening” of the rebuilt classrooms is being planned for May 29. In the meantime, classes continue to be held in tents.
Trans-Pacific Union Mission associate education director Mele Vaihola has expressed her thanks to the various local and international groups who are getting behind the project.
“On behalf of the Union [church region] education department, we would like to thank the Littleton Adventist Church, Denver community, and the United States-based Beulah College alumni for their sacrifice to assist and support the school with the rebuilding of the classrooms in order for the school to resume back to its normal program,” she said.
“We also thank the staff and students for your perseverance; our prayers have been answered. To the church community and Tonga alumni, thank you for your support. Adventist education is all about total member involvement.”