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Mormons Help Small Group Make a Big Difference in Tonga

A small group of volunteers in Fanga, Tongatapu, Tonga have been helping several elderly and disabled patients the past few years. Called "Loving Heart of a Good Samaritan," this group was recently assisted in their efforts by welfare missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Loving Heart was formed in March 2012 and they currently have 60 patients to care for. Some of these patients have been living alone with no family to care for them, no transportation, and were often without food.

The volunteers built an oven to bake coconut buns which they sell and then use the proceeds in their work to assist the needy.

Their records were kept only on paper because they had no computer equipment.

They had a van to deliver food and supplies, but it was continually breaking down and recently blew the engine. They then had to make their deliveries by bicycle.

In September, the Tongan government donated a lot with rent paid for a year that has two houses on it. The group has turned one house into Tonga’s first rest home for those elderly patients needing the most assistance. The second house was converted to offices that will help the volunteers provide necessary services to the other patients.

At the handover ceremony, 23 October 2015, Loving Heart's president, Tonga Soane, quoted Matthew 25:35, 36, 40: “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. “

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, represented by the local stake president, Alvini Sika, donated office furniture, a computer and printer, beds and supplies for the rest home, and a much-needed used replacement van.

When Lu'isa Manuofetoa, the Deputy CEO for Disability and Social Protection, Ministry of Internal Affairs spoke, she expressed gratitude for all the work these two groups are doing and how it will benefit many of the elderly and disabled of Tonga.

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