The ZOOM session featured conversation with Manasa Vatanikawake, who attended the IRCA 2018 Conference in Lincoln, New Zealand and was part of the group Young Ecumenists of the Pacific presented with the Harold McSwain Youth Award. Masasa spoke of how attending that conference has been significant in his growth in faith and leadership, such that he is now Secretary of the Fiji Council of Churches.
He also spoke of appreciation for the Pacific being given space for its own voice during the 24 hours of sharing stories and prayer. Usually the Pacific Islands are lumped in with Australia and New Zealand! We acknowledged that shameful past and sought to put it behind us. IRCA’s commitment is to give voice to those who have felt voiceless.
It had not been possible to get videos from leaders from the various regions as planned, because their focus has been on local needs. For example, in Tonga, the concern following the disastrous volcanic eruption and tsunami has been to visit all the more remote islands to assess the needs and provide help. In other areas, the surge of Covid-19 has been pressure on the leadership. The commitment was made for IRCA’s communications person to follow up with Manasa over coming weeks and months as seek stories from the region as they become available.
Watch this space – and the IRCA Facebook page – for future updates.
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