TWO Anglican Church deacons reaped the rewards of their hard labour when they were ordained as priests in the rural community of Kasavu in Cakaudrove at the weekend.
Louisa Smith of Benau Estate and Rusiate Voli of Qaraniduna in Kasavu were ordained by the head of the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Polynesia, Bishop Winston Halapua, on Sunday.
In welcoming the new priests, Bishop Halapua said it was fitting that the ordination be carried out in the community because they would serve the area.
He said a new chapter in the church's history was being written for many reasons.
Bishop Halapua shared his reason behind moving the ordination to the rural settlement instead of conducting it in the parish church in Savusavu Town.
He said at the last ordination at St Leonard's Parish in Savusavu, he was moved when he heard the story of how the parishioners had to travel so far to attend church.
Bishop Halapua said they had to get up early, cook the meals for the day then walk from their homes in the interior to the main road to catch a bus or a passing vehicle.
And during all this, he said the parishioners would carry food which was not only for them but also for visitors and guests who would come to church.
Bishop Halapua said: "This in itself was a ministry.
"The people not only carried food, but carried the grace of God for which they are abundantly blessed."
Bishop Halapua said the trip was also to thank the people for giving priests Smith and Voli a chance to serve as deacons.
He said he was very appreciative and proud of the people in their mission and renewed leadership that showed vitality.