One thought on “Tongan Language Fellowship

  1. My name is Marie Kailahi and I currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I recently attended the Beautiful Wake and Funeral Mass for the late Uanita Keasi Tongilava, on April 6 & 7, 2018. I was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Ana before moving out of California (June 2007). It was an honor for me to meet up with my church family when I attended the Funeral for Ms. Tongilava. I am Native American, but was married to a Tongan from the Island of Tonga and in particular the little village of Holonga. Ms. Tongilava was the first Tongan lady that I encountered. We both lived in Anaheim in 1986 and she bought joy, happiness and was a teacher of the Tongan culture to me. Everything I know of the Tongan culture she taught me. Most of all, what I remember of Ms. Tongilava is her love for our Dear Lord, our Tongan Church and the love for the community. She was a very Humble person and her legacy will live on through her large family. My heart aches that I never returned to California after moving away for 11 years (this June) but was so happy to be a part of the “Celebration of Ms. Tongilava’s Life”. I will always hold a special place in my heart for her and for the Tongan Church. Being of another culture, I never knew of the Tongan culture and I was shocked and amazed to learn that these are truly Loving, giving and caring people. As was so my Husband, Mr. Etimoni Kailahi. I worked in the church office for about four years–Administrative Assistant. While I worked there my Supervisors were: Pastor Charles Mabry; and Pastor Elias Mbaabu on the English side, and then on the Tongan side it was: Rev. Tevita Eteaki; Rev Kalatini Ahio; Rev. Tupou Kea and Rev. Olivia Latu.

    I will never forget my life in California and working at Santa Ana First and will never forget my Tongan culture—I do have one child is now 30.

    I only wish I had gone to the English service on Sunday morning, so I could have met up with the English congregaton (to see Many old friends) but had to travel back to New Mexico to go back to work on Monday.

    Thank you for letting me reminisce and enjoy a Great Service for my dear Uaunita Keasi Tongilava—-who I consider a Mother and Teacher!!!!

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