Talofa Honorable Governor,
In the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I humbly beg you Governor to please have the LOVE for your people who are stranded off-island and are wanting to return home. Our Lord says in the book of, 1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love.” Governor, I am just a citizen who wants to be of service to our people of American Samoa. We look up to you Governor as our Executive Leader, (Le Tama ole Atunu’u) the Father of our Island Territory.
I am appealing to you Governor, voicing our people’s request, those who are stranded off-island that are wanting to return home. Governor please allow your citizens to return back home, 2 of those many people are priests who reached out to me to ask you to please allow them to come home, Father Setefano Tuisea and Father Falaniko Atonio are both desperate to return home to see their doctors because of their serious health conditions. They said they cannot afford the expensive cost of physicians off-island. Also, my friend Fatumalala Ah Shehri and her partner who wrote a letter to you requesting to be allowed to return home because they need to do their campaign application before election in November. People who are reaching out to me through Facebook that they want to return home.
We have DOH doctors who went off-island to take their parent for medical appointments, and some doctors were on leave at Fiji and cannot return also the DOH Nursing Director who is also stuck off-island and many other DOH staff members that we need to return home to continue the work in serving our people but are stranded off-island. The DOH medical staffs are overworked and understaffed due to the lock down. And last but not least, my nephew Sergeant Sanele Lemana, an active US Army soldier who is stationed in Alaska who was returned and refused entry by you Governor. Sergeant Lemana also requested if you can allow him to come back to bury his beloved mother, the late Faletua of Rev. Catechist Ameko Lemana who passed away 4-5 months ago. Most of the people are begging to return home because they are running out of money that they are spending to pay for food and their hotel accommodations off-island. Parents left their young children here at home when they went off-island for family funerals, family fa’alavelave, and for medical appointments but are now stranded off-island and are pleading to ask you to allow them to return home to their loved ones.
Governor, who am I for you to care to listen to? You don’t have to pay attention to what I’m saying, but I want to let you know, I consider myself an “ASWW”, American Samoa Woman Warrior, I’m fighting for our people who are the silent minority, those who are afraid to speak up and don’t know who to turn to. I feel like I’m here to remind you what you pledged to our people of American Samoa when you wanted to become our Governor, 8 years ago when your Campaign Motto was “People First” & “Transparency”.
November Election is coming up, and all the voters who are stranded off-island wanted to be here at home to cast their vote for new leaders to lead our people for 4 years. Again, I humbly beg you in the name of JESUS, Governor please have a heart of merciful and a heart of love for our people and please allow them to return home. I truly believed that you are a God-Fearing Leader and that you also have TRUE LOVE for your people, and that you want to do what’s right. Please allow those citizens who are confirmed with Negative Covid-19 Corona Virus test with documents proving that they tested negative and bring them back home in a charter flight, 50 – 100 people per flight every 14 days until all our people are returned. Our Public Health Director and our DOH personnel will stand ready to put those people up for 14 days quarantine before they can be released to their loved ones.
Governor, many citizens of other countries were stranded outside of their respective countries when the Covid-19 pandemic lock down was initiated in March, almost all of those stranded citizens are all returned to their home country, even our neighboring country of Samoa have brought back all their beloved citizens back to Samoa. Why are our people still stranded off-island as if our American Samoa Leaders doesn’t care? We are Covid-19 Corona Virus Free with no cases. I understand that you as our Governor and Father of our Territory want to prevent our people of American Samoa from the Corona Virus. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him.”
Governor, I pray to God to please continue to bless you with wisdom, knowledge and good health in order for you to continue to serve our people. In conclusion, please be heedful of your people’s cry and bring your people home. 2 Kings 20:5 “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal and help you.” I pray to God Governor to please touch your heart, and please consider the plea of your people’s wishes that I’m voicing to you, In Jesus Name. Amen
Papali’i Su’a Lucia Bartley
Medical Supply Manager
Department of Public Health