Gospel like sweet nectar of ngatae

Thursday October 24, 2019 Written by Published in Local
The Avarua CICC Ekalesia in the parade for the 2018 Gospel day celebrations. 18102639 The Avarua CICC Ekalesia in the parade for the 2018 Gospel day celebrations. 18102639

Five hundred people are expected at the annual Gospel or Nuku day commemorations on Monday, observed as a public holiday by the nation.


Organised by the Cook Islands Christian Church, this year the Matavera Ekalesia will host the Nuku celebrations at Takitumu primary school. They start at 8.30am with the marching parade.

The Ngatangiia and Matavera branches have joined together and will present a drama on the arrival of Christianity to the island of Manihiki.

Secretary of the Matavera and the Rarotonga Konitara Ekalesia Member of Parliament Vaitoti Tupa says the Nuku reminds us of the arrival of the Christianity to the Cook Islands.

Before then, a man in the village of Matavera named Tika-ki-te-ope, had a dream that there would come a time when the white rakoa would fly out and feed on the ngatae blossoms.

He took this to represent the arrival of an all-powerful God – a God so powerful that the ocean would be turbulent, the earth would quake and the mountains would shudder.

The arrival of this new God would bring our people out of the “darkness” they had been living in for so long and into the “light”.

Nobody believed the prophecy – they jeered and mocked Tika-ki-te-ope. But time proved him right.

The date of October 26 is when the missionaries arrived to the island of Aitutaki for the first time.

The words of the Gospel became like the sweet nectar of the ngatae flower – sweet and fulfilling nourishment to the souls of the people.

Rarotonga was revealed to London missionary John Williams while spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Society Islands in Tahiti, according to Mauri Toa, writing in 2012.

Williams sailed the seas with Papehia in search of Rarotonga; but found Aitutaki and landed there on October 26 in the year 1821.

Prior to the arrival of Christianity to Aitutaki, there had been a big tribal battle – known as the battle of Vaovaoka. Tepaki was wounded during the clash, by a spear embedded in his body.

Fortunately for Tepaki, Christianity had arrived; John William and Papehia removed the splint from Tepaki’s body.

He survived the wound and was one of the first people on Aitutaki who accepted Christianity. The Gospel then spread to the Nga-Pu-Toru islands of Atiu, Mauke and Mitiaro. Generations to follow were taught to live by the laws of the Bible.

Visitors are welcome to watch the gospel dramas presented by the villages of Matavera/Ngatangiia, Avarua, Nikao, Arorangi and Titikaveka.

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