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Started in Tonga in 1986, the Salvation Army is (relatively) one of the few real newcomers.
It started as a response to a Royal invitation by the King himself. Taufa ‘ahau Tupou IV was greatly ‘impressed by the work of the Army in the Social area, its evangelistic approach, its neutrality in politics and its famous brass bands.’ Winds of Change.
The Salvation Army runs a series of very interesting programmes which reach and move many people.
A main church building at Sopu was built in 1992. In other countries, smaller groups have organized themselves into house churches.
My meetings with the leader of the church in Tonga (sometimes in passing on the roads or at the markets) have left me with the deep impression that he has a huge heart, love, for God and the dispossed in Tonga. Between 1996 - 2008, I saw various programs funded, supported, peopled by the church touching on those the other church’s ignored or were unable to help. The church worked with the courts and drug addiction (alcoholism) and the especially reached out to the deportees estranged in their homeland.