On Jan. 15, after an undersea volcano showered the kingdom of Tonga with tsunami waves, flooding, rocks and ash, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sprang into action.
The Utah-based faith provided tons of food, clothes, water and other household goods to the devastated islands. Church-owned Liahona High School became a welcome refuge for some 1,250 people seeking emergency housing. The governing First Presidency sent a letter of support and consolation to Tonga’s king and queen as well as Latter-day Saints throughout the nation.
The church’s imprint on the country is undeniable — Tonga has the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints of any country in the world (nearly 63%; about the same as Utah’s).
On this week’s show, Verna Tukuafu, a Tongan native and international area manager at BYU-Pathway Worldwide, discusses the relief efforts in her homeland and what life is like there for members of the majority faith.
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