FSM State National Prayer Day celebrated in Kosrae
Press Release #1110-35
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
November 29, 2010

Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM Public Information Office): November 29, 2010 -  On November 25, throughout the FSM, Micronesians celebrated the 3rd Annual State National Prayer Day.  President Mori traveled to Kosrae on November 24, to honor this day with the people of Kosrae. 

He was accompanied by Secretary Vita Skilling and Dr. Ben Jesse of the Department of Health and Social Services; Director Fabian Nimea, and Kemskey Sigrah, both of SBOC; Johnson Asher, Assistant Attorney General, and Cadalina Donre, Legal Secretary, both with the National Department of Justice; Bernis Danis from the National Department of Education, Pelsesar Petrus, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and George Skilling, National Police Officer.

On the morning of November 25, President Mori and his delegation attended a mass service at Church Lelu.  The morning’s program was dedicated to Thanksgiving and included the performance of beautiful songs from the members of Church Walung, Church Tafunsak, Church Malem, Church Utwe and Church Lelu.  The invocation was given by Reverend Takeo Likiaksa, and the benediction by Reverend Henry Noda.  The service was followed by an outdoor lunch, where the President and his delegation was served a delicious pork soup, taro, coconuts and fruit, generously offered by the Church members.    

The afternoon program took place in the courtyard of the newly built Kosrae High School to accommodate the large crowd; it began with an invocation by Reverend Natchuo Andrew, followed by President Manny Mori’s opening remarks. 

The President expressed his great pleasure in being in Kosrae to celebrate this special day, a day he initiated back in 2008.  He reminded the audience that back then, his hope had been to create a moment in each of our lives, to set aside all our differences; a moment to come together to share quality time; but also, to reflect on how we can strengthen our relationships.  He explained that when we have stronger relationships, we become more unified and can achieve our goals.
The President clarified that this State National Prayer Day should not be seen as simply a day to pray in the conventional sense of prayer, but a day to truly reflect on our relationships: our individual relationship with God, our relationships between each other as leaders and our relationship as leaders with our constituents.
Mori explained he was inspired to create this day for FSM after attending the 2007 Annual National Prayer Breakfast at the White House in Washington D.C.  He related one of the stories he had heard during that breakfast, which had left a strong impression on him: the story of a wealthy businessman who had accompanied a priest on a trip to Ethiopia, where the businessman witnessed for the first time the reality of extreme famine. 

One day, during this trip, the businessman gave a piece of candy bar to the oldest of two extremely skinny boys playing in the street, expecting to see them fight over it.  Instead, the oldest boy gave half of the piece of candy bar to the youngest boy and they both smiled.  These two boys shared and were happy.  This businessman had so much material wealth, but realized he was not himself happy.

As a result of this small incident, the businessman changed his life and became a leading philanthropist in Africa.  President Mori emphasized that it is by sharing our resources, our time, our love, that we strengthen our relationships with each other and with God and that is how we come together and become united.

Following the President’s remarks, Reverend Eden Skilling introduced guest speaker Reverend Kalau.  The Reverend spoke on the theme of “Seeking Divine Providence’s Guidance toward a Stronger National Unity and Progress.”  Reverend Kalau stressed the importance of building the right foundation in our lives by first loving God.  He explained that if you put God first, you will have success in your life; you will have a strong family and in turn a strong Nation, united.  

Reverend Nena Kilafwasru then pronounced a theme prayer in Kosraen, followed by a short speech from Reverend Takeo Likiaksa who spoke of the Church’s participation in the stability of the Nation.  The Reverend spotlighted the importance of having Christians involved in the government to guide the institution with good moral standards; in closing, he commended President Mori for instituting the State National prayer Day.

Governor Robert Weilbacher spoke of unity between and among the states of the FSM.  The Governor stressed that “the similarities between our States, greatly outweigh our differences.”  He emphasized that we all share unified dreams, and principally, that of healthy communities.  “We are like-minded States working together,” said Weilbacher, “and different minds working together; that is the meaning of unity between and among our States.”  

Secretary Vita Skilling then addressed the theme of unity between national and state government.  “This is an important day for dealing with relationships with our creator, our leaders and our peers,” said Skilling.   She explained that unity is “a combination or arrangements of parts to make up a whole,” and that as such, in government “each part has a role to play to achieve the goal of unity.”  She said that seeking divine providence’s guidance, the over-arching theme of the day, was most likely our answer on how to sustain unity in government.

Reverend Edmond Salik led the audience in a prayer for all the afternoon’s topics of discussions.  Dr. Ben Jesse gave the closing remarks, thanking all the dignitaries present for the opportunity to enjoy this event in Kosrae.  The Benediction was given by Reverend Tulen Kinere.  The afternoon remarks were interspersed by performances of songs from the members of Church Walung, Church Tafunsak, Church Malem, Church Utwe and Church Lelu.