“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2: 10
Bolivia Smith is an impressive young Samoan woman. She has a chiefly title, she was the Youth Coordinator in the Diocese of Polynesia at the age of 15, and in her professional life as an IT specialist she has a staff of 15 . Bolivia lives in Samoa and will share her malaga or journey, in this Virtual Theology Chat.
Name: Galumalemana Bolivia Smith
Parents: Rev. Dr Le Vaotogo Frank & Tulimata’i Smith
Employment: Team Leader CIT – Systems, Network, SCADA, GIS & Call Centre (I have
15 staff in my team)
Currently Worshipping at: All Saints Anglican Leifiifi, Samoa
Born and raised in Samoa until we moved to NZ in 1999 for my father to study at St Johns
Theological College in Auckland NZ.
The name Galumalemana is a chiefly title
bestowed upon me by my Mother’s Family in the village of Samata-i-Tai, Savaii (2016).
My father currently serves as the Dean of Tikanga Polynesia at St Johns College, and
my mother is a teacher by profession. Prior to moving to NZ, my parents served at the
All-Saints Anglican Church, Apia and now currently with Ekalesia Agelekana Samoa in
Mangere, NZ. Both my parents live in NZ, along with my brother, his wife, and children,
while my 2 nd eldest brother, and my sister and her children are all living in our family
home here in Samoa.
At the age of 13 I was already actively involved in the Youth Group activities, making
me the youngest leader within the Bishopric, and by the age of 16 i was selected as the
Youth Coordinator for the Bishopric Youth Council for Polynesia, NZ. I was involved in
the 3 Tikanga Youth work at a very young age, where I was part of the Youth Yeah
Planning Committee and the TORU (Anglican Centre for Youth Ministry Studies) and
Advisory Group where I was the Convenor.
Tanzania and back to Samoa
In 2006, I was selected along with my sister Maria Prescott to represent the Diocese of
Polynesia on a T3T mission trip to Tanzania. 3 and a half weeks, we were on this
mission trip – I will touch a little bit on my experience during this time in my sharing.
In 2007 I moved back to Samoa and joined the LYMC hoping to carry on what I had
been doing during my time in NZ. I held leadership roles and in 2011 was selected as
the Youth Coordinator for the Archdeaconry of Samoa.
At the same time I had found my first job in Samoa, working as a young Junior Technician at Computer Services Ltd.
Iam an IT by profession … where I later ran into some problems (again, will share later
in my story), moved to another Computer Company as a Senior Network Technician,
and in 2012 applied to the Samoa Water Authority and became their Senior Computer
Programmer. In the short time I was there, I was promoted to Team Leader CIT –
Systems and Network, and last year added a SCADA GIS team to the fold.
2018 – 2019 was the year that changed it all for me!
I hadn’t been to church for months, and if I went to church it was only on special occasions or when I felt like it. Being
selected to represent LYMC Samoa to a Raukura Training in Tonga 2019, was the
turning point for myself and seeing how I had lacked spiritually and lost the one thing
that I truly enjoyed and loved the most. Was serving God through the Church. In 2019 –
I was also privileged to attend with Rev Sonja an AWSC Pacific Hui held in Tonga which
was my first introduction to AWSC and was able to meet all the lovely ladies in Tonga,
Fiji and Rev Val and Rev Esita from NZ.
In 2019, the post for the Diocesan Youth Facilitator was advised, and I had applied for it
– at the time, I had felt that the LYMC were lacking leadership, and wanted to lend a
hand and see what needed to be done. So, I started as the Diocesan Youth Facilitator
in 2020 working alongside the beautiful Lorna Gray & Ruihana Paenga. Again, I will
share more on this later in my story – the ups and downs and at a time when Covid-19
started to spread.