First F.A.B. Meeting of The Year!


By Sina Uipi

On November 12th, APIOPA held our first official Faith Advisory Board, or F.A.B., meeting at Lennox United Methodist Church for the year. There were a handful of us, but we got a lot of great dialogue and momentum out of it. My mentor always says, “It doesn’t matter if there is two or twenty people in the room, as long as you tell your story, it’ll make an impact.” I have carried those words with me into this work and into many other aspects of my life because it’s the truth. One of the goals for the meeting was that everyone would leave feeling empowered and inspired to be apart of something that has amazing potential. I think we reached that goal and are off to an awesome start with F.A.B.


The meeting was the establishment of building relationships amongst F.A.B members and getting to know each other on a more personal level. We did an ice breaker where I asked members to draw a picture of what faith and health looks like to them. We then shared the meanings behind the drawings and one in particular was quite moving for all of us. Tomasi Naeata, a member of the Mormon church, had a simple yet meaningful drawing. it was a picture of a sword, and he explained his love for cartoon animation and enjoys doodling every now and then. In one episode of a cartoon he watched, there was a mentor teaching his mentee about sword fighting. The mentee was confused of how to use two swords during battle, and the mentor told him he must use them as one sword. Tomasi saw health and faith as two swords becoming one powerful sword, “Faith is health and health is faith,”. It was very touching for us all and we realized the importance of both our physical health and our spiritual health.


I introduced Social Biography, which is: My life in context of the conditions and events around me. How I live and transform those conditions and events. You map out your life but you only choose one story or event to share with the group. It’s usually a moment where you began to question things in your life and you knew something needed to change, or change did take place. My mentor introduced this to me ten years ago and now I am passing it on to others. It has a non-western approach to it in the sense that it is community based and serves as a pedagogy for the people. Everyone got to share their social biographies and it was great to see some common themes we all had in our stories. One was how church played a big role in all of our upbringings. Another was what I call a light bulb moment, where we each reached a point in our lives that made us feel empowered to do more than what we settled for. We left the meeting knowing more about each other than we did at the beginning of it. It was a successful meeting and we are so excited for what’s in store for F.A.B, stay tuned!!

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