Reaching the Nations

TONGA

“Why bother with a loser?” Simeon ponders Paula Taufa’s motivation for spending time with him—a hard-core prisoner at the time.

Paula Taufa

Simeon’s voice cracks as he recalls when, every Sunday for 5 years without fail, Paula would visit a dozen hard-core prisoners and teach them the Bible.

Simeon could not understand him. Paula, as the Country Manager of the largest oil and gas company in Tonga, is a well-respected man. Besides, he meets with the top executives of companies and the royal family for Bible study. Even more astounding, when Simeon was homeless after his release, Paula invited him home to stay. Why was he choosing to spend time teaching a criminal and helping him?

Love. . .

Paula is determined to love the people in his life with the love Jesus has given him; even pursuing more people and more opportunities to share this profound love. And this love won Simeon over. Today, a transformed Simeon is happily working and serving with his church.

This is one of the many stories that showcase the thriving ministry of the Navigators in Tonga. This work is bursting at its seams; impacting prisoners, youth, women, churches, business communities, and the royalty. We rejoice with them to see so much life pouring out of their Navigator community and the evidence of their foundations deeply rooted in the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom.

And we are so encouraged that out of this growth they have reached the point where they are ready to send out their first missionaries! Helena and Sela have both grown out of this ministry and been trained by the Navigators. They are ready, willing and able, saying to the Lord, “Whatever you ask, wherever you lead, I will go.”

God truly has been—and is still—doing amazing things in and through Tongan Navigators. God has blessed their passion for the lost and intentionality in teaching the Bible in some incredible ways to lead to such growth . . . So where is He leading next? How will they continue to grow and advance the Kingdom?

The tarpaulin at Paula and Talita’s home

For many years, Paula and Talita’s home has been the centre of the national work, with people constantly streaming in and out. I have attended several conferences in Tonga where Paula has put up a very large tarpaulin to accommodate over 100 people for the weekend conference. While Paula and Talita love serving others and opening their home for the work of the Gospel, there is still a limit to how much and how many people they can cater for, even if only limited by space. So, to continue catering for the abundant harvest God is yielding in their ministries they are pursuing the build of a National Headquarters.

This Headquarters will be a place where they can meet for Bible Study and fellowship, hold conferences and have an office. We would love to partner with them to continue to grow their ministries and further advance the Gospel in Tonga.

And God is clearly behind this work and guiding them forward in His wonderful provision.

Lord Fakafanua

Land is very hard to obtain in Tonga. Essentially you must be a noble, as the 169 islands that make up the Kingdom of Tonga are small. God, in His wonderful provision, has blessed the Tongan Navigators with a gift of land from Lord Fakafanua.

Lord Fakafanua is the current speaker of Parliament. His father was very involved with the Navigators and made a promise to give the Tongan Navigators a plot of land on which they would build a headquarters, but just one week later he died unexpectedly. Lord Fakafanua has graciously decided to fulfill his father’s promise and give the land to the Tongan Navigators.

The building will cost around $625 000. We know that buildings don’t make disciples, but we want to be a part of the growth God is already bringing and will continue to bring. We want to see their capacity to do good continue to grow and expand to reflect their ministry, and not be limited by the physical need for more space.

We want to partner with the Tongan Navigators to see God’s kingdom grow by supporting Heleni and Sela and the building of the Headquarters.

We would love to send them a substantial gift towards this project and ask that you consider joining with us in support of the Gospel advancing throughout Tonga under God’s blessing.

Labouring Together,

Grant Dibden
National Director

 

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