“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)
Serving in the Cook Islands is a young man who has foregone all worldly ambitions and goals to focus on a two-year proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has committed himself to fulfil The Lord’s commission in Matthew to go out into the world, and has committed himself to teach the gospel for two years.
His name is Caleb Timu, but now known as Elder Timu. You may have seen him riding on his bicycle in a white shirt and tie with a knapsack on his back with his companion and associate Elder Bennett.
An article from the Australia Courier Mail quote: “Once hailed as the Broncos' next Gorden Tallis, league prodigy Caleb Timu, 19, has traded footballs for a bible and a push bike. Timu has quit the Broncos to embark on a two-year Mormon mission, putting a career destined for stardom on hiatus.
Losing the ultra-humble Ipswich back rower is a blow for the Broncos, as Timu was the brightest forward prospect at the club. He may be lost to the sport forever, with Timu revealing to The Courier-Mail he could switch to the 15-man game upon return.
The Broncos under-20s standout is called to serve in the Cook Islands Mission.
Timu said he had faced questioning from friends over his bold decision but it was a commitment he was always going to honour. “People have questioned it,”Timu said. “They say to me ‘what about the fame and the money’ but that is not important really. “My faith is what is important. I was always going to do a mission.
“You can always come back to rugby league. I had been thinking about it last year and then earlier this year made the decision to do it from 2014. I’m excited about it. The Broncos have been good to me about it and very supportive.” Timu is the latest in an increasing number of NRL-contracted Polynesians to abandon the code for a mission. The most high-profile player, Parramatta Eels-bound Will Hopoate, ended his mission in November 2013. Hopoate was stationed in Brisbane for his two-year journey and had regular contact with Timu. Hopoate said he simply told Timu how enjoyable his service had been. “Caleb is a very good man with strong values,” Hopoate said. “When there are church activities I see him and speak to him.
“It is something I strongly encourage but everyone is free to choose their own path.
"For me, I have found so much purpose.
Timu roared on to the national stage last year when he scored a barnstorming double to secure the Maroons’ under-18 team victory over New South Wales in a State of Origin curtain-raiser. His rampaging runs in that game earned him Tallis comparisons.
Unlike Hopoate, who inked a multi-million deal with the Eels before his mission, Timu is off contract at the end of his season.
The Marsden State High product said he was interested in playing rugby union when he returned.
“I played both codes growing up so I'm open to playing league or union when I come back,” Timu said.
“I played Australian Schoolboys for union in Year 11 and 12 so union’s a real option for me.
“I don't have a contract to come back to but I want to return to footy.”
The Broncos have a history in losing talented backr owers to Mormon missions, with Lagi Setu leaving the club in 2010 to serve his faith in England.
Setu returned to the NRL and played for the Melbourne Storm and lately the Canberra Raiders.
As for our own Cook Islands missionaries, they have accepted the Lord’s commission to teach the gospel for two years or 18 months for women. They too have similar stories of faith and sacrifices with ambitions to become better people and better followers of Christ.
There are currently 11 young men and women that are committed in serving or preparing to serve on a mission. By accepting God’s calling they will help others throughout the world come unto Christ.
Each missionary pays their own way and are supported by their families and members from the Cook Islands.
Our Cook Islands Missionaries are:
Piltz Napa Jnr – Melbourne Mission
Allan Ezekeila – Brisbane Mission
Glover Numanga – Auckland Mission
Gastone Tairi – Hamilton Mission
John Lowry – Toronto Canada
Kayla Kaimarama – Independence Missouri USA
Lindsay Graham – Adelaide Mission
Terence Ngametua – Salk Lake Utah USA
Junior George – Hamilton Mission
Daniel Tangataterekia – Manchester England Mission
Marouna Mita – Baguio Mission, Philippines
Throughout the world, Church members know that by sending our youth on missions, it will enable them as missionaries to grow closer to God, and experience a life of selfless service to others. There are many struggling in the world that need the message of love and the teachings of truth, like our saviour Jesus Christ taught.
We are so proud of all missionaries who have served in the past and those planning to in the future. The Lord has made a promise to bless each of them with success. As Matthew 25:23 teaches ... “ His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
God Bless... Kia Manuia.