Rev Teava Nanai (second left) with his ordained minister certificate. Photo: TAKAMOA THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE. 20110611
Hard work and sacrifice are the keys to success in any vocation, but commitment to faith and God will give rewards in life that are priceless.
Teava Nanai has spent his life going to church from Sunday school service, to
youth group and weekly sermons.
the past four years, Nanai says he got closer to knowing and understanding
God’s word and God’s work and plans for his life.
now ordained as a church minister, was among 20 Takamoa Theological College
students who graduated last week with a Certificate in Bible Studies and
Diploma in Theology.
was born on Mangaia and raised on Rarotonga.
he moved to New Zealand and after nine years returned to Rarotonga working as a
fire officer at the airport. In 2003 he moved to Melbourne and he attended the
Cook Islands Christian Church in Dandenong.
says, with the church in Australia he gradually started working with young
of had a passion to help our own Cook Islands young people. We would use our
home as a meeting place for our young people to come, and we would go out on
road trips and on Sundays we would bring them to church, he says.
was the driving force for us members of the church, working with our young
not until 2016, when Nanai attended a youth convention in Mitiaro and met
Reverend Tere Marsters.
time, I expressed to him I wanted to come to the college, and it was then that
the former principal said I could come and sit in one of his classes and see
how things go on - and I did that.”
returned to Australia, he shared with his family what God had put in his heart
and the new direction and calling of his life.
with three children, Nanai and his family through the Australian CICC, were
sponsored to attend the Theological College.
wasn’t easy, his four years of study were a challenge.
“It is a
sacrifice we had to make, everything we knew and had in the world was how we
had our life, but when you come here it is a sacrifice, and those things you
can’t have them in here,” Nanai says.
you come here (College), this place changes you and that’s what we found - in
terms of our spiritual development, the studies we did helped a lot.”
the perspectives he had was that he knew the Bible, but he says: “You don’t
know the bible until you come to a place like this. Because this place teaches
you the deep meaning of the Word.”
years of study have been rewarding because when he got to graduation and looked
back he thought of how much God had instore for him and where God was going to
take him from here.
God for this opportunity.”
favourite scripture is: “Remember thy creator in the days of thy youth.”
encourages young people to’ know who your God is’.
when you have that strong relationship with God then he will reveal to you what
He has planned for you.”
“Being in Takamoa is a privilege because of the legacy of this place. Our
ancestors took the gospel from here to the South Pacific and for us to come
here is an honour.”
don’t matter, if God has a plan for you he will fulfil it.”
received the first runner up Dux and Homiletics awards at the graduation
four students will be joining Takamoa Theological College next month to
commence their next three to four years of biblical study beginning 2021.
year, the College has had two separate graduation events with 24 graduating in
February and another 20 graduated late last month.
principal Reverend Tere Marsters says last month, the students graduated with
their Certificate in Biblical Studies and Diploma in Theology.
20 who received their certificates, 15 received their Diploma in Theology.
these graduates were couples and were ordained as church ministers at the Cook
Islands Christian Church, Avarua after the graduation ceremony.
than 750 people witnessed the graduation ceremony.
Marsters says these were students from Australia, New Zealand and one from
24 students will be joining – some are from Australia and New Zealand while
five are from the Cook Islands. Three are from Rarotonga, one from Aitutaki and
one from Mitiaro. They will commence their four years of study at the beginning
of next year.
that recently graduated will return to their home churches, or the church that
sponsored them for their study awaiting their posting.
have indicated they want to stay on and finish their Bachelor in Theology, and
will commence their study by writing a thesis,” he says.
study is close to four years and the programmes are accredited through SPATS –
the South Pacific Association of Theological Schools based out of Fiji under
the Pacific qualification frame work.
pleased that our students leave with a qualification that is recognised within
the Pacific region and New Zealand and Australia - it’s good for them - should
they wish pursue a minister’s licence.”
special awards ranging from the studies and trophies for special key subjects
were given out on graduation day including the Honorary Doctorate of Ministry
Award to Reverend Temere Poaru.
Marsters acknowledges the Cook Islands Methodist Church for the catering and
cooking and the choir numbers shared on the day, as well as the Pa Enua
churches for their contribution and the faculty of the school, the CICC and the
executive council for their support over the years.