The fruit of our lives

Saturday 7 November 2020 | Written by Supplied | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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The fruit of our lives
Pastor Terence Tauira Maka-Kea with Governor-General is Dame Patsy Reddy. 20110601

The scriptures that lead our lives are clear: a person’s life is known by its fruit, writes Thomas Tarurongo Wynne.

I would watch students leave Tereora College each day accompanied by a steady stream of chatter and youthfulness. On driving home not too long after, I would notice fruit trees littered down bumpy streets, raided by hungry students keen for vi kavakava or vi (mangoes) to fill their tummies before they arrived home for afternoon chores.

Watching them reminded me of my own story of walking home from school, with peaches, loquits and feijoa trees on the way home. We too would fill ourselves before the same chores of raking the rubbish or piling the weeds and cuttings our mother had amassed in her garden – a garden that seemed to stretch across acres of what actually was just a ¼ acre section.

When raiding fruit trees, we learned a simple shake of the tree will allow the fruit to fall to the ground, some ripe, some unripen and some not at all.

This last week we were able to see the life of our brother Pastor Terence Tauira Maka-Kea, shaken like a tree and the fruit of his life fall to the ground. Some were ripe that he planted many years ago with his work as a pastor, fitness coach and life mentor, and some still ripening with lives like my own touched in the short time I have come to know and appreciate his heart and his wife and family’s gift of service. The scriptures that lead his life and many of our lives, are clear, that a person’s life is known by its fruit. We know that we all produce fruit based on the seeds we plant and water, and that the fruit of our lives is not just for ourselves and our families, but also for those that are simply hungry.

What is the fruit of my life, I asked myself, as I attended a dinner with 70 plus people, celebrating the awarding of a Queen’s Service Medal to our brother Pastor Terence. It was a medal that celebrated the fruit of his life and demonstrated by those in attendance, from all walks of life.

One after the other, people stood up and honoured him and his wife, Kitiona and their family’s sacrifices over the years. They spoke of his love for people, demonstrated by sacrifice of his own time, of his families’ time and his deep and unshakeable love for his God.

Sometimes in life, or in the business of our work, we are given moments – moments to stop and take stock, either by choice or circumstance – so we can see what fruit our lives have accumulated. We also have to make sure that the seeds we have planted and watered are not choked by the weeds of our lives that have grown or rotten fruit of our lives can be cut away and removed to not spoil the good.

Pastor Terence Tauira founded the Victory Church in Porirua, where he remains as minister, and continues to represent Pacific communities in a range of national advisory groups from Health to Corrections to the Apostolic Church.

Pastor Tauira was a founding member of the Porirua Church Ministers Forum and is a board member of Pacific Health Plus and a member of the Strong Pacific Families Porirua Group. He helped establish the Strong Pacific Families Food Collection Drive and the Seeds of Hope Project while running a fitness class within his church which continues to serve his community without cost or financial reward.

But most of all, he is a man who loves his wife, his children and adores his granddaughter and serves people no matter who they are, and even made time for me so I too share and enjoy the fruit of his life. Who else is hungry, who else is in need, lonely, broken or just needing a friend? There is fruit in your life and mine that can feed them so that no one is left hungry.