Cook Islands Christian Church Director of Evangelism and Missions, and Director of Youth with a Mission Cook Islands Volley Tangiataua. 23102480
A Cook Islands Christian leader has given thanks following the passing of a founding member of an interdenominational training organisation.
Christian Church Director of Evangelism and Missions and Youth with a Mission
(YWAM) Cook Islands Director Volley Tangiataua has a long association with
He has spoken to Cook
Islands News following the death of Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, aged 88,
on October 6.
Tangiataua and his
family volunteered with YWAM in Burma for 18 years and have given the
organisation more than 30 years of service.
“As a young boy
growing up in Mangaia, I heard stories of missionaries from Tamarua, my
village, who left and brought the Gospel as far as Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“The journey to the
unknown was difficult for them. Many lost their lives and became martyred for
their faith in Jesus.”
He said some of them
were his relatives, like Ruatoka and many others from his family who obeyed the
call of God in their lives.
“They went and died,
only a few came back.
“So that inspired me
as a young child to follow the footsteps of my fathers by taking the Gospel of
Jesus Christ to those who haven’t had the chance to hear the Gospel.”
Tangiataua said YWAM teams
came in the mid1980s to Mangaia and shared the Gospel and residents to follow
“That was the
beginning of my journey with YWAM.
“In 1988, the first
Discipleship Training School (DTS) was held in Mangaia in the village of
Tamarua in my family home.
“Seven of us Cook
Islanders did the DTS Training.
“In 1989 several of
us formed a team called the Second Wave and we went to work among the Native
Indians in Canada. During that time, God opened my eyes to see that there are
many people out there who haven’t had the chance to hear the Gospel, unlike us
in the Cook Islands, we have heard the Gospel many times.
“From there God took
me on a journey with Jesus in Asia. I did YWAM training schools in Singapore
and went to Bangladesh from 1991 to 1995. I worked among the Muslims, sharing
the Gospel of Jesus.”
When Tangiataua and
his family were living in Myanmar (Burma) serving with YWAM, Loren Cunningham
and his wife Darlene went to visit them.
“He shared in our
YWAM staff meeting again to encourage us and our young people to follow the
call of God in their lives.”
Tangiataua said YWAM
was an instrument God used to prepare him and many others to extend the eternal
kingdom to the world.
“So, from the bottom
of my heart, I am grateful and thankful that God raised Loren Cunningham to
inspire many young people like me to follow Jesus and to obey the call of God
in our lives.
“That really reminded
me of my fathers that obeyed the call of God in their lives. Up to today, my
own children are following the call of God for their lives.
“One of my daughters
went to Nepal for her outreach (two- month mission trip with YWAM) and my son
went to Fiji for his outreach.”
Loren Cunningham founded
Youth With A Mission in 1960.
Tens of thousands of
full-time staff participate from more than 200 countries and various
denominations and Christian traditions, serving at more than 2000 YWAM
locations in nearly 200 nations.
Millions have served
in YWAM programmes as students, short-term volunteers and full-time staff.
launched under his leadership included YWAM Olympic Outreaches, the
International Torch Run, Cardinal Points Prayer Days, the University of the
Nations, YWAM Ships (28 vessels currently serve the most isolated islands and
coastlands), Pray OMT, and myriads of other ministries birthed by leaders he