‘They call me the Tui Tonga’,’ Tevita Taka remarked, sparking a ripple of laughter in the audience at the Pacific Theological College during an event. He towered over the podium at six-plus feet. Reverend Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Taka from the village of Faleloa on Ha’apai Island in Tonga is a Master of Church History student at the Pacific Theological College. The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga sponsors the former lecturer of the Sia’atoutai Theological College, where he also completed his Bachelor of Divinity. He chose to study at PTC interested as he was in the spirit of ecumenism at PTC and its promotion of self-determination of Pacific peoples.
“I also wanted to investigate the goal of establishing PTC,” he added.
Every morning, the ‘yadras’ of the local iTaukei community warm his spirit.
“The ‘yadra’ every morning makes me feel at home,” he said. The ‘yadra’ sparked another interest: exploring other Pacific cultures. PTC’s cultural and ethnic diversity makes it an excellent place to learn. The College hosts students from across the Pacific Islands region. It is also a venue for various cultural activities by ethnic groups in Suva city.
While enjoying the cultural experience, Reverend Tevita works to contribute to the reformation of church history, especially in Tonga.
“Most of the history of Tonga churches was written by foreigners,” he said.