Population: 104,500 (2011)
Official language: English
Major religion: Christian
IFES movement: Pacific Students for Christ (PSFC)
Tonga is regarded as a Christian country because more than 90% of people belong to a church. In reality, Christians in Tonga are mostly nominal. However, people are quite open to the gospel and it is easy to start conversations about matters of faith and speak about Jesus. The difficulty is finding genuine commitment to biblical Christianity.
- 1 group of about 20-30 students, based in the Tupou Tertiary Institute.
- 1 part-time staff worker.
IFES student ministry in Tonga is very new, having begun in 2011. Ma’afu Palu, the only staff worker in Tonga, rejoices that in the past year he has seen students becoming believers in the group. He believes that the greatest strength of the current PSFC group is their openness to the gospel, and their willingness to meet and study the bible.
One of the main activities of students in PSFC is going to the bus stop on campus where people socialise. They chat and share the gospel with students who are waiting for buses.
View from the inside
Seeing students being converted and discipled is a great encouragement for Ma’afu and helps him continue working with this fledgling ministry.
Ma’afu trusts that the gospel always works when it is preached. His ministry and vision is inspired by Romans 1:16: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
‘I think working with students is the best strategy to Christianising the Pacific. My vision is to raise a generation of believers confident in their bible and willing to bring the gospel to our people.’
- for a full time staff worker who can take on the work in the Tupou Tertiary Institute, continue it and spread it to other institutions;
- for students to be more excited about evangelism.