The life of a senior Pastor of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa was remembered and celebrated when the nation paused to pay tribute to his service on Friday.
Reverend Fa’apaia Tariu was still serving Vailoa-uta church when he was called home on 21 January 2017. He was 65.
Married to Sinavaiui Toelupe, he is survived by his seven children and grandchildren.
Among the mourners was the Member of the Council of Deputies, Le Mamea Ropati, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and leaders of C.C.C.S from all over Samoa.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa paid tribute to Rev. Fa’apaia’s courage. He recalled an incident where Rev. Faapaia went against the leadership of the church by organising a dance group from his church for the Teuila Festival.
“He knew it will be against the church’s rules but he still went ahead and did it because he was a number one supporter of the government and culture,” Tuilaepa said.
“Even though he got in trouble from the Elders for participating in the Teuila it didn’t worry him because he knew he was standing for what he believes is right.”
Tuilaepa said church Ministers should follow Rev. Fa’apaia’s footsteps in leading by example.
“He supports the children of Samoa and I want to encourage all the ministers of churches in Samoa that our work is not only in the church but also in the country as well.”
Rev. Faapaia’s son, Loli Liki Tariu, remembered his father as a loving person.
“In our father’s eyes we are all the same, his own children, his church children we are all the same. He loves our mother very much they have a special bond that nobody could ever break,” Loli said.
His wife Sinavaiui Tariu fondly recalled their relationship, dating back to 18 February 1984 when they were married.
“As we were preparing for our wedding, we promised each other that for as long as we are together we will never fight,” she said. “And from that day until now our love for each other has grown stronger. We loved each other so dearly."
Mrs. Tariu said Rev. Fa’apaia’s were always proud of his upbringing, even though it was a tough one.
“He always mentioned that his mother was poor but a fighter. This is what we talked about everyday when he thought of his mother."
“He is the son of a poor woman but God enriched her through her son.
He is the son of the woman who fears God and she relied on God when she didn’t have much.
She still had faith and relied on God that her son will get a better life and succeed in school and become an instrument of God.
“He is the best gift to me, my children and my family.”
Rev. Fa’apaia’s final resting place is at his Vaitele residence.