Sacrifice pays off for winner of Piula's top thesis award
Numia Tauauvea is a true believer that there are always new skills to learn everywhere life takes you.
He also believers that a person can never stop learning. The 54-year-old father of five was among the graduates who were honored during a a special graduation ceremony held at "E le uma le alofa Chapel" at Piula on Sunday. He graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D3) with Honours.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer after the graduation, Numia said he is "overwhelmed" with God's love and calling for him and his wife.
"It's a calling from God," he said fighting to hold back tears of joy.
"I left everything (behind); my family, my job, and came to Piula. Looking back, I have no regrets."
Mr. Tauauvea is an Architect and also holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. It is something he says was his passion.
Therefore, leaving the life he led behind, to enter the white gates of Piula was not an easy decision for him and his wife, Siufaga Tauauvea. However, once they entered Piula, there was no turning back for them.
"I am grateful I made that decision," he said smiling.
"As I said, it was God's calling. Life before Piula was different. I had a passion for architecture and design houses as I got a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering.
"But I made the decision and once I entered those gates, I knew that I had to follow my heart and leave it to God. It was hard at first, trying to link what I know and the knowledge and background I had as an architecture to the bible and theology it was tough.
"But I believe that it was a calling from God, looking back now and how far I have come, I am amazed myself. But God has been in control of everything and as his servant, I listen to his whisper and where He will call me next."
Mr. Tauauvea was also awarded the "Top Thesis Student" award for the B.D Class 2020, having scored over 90 points for his thesis.
So what is next for him and his family?
"This is not the end," he said. "As they say, the ending of one journey is the beginning of another. There are other hurdles ahead that will unfold, but I am ready for whatever is next for us.
"It all depends on the church and its selection. Whenever and wherever they need me to serve next, we will do so."
Lastly, Mr. Tauauvea wants to challenge anyone especially the youth, to consider taking the entrance exam to study at the Piula Theological College.
"I encourage anyone to give it a try.
"To me, I have learnt so much from the time I entered until now and I am grateful I made the decision to come to Piula.
"There is more to learn and you can learn so many skills and knowledge in this place.
"Take it from someone who has been here for six years. I had a different perspective on so many things and life itself, but being in Piula helped me look at things differently.
"Hence why I encourage anyone who feels like taking up this challenge to come and study in Piula."
Numia Tauauvea is 54-years-old and is married to Siufaga Tauauvea. They have five children.
They are from the villages of Si'usega, Fasitoo Uta, Vailoa Palauili, Sa'anapu and Fagaloa.