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Called to serve

Peniasi Torocake is thankful for God’s calling to serve as a Salvation Army officer.

I was born in 1968 in the village of Tubou on the island of Lakeba in Lau, a province in eastern Fiji. Although my parents were married, my mother raised me on her own, with support from her family.

My grandparents were pillars of the Methodist Church in Tubou, so I learnt about Jesus from a very early age. My wife Tavaita and I met in Labasa, to the north of Fiji. In 1993, a Salvation Army officer invited us to their worship service. We accepted the invitation—and the rest, as they say, is history. That first Sunday was enough for me to decide that I wanted to worship God in The Salvation Army for the rest of my life.

In 1995, we moved to Lautoka, in western Fiji, in search of better opportunities. I found work at Lautoka Hospital, the second largest hospital in Fiji. Although our family had our own reasons for moving, I’ve come to realise God had much bigger plans for us—and that his plan is the best. After fi nding work, I began looking for a place to worship and found the Lautoka Corps (church). It was from here that I started to experience God’s call on my life.

To start with, I fully committed myself to the ministry of my local corps, becoming a senior soldier (member) in 1996 and taking on various local offi cer positions, serving to the best of my ability. Although balancing my time between raising a young family, work and church was challenging, it was a challenge worth taking!

At this point, becoming a Salvation Army offi was always the last thing in my mind, because all I wanted to do was to serve God well and be faithful to his calling at my corps. In 2012, my corps officer asked if I had considered serving God as an officer. Tavaita and I prayed about this and decided it might be the right time for our family to move on to this new challenge. We applied and were accepted into training.

After our commissioning this month, we will take up our first appointment at Sigatoka Corps in January. Despite the ups and downs and the thick and thin of life, it took 15 years of God’s moulding and leading for me to arrive at the School for Officer Training in Suva. This was indeed an amazing journey!

I have not regretted at any time my decision to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I believe that serving him in The Salvation Army for the rest of my life is the reason God led me and my family to this spiritual family. I thank God for his calling to be his light to the world, a calling that comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability—not only to The Salvation Army but also to God.

I am grateful to my wife and children for holding on to faith during the good and bad times. As a family, we will keep on trusting God, who is always faithful. We are looking forward to the excitement of serving God in our new appointment, putting into practice all we have learnt so the world may see the only true light, the Lord Jesus Christ.

by Peniasi Torocake(c) 'War Cry' magazine, 28 November 2015, pp 9.
You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.