Word of Life Fiji is passionate about reaching young people for Christ. They have a big focus on Local Church Ministries and training leaders, and also run camps and outreach events. Their desire is to reach out to the many islands of Fiji.
Indo Pacific Rim Zone Leader
Tom & Liz McIvor
Tom McIvor serves under Word of Life International as Zone Leader for the Indo Pacific Rim. This role has responsibility to support the leaders in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Tom and Liz were farming for the first seven years of their married life until God opened the doors for them to go into full time ministry with Word of Life. They attended the Word of Life Bible College when it opened in 1990, and joined staff the following year. Tom has always had a passion for ministry and working with youth. When joining staff, Tom became the Bible Club Representative in the South Island as well as running camps on the Nelson property and overseeing outreach programmes. In 1996 Tom and Liz moved to Auckland to start a Word of Life office there, and in 1999 this office was moved to Hamilton.
In 1998, Tom began running Youth Reachout mission trips annually to Fiji, Australia, Samoa and the Philippines. In 2000, Tom became the Director of the ministry and began to build the team from scratch again. In 2019, Tom resigned from his position as Director and took up a position with Word of LifeInternational as a Zone Leader in the Indo Pacific Rim, supporting the leaders in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea. There are plans to see Word of Life have bases in other Pacific Islands as well.
Tom is also involved in itinerant preaching and serves as an Evangelist. Tom and Liz have 2 sons, Daniel and Joshua.
About Word of Life Fiji
Word of Life first began with Judy Rokomasa from Fiji. Judy was living in Nelson and waiting for a permanent visa. She lived with Ross & Jan Grant who had been missionaries in Fiji and were like parents to her. Judy worked in the Word of Life New Zealand office and helped with camps during the months she was waiting. The visa was denied so Judy had to return to Fiji.
Judy took some WOL Bible Club material with her for her local church in Lautoka, Fiji. She and David Simpson used the material in their youth group, which made a real difference, and they saw growth within a couple of months. Soon, more churches wanted to use the material also.
In 1986, John Jones (WOL NZ Director) made a trip to Fiji to do some leadership training, and started a couple of more clubs. Within 12 months, Word of Life had around 10-12 clubs in Brethren, Baptist & Mission fellowship churches. In 1992, Herb Ritchie (WOL Associate) resumed responsibility for the work in Fiji and visited at least twice a year working with local churches, doing leadership training, setting up Bible Clubs and running camps. Herb continued to oversee this work for many years.
In 2006, Charles and Tina Mareu became the leaders of Word of Life Fiji, continuing the great work Herb Ritchie had been doing. In 2020, Lusiate Tuinaduba and Akuila Naqa joined the team after completing 2 years of Bible study in New Zealand at Calvary Chapel Bible Institute.
Outreaches and camps are very much part of the ministry in Fiji amongst its islands. Youth Reachout, a New Zealand mission trip, has had a big impact on the ministry in Fiji, with many teams visiting over the years.
The Fiji Team
Charles & Tina Mareu
Charles and Tina live in the main island of Fiji with their three kids, Elizabeth, Philip, and Charles Jnr. They are involved in Local Church Ministries amongst many churches throughout the different islands of Fiji. Charles and Tina also have 20+ young people staying with them in their home most of the time to support and encourage them.
“I grew up in my home island, Moturiki, Fiji. After high school, I attended at Bible School near Suva City, and graduated with a Certificate in Biblical Studies. After this, I served with Scripture Union for a year, and then went back to my island and served my people for a year. Shortly after this I became a full time pastor for the Tuvaluan Church for three years. In 2004, Tina and I got married. At this time, I was serving as a full time Pastor at Raiwai Gospel Chapel, and we were also helping out as parents in a home to 16 teenage boys for a few years.
Our involvement with Word of Life began in 1995 when we attended a Word of Life Camp. We were deeply involved with a Word of Life Bible Club for many years, serving as leaders. In 2006, we were asked to begin leading Word of Life Fiji full time, and it was not hard for us to agree to do this. We began training leaders, doing outreaches and helping churches, as well as other ministry with our church and the deaf ministry. Tina does a lot of interpreting and teaching with the deaf community in Fiji. In 2012, we had the privilege to do another year of Bible training in New Zealand at Calvary Chapel Bible Institute. This was a refreshing year for us as a family. Upon returning to Fiji we continued our work with Word of Life as well as Raiwai Chapel.
We have a real heart for the youth of Fiji. We run camps, Local Church Ministries and train leaders. There are many challenges here in Fiji, where most people are living from day to day. We want to reach out as much as we can to the many islands of Fiji. We are grateful for the two young men in our team now.”
My family is from a beautiful island called Moturiki, from a village called Daku. I grew up in a Christian family, and I have three siblings. My parents both do not have jobs, but fishing and farming are our source of income. I got saved through a youth camp when I was 18 years old. A few years later, God made it possible for me to do two years of Bible training in New Zealand at Calvary Chapel Bible Institute. This grew my love for God’s Word and my heart to share and teach the Word of God to my people. I love working with Word of Life because of the emphasis on youth ministry and seeking to win young people for Christ. I have a heart for youth and to teach them about the truth of God’s Word. I am grateful for the guidance and support of Charles and Tina Mareu in my life.
"I live with my family in Vatukalo Village, Levuka, Ovalau, one of the outer islands in Fiji. I grew up in a Christian family. My father is a lay pastor and my mother does domestic duty. I have two brothers and two sisters, and one of my sisters is married and blessed with three kids.
When I was young, I thought that there was no God. I went to church and attended Sunday school just for the sake of it. My father is a pastor and when he would preach, I would think he was crazy for telling people about a God who I didn’t think existed. I am thankful that my parents never stopped praying for me, telling me about Christ and always encouraged me to read the Bible and pray. One day I felt that the Holy Spirit was working in my life, starting to mould me and lead me to a good path. At the age of 12, I gave my life to Christ and that was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
In 2018, the Lord made it possible for me to go to Calvary Chapel Bible Institute in New Zealand. I wanted to be equipped to teach the Word of God, so that I could go back to my homeland and teach young people the Word of God that they might come to know Christ.
I love serving with Word of Life here in Fiji as everything we do is with the goal of sharing Christ and seeing young people trust Christ. My hope for the future is that Word of Life would grow big in Fiji, so that more young people can come to know Christ and serve the Lord. Charles and Tina Mareu have helped me a lot to get to this point today."
The needs in Fiji are great and many people are reached for Christ through this ministry. If you would like to support this ministry, the bank account is as follows. All gifts given through this account are tax deductible.
International Word of Life Trust