'We waited 12 years for our first son. And COVID stops me seeing him'

George’s story | Trusting for a return to Tonga

“In Tonga, 99 per cent of the people go to church and have a Christian faith. My family was like that. We always went to church.”

“In 1960, my grandfather gave the land for the church, right next door to our own house. He gave it for free. He wanted his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren to go to church. Everyone thanks my grandfather!

“On Sundays in Tonga, you can always hear church bells ringing, everywhere, and lots of singing! Most churches have a choir and a mini brass band. We sing all the hymns and we have four services a day. But for me, I didn’t really understand what the Bible meant until I matured. Now I know for sure.

“At the moment, it’s a very hard time. I’m here in Australia and I can’t get back to Tonga because of COVID. All the borders have closed. I was supposed to return in February. My wife is there and she has given birth to our first child, a son named Pepe. We asked God for a child for twelve years, and now we have Pepe, and I haven’t seen him yet. He’s five months old. I want to see my son!

“Another hard thing is my work. I have a job in construction, here in Sydney, but my co-workers can be difficult. Sometimes I park my bike in the yard and they deflate the tyres, or they swear at me, or call me names. I try not to say anything. I try to smile at them.

“Following in the footsteps of Christ can be very tough. But I say to myself that maybe if I don’t feel the tough-ness, I am not in Christ’s footsteps. I have gone off the track. Jesus said to show forgiveness. We have been forgiven by God … so we choose to show love. It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said to ‘Love your enemies, and to pray for those who persecute you.’ (Matthew 5:44). So I keep praying, every morning, ‘Lord, please bless my co-workers.’ And I ask for the energy to keep on loving them. I trust God. I know that Jesus knows everything and he will help me.

“Also, in my spare time, I sit outside with my books and my Bible readings. I pick up my ukulele. I’ve had it for two months, and I’m still learning. I can only play three chords. Sometimes, my house mate comes out and he brings his guitar and we sing together. He can only play two chords!

“I also remember that God has a plan for us, for everyone. And if I try to see it on my own, I can’t. It’s God’s plan. So I must learn to trust. And when the borders open up, I will go back to Tonga and I will play with Pepe. My wife says that he looks like me.”

George’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Bible verse Matthew 5 44

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