Get to Know Kafoa Muaror
Kafoa Muaror is an attorney and lay pastor at New Beginnings Church of the Nazarene in Suva, Fiji, on the Asia-Pacific Region. He and his wife, Aggie, have six children. He is a Polynesian from Rotuma, a small island 400 miles from Fiji's main islands. Muaror serves on the Fiji TV board of directors. Also, he serves on the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary board.
Where were you educated?
I completed the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and later Master of Laws (LLM) majoring in corporate finance and banking law at Bond University, Queensland, Australia. In 1995, having been awarded a scholarship, I undertook an executive course in Financial Institution for Private Enterprise Development at Harvard Law School in Massachusetts.
Also, I obtained a graduate diploma in legal practice from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and also admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji.
How do you balance your church work with your professional and legal work?
During the working day, I dedicate my time to my law firm. Around 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 - 10:30 P.M., I work in ministry with various house churches, other meetings, and church matters.
I preach on Sundays with our senior pastor. Our congregation of 120 is worshiping in a school. Occasionally, I preach at the house churches as well.
People have a concept of Fiji being a paradise. True?
In many respects, yes. That's a perspective from the tourist industry since we're a tourist destination and that is a major industry here. Fiji is a beautiful place with a lot of good people.
Aside from the tourism, what is real life like there?
From a church perspective, about 50 percent of the people grew up going to church and so Christian principles are known to them. But culture and its practices have a real influence on peoples' lives. Many times people find it confusing and complicated to reconcile the various practices of culture and Christian principles.
Share about the cultural mix in Fiji.
In Fiji, we have many cultures-Fijian, Indian, Rotuman, and many other races that live in and practice their culture in Fiji-Samoan, Tongan, Tuvalu. Cultures range from respecting elders to being submissive your superiors, which in a cultural context refers to chiefs and subchiefs.
In all of these cultures and in the Fijian culture overall, we have a chiefly system into which we are born. In Rotuman, for instance, the chiefs are elected by their elders in a democratic way.
Help us understand a culture with "chiefs."
Generally in the Fijian culture, what the chiefs say is adhered to by the people. If you agree or disagree is immaterial. In many ways, you are not given the option to voice objections. And so what happens as a result of that is that your conduct does not harmonize with what has been discussed and agreed. So in a sense, there is rebellion. The culture respect itself creates a situation where people become hypocritical and rebellious.
Now, people are more and more educated. The cultural structure is so maintained. People, especially those with more education, are exposed to other ways of thinking and so they now voice their opinions, which is quite a change in the culture.
How did you come to the Church of the Nazarene?
I met missionary James Johnson and became interested in the Church of the Nazarene through him.
Advice for finding grace on the journey?
Recapturing our first love, and doing what we do because of our passion-not out of duty-driven by the Holy Spirit.
Holiness Today, September/October 2010