6 Aug 2021
TRIBUTES FOR PASTOR ALIPATE YAGOMATE – CRC National Chairman, Fiji
From Bill Vasilakis, Barry Silverback, Mike Groom, Danny Parker and Fuwe Hageyo
From Australian National Chairman, Pastor Bill Vasilakis
It’s been a sad couple of days for many across our International CRC Family.
Our Fiji Chairman Pastor Alipate went to be with Jesus after being infected by the Covid virus.
Over the next couple of days, we will place some tributes about Pastor Alipate from those who were very close to him.
I’ve sent our condolences on behalf of our Australian Pastors & Churches.
Tomorrow is our Special World Missions focus and I encourage you to pray for Boila, her family & our Fiji CRC movement.
Dear Boila & Richie
Deepest condolences on the ‘passing on’ from this earthly existence of your wonderful husband and father.
I am really shocked and have been keeping you, your entire family and our Fiji CRC movement in my prayers over the past 24 hrs.
All who were privileged to know Alipate couldn’t help but love him, and he is going to be dearly missed across our International CRC Family.
I grieve with you and yet rejoice that Ali is in heaven with Jesus. What a living hope we have in Christ. Jesus rose from the grave with an immortal glorified body, as will Ali and all who follow Jesus. We are assured that we will meet again.
On behalf of your CRC family here in Australia be assured that you are in our thoughts and more importantly in our prayers.
May you be carried along by the comforting & encouraging presence of the precious Holy Spirit who lives in you, and I pray grace & peace on you at this time (Philippians 4:6-7).
Your brother in Jesus.
Pastor Bill Vasilakis
CRC National Chairman Australia.
From International Missions Director, Pastor Barry SIlverback
It is with a heavy heart that we have learned of the recent passing of Pastor Alipate Yagomate to his heavenly home.
A brother loved by all those who knew him and impacted by his sincerity and genuineness of his faith along with his devotion to Christ and His Kingdom’s cause.
He was a true pioneer who continually demonstrated his fervent passion for seeing people healed and delivered through the power of prayer.
He was a dear friend and we walked and partnered together for 30 plus years’ in missionary endeavours and establishing CRC Churches in Fiji. We ate, prayed, slept and evangelized together – travelling to other nations where he is so fondly remembered for his genuine down to earth interest in people and his smiling face that reflected his warm embracing attitude towards others.
It was my joy to share many personal hours in fellowship with him and talk about the Word of God together, sharing in his home with his dear wife Boila and the children.
There has always been a very strong bond of friendship and partnership between Ps Alipate and the work in Bethel PNG which first began when he and his Boila and children came to Bethel in 1989 and studied and ministered there. Subsequently Bethel sent many missionaries and helpers to assist Alipate in the development of the work in Fiji.
His care and protective way in which he looked after me in our travels, not allowing me to carry my luggage, and, on several occasions, said that, because he never had a father who was close, that he looked upon me as his father.
You couldn’t help but be affected by his boldness of faith and fearlessness of pursuit of God’s way in the face of opposition and violent reaction that he often encountered as he sought to bring the Gospel to people’s lives.
He is one of God’s warriors that will be remembered for his warmth of love and his tenacity to endure ‘hardness as a good Soldier of Jesus Christ.’
To Boila, Ritchie, Salote and Litia and your spouses, Maca, Suliasi and Joji and the children as well as the extended families, Mama Rosalie and I say goodbye to your dear husband, dad, granddad and our friend, Alipate.
He has fought a good fight and has finished his course and has received his crown of glory. He is now with his Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully. To God we give thanks.
Ps Barry and Mum Rosalie
From Pastor Mike Groom
I met Pastor Alipate Yagomate and his family in 1996. 25 years later a good man and a dear friend has entered eternity with His Lord.
Pastor Alipate, his family and our family have had many rewarding and fun times together. Ali has always been faithful to God’s call upon his life and in times of adversity he has stood tall and shone brightly. He had a unique way of perceiving a person’s motives and intentions, and was able to offer grace to those he was not prepared to give up on, even when they had given up on themselves.
Ali pioneered a work in Fiji along with his dedicated wife, Boila, and his three children, along with others who dared to dream and pursue God’s leading. Through his vision to pioneer the preschool ministry in 1995, thousands of children and their families have experienced firsthand his heart to reach the lost through quality early childhood education. His vision has also provided employment and the opportunity for many young Fijians to train as preschool teachers, touching young lives for Christ.
His heart for training was evident to all with his tireless efforts to have a Bible School operating on the Suva property for many years. His passion to plant churches has always been his vision - definitely in the forefront of his thinking and planning.
Ali was a hard worker who never backed away from hard physical work. He was always prepared to get his hands dirty and would not expect others, in particular the young men and women living on the Suva property over many years, to do something that he was not prepared to do himself.
My wife, Kelly, and I have been so enriched and are better people today because of our friendship with Pastor Alipate and his family. There are many stories I could share. It has been so rewarding looking on and witnessing firsthand his three children, Salote, Litia and Ritchie, marry and serve the Lord, pursuing the call of God on their lives. Ali and Boila are a wonderful example of godly parents and an inspiration as ministers of Christ.
Ali has not stood alone. Boila has been a constant help, supporter and his greatest fan. The two of them together have proven to have an unbreakable bond and are an inspiring example for many Christian couples to follow.
Pastor Alipate was such a loving husband, proud father, adoring Pa, wonderful pastor and a great friend. I’m gonna miss your laugh mate. I love how you would beam when you were around your grandchildren and your three kids. Your heart for people was so big and embracing. It’s been a great journey and we will miss you so much. I will also miss your incredible enthusiasm when watching Fiji play rugby – something to behold.
Love and miss you mate,
From Pastor Dan Parker
In 1992, with a few people at Kingston I started praying that God would reveal to us a nation we should support for our church’s mission efforts. In early 1993, Pr Barry Silverback visited the church and shared with our missions team the new works he had recently launched. As he shared, we felt led to Fiji and started to give to this new work.
I then met Alipate on my first missions trip to Fiji two years later. He was very reserved and it took a few years of visits for us to get to know each other. Once l got to know him, we became friends and colleagues and he would confide in me and share his inner thoughts.
Alipate was ‘God’s man’ that Pr Barry found to launch the CRC in Fiji. Pr Barry, Mike Groom and I worked with Ali to help the local leaders to build the work. He was passionate for his nation of Indian and Indigenous Fijians to know Christ. God used him to plant churches, raise up local pastors, host and train missionaries and establish preschools.
The relationship we shared for over twenty-five years has brought a deep love and appreciation for each other. I observed him through times of progress and challenge, he always held to the call and vision God had placed in his heart.
Alipate loved his family deeply and they served with him in the ministry. His two girls moved with their husbands overseas and that was a great wrench as his grandchildren were not with Boila and him. They remain a close knit family and my heart breaks for how they must be suffering through the forced separation.
My memories of Ali are full of admiration and appreciation. He taught me how to relate to another culture. What I learned through our relationship has helped me in connecting with people in the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
He was a man of faith; if he felt God had given him a word, then he went after it. The work in Fiji testifies to his obedience. He sacrificed and moved in bold faith so churches and preschools were built and communities were reached and transformed.
He could be tough and compassionate at the same time. You need both of those attributes to do God’s work, and he had them in spade fulls. He leaves a legacy of faith, dedication, compassion, fruitfulness, faithfulness and loyalty.
We are comforted by the knowledge that Alipate has received a welcome into heaven and his reward. It can honestly be said of him, ‘well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the master.’ However, for those left behind it feels that his life was cut short and he is and will be greatly missed. This is a time for the CRC family to rally to be there in whatever way we can for our brothers and sisters in Fiji and celebrate and mourn our brother Alipate Yagomate.
On behalf of my family and our church community, we express our deep love and support for Boila at the separation from her loving husband, and Salote, Litia and Ritchie and their spouses and children as they grieve the loss of their father.
TRIBUTE FROM PASTOR FUWE HAGEYO
Little did we know that a young couple arriving from Fiji would become a national leader of Christian Revival Crusade movement in the nation of Fiji. Thirty two years ago Pastor Alipate and Boila, with their 3 little children Salote, Litia and Ritchie arrived in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to be part of the Bethel Bible College student intake 1989-1990 batch. This young family was the divine provision of God for Papa Barry’s heart cry for the nation of Fiji. “Ask me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Psalms 2:8….
Outstanding leadership qualities were merging in his life as a student when Alipate led a team of 1st year BBC and PNGIE students on practical ministry to Mendi town in the Southern Highland Province of PNG – it was on a follow-up mission on Papa Barry and Papa Norm Armstrong’s crusades which saw a strong local church established to date.
Being a father and mother to three little children Alipate and Boila led with a fine example within the student body to bring encouragement and comfort to many young men and women who left their spouse and children at home to be trained at Bethel. Amongst all the single students who needed a father and a mother – Pastor Alipate and Boila fitted well into their need of a parent.
It was in those years that the caring for little children of Pastors, staff, missionaries and student couple was needed in Bethel Centre as the young and single vibrant team of pioneers were merging into small families – that a pre-school was birthed called Bethel Pre-School. It was challenging for the young Yagomate family as Boila found expression in being a preschool helper with Cathy Reed, the wife of Pastor Norm Reed that brought about many of our Pastors Kids (“PK’s”) to what they are today – those were the early learning years of Salote, Litia and Ritchie as the trainee pastor was involved in Students activities and weekend ministry to villages in Central Province.
The Yagomates returned to Fiji to pioneer a church as this was their passion they had in their heart and this was the vision Pastor Barry Silverback had in the Lord when – “he saw the nation of Fiji in the heart of a young man.” It was through this father – son relationship that we now witness the work in Fiji, established and expanded into other provinces and outer Islands of Fiji, that the local churches were pioneered, pastors and leaders trained and Pre-Schools established through partnership of CRC family churches in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
We thank the Lord for the work of a humble, yet hard working and mission minded pastor and leader, Pastor Alipate – “missionary GOER who became a missionary SENDER.” Over the last 30 years we have had missionaries from Papua New Guinea on short and long term serving in Fiji and Fijian missionaries serving in Papua New Guinea likewise. To date as we celebrate in the Lord the life of Pastor Alipate Yagomate we have missionaries serving out there on the fields.
As David Livingston said:
“And although I see few results, future missionaries will see conversion following every sermon. May they NOT FORGET THE PIONEERS who worked in the thick gloom with few rays to cheer, except such as flow from faith in the promises of God’s Word.”
To all our Team friends in Bethel Christian Family Centre in Suva. Pastors and Leaders and missionaries serving in other provinces of Fiji Island we stand together with you all in prayer for Gods comfort and strength.
Our sincere condolences to you Boila, Salote, Litia and Ritchie, and your spouses, and all your children.
On behalf of Papa Barry and Mum Rosalie and Bethel Pastoral and Ministry Team with all BTOP Congregation members we pledge you, our ongoing support in prayer.
PASTOR FUWE HAGEYO - Bethel Christian Centre.