THE body of doctoral student, Solly Fa’amoana Tingili, has been returned to his home island of Rennell for burial.
A Seventh Day Adventist Church pastor, Pastor Tingili, 50, was doing his final year doctoral studies in theology in the Philippines when he died on January 5 of cancer.
His body arrived back Tuesday in Honiara, and on Thursday, was transferred on a domestic flight to Rennell for his final resting place.
Pr Tingila began doctoral studies at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in 2013 and was preparing for his comprehensive exams when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Friends said Pastor Solly, as he was known on campus, displayed a courageous faith as his body weakened and his hope grew about Jesus’ Second Coming and being resurrected with a new body.
“Pastor Solly was a gifted student who will be deeply missed by our AIIAS community,” said AIIAS president Stephen Guptill.
“Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Pastor Tingila, who is survived by his wife, Janet, and five children, sailed to school every day as a child in Lake Tegano to obtain an Adventist education, friends said.
He later attended Sonoma Adventist College, pastored in a number of regions throughout the South Pacific, and completed his studies at Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea.
He served as deputy principal for Hoda Theological Studies in the Western Solomon Islands from 2003 to 2005 and a lecturer in theology at Fulton College in the Fiji Islands from 2006 to 2013.
While there, he studied part time to complete his master’s degree in theology from Australia’s Avondale College of Higher Education, completing in 2010.
Seminary professor Eike Mueller claimed some of Tingila’s favorite promises from the book of Revelation about Jesus’ renewal of life at His Second Coming.
Fellow students recounted stories of sharing classes with Tingila and quickly becoming close friends, even though they came from various cultures.
After completing difficult homework assignments, Tingila and his classmates had a tradition of getting a treat at a nearby grocery store, student David Odhiambo said.
“I will miss him,” Odhiambo added.
“But I know his faith in Christ was strong right until the end.”