Sam is a Bay Area native, born in Fremont and raised in San Mateo. Part of a large Tongan family, he grew up around Christian role models. In the early 2000s, his family started attending CPC regularly. He participated CPC’s children ministry and student ministries, which helped guide his decision to fully follow Jesus and be baptized in 2013.
As a student athlete at UC Merced, he got involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship with the vision to start a small group bible study for other student athletes. Sam witnessed the Holy Spirit moving through his fellow college students as they dug into scripture, asked deeper questions, and formed God-centered community. Seeing God’s faithfulness through the growth and multiplication of his one athletes’ small group into three, he began to hear God’s call for him into ministry.
While attending a massive missions conference Urbana 2015, he started to explore this call into ministry as a part of the Urbana Student Leadership Track. Through his time at Urbana 15 and his 2016 internship with CPC’s student ministry, Sam was assured in prayer and community that he would join InterVarsity staff.
Sam joined InterVarsity staff in 2017 as an intern on the UC Merced campus, while assistant coaching for the women’s volleyball team there. After his intern year, he continued to follow God’s call to reach every campus by joining as full-time staff at the InterVarsity plant at Stanislaus State University in Turlock. Sam has vision to further the development of college student ministries in the South Pacific, specifically in Tonga.
In July 2020, he accepted a new role with InterVarsity Link to do ministry at the University of the South Pacific in Tonga. He is excited and joyful to be returning to his family’s homeland to proclaim the good news of Christ and invite students to encounter and embrace the Living God.” On his off-time, you can find Sam: playing or coaching volleyball, hanging out with his family, or traveling!