Paul Lauaki

Paul Lauaki

I was born in East Oakland, CA. My parents immigrated here from the small island of Tonga in the South Pacific. I am one of seven kids, two boys and five girls. My parents separated just before my youngest sibling was born in 1990. According to the general public, we were likely to become a low-income dysfunctional family who relied on state welfare due to not having a father in the home. My story leads down the typical fatherless family road. We struggled and moved a lot and at one point we were homeless sleeping in a van while my mom worked 3 jobs to provide for us. I thank God for a mother whose hope and trust rested solely on the promises of God in His Word. I sometimes forget that in the past I would sleep in a car next to my brother while my mom worked a nursing job. Instead of resting on her breaks, she would spend them checking on us and bringing us water and snacks. Most times I smile when I reminisce on being dropped off at school at 6 am and then meeting my siblings after school at the park nearby. We would play and work on our homework while we waited for my mom to get off work. She would pick us up around 8pm and have to figure out dinner and sleeping arrangements. Statistically speaking, I was most likely to become a typical dysfunctional man due to my circumstances. But my story is anything but typical. My story is one of hope, love and faith in Jesus Christ. No matter what anyone said or thought, the only thing my mom held above all else was…and still is…who we are according to the Word of God. I forget the hard times not because they were painful memories but because throughout my entire life I’ve never been the “fatherless kid.” I’ve always seen myself as a child loved by God who has a loving mother and the best siblings anyone could ask for in life.

By God’s grace, I have had several opportunities to serve in Bay Area ministry settings since the age of fourteen. Recently, I spent five years leading a discipleship program in Arizona. Now back in the Bay Area, I am the Director of the School Of Young Leaders (SOYL), a discipleship ministry for young people ages 18-27.

At a young age, I was labeled and told by society who I would become. Many young people face these same struggles. My goal is to guide them into discovering their true identity in Christ, and equip them to help others to do the same. Our team is committed to developing young adults, discipling them in the faith, and deploying them for Gospel impact in our Bay Area communities.