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Blessings from above

Sikeli Qounadovu
Thursday, January 11, 2018

WHEN his 12-year-old son Timoci Naulusala won a trip to Germany, Onisivoro Sausauwai searched everywhere to find the answer as to how it was possible.

He questioned how it was possible for the quietest in the family to be filled with a lot of confidence and talent to deliver such a moving and powerful speech that earned him a ticket to Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of Parties.

The answer was in front of him.

"It was God. He allowed this to happen. God surely works in mysterious ways," Onisivoro said.

A full-time farmer, Onisivoro and his wife have raised nine children, three of whom are married and now living with their own families while six remain with them.

"My three elder siblings are pastors but me, I am just a farmer, and during my free time, I would spend my time drinking grog around the village.

"I searched for an answer as to how Timoci and our family have been blessed and I found the answer in the book of Jeremaiah 1:5, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations'.

"The Lord had already knew Timoci was going to travel overseas that was all part of His plan," said the 44-year-old Navuca villager.

This trip would not have come at a much better time. Onisivoro and his wife Raijeli Tinai were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

"When he stood on that podium and delivered his speech, I was the proudest person in the village.

"What he has done has been an inspiration to all of us. He has been an inspiration to his siblings, to the village and we are all proud of him.

"Upon his return, our lives have transformed. Before I was never a frequent churchgoer, now I am inspired to strengthen my faith with the Lord.

"The trip has also been a blessing in disguise for the family as now I get to spend more time with our children."

Last year, Timoci left a lasting impression at the high level segment of COP23 when he made a passionate plea for world leaders to take climate change seriously.

Timoci wanted world leaders to know their future was at stake if nothing was done to address climate change.

"I want them to remember that I am not only representing Fiji but the future generation, the whole of South Pacific and the entire human race to say that climate change is real and happening now and if they don't act, we will face the destruction of the entire human race," he had said.

"It is important for someone like me, a young person from Fiji, to take this message to world leaders because in Fiji, we are facing the reality of climate change.

"I am the voice of other small islands out there who are also facing this problem and the world leaders need to act and walk the talk.

"Together we can raise our voice to be heard. Start planting trees and practising the 3R drive — reduce, reuse and recycle instead of going by bus and cars, you can walk or go by bicycle."

After seeing widespread devastation in his village as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, Timoci was inspired to join the national oratory contest and was overwhelmed when he won first place, which earned him the trip of a lifetime to Bonn.

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