God With Us In Journey

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there is one God and “we believe he will lead us” to Twickenham this morning. In a stirring speech to the Vodafone Flying Fijians in
19 Sep 2015 14:19
God  With  Us In  Journey
Vodafone Flying Fijians halfback Nikola Matawalu before the England game. Photo: Ian Muir.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there is one God and “we believe he will lead us” to Twickenham this morning.

In a stirring speech to the Vodafone Flying Fijians in London on the eve of their match against England in the Rugby World Cup opener, Mr Bainimarama said it was the same God that had performed miracles for Fijians before.

Mr Bainimarama, who is also the president of the Fiji Rugby Union, handed over the jerseys to the players  at the Oatland Park Hotel base, in Weybridge.

He recalled that in 1996 the Israeli Defence Force shelled the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) operational area in Southern Lebanon. He said a lot of refugees including terrorists sought shelter at the Fijian camp. He said the camp was also bombed and 136 refugees died. Miraculously, no Fijian soldier was killed.

Another incident happened in the Golan Heights.

The location of the camp of the 45 Fijians held hostage by Syrian rebels was also bombed and many people died. But no Fijian was killed because “we have faith in God” that he was leading them.

He said he was thankful that the jersey presentation started and ended with a church service because “we believe in a God that has led us in this journey.”

He said this was how they were brought up in the Christian faith. His speech was complemented by London-based Methodist Church’s Reverend Neori Wara who spoke on faith. Throughout the week Reverend Wara has been expounding the meaning of faith in evening devotions to mentally challenge the players.

Mr Bainimarama said whole of Fiji and fans around the world were behind them. In Auckland, New Zealand, Fijian Kamal Maharaj said last night he and his group of friends were set up to watch the game all cheering for Fiji. He said most of NZ were hoping Fiji would cause a major upset.

From Sydney, Fiji Sun correspondent Sovaia Yacakuru, said RWC fever had gripped the country. Fijians, Tongans, Samoans and other Pacific Islands were gathering to get up early this morning to watch the build-up and the opening game.

“Many are cheering for Fiji because it is flying the Pacific flag and carrying the hopes of all Pacific Islanders,” she said

Mr Bainimarama asked the Flying Fijians yesterday to stand up and  show their appreciation for their supporters “who are here with us this evening”.

“These supporters represent the people back in Fiji,” he said. This was the first time that supporters had been allowed to attend a RWC jersey presentation.

He said John McKee told him this would be the biggest RWC ever.

“No country is as excited as the whole of Fiji, not because it’s the biggest RWC or because we play in the first game or because one Fijian boy will run with the ball.

“The people in Fiji are excited because you have lifted Fijian rugby to another level, that’s why we are excited about tomorrow (this morning) and we know you are going to perform that’s why we have a lot of supporters here and they represent the many Fijians waiting for you in tomorrow’s game.

“The game tomorrow (this morning) will be the toughest in your life because you carry the hope and expectation of Fiji.

“Straight after the game I go back to Fiji to prepare myself to go up to New York for the UN General Assembly. I come with the well wishes of the people from Fiji, and all over the world.

“This week, our Parliament met. The President at the end of his address gave his best wishes. And again when we parted on Monday night he told me to pass on the best wishes of Fiji. That’s what I’m bringing tonight the well wishes of the people of Fiji.  They know you have lifted Fiji rugby to another level. With the coaching panel they believe you will perform tomorrow and I have no doubt in my mind that you will perform.

“As I have said you are the best players in world rugby today and you want with you the best coaching panel, John and his panel. So we want to provide to the people of Fiji the expectations they have for us .

“I joked about the students the last time we met and don’t forget there is a rugby referee on the field with us. You have been playing rugby for the last 10-15 years, you know what to do, we don’t want 14 players on the field but we have 15 players. We don’t want 60 minutes rugby but we want 90 minutes.

“When they blow the final whistle you are still scoring tries. That’s what the people of Fiji are expecting from you.

“All I want to tell you is just to perform to your best, that’s all we expect from you.”




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