The earthquake which struck Christchurch on 22 February has irrevocably changed lives. So many people have perished or are yet to be found that almost everyone in Christchurch will have connections to someone who is mourned or missing. There is also a large number of injured people. The emotional impact is huge.
Our churches and people are not immune from the multiple impacts of a disaster of this scale, but we want to let you know some of what is going on to help them.
Our senior leaders are going to Christchurch next week to support our church leaders and to discuss the best strategies for mobilising help in the most effective way.
Churches are working hard at caring for for their own, but are now also mobilising across the city to help one another. (See our Facebook page for updates and feel free to add your own comments, as appropriate.)
We are opening an appeal to assist those most affected from our churches and their local arenas of ministry and care. Gifts can be sent to us at The Baptist National Centre clearly marked in various ways:
1. Payment directly to our bank account 02-0232-0146287-00
Particulars: Quake Appeal
If a receipt is required for tax purposes, email your name and address to Sushila Nelson.
2. Credit Card payments can be made on this website. Receipts will be issued from the details given and currently payments in this manner will be processed manually.
3. Cheques made out to The Baptist Union and clearly marked "Earthquake."
We have received a message of support from Neville Callum, General Secretary, and John Upton, President, of The Baptist World Alliance. They will also make the need known and pass on funds received.
As far as buildings go, we will be working alongside churches as they seek solutions to their immediate and future building needs. Oxford Terrace has collapsed and Beckenham (Colombo Street) suffered significantly more damage. Others that were previously undamaged after the September event are now unusable or not being used until inspected and declared safe. Many church staff and members have lost their homes.
This is a time of severe trauma and uncharted territory and there will be huge questions and issues that our pastors and leaders have to grapple with over the next few days, weeks and months. We know you will uphold them in prayer and ask that you sustain the support.
Rodney and the National Leadership team