The impact of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake continues to unfold. A number of you have been asking for further information for prayer, especially for your services on Sunday. This is the situation as we know it.
Currently the offers of accommodation far exceed the uptake. A number of people have left the city already. Getting in touch with those who need to leave but don’t have the resources to achieve it is the next layer of work to be done. Some of you have offered to gather physical resources. Our advice is to hold off on this until the people on the ground can tell us what is really needed.
- All of Oxford Terrace’s property, including staff accommodation on-site, appears to have been irreparably damaged. Staff who live off-site have also been displaced as their homes have been affected too.
- Mike Crudge says that when the earthquake happened staff meeting were meeting in a building that had been added on to the main church building in the 1980s. When the earthquake ended they emerged into the car park and “were engulfed by a cloud of dust - it felt like what I imagined 9/11 to be like.”
- In addition, the school hall where they have been meeting since the September quake is no longer accessible because it is inside the no-go zone.
- Please pray concerning the significant trauma and stress that is being experienced.
- Beckenham Baptist’s auditorium has had significantly more damage, to the point of being written off.
- Liquefaction has caused the flooring to lift, making it unusable in the short term. However, the church’s old A-frame building across the road has stood up well, and services will be held there.
- Church Administrator Robyn Peterson says that many of the church’s members have lost homes or left town. She says the loss of basic services (power, phone, water and sewerage) is making the clean up header. Robyn probably voices the experience of all quake survivors when she says, “A shaken up brain makes decision making harder.”
- Office block is unusable, and there has been some damage to the auditorium.
- Building is a bit more damaged but still usable. It will be used as a welfare centre providing it gets the official OK.
- We are sad to report that Rod Thompson’s (Children’s Pastor) and his wife Rebecca’s 21yr old son Isaac is missing in the CTV building, presumed deceased. Isaac was a significant contributor within the church’s youth ministries, an amazing musician and gifted technically.
- Rangiora Baptist is currently being used as a welfare centre.
- There are no major structural problems but a lot of shaken people. They have met as a leadership team to plan ahead.
Meeting with Christchurch pastors
- Senior Baptist Union staff will be meeting with Christchurch pastors on Monday 28 February. Part of this meeting will be to discuss the best strategies for mobilising help in the most effective way.
Comment from Rodney Macann:
“One concern last time [after the earthquake in September] was the many pastors under stress or exhausted. The circumstances are considerably worse this time. Please pray for pastors, for the load they are carrying of caring for their own families, their church communities and their wider communities as well. The churches have gotten quickly into gear in their communities.”