“The car broke down…it turned out to be clogged with liquefaction dust from 4-wheel driving down broken streets to deliver food.” So said Simon Williams, youth pastor at Parklands church. I had visited Parklands to see where the recovery phase had gotten to. The number of people coming to the Recovery Assistance Centre site for advice and support has dropped off to approximately 20 per day now. Senior pastor Chris Poniah said, “Now is the time to get strategic concerning the ‘rebuild’ phase; we need to regain the middle ground as a ‘new normal’ emerges.” He was referring to the place of the church in its community.
While many people are trying to settle back to as much of a routine as they can, things will never be the same. But there are lots of great initiatives:
- The five churches of the eastern suburbs are seeking to think and act strategically, supported by others in the area.
- Breezes Road church has offered to host the Habitat for Humanity proposal to "winterise" several thousand homes in the area.
- Spreydon and St Albans Baptist Churches have established themselves as significant hubs with multiple partnerships and projects.
- Liberty Church in Auckland has initiated an Easter Shoe Box project.
- Eastview Baptist Youth (YEAST) have raised $2000 through a Trademe art auction picture: “... a symbol of beauty from brokenness ... which is why we choose to use tiles and smash them and then piece them together again into a mosaic.”
- A group of ex-builders from Palmerston North, all in their seventies, have offered to help.
If you are thinking of sending a team, let William, the Earthquake Recovery Coordinator know after direct connection with a church. Listen to what they need, arrange details with them and only send what is asked for.
- For William as he prioritises his work
- Rest home beds are at a premium
- For the success of Habitat's proposal to the government.
- For landlords and the un/under insured, who will be hit the hardest
- For inter-church cooperation
On behalf of the Baptist National Leadership Team