1. The coordination, the communication and the partnerships working across Christchurch are strengthening as each week goes by. William, the Earthquake Response Coordinator, is hard at work sorting out the priorities.
Local church teams are working well but getting tired and more people are back at work. So the need for outside support teams remains high. The criteria are:
- Coordination to happen through the ERC PA (Elizabeth).
- Before teams arrive they must how many are coming and what assistance they can offer.
- Teams must be prepared to pay their way, including supporting any host families.
- Teams should be prepared to hire a mini van.
2. The Leadership Network, headed by Murray Robertson, has been active in wider ways across the city. They pulled together church leaders across denominations and collected data on the needs of churches and the resources that other churches were able to make available. They paired off churches from the western suburbs with struggling churches in the east. A group was formed from the Christchurch reps of TEAR Fund and World Vision, including William and a couple of others. They have also hosted earthquake related gatherings.
3. A great youtube video features a song written by Ric Knott from Magnify, put to images of Christchurch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV69zhtw5wE
Bible Society is also offering a good booklet for children who have experienced disasters, free of charge to the Christchurch community.
4. The Baptist Churches of NZ have received NZ$279,000 into the earthquake appeal and dispersed $130,000 through the first two allocation rounds. It is going to be a long haul, so all of these funds will certainly be used in coming months. Currently the emphasis is on people, care and restoration, rather than church property.
The appeal funds have been used for:
- Initial welfare response efforts by some churches while households were without electricity, water, and sewage
- Physical work in clearing properties of liquefaction, e.g. equipment hire
- Additional church staff to co-ordinate the volunteer workforce
- Counseling for church staff coping with their own trauma alongside those traumatised in their congregations
- Increased hours for part-time staff working with families, youth, and social needs
- Housing of church staff where residential and office building have been destroyed, along with respite trips and accommodation
- Running children’s programs while schools were closed
5. As the efforts move to recovery, more community redevelopment and restoration is taking place. This work calls for some larger projects such as “winterising” many residential properties that have doors and windows that do not close properly, or holes in the roof or walls. One of these is the large Habitat for Humanity project that Breezes Road church offered to host. The Baptist Union is seeking to add its support to enable this project to happen. Other projects include 10,000 blankets, the upgrade of a school hall for worship services and a new church toilet block.
- William as he prioritises his work
- Government approval of various projects
- The long-term recovery work
- Strength for local church pastoral staff and volunteer teams
- Vision for the city and the church’s long term witness and role
- Wisdom for the finance allocation team
– Lindsay Jones, on behalf of the Baptist National Leadership Team