The September 4, 2010 earthquake, magnitude 7.1, affected Christchurch resident’s lives forever. Thankful that no lives were lost, we began to move forward until that fateful day – February 22, 2011. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated many people’s lives; 182 people died and many waited in silent vigil, hoping by some miracle their loved ones were alive.
Since I arrived in this role, life has been one of soul searching and waiting on God for guidance. It became very clear that Christchurch residents were going to struggle over the winter. We wanted to resource our churches with cabinet gas heaters, gas bottles, snuggles sack, blankets, knitting and other practical items so that they in turn could minister to their communities. The refill gas bottle system allows ongoing ministry opportunities by keeping in touch with the recipients. God’s favour exceeded $500,000.
There continues to be considerable uncertainty and anxiety in people’s lives. Every time an aftershock occurs (8676 to date), we wait – is this another big one? And then life returns to normal, until the next time.
In the midst of all this, the church has been active in serving and meeting people’s needs. The army of God has risen to the occasion time after time. There are many individuals and congregations around New Zealand who we owe a debt of gratitude for hearing the voice of God andresponding in so many ways. You opened your hearts to us and have loved us, and we will never forget this. My thanks goes to the EQ response team: Liz and Jason Longworth, Wendy Green, pastors, Strengthening Community coordinators and many volunteers.
We will need long-term support as our journey will take us to 2020, and we pray that out of the ashes of our lives and communities, Christchurch will be a place that represent our namesake – Christ’s Church.
Blessings to all,