– A Pastoral Note from Deidre Palmer, Moderator of Uniting Church in South Australia
This past weekend has been a difficult one for our church partner, the Methodist Church in Fiji. On Saturday 20 February, Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, killing at least 20 people [now we know at least 42] and destroying homes, properties and entire villages.
This morning, Rev Dr Cliff Bird from the UnitingWorld’s Fiji office provided an update,”the very sketchy information received so far indicates that destruction has been widespread and very bad,” Cliff says. “Hundreds of homes have been lost, infrastructure damaged, farms destroyed.”
As a direct response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston, UnitingWorld has launched an Emergency Relief Appeal to raise funds to support our church partner’s relief efforts. Money raised will be used to re-establish healthcare and schools, replant crops and livelihoods and ‘build back better’ to safeguard communities against future cyclones.
The Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama has encouraged the Fijian people to unite and pray for each other. “This is a time of sorrow but it will also be a time of action, we stand united in the face of this disaster. Keep your fellow Fijians in your prayers as together we overcome this tragedy.”
I also invite you to pray for our Fijian sisters and brothers as the impact of the disaster is assessed and the recovery process begins.
Join me in praying for God’s comfort for those who have lost loved ones and for those who may still be awaiting news about friends and relatives. (Prayer for Fiji link.)
Please also pray for those who are assisting with relief and aid. We pray that God will sustain them and strengthen them as they undertake the necessary support and pastoral care of those affected.
Yours in Christ, Deidre Palmer, Moderator
Uniting Church in South Australia
Please click this link to read more and to donate to this Emergency Appeal following Cyclone Winston.