AN URGENT PRAYER REQUEST – FOR A GROUP OF CHRISTIANS
PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED ON THIS WEBSITE (on 21/3/2015) Click HERE for link
– FOLLOWED BY AN UPDATE, OVERLEAF, ON 27/3/2015 Click HERE for link
Our dear friends Stan and Mavis Firth have put out an urgent prayer request on their website. We have felt to offer the same in order to share the news to a broader audience.
Some years ago, I related, on this website, a series of incidents that had happened on a remote island in the Pacific. The story actually began in New Zealand when a couple of “out-of-traditional-church” Christians (Graham and Shirley) befriended a migrant worker (George) from one of the Pacific islands. The simple friendship eventually led to the islander becoming a Christian, and later to the invention and installation of a water-pump by Graham and Shirley’s son Adam – a development that hugely helped George’s village. In time, the United Nations became interested, and were so impressed that they paid for Adam’s pumps to be installed all over the island. At the same time, quite a few of George’s family and neighbours became Christians! The story illustrates how real overflow of spiritual and practical blessing can develop from a simple act of “Cross-My-Path Care”. The family from NZ, including Adam’s sister, Lisa, still visit the island regularly, and encourage the informal group of believers. (If you have forgotten the details, you’ll find the original article by clicking the link HERE.)
In order to let the Christian group develop in the Spirit, I didn’t at the time mention the name of the Pacific island, or the name of the island nation of which it was a part. However, over the last week or so, the name of the nation has been in the international spotlight – and I have even seen newspaper reports coming specifically from the little island I wrote about. The island nation is VANUATU, and the island where George and the informal group of believers actually live is TANNA.
Most people will be aware that, very recently, a terrible cyclone has devastated the whole of Vanuatu. In many News Reports and Bulletins, it has frequently been the top story. I contacted Graham and Shirley immediately to find out how the folks in Tanna had fared, and they confirmed that the little island had been as badly hit as everywhere else – though, because communications are down, they don’t yet have many personal details. Yesterday, I even found a report in my daily newspaper – specifically about Tanna: “In Lanakel, the largest town on the southern island of Tanna, 70% of the housing has been destroyed, and there are acute shortages of food and clean water. According to the UN, Reconnaissance flights by military aircraft from Australia and France found severe and widespread damage across the islands of Tanna, Erromango and Efate.”
I feel that – in addition to the whole region, and everybody in it, requiring prayer – the small informal group of Christians on Tanna, as well as the supportive family in New Zealand, could be getting much needed prayer-backing from the kind of people who read this website.
The Believers on Tann will also, I feel sure, need practical help. That, for most of us, would have to be financial. At present, all the main Aid Agencies have appeals on their websites – including specifically-Christian ones like World Vision. However, the help the Aid-Organisations give is, understandably, “across the board” – caring for that entire island nation. We feel that, so far as we ourselves are concerned, and possibly for some of you also, there is a place for contributions for the group of Christians we know about in Tanna. Graham and Shirley have promised to let us know if there is a reliable channel (probably in NZ) through which we can donate. I will let you know, through the website (or by e-mail, if I happen to have your e-address) as soon as I have any further information on that issue.
THE PROMISED UPDATE ON THE PRAYER REQUEST BELOW
(Posted on 27th March 2015)
(If you haven’t already read the details of the Request below, you had better read it first, or you won’t really understand what I am now saying!)
The situation of the small group of Christians I wrote about a week ago is now known. Tanna was the nearest island to the epicentre of the cyclone – the “eye of the storm”! Adam flew there as soon as that was possible. He reports that his ‘Christian Family’ out there were all physically unharmed, though still in shock. All the houses in the village have been totally destroyed, except George’s, which is currently the home for everyone!!!! Many of the water-pumps were put out of action, but Adam and the local men are getting them going again. All trees have been uprooted, and all the root crops (their main source of food) have been spoiled. There is only one week’s food left (mainly bananas) – though the Aid Agencies seem to be working on that problem, so they have hopes for some relief, pretty soon, on that particular issue. The main problems seem to be the need for re-building, and for the re-establishment of their normal crop-growing. Nevertheless, the Christians are very thankful to the Lord for having been spared, and for the start that has been made on returning to normal.
Adam’s sister, Lisa Pearce, has set up a fund with one of these reputable ‘giving’ organisations in New Zealand (like “Just Giving” in the UK, and similar set-ups elsewhere). If you want to contribute some financial help to that small Christian Group – who follow the Lord in much the same informal way as do many of you who read this website – go to the following….