Knox Church is closely related to the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, the largest Protestant Church in Vanuatu, through the Presbyterian network. The PCV has congregations throughout the country. The Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, is the son of two PCV ministers and was on national radio this morning reporting damage. Through the inter-church agency Christian World Service we have an opportunity to help the PCV support affected communities – see http://www.cws.org.nz/node/724 . I know the PCV and its leaders and I trust Christian World Service and the organisations with which it works. Money given will be stewarded well and carefully applied without discrimination.
A related agency in the Uniting Church in Australia, UnitingWorld, reports as follows:
“Monday 16 March am: Update – Our partners are currently identifying their most immediate requirements for Port Vila and we will respond accordingly…
Saturday 14 March: Our Vanuatu partners the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) have been through a terrifying ordeal overnight as ‘super cyclone’ category 5 TC Pam wreaked havoc throughout the islands. While communications are down along with water and electricity services, we were able to speak with our program managers this morning who reported that the country has been devastated and Port Vila looks like a war zone. They are very concerned for people living in the outer islands. There are unconfirmed reports of dozens of fatalities and thousands of people will potentially be displaced as settlements with houses made from corrugated iron and wood have all been destroyed. Government buildings, the hospital in the Port Vila and many shops and hotels have also been destroyed and 10 PCV church buildings are being used as evacuation centres despite having lost windows and shutters overnight. Our program coordinator for health says while the Port Vila health clinic is intact, he fears for the 3 clinics on the outer islands… Partners in Kiribati and Tuvalu have also been impacted by TC Pam and Papua New Guinea has experienced flooding this week as a result of TC Nathan. Both of these cyclones are still active and the Solomon Islands and Fiji are also experiencing strong winds and heavy rains.”
Kerry Enright, Knox Minister.