A number of Adventist churches and schools have been damaged in Fiji, as news begins to trickle in regarding the devastation wrought by Cyclone Winston.
Fiji has just experienced one of the worst cyclones in its history. Right now we are still in shock as we reflect upon what Winston has done to our nation.
The video above, released by the Fiji Mission, shows flattened churches and school buildings missing rooves.
The video shows Navesau Adventist Secondary School, Peni Tavodi Memorial church, Naqia Adventist church, Navolau church and Lewa Adventist Primary School—all either destroyed or with extensive water damage.
“Fiji has just experienced one of the worst cyclones in its history,” said Pastor Luke Narabe, president of the Adventist Church in Fiji. “Right now we are still in shock as we reflect upon what Winston has done to our nation.”
Pastor Narabe asks for members around the world to help in whatever way they can and to pray for the people of Fiji.
He adds that disasters like this are signs of Christ’s soon return and that they provide the Church with an opportunity to “unite and share our message of hope.”
According to Adventist Media: Vanuatu, the Adventist Church in Vanuatu is asking all its churches to support a special offering on March 26 for Fiji. Vanuatu itself is still recovering from Cyclone Pam, which destroyed 53 churches around 12 months ago.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is already on the ground and beginning to assist those hit hardest by the cyclone. “Getting food to families is the most urgent need at the moment,” said Iliapi Tuwai, country director for ADRA Fiji. “With gardens and farms destroyed there is little for people to eat. Children are hungry and disease is starting to grow.”
The food packs distributed by ADRA in the north of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, will contain essential items, including rice, tuna, sugar and high-energy biscuits. The packs are designed to provide enough supplementary nutrition for a family of five for a week.
“These food packs will ensure families can survive until more aid can be provided.”
According to Mr Tuwai this is just the beginning of ADRA’s response. “We are already planning to provide emergency shelter and access to safe water and hygiene materials. This is not a disaster that people recover from quickly. We’ve also begun plans for recovery projects that will help people re-establish their homes and livelihoods.”
A team of experts from the global ADRA network have been flown to assist in response to the Category 5 storm. The Emergency Response team includes ADRA staff from their office in Fiji plus experts from Australia, New Zealand and Germany.
For updates from ADRA, visit https://www.adra.org.au/.