Faith unshaken in New Caledonia

New Caledonia continues to face political unrest.

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New Caledonia is experiencing the hardest time in its history, according to New Caledonia Mission president Pastor Felix Wadrobert.  

His comments follow recent political unrest in the country that has resulted in loss of life, serious injuries, looting and vandalism.

In a report to the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference, Pastor Wadrobert explained that around 200 houses have been burnt, 600 companies destroyed, 600 vehicles burnt and 7000 jobs lost.

“I don’t know yet how many church members have been hit by these terrible events,” Pastor Wadrobert said.

“Wages for the first three months are guaranteed but I can’t be certain about the rest of the year. The future looks bleak for most people.”

Church members have continued meeting online through Zoom, with their spirituality remaining unshaken, according to Pastor Wadrobert. He said while things are improving, distrust and fear are still apparent within the community. 

“Things are getting in place slowly. The main road from Nouméa to Tontouta Airport has been completely cleared,” he said. 

“However, the curfew is still in force and has been extended to 8pm instead of to 6pm. In some areas, we still have some difficulties to move about and around. When security and defence personnel come to clean the place, about half-an-hour later roadblocks are quickly set up again.”

Five-hundred students have been affected by the conflict, however, schools are set to re-open once the premises have been cleaned up and cleared.

Obstacles on the road have prevented patients and health staff from getting to the hospital. Some health employees have been forced to sleep at the hospital, unsure whether their colleagues would relieve them after their shift.

Supermarkets are reportedly struggling to have their supplies replenished as employers fear that their deliveries will be attacked.

Pastor Wadrobert said the Mission will organise a special offering next month to help families who are having a tough time.

“That will be a small drop of water in the ocean, but it’s better to do something instead of doing nothing. The French Polynesia Mission is ready to help, according to their financial means, in the humanitarian project.”

Adventists within the South Pacific are encouraged to continue praying for the situation.

“Please keep praying for this uncertain situation,” New Zealand Pacific Union Conference president Pastor Eddie Tupa’i said.

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