Many New Zealanders will be concerned about the news of the devastating tropical cyclone affecting the Pacific, with reports of severe damage being caused Vanuatu. The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand has a close relationship with the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu, and is monitoring the situation closely. Six members of our church (three married couples) are currently serving in various areas of Vanuatu. The cyclone has made communication extremely difficult and so far we have been unable to get confirmed reports of the extent of damage. We will pass on information as and when it comes to hand, including news of financial appeals and relief efforts. In the meantime, we ask church members to pray for the people of Vanuatu; and that where possible, pastoral care be offered to the seasonal workers from Vanuatu who are currently working in various regions around New Zealand.
Rev Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator - Presbyterian Church Aotearoa New Zealand
Update from Phil at 8:34pm Saturday, 14 March - Neville and Gloria Jones (based in Port Vila) are OK. We have been advised that the Reids at Onesua and Antons at Talua College took shelter, but we have not been able to communicate with them yet.
Update 9:21am Tuesday, 17 March - At this stage, we have no further detail regarding either the Reids or the Antons. Please keep them in your prayers, and we will update you when further information is available.
Update 3:36pm Friday, 20 March - We have been advised that the Antons are safe on Santo Island, although communications with the area remain difficult. The Reids and the Jones are safe and staying at Sutherland House in Port Vila. Read this update from Phil King for more information about the situation in Vanuatu and our response.