Solomon Islands Faces Tsunami Destruction04 April 2007
On April 2, 2007, an earthquake registering 8.1 resulted in a tsunami with waves between two and ten meters high on the coast of Gizo, Solomon Islands. At least 20 people have died as a result. The natural disaster has left thousands homeless and destroyed at least 13 villages. Tsunami warnings have been issued for the region, including the northeast coast of Australia. Since the first earthquake, at least 27 smaller aftershocks have followed although no further damage has been reported.
Nazarene JESUS Film Team director, Jimmy, called missionary, George Miller, on Monday from Gizo to tell him that a huge tidal wave swept over the wharf, market, and town buildings as the team waited to travel by ship to return to Honiara, the capitol of the Solomon Islands. They were thankful that most of the JESUS Film equipment that was covered by the waves was in a watertight sealed container. The team rescued most of the equipment by diving into the sea to search for it. However, they were unable to recover a projection table, a bag of electric cables, and light fixtures.
After the ship arrived in Gizo, the team continued to Honiara rejoicing in God’s protection. The JESUS Film team and the Nazarene congregations reported that there were no fatalities although it has been impossible to make contact with the congregations in the villages of Iriiri Pasapasa and Vilorae. JESUS Film member, Ps Revelation, will assess the situation on his return to the villages.
The earthquake was also felt in Honiara where the Church of the Nazarene had their District Assembly on April 2. Offerings will be taken each evening of the assembly to help the church respond to needs such as food and water. Continue to pray for the safety of those who will be meeting as well as others in the region. Pray that God may give people in the church wisdom to know how to respond compassionately in yet another natural disaster in this area.
“In these times of uncertainty, it’s comforting to be able to trust in an unchanging, loving God. As we pray for those who have been struck by tragedy, let us work together to let them know that Jesus loves them and wants the best for them. As we respond in compassion to meet the physical needs of those whose lives have been affected by disaster, let us also remember that the greatest act of compassion we can do is to proclaim Christ and to make disciples in the nations. I am thankful to Nazarenes around the world who allow this message to go forth.” - Dr. Louie Bustle