Appeal for disaster victims in Samoa, Tonga and Indonesia

An appeal for prayer and funds for victims of the tsunami and earthquake tragedies in Samoa, Tonga and Indonesia has been launched by the Methodist Church in Britain.

The Church's World Mission Fund granted £10,000 to aid the relief work of partner Churches in the region.

Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, said: "As ever our partner Churches will feel enormously supported knowing that Methodists in Britain are praying for them. The appeal and grant money will go to partner Churches, which are playing an important role in rebuilding communities."

Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can do so online here or by sending a cheque payable to the World Mission Fund and posting it to Dave Bennett, Fundraising Coordinator, at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should be labelled 'Pacific Appeal'.
(UPDATE JAN 2010 - This Appeal raised in excess of £30,000 and is now closed.)

A State of Emergency was declared in Tonga for Niuatoputapu, the closest island to Samoa with a population of around 1,000 people. The General Secretary of the Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga is due to travel to Niuatoputapu by boat today. The 1,000 inhabitants of Niuatoputapu island have been badly hit by the tsunamis and earthquakes which have rocked the area. Food, clothing and kitchen utensils are set to arrive in Niuatoputapu by boat tomorrow.

Steve added: "I have been unable to reach the President or the Methodist Church headquarters in Samoa by phone, but it is clear that the Church will be heavily involved in the recovery both spiritually and pastorally in the weeks to come."

In Indonesia, the main centre of the earthquake damage has been in Padang on the island of Sumatera. The Methodist Head Quarters is in Medan more than 1,000 miles away.

Steve continued: "We have not heard news from the Methodist Church in Padang as yet. We have sent an initial solidarity grant and will respond further to our partner Church as their need becomes clearer. I have assured the church and its members of our prayers and support."

Updates on the partner Churches in the affected region will be published on this website as soon as news is available.

Churches are encouraged to use the following prayer during worship on Sunday.

PRAYER

Loving God,
Who cares ceaselessly for all creation,
We pray for the people of Samoa;
That they may know your pacific touch in these days of earthquake and tsunami,
That the ocean, the moana, may continue to surround and sustain them,
That your compassion may help women, men and children
Live with the loss of their loved ones, Overcome the destruction of their homes and livelihoods and
Deal with the fear of what the future may hold. Let us feel the breeze of your Spirit in the sails of our companionship with the island peoples of the Pacific and
Let us see the light of your presence as we plot the course of our common discipleship within your worldwide Church.

Amen.

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