Volcano and Tsunami Response – Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga with the World Mission Fund


A powerful explosive eruption on 15 January 2022 hit the island of Tonga with a tsunami and covered the land with volcanic ash. The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga (FWCT) is responding to the devastation with support from the World Mission Fund (£15,000)

Since that time the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga has responded with it's 'Tekina I Moana Strategic Action Plan' to 1. Respond, 2 - Reconnect, 3- Rebuild.

Some key elements of the work since February given by FWCT are:

  • Visits are a vital part of the TIM Response Framework.
  • People in the islands know that the churches were there first. FWCT provide immediate relief and the Bible. Providing counselling is the connecting of the visitation to the people with a prayer and Talanoa.


  • ‘Fofola e fala kae talanoa e kainga’ is the spirit of dialogue between the visitors and the islanders. It means to roll out the mat so we can sit on it and openly talk. Since there is no mat to sit on, the sand and the remainder of the house became the mat which producing a thematic fruitful talanoa of the Kainga.
  • Islanders were happy to see FWCT as a yard stick of the assessment. The visits made an impact.
  • The ongoing support from TIM has not stopped since the disaster.
  • The quality and variety of the assistance provided by the strategic partners is important to the victims sense of not being forgotten.
  • The Tekina I Moana has the biggest networks in Tonga and also able to build a good strategic networks with its regional and international partners is a big success

You can read the full progress report here.

Give to the World Mission Fund for Emergency Support like this click here.


Original Report and Funding application below:

At 5:45pm on Saturday the 15th of January 2022, the explosion of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai transformed everything in the life of the Tongan people. The massive blast was heard from Israel, USA, Japan, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands, and sent volcanic ash high into the atmosphere. The  resulting tidal wave swept away all that stood in its path, including, houses, trees, cars, water tanks, roads, boats, churches, schools, farms, people and families. Three lives were sadly lost in Tonga as a direct result.

“The volcano brought dust and sand that covered our land (fanua) and ocean (moana) and destroyed about 70% of our livelihood. It ruined all our drinking water and hospitalized thousands of our asthma patients. This volcanic explosion will never be forgotten in the minds and souls of the Tongan, especially the elderly and young generation. The whole nation is covered with dust, sadness, and tear drops of the volcano.” FWCT report

Significant percentages of Tonga have been affected by the disaster, with vegetation covered by volcanic ash, and crops destroyed.  A large percentage of church buildings, school buildings, island hospitals and public utilities have been damaged or destroyed.  Almost 90% of all the small boats in the islands were fully destroyed, and as communication and livelihoods depend on these boats, there is an urgent need to replace them.

 Most islanders have a Methodist background, either through church or school, and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga is responding to the crisis.  It has put into action ‘Tekina- ‘I- Moana’ (floating in the vast Ocean) –  a project of the FWCT to respond after a natural disaster and active since 2018

Tekina I Moana Strategic Action 2022-2023 (Emergency response for victims of the volcanic eruption) has three stages - 1. Respond, 2. Reconnect and 3. Rebuild


  1. Respond

In the immediate few weeks after the volcanic eruption the FWCT has responded to immediate needs with food, water, clothing, clean-up operations, pastoral and counselling care.  This has all been provided ‘in kind’ by the members of the church or out of the financial resources of the church. (See the delivery of items to Matuka Island left)

  1. Reconnect and Rebuild

All international partners are being approached to help fund Stage 2 (Reconnect) and Stage 3 (Rebuild).

 This stage will support:

  • People whose livelihoods (farming and fishing) have been destroyed
  • People whose homes have been destroyed
  • People whose churches and schools have been destroyed

 This support is with:

  1. Items such as tents (140), mobile toilets (80), beds (150), blankets (350)
  2. Schoolbags with complete sets of materials (345)
  3. Small engine boats (48), fishing gear, nets etc.
  4. Chainsaws, knives, tools, generators (75), drums of petrol (80)
  5. Replanting of root crops, vegetables etc.
  6. Water tanks

 The World Mission Fund is initially supporting Stage 2 (Reconnect) with £15,000 funding along with other international partners. 

 Please give to this and other similar partner work supported by the World Mission Fund here