In response to reports of the devastating impact of the Samoa tsunami and the enormous relief effort our partner churches face, UnitingWorld has launched an emergency relief appeal.
UnitingWorld’s Associate Director Church Solidarity (Pacific) Bruce Mullan has been in contact overnight with the leadership of the Samoan Methodist Church and the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa to offer support to UnitingWorld’s Church Partners in Samoa.
“The leadership of our partner churches indicated that any support from the Uniting Church in Australia would not only be used to attend to immediate medical, food supply and clothing needs but also to address the long term impact of the tsunami,” said Mr Mullan.
UnitingWorld has learned that a Samoan Congregational minister’s wife was killed and many church members have been affected by the tragedy. Methodist General Secretary, Rev. Tupo Folasa II, reported that authorities are still finding bodies while many more are homeless and in need of food and clothing.
Congregational General Secretary, Rev. Dr Lutisone Salevao, said people were, “still reeling from the adverse effects of what has happened.”
“We’re doing our best to cope,” he said.
Mr Mullan said a key issue is not just the damage to homes, church buildings and property but the emotional damage that the Samoan people have suffered.
“My feeling is that more than anything the appeal might address, they are comforted that their Uniting Church sisters and brothers in Australia were in solidarity with them at this time,” he said.
“They really covet our prayers.”
UnitingWorld is accepting donations to the Samoa Tsunami Appeal for the immediate needs and long term wellbeing of the affected communities.
More information about the appeal is available on UnitingWorld’s website at www.unitingworld.org.au