Raleigh Street community clean up
This week it’s been a profound privilege to hear of churches working together in the state of emergency to care for one another and ultimately point people to Jesus through the gospel from the scriptures.
We’ve seen so many examples of generosity and creativity as churches have strengthened relationships through the cyclone's destruction.
In fact, some relationships didn’t exist before this week, beginning when individuals extended or needed support.
At the Orchard Church in Te Puke, members collected donations of mattresses and blankets with the intention of getting them to Auckland. They just needed to find a way to do it.
Senior Pastor Nelson Schonfeldt answered a call on Tuesday from someone he’d never met, who told him they had a truck for him and just needed someone who could drive it up to Auckland.
“Our youth pastor, who’s on vacation, shot into the office and said, ‘I can do it!” Nelson said.
"He spent his time off making the drive to Auckland, where Papatoetoe Bible Chapel made itself available to store and distribute the donations that are bound for Kelston and Roskill community hubs".
We’re only just beginning to hear the stories, and they’re a great encouragement.
Raleigh Street Christian Centre
Raleigh Street Christian Centre in Cambridge has opened its doors so that people in the community can shower, cook, use the WIFI and have a coffee.
Aaron Hodgson, the youth pastor, organised a community clean-up and four youth joined him in helping people whose homes suffered in the storm.
I’m deeply moved by these four teenagers. I don’t know who you are, but what I do know is you used what you had, where you were to practically serve others and ultimately point people to your saviour. Thank you for your example!
Kelston Community Hub
Kelston Community Hub sheltered people from various places in West Auckland on Monday night.
Lifechurch Manurewa and Papatoetoe Bible Chapel in Auckland offered their facilities for storage.
Jim and Brenda Puru at Arohanui Christian Fellowship in East Auckland are “run off their feet delivering food parcels.”
The community hubs in Kelston and Mangere are receiving funds from Tamaki Community Church, which has whanau members working in the hubs.
Matamata Bible Church has been assisting two farms that needed generators while the power is out.
The Matamata Bible Church (MBC) family have been making use of their ‘MBC Connect’ Facebook group, which was setup during Covid-related lockdowns, to keep connected, share prayer needs, and to let people know of what help might be needed.
The farming areas south and west of Matamata have been hit with power cuts via downed trees, which is a huge issue for the dairy farmers who can’t milk their cows without power.
MBC members have been helping restore power to a couple of farms with help to find commercial generators and setting up smaller generators for freezers.
A number of churches and camps also offered their facilities as evacuation centres, including Marsden Bay Camp, Kelston Community Church and The Orchard Church. Thankfully, for their communities, they weren’t all needed.
Many churches and camps, such as Moirs Point Camp, Mangawhai, lost power at some point during the week and have minor damage or debris to clear. Help is continuing to flow to those who will take more than a day or two to clean up and get back to normal.
Some, like Clark Road Chapel in Northland, have been struggling to get power and other services restored. The outages have particularly impacted people with businesses.
One of Clark Road’s elders grows flowers commercially; along with disruption to Valentine’s Day sales, the weather and loss of electricity have presented a real challenge.