The location for the recent Lutheran Church of New Zealand (LCNZ) Convention of Synod - Whanganui, together with surrounding areas where a number of Lutherans live, has been hit by severe flooding in recent days.
Some of you have asked me how 'our people' from the LCNZ have fared. I offer this as something of an update.
From the New Zealand Herald:
The clean-up operation from the record flooding in the central North Island over the weekend could take up to a month. More than 400 people were evacuated from flood-hit homes in lower North Island towns across Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Rangitikei and Whanganui over the weekend.
Flooding caused road and bridge closures, cut power to homes and forced people across the regions to spend the night in emergency accommodation or with friends and family.
The flooding, described as a one in 85-year event, is the worst ever recorded in Whanganui - worse even than the lower North Island flooding of 2004, which led to more than $140 million in insurance claim payouts.
The Whanganui District Council has said that recovery from the flooding could take a month.
I contacted each of the three LCNZ parishes in the affected areas and can report as follows:
Palmerston North / Feilding (Manawatu)
Many of those on farms here have been effected in some smaller way. Loss of winter feed etc. Slips and wash-aways have been a little bit of a problem. Others (neighbours) have apparently suffered more. Many didn't make it to worship on Sunday as they couldn't get out. One member had some flooding in his home and was evacuated for one night. When the pastor rang him this morning he said they were hanging out the carpet from one room so that it might dry enough to be usable. Otherwise I guess farmers will start to find out the extent of any damage as the week unfolds.
Thanks for your email regarding flooding in the Wanganui/Rangitikei/Manawatu and the welfare of the congregation. I think all our people are fine, none were evacuated. I went to the Church on Saturday morning to check the Church, Manse etc. The road outside the Church, corner of Mill Street and Pukepapa Road was flooded. Pleased I had a 4WD vehicle, so could drive through to the carpark, and checked the building and grounds. As St Martin property is higher than road level, everything was dry.
Three members were stranded on the east side of the Whanganui River in the most severly affected area of the city, but otherwise everyone else is OK.
For further information check: www,stuff.co.nz
I invite you to pray:
Loving God, we come to you trusting in your mercy and knowing that your steadfast love endures forever. Look with mercy on those who are harmed or displaced by flood waters. Give them your strength to meet the days ahead, your peace which passes all understanding and new hope in the resurrection. Move in those who are able to give aid, that we may be your hands and heart on earth. Be with all who offer assistance, may your Spirit may uphold them. As you have made water a sign of your kingdom, and of cleansing and rebirth, grant your people vision to see new life on the other side of disaster. To you be given all honour and praise, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.
MĀNAWATANGA / BLESSING
Kia tau ki a tātou katoa
Te atawhai o tō tātou Ariki, a Ihu Karaiti
Me te aroha o te Atua
Me te whiwhingatahitanga
Ki te wairua tapu
Ake, ake, ake
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all Forever and ever. Amen.