It is nearly two years ago that 18 members of Maroubra Junction UCA travelled to Tonga. Most of our time was spent with the incredible people of the Tongoleleka Free Wesleyan Church in Ha’apai. It was incredible experience of overwhelming hospitality and generosity in the face of extreme poverty.
On Saturday January 11th 2014, Cyclone Ian tore across the Ha’apai group of islands causing severe destruction. Fears of significant loss of life were not realised with only one fatality. However over 50% of the buildings have been destroyed. And for a fishing based community, the loss of almost all their boats has been equally devastating.
One of the main pictures beamed across the media was that of Tongoleleka church, with its roof torn off. Much of the community we stayed with are in significant need.
Fortunately the Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga has moved swiftly to provide support and care on the ground with emergency food, shelter and medical supplies.
Equally, the Uniting Church has sought to respond through UnitingWorld (see their latest update here.) They are coordinating a national appeal from the many UCA churches and school with connections to Tonga.
Hope Uniting Church will be responding with some significant financial aid to assist the church and families of Ha’apai. If you’re interested in making a donation, please contact the Hope Uniting Church office – firstname.lastname@example.org
As communication is restored to Ha’apai we’ll be receiving some more updates, and hopefully get some clearer ideas of how we can help. Let Andrew know if you’d like to receive the latest news as it comes to hand.
In the meantime keep praying.
“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” – 1 John 3:17