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NZ Update -- 24 December 2020

Fiji Cyclone: Since last week’s update, where we reported that the Fijian members had gone through tropical cyclone Yasa with minimal damage and disruption, Isei Colati has now been able to make contact with the only member family we hadn’t yet heard from, Mr Senitiki Tokalau and family who live in Lekutu, on the island of Vanua Levu, which was in the cyclone’s direct path. Here is Isei’s report:

“Finally we were able to contact Mr. Tokalau last Sunday. The roof of his 5 bedroom house has been blown away. He was thankful that there was no loss of life. He was in the house soaked in the rain with Mrs. Tokalau and 4 grandchildren the whole night during the strike of Cyclone Yasa.

“The only visual damage released at present is the Government video footage when The Fijian Attorney General visited the Lekutu Secondary School. The school is located at the other side of the road from the Tokalaus’ home. We can assess the damage when we see the destruction to the school which showed that even the cement beams broke. The school may not be in use in 2021 because of the extensive damage sustained.”

The local members made a collection to help the Tokalaus, and Fiji church funds were used to reroof the house. (The Home Office in the USA has also offered to help, but it looks like that won't be necessary.) The roofing repair was completed yesterday. Isei notes that Senitiki is one of the 9 directors of the Bua Province, and a particularly hard working person. Three other families are staying with the Tokalaus because their homes have been destroyed.

Since most of the people from his village of Lekutu are staying in the school, which is the evacuation centre, Senitiki has organised for the whole community to celebrate Christmas together in the school. From there, then they will do the rebuilding work in their village.

The Tokalaus and all of the Fiji members are grateful for all the concern, prayers and assistance they have been given. Isei requests our ongoing prayers for the communities to be lifted in spirit in the coming days and weeks as the clean-up and rebuilding of homes and businesses continues in the areas that were devastated.

Year End: Have you heard about the man who went to the optician the other day for an eye test? The optician asked him what he could see, and he replied: “I see empty airports, empty football grounds, empty shopping malls, closed theatres and closed pubs.” “That's perfect!” answered the optician, “You've got 2020 vision!”

As we come to the end of this challenging year, may I wish you all an inspiring and refreshing Christmas season with friends and family as we reflect on the first coming and look forward to the second coming of the One who has the answers to all the problems of humanity. May He bless each of you richly at this time. I look forward to continuing to send out more NZ Updates in the New Year.

Warm regards, Rex


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