October 5, 2009
A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck in the South Pacific on Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009 causing significant tsunami washes which have resulted in numerous deaths and much damage. The UCC is sending prayers and resources in support of our partners.
Rev. Samuel T. Tialavea Sr., General Secretary, Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa our United Church of Christ partner, recounted in an e-mail impact of the tsunamis:
Traffic on the one and only main road, added to the chaos and folks were frantic. As tsunami waves hit, homes were destroyed and buildings were damaged. Public transports were stricken and people began to flee on foot. Power outage for half of the islands, leaving thousands with out utilities for an uncertain period of time. Communication lines by telephone have been restricted, with cell phone services in many localities non-operable. It has been a nightmare for many. For those of you familiar with American Samoa, extreme damages to those waterfront communities have been highlighted by the graves of family members being washed out, surfacing cadavers on the road, or swept out to sea. Villagers and volunteers have rallied to assist families in some of these places to re-bury the remains of their loved ones.
Rev. Tialavea went on to express his appreciation for the messages of support he is receiving and asks for our continued prayers.
The United Church of Christ is sending One Great Hour of Sharing emergency grants to our partners throughout the region to support their initial emergency response. As damage assessments are made and plans for relief, recovery and rehabilitation are developed, additional OGHS funds will be shared with our partners.
How to Help:
1. Pray for the people of the Samoan Islands and Tonga their leaders and emergency and humanitarian aid workers.
2. To assist impacted families, you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "OGHS – South Pacific Tsunamis" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "OGHS South Pacific Tsunamis" to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to the OGHS South Pacific Tsunamis.
Thank you for your compassion and support.