Monday, December 17, 2012

Crazy Christmas Weather in the South Pacific

  Cyclones.  Typhoons. Tornadoes.  This was the early Christmas present to the south Pacific.  I dare say this is probably not what most of you would have in mind when considering how best to celebrate the holidays.

Cyclone Evan in Samoa
photo: New Zealand Herald
Unfortunately however, the islands of the south Pacific have been hammered by all three of these devastating storms in recent days.  On Dec 4, Typhoon Pablo struck the Philippines killing hundreds, followed by a tornado in west Auckland, New Zealand on Dec 6 that killed three.  Now this week both Samoa and Fiji have nearly been swallowed by Cyclone Evan, causing widespread destruction and hardship, and taking the lives of some.
New Zealand is home to a large number of Samoans and Fijians trying to make contact with loved ones back in the islands and many of them attend our Nazarene churches.

Tornado in Auckland
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
photo: TV NZ
  Cyclone Evan is expected to head south to northern New Zealand (where I live) just before Christmas.  Thanks to our cooler ocean temps, forecasters predict that Evan will lose its tropical storm status by the time it hits New Zealand and will just be more of a nuisance than anything else.  This means that we can still expect heavy rains and gale force winds, but hopefully nothing in comparison to what Samoa and Fiji have recently faced.
Please pray and look for ways to support those who are suffering from these storms in the Philippines, New Zealand, Samoa, and Fiji.  

We believe that God is present and active at times like these, bringing healing and help in the midst of such turbulence.  After all, the first Christmas wasn't such a peaceful time in the land of Bethlehem.  The Jews were oppressed by the Romans and King Herod sought annihilate all babies under the age of 2 years old when news of Christ's birth came to him. Rest assured that Jesus knows what it feel like to step into suffering and chaos.  Also rest assured that only he knows how to provide the perfect peace necessary to withstand the storm.

For more information on the Typhoon in Philippines and how you can help, check out this article from the Nazarene Communication Network below:

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