New Zealand:  In the early hours of Monday morning 14 November 2016, an earthquake measuring 7.5 shook the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island, and was felt as far north as Auckland in the North Island.

The epicentre was located in a rural area, almost 100kms north of Christchurch. Christchurch was devastated by a major earthquake in 2011, when almost 200 residents were killed.

Photo Credit: AP/SNPA: David Alexander

Photo Credit: AP/SNPA: David Alexander

To date there have been two fatalities, the east coast’s major state highway has been cut off due to a major landslide, and at least 400 aftershocks have continued to be of concern. A tsunami alert was lifted, with a coastal and marine warning remaining in place.

Australia New Zealand’s Field Strategy Coordinator, Rev. Dr. John Moore, was briefed by New Zealand’s District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Neville Bartle, just hours after the incident. Dr Bartle indicated that our churches and congregations in Christchurch and Wainuiomata (an outer suburb of the nation’s capital, Wellington, in the North Island) were relatively unaffected by the quake.

Image Credit: www.facebook/com/quakefeed

Image Credit: www.facebook.com/quakefeed

Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Australia New Zealand’s co-ordinator, Rev. David Harris, is liaising with the local pastors in Christchurch and Wainuiomata to determine what, if any response may be implemented to support residents. The 2011 quake provided an opportunity for the local congregations in Christchurch, in partnership with the district, field, region and global church, to extend their hands in assisting local residents with clean-up crews, providing a charging station for mobile phones, as well as access to clean drinking water.

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Prayer is requested for victims of the quake, for those areas across the country that will continue to experience aftershocks in the days, weeks, and likely months to follow. Pray also that God will grant wisdom and grace, as Nazarenes reach out to family, friends, neighbors… and strangers,  offering Christlike compassion.

DS. Dr. Neville Bartle also requests prayer for those pastors and families who have been impacted.  They are safe, but obviously a bit shaken by the experience: Premda, Beena, Lesniaks, Andrew, Emi, Pele, Leonor and family, Matt and family.

— Submitted: Rev. David Harris, NCM Coordinator, Australia / New Zealand Field

— Feature Image Credit: www.newsradio.lk