Foursquare Pastor John Chand of Fiji witnessed firsthand the difficulty and danger that torrential rain and devastating floods brought to many people in the South Pacific island nation in late January. As he works with ongoing efforts by Foursquare to provide humanitarian aid to the stricken areas, John requests, above all else, prayer for the people of Fiji, many of whom are enduring a trying time of recovery.
John responded to a call for help from a widow in his church whose home was in the path of the floods. After he and another church member helped the widow and her children secure her home, John tried to leave so he could assist church members in other locations, but he was quickly trapped by landslides and flooded roadways.
“I was caught near a village because the river near the village flooded, and the road was inaccessible,” he explains. As he considered what to do, he witnessed the extreme danger of the rising waters. He watched as a small bus carrying passengers attempted to cross the flooded river only to be suddenly washed away.
John knows of many other Fijians whose homes are filled with floodwaters. He has asked for assistance from Foursquare Relief and Compassion so that when he is able to get to these people, he can help them.
Foursquare Pastor Shalendra Pillay writes: “We understand the whole world is going through pain and suffering. But we believe that when we are standing in unity, we overcome by the Holy Spirit.”
Thousands of other Fijians are in need of financial help and prayer as they face the daunting task of rebuilding their lives after the floods that came during the last days of January and, in some cases, took away their homes and churches.
On the western side of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, the flooding triggered landslides, washed away homes and crops, killed eight people, and left thousands homeless.
A spokesperson for the South Pacific nation said the heavy rain forced at least 3,500 people into temporary shelters, and that many of them had lost all their possessions. A landslide in the remote Tukuraki village on the main island of Viti Levu killed a family of four, including two toddlers, she said. Two farmers also died in separate incidents as they tried to rescue livestock on the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
The cost of reconstruction from the damage is estimated at about $30 million, according to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. The UN estimates that floods this year will affect more than 100 million people in communities in Africa, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific.
Foursquare Relief and Compassion is constantly at work behind the scenes around the world, identifying, assessing and providing ministry resources and practical assistance for people suffering from natural disasters.
To offer support to Foursquare Missions International’s (FMI) efforts around the world, including those of Relief and Compassion in Haiti, Visit give.foursquare.org to make a donation to the FMI General Relief fund.