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Letter to Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu over cyclone devastation

Letter from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to Rev. Kalsakau Urtalu Zacharie of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu expressing solidarity with churches in Vanuatu after the 15 March cyclone.

16 March 2015

Dear Rev. Zacharie,

In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. (Psalm 18:6)

I write to you with a heavy heart, having learned of the terrible devastation caused by Cyclone Pam as the storm bore through the islands of Vanuatu. As details slowly emerge, the level of destruction is almost beyond comprehension.

No doubt your church faces a crisis, having lost many of its buildings, and with many of the faithful people of your congregations having lost their homes. We know that as foreign aid begins to arrive in Port Vila, the need for clean water, food and shelter will be great, and will continue to be so. We know too, that the need for spiritual comfort and vision is vital in such a time. Be assured that the prayers of the World Council of Churches are offered for your church and for your leadership in such a testing moment.

The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu is part of a global fellowship of churches, responding to the scriptural call for unity and common witness and service. In this emergency, please know that your pain is felt by the fellowship and that churches around the world stand with you in solidarity.

Our Christian faith is one of hope, built upon the certain sign of the resurrection. In this moment of darkness may your church be a place of hope and strength for all who currently suffer in Vanuatu.

Yours in our Common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary