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Letter to Vanuatu Christian Council over cyclone devastation

Letter from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to the Vanuatu Christian Council expressing solidarity with churches in Vanuatu after the 15 March cyclone.

16 March 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The destruction that has befallen the many islands of Vanuatu as a result of the cyclone is almost beyond comprehension. Those of us far away can only imagine the pain of devastation and loss being experienced by so many as their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. We know that the needs of the people are great, and pray for swift aid in the form of safe water, food and shelter.

The Vanuatu Christian Council has been a strong and active witness for Christians in Vanuatu. You have engaged in advocacy on many issues within your country and beyond it. You now have an urgent mission to offer comfort and spiritual leadership as people begin to assess the damage and begin to rebuild their lives.

I offer the prayers of the World Council of Churches as you live out your calling to Christian unity and public witness and service. We are reminded often in the ecumenical movement that we share always in one another’s suffering and hope. At this moment of crisis, it is our faith in God, the knowledge that we are not alone in our darkest moments, which can sustain us. We pray that you are able to be a voice of hope for those who are in pain. Be certain that Christians around the world stand with you in solidarity.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

May you, the churches of Vanuatu, be given strength and peace as you lead the faithful and all of good will in the assurance of God’s love and mercy.

Yours in our Common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary