Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Christchurch fell down. Christchurch is crying."


The spire of Christchurch Cathedral lies smashed on the ground. Two-and-a-half-year-old Aucklander Sophie Longstaff sees it on TV, turns to her mum and says: "Christchurch fell down. Christchurch is crying."

I needed to take a couple of days off from my laptop. I somehow picked up another dodgy tummy bug and couldn't lift my head off the pillow for 24 hours. Yesterday we packed up at Mum's and came home. For anyone new to my journal, we had been staying with my mother for nearly a week while our daughter took a break. My mother is almost 96 and we make certain she is never alone in the house at night.

The good part of being at Mum's is we wake to this.

I hope you have had an opportunity to see Amazing Race man Phil Koeghan's items on CBS Click here for an interview with him in Christchurch.

We have been heartened by people from all over the world.

A Concert in Glasgow at the St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral which is an exact copy of the damaged Christchurch Cathedral raised over $10,000 for Red Cross.

Art Agnos, who was Major of San Francisco when the big earthquake hit there in 1989 has praised the rescue and disaster efforts and in particular Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker. Thoroughly well deserved and hard earned praise.

The USAR, (Urban Search and Rescue) are from 8 or nine countries.

Our Prime Minister is requesting financial help from around the Globe as well as speaking to large New Zealand companies.

We need all the help people are able to give. There are 155 people killed with this number expected to rise by another 100.

To put this in perspective. The 1989 San Fransisco Earthquake killed 63 people. San Francisco had a population of 736,00 at the time. Christchurch's population was less than 377,000. I write 'was' because it's believed something in excess of 50,000 people have left the city, many forever.

While some business has been able to relocate many can no longer function. It's hard for me to imagine the social disruption. Life for us goes on as usual.

The major difference for us is concern for family who are trying to continue and rebuild their lives in the city and the continual TV reporting. I must admit that after going one day without news when I felt too ill to look at TV let alone read left me feeling out of touch.

Yesterday New Zealand stopped at 1.51 pm for 2 minutes, exactly 7 days after the big earthquake. It was very moving to see many community gatherings on TV.

Dear Lord Jesus,

On this 9th day, I pray earnestly for our country and it's leaders. May your wisdom and strength be with Mayor Bob Parker and his Council, Prime Minister John Key, and all his Government, The Civil Defence, Russell Wood and the USAR teams, Fire Service, Police, Red Cross, Salvation Army, other Christian organisations, Medical and other support services too many to name.

Dear Lord I pray earnestly for all those directly affected, thinking of those who have lost homes and incomes.

I think of all the grief for lost family members, friends and colleagues. May everyone of them know some measure of comfort in the midst of their pain.

I give thanks that while we far away and see a tragedy of epic proportions, You see each one as an individual with individual needs.

God Defend New Zealand.


God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev'ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy Glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

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