Editor's Note: This message came to ACNS via the PNG Church Partnership in UK and Chris Luxton, see contact information at the bottom. Thanks.
A belated acknowledgement of the situation in Popondota Diocese. I received the news about the disaster which hit Popondota Diocese, during my Diocesan Synod, so we ended the Synod three days earlier to the actual closing day.
The immediate reaction was to send our Provincial Health Secretary to the Provincial Office in Lae to set up a base in Lae to co-ordinate collection of what we can collect from Anglicans in Lae and from the people and the Morobe Provincial Government, and from other organisations to put together with what the Church can purchase in way of Food and Clothing and to have these shipped by the Lutheran Shipping to Gona. The boat has left for Gona.
I appeal to the Five Anglican Dioceses in the Province and to the people of Papua New Guinea to work around clock to do what we can to help the homeless and those who have lost food gardens and relatives. I remind us all, Christians, that at times like this we need to stand together as "One people of One Country" and allow God to give his blessings to those who are in need throughour combined effort of love and care. This is not the first time that our Nation has gone through such disaster. We have stood together with our Provincial Governments and our National Government in previous situations as this present one, which affects the livelihood of our fellow Oro Province people.
From the latest reporting I have realised that the scale of the damages and losses are large, but nothing so large and impossible for God to put right. We pray that as we stand together God will make the impossible possible.
I thank you all for your combined effort; ABM-A has made its presence noticed and felt among us by sending its representative, Brad Chapman to monitor and to co-ordinate the situation from Pop and so is the Church in UK, New Zealand, Canada and friends within the Pacific.
We, the nationals are taking the lead in this situation, Diocesan Offices, other than Popondota, must send out circulars of appeal to all the parishes.
I appeal to all of you for your prayer and for effort in kind
May God our source of life bless you all.
++ James Ayong
Severe flooding from heavy rains that started on 13 November 2007 (brought on by Cyclone Guba) inundated the provinces of Oro and Milne Bay. Access to the province of Oro is only possible by boat or helicopter, as roads leading to the airport and Oro Bay have been destroyed, cutting off the provincial capital of Popondetta and surrounding districts. Preliminary data released by the government of Papua New Guinea indicate that an estimated 53,000 people are adversely affected by the floods. Up to 13,000 people have been made homeless, and over 70 deaths have been reported, with the numbers likely to rise further.
Chris Luxton, Secretary
Papua New Guinea Church Partnership
St. Mary Abbots Centre
London, W8 4HN
Phone: +44 (020) 7937 4159
For more information about the disastrous Cyclone in Oro Province: