GLOBAL PARTNER STORIES

Earthquake and Aftershocks Rocking Papua New Guinea

AUTHOR: Don & Cheri Floyd, missionaries to Papua New Guinea | CATEGORY: #AmplifyingCompassion | POSTED Mar 05, 2018

As Papua New Guinea slept, a 7.5+ earthquake struck, throwing some people from their beds and causing houses to start collapsing. Since that time, February 24, 12:44 PM EST (USA), over a hundred aftershocks have continued to rock the region. Some of these have been as strong as 6.2. World Hope has set up a fund to respond to the immediate needs—please click here.

The front of the largest medical ward. Notice how the door no longer lines up with the footpath. The health center isn’t admitting inpatients because everyone is too scared to sleep indoors.

Though we are saddened by the rising death toll in the country, we praise God that there have been only two reported deaths in the communities where The Wesleyan Church works. The fact that most PNG Wesleyans live in traditional thatched buildings has probably contributed to saving their lives. Bush houses slowly fall over, but don’t tend to suddenly collapse in the same way a modern rigid structure might.

PNG Wesleyans believe God has spared their lives to help others. Wesleyan Health Services is still operating, offering healing and hope in Jesus’ name. Global Partners Health Network is committed to the long-term strengthening of the existing Wesleyan medical work in PNG. You can contribute to these long-term needs by clicking here.

In some areas the ground was churned up by the big quake and the many, many aftershocks. Several eyewitnesses have independently reported that their sweet potato came to the surface in some places.

We estimate that 80% of PNG Wesleyan churches have been affected to some extent. Five Wesleyan districts are reporting significant damage to homes, churches, schools, and medical centers. Two of those Wesleyan districts are within 30 miles of the epicenter. Don and Cheri Floyd, Global Partners missionaries to PNG, are liaising with the affected communities and various aid agencies. In the weeks and months ahead, Don Floyd, a builder, will advise rural churches on SAFELY repairing or demolishing their buildings, whichever the case may be.

As we make contact with PNG pastors in the earthquake zone, we ask a number of questions to help assess the situation. The final question is often, “What is your #1 prayer request?” Rev Kayumba answered, “We can rebuild the physical things. God will help us do that. But I want people to help us pray for our children, our young adults. Many of them are not walking with the Lord, and I realize afresh that their lives could end in an instant. Pray that our children will want to be Christians. That they will make things right with God.”

Please join us in prayer for our PNG brothers and sisters.

Cover Picture: The worst hit of the nursing staff housing.