Friday, July 25, 2014

New Zealand faces tragedy, responds in prayer

An earthquake terrorized the city of Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday, Feb. 22. The country’s devastating earthquake killed more than 100 people, both citizens and tourists. As of March 4, the death toll has reached 161 and a rescue number of 70.

The 70 people that were rescued were found within the first 26 hours after the earthquake. Because of the probability that victims cannot survive more than one week of being trapped under the rubble of fallen buildings, officials have announced on March 3 that there is no hope of finding more survivors. Rescue searches have stopped and moved on to searching for bodies to return to the victims’ families.

After the announcement on March 3, the officials in power gave little or no hope to the families of the remaining trapped victims. However, many families of these victims have given statements to various media organizations saying that they have no plans to give up their hope or stop praying for a miracle.

The diversity of New Zealand has been displayed by the religious response to this tragedy. Members of the Maori religion, which is indigenous to New Zealand, gathered to bless the victims of the Christchurch earthquake disaster. Also, the congregation of Christchurch Cathedral, which experienced substantial destruction, gathered Sunday, Feb. 27 for Mass and to show community support for the victims’ families.

Liberty University has been joining these families in hopeful prayer.

“The Student-led Daily Missions Prayer Group has been praying for the situation in New Zealand since it happened,” group leader Chris Biddix said.

The Daily Missions Prayer Group meets every weekday at 5 p.m. and is open to any and all students who wish to participate.

“Each weekday as we are meeting, we are opening in prayer that God will comfort the victims’ families, restore not only the physical damage, but also the lives of those without Him,” Biddix said.

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