Our school has been sending teams into Christchurch to help clean up after the earthquake. Each Friday afternoon and evening we do what we call a Friday Night Outreach into town and this time, it centers around earthquake relief. The jobs are endless and they include, shoveling silt out of people’s gardens and back yards, cleaning limbs and other debris from yards and roofs, and delivering “meals on wheels” with our vans. There are lots of people without plumbing and other amenities and even power is intermittent in places.
I went with a small group to a refuge out in the country where the paramedics go to rest and recuperate after intense shifts doing relief work in the city. We ended up cleaning bathrooms. The idea is pretty much just doing whatever is needed.
The real challenge is running the school at the same time. Just like any disaster-even something like 9/11 in the U.S., there is a massive shock and effort straightaway after the tragedy but soon afterward, it’s back to business as usual for everyone except those directly affected by it. That is sad but it seems to be the case time after time. We are trying to be available to help but we also are running a school with a regular schedule. I am very thankful to be here and very excited to get into outreach teams and start working together on that.