We want to say that our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their loved ones across the Fiji Islands. We were so fortunate in this regard at Naitauba. It is utterly overwhelming to see the aerial images from of destruction in the other islands in the path of the cyclone. There is going to have to be an immense relief effort to help these people. Please continue to pray for their well-being and that they get the necessary help soon.
A very big thank you to all of you who have contributed so much and gone beyond all limits in this moment of great need. Every day, more donations are coming in via Naitauba.org. The funds raised allow us to move quickly to send initial help, supplies, equipment, roofing materials, tents, and then engage the work of restoration in the weeks and months, and indeed years to come. Thank you with all our hearts.
The above “before and after” photos show the exquisite beauty of Naitauba prior to Cyclone Winston and the havoc wreaked by this category 5 storm as it passed over Naitauba. (Click on photos to view full size image.)
The staff at the Suva office have been working intensively to get initial supplies and equipment and other relief materials to Naitauba as soon as possible. We are so grateful for this. There is a freighter leaving for the Lau group islands (of which Naitauba is a part) this week, and we are trying to get as much on that ship as possible. We heard last night that the jetty at Taveuni that is used by the Lomaviti Princess, the big ferry that carries supplies from the Suva to Taveuni and onward to other neighboring islands, including Naitauba, has been destroyed by the cyclone. This is very bad news, So, it is very fortunate indeed that a cargo boat, the MV Sea Rakino, is going there this week. It is a monthly boat and its schedule just happened to coincide with this moment of great need.
The situation in Fiji altogether is still obviously very fragile. Here is a link to an article from the Guardian online that includes some heart-breaking photos of the devastation: www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/22/fiji-images-of-flattened-villages-show-brutal-force-of-cyclone-winston
This storm literally ravaged island after island, village after village. Our hearts go out to the people whose homes and farms and churches and schools have been completely destroyed. A portion of your donations to Naitauba will be sent to help all these people of Fiji as well.