When we first received warnings from the government on Thursday the cyclone was forecast to track right over the capital city of Suva and then follow the Southwest edge of Vanua Levu, the main island of Fiji. This would have been catastrophic since this is a very highly populated part of the country where 2/3 of the people live and is the economic and farming core of the country. Many people began to pray and when we woke up on Saturday morning the cyclone shifted about 200 KM to the north and passed between the two main islands in Fiji. Many communities were still destroyed and lives lost but 1,000's of others would have been lost if the cyclone did not shift position.
Immediately after the cyclone the Fijian army and emergency services began to bring help to the villages that were hit directly by cyclone Winston. Electricity was knocked out in most of the country and communication was very difficult especially with strict curfews and no newspapers to read. After several days power began to come on in parts of the capital city and we realized the extent of the damage.
It has now been more than 2 weeks since the cyclone and there is only electricity in the capital city and a few other towns. People have been eating the fruit from the trees that were blown down but the markets which are normally full of fruit and vegetables from the countryside are almost empty.
Marine Reach Fiji, based in Lautoka, is in the middle of a healthcare DTS with several doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in the school. They will be coordinating the medical work and hosting teams in the next year. YWAM Marine Reach has an excellent relationship with the Ministry of Health in Fiji and will be a huge blessing to the people that desperately need medical and spiritual help.
We need teams. This cyclone has devastated a large part of the country and it will take years to recover. Families, especially children have suffered huge psychological trauma and people everywhere need to know that God loves them. Right now there is a need for rebuilding, planting food and counselling people. The Fijian government, Red Cross and other countries are sending huge amounts of food into the effected areas but this will only be for a few more weeks. We need to help people fix their farms and plant new crops so that they will have food in the coming months and years.
If you would like to help financially or by sending a team please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org