Thursday, April 23, 2015

Planes from other countries coming to help
Cyclone Part 5

We found two trucks and we divided into two groups.  I went East with one group to Saet Siwi and Whitesands.  We went East to the areas and there was total devastation.  The island looks so different now.  Henry, our driver dropped off the sisters in Whitesands first and dropped us off so we could walk to Saet Siwi.  We started walking up at 7pm.  It was dark and the roads were terrible.  Fallen trees and debris everywhere!  We would crawl underneath fallen trees and climb over everything.  We got up in about 45 minutes.  We didn't think the church would be standing after seeing all the destruction, but to our surprise it was totally fine.  And the lights were on inside. 

President Napikous family was there and they were alright.  Every house was blown down except the church house and the missionaries house.  Many people took shelter in the church when the cyclone came.  The Elders packed up their things and said goodbye and we left at 8:30pm to go back down.  We got down most of the way but at one part of the road there was so much debris to share we couldn't find the road.  We could use the volcano as a gauge of where we were, but we couldn't find the road that would bring us straight to the truck. 

We prayed for direction and eventually found the road to the truck around 10pm.  We took a lot longer than ecpected.  We picked up the sisters show ere waiting a long time for us and Henry drove us all the way back.  It was a chilly ride, it got pretty cold, it felt good though.  We got back after 11pm.  The other group had alrready gotten back before we came, they said that the Whitegrass church was also fine.  Same with the house.  The house near the volcano was damaged.  And the Greenhill church which was help up by posts was blown over and it hit the missionaries house, but both structures were just fine.  We all then went to sleep.  We were very tired especially after running up to Saet Siwi and getting lost on the way back.

Wednesday March 18th, 2015, This morning we had our last devotional and we said goodbye to everyone.  All the people were sad to see us go, but they were all grateful for all the help that we gave them.  William the principal was very grateful for all we had done and the spirit we brought in the school, he said that in the future, if we want to use the school for anything, that we could use it.  We then packed up our things and we went to the airport. 

Army planes from Australia, New Zealand and New Calendonia all landed down and brought food and water for the people.  Then at 1:30 the AP's finally arrived.  They said there was a change in plan, the sisters would fly back to Vila with them but the Elders would have to wait until tomorrow.  The small eight seated plane was loaded with rice, flour, meat and food for the district.  We helped them unload it, then the sisters and AP's flew back to Port Vila.  The AP's told us to arrange transports and take the food to Whitegrass and to stay there for the night.  We got there and stored the food and we checked out the damage to the church. 

It was very minor.  A couple of broken doors, and gutters, but the building help up nicely.  We talked to President Mankura and he said it was a miracle.  Every house in the village was destroyed but the church held up and provided shelter for over 300 people.  We held a family home evening with everyone who stayed there, before we rested for the night. 

Western Tanna

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