As well as providing Scripture helps, Bibles, New Testaments and specially-written 30 day devotional booklets to the survivors of Christchurch’s February earthquake, Bible Society New Zealand has released some of its staff to go to Christchurch for five day spells helping the Salvation Army in their work among survivors.
Last week four staff were part of special emergency response teams which visited homes to ascertain needs and offer further follow-up help and counselling where it was required.
One of the team, Bible Society Marketing Manager Silke Hendel, said of the experience, "With the continuing aftershocks, there are still so many traumatised and needy people. It was good to be able to be there for them, even if it was sometimes just to listen and give them reassuring hugs.
"It was also an incredible opportunity to be part of a group of people willing to put their love for God and people into action. It really reaffirmed my faith to see such clear evidence of God at work through His people and for His people," she said.
The presence in the team of Bible Society Finance Assistant Kailin Zhou was especially welcome. Kailin speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese as well as English, and her language skills were in high demand as she was whisked all over the city to speak to people from China and Japan who had been caught up in the earthquake.
This week the New Zealand government set up a special department, the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Agency, to lead in the rebuilding of Christchurch. It is estimated this task will take five years.