Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10
This past weekend Cyclone Winston the largest storm in recorded history to hit the South Pacific impacted both Tonga and Fiji with winds reaching 177 miles per hour. Fiji was the hardest hit. Currently, the death toll from this powerful cyclone stands at 29 people in Fiji, with major devastation to communities.
We have been in contact with our mission partner in Fiji, the Rev. Tevita Nawadra Banivanua, President of the Methodist Church in Fiji. Rev. Tevita asks for our continued prayers as an annual conference as they assess damage, and aid in the recovery efforts.
In addition to prayers, I am asking for your congregation to consider taking an offering to benefit Fiji this Sunday through the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR). Folks can donate directly to UMCOR (Advance #982450), by clicking here. Checks can be made payable to the "California-Nevada Conference" with "Fiji Disaster" in the memo line and mailed to the Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250.
Fiji has more than 100 inhabited islands with 900,000 people. News reports say authorities are having difficulty communicating with some of the more remote islands in the wake of the cyclone. Please hold our brothers and sisters in the South Pacific in prayer during this difficult time.
Grace and Peace,
Warner H. Brown, Jr.