We are overwhelmed by all the love and concern of so many family members and friends regarding the earthquake and tsunami here in the Solomons. As many of you know by now, we felt the earthquake here in the capital city, but the epicenter of the quake and subsequent damage occurred in the western part of the Solomon Islands.
A couple of hours after the earthquake, I was in the market. I noticed there was a lot of commotion in the market and an unsettled feeling. Suddenly I realized that many people were looking out to sea and pointing. When I asked a woman what people were looking at, she told me a tidal wave. The sea was almost flat calm, but there was a small steady wave that came to shore with a ‘hissing sound’. Later we heard that it was only about 6″ high.
Of course the real story is out in the Western Province where they are assessing damage today. There are lives lost and many left homeless.
One of the islands hit the hardest was Simbo Island. If you have been following the blog, you may remember an entry called, ‘Coming Alongside’ on February 24
http://matzkemission.com/2007/02/coming-alongside.html which featured a picture of our national colleague, Joshua Lui.
Joshua is from Simbo Island and had just returned to the Western Province after attending a workshop here in the capital city. He was in the city of Gizo at the home of a relative when they noticed the water rising and quickly ran for higher ground. We are thankful that Joshua and the family members with him were unharmed although Joshua lost his bag with his belongings.
Our group here is taking up a collection for Tsunami relief which we will give to Joshua so that he can show Christ’s love to those in need on his island and the surrounding area where people are suffering. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please contact us for details.