Unless you've never been to this blog, you'll know we lived in New Zealand for 4 1/2 years (2006-2010). While I've never had the opportunity to visit Christchurch beyond a little puddle-jump stop at their airport, I know its a beautiful city full of beautiful people.
Last Tuesday Christchurch was hit by a 6.3 earthquake. It was shallow (close to the surface) and very close to the central business district (NZ's way of saying downtown). So far the death toll is at 154, with 200 still missing in the rubble. Maybe that seems small to you - but in a country of 4 million people, it's too much.
Have you ever heard of the 6 degrees of separation?
"Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer" (wikipedia.com).
In theory you are only 6 friends of a friend away from any other person on earth.
Well the saying is "2 degrees of separation". It's a bit of a joke. But most every time you meet someone, you know someone they know. It's awesome. Except when 154 people die and 200 more are missing. It's going to hit way too close to home.
I've been watching the news on tvnz.co.nz and tv3.co.nz as well as reading at stuff.co.nz --- watching and waiting like everyone else at home. Today there will be a 2 minute silence at 12:51pm (Tuesday afternoon there, it's at 6:51pm tonight EST). I need to set the timer so that I remember to follow it. It's really sad to be here, and have nothing I can do except pray and read.
18,000 college and university students have volunteered for the cleanup. It makes me proud of the NZ youth. Check out what they are accomplishing in Christchurch, just because a guy thought he'd invite a few mates to help him clear the liquefaction (silt and sewerage caused by the quake) in the streets. 18,000 young people later .... Check out the UC Student Volunteer Army on Facebook.
If you were looking for a place to give:
Salvation Army New Zealand (I'm not sure about Red Cross, but Salvation Army takes Paypal)
are both great places to give.
This one just caught my eye.
What Now is a kid's TV program. And they've start an Adopt-A-Family program, and 100% of funds go to the families in need.
It's what's on my heart today. It's what's consuming me at the moment.
Just being real here.