We mourn with those who mourn. Our hearts and prayers go out to our Muslim neighbours and the rest of the Muslim community in Christchurch hit so tragically by the mosque shootings which have abruptly robbed us all of many good-hearted people.
Within minutes of the tragic mosque shooting in Riccarton and Linwood last Friday, PI people in Christchurch were ringing Muslim friends to find out if they were caught up in the terrible attack.
Most of them were safe. But sadly (very sadly) others were not.
Now two weeks have passed. We have met with many of our Muslim friends, distributing small food packs, drinking tea and talking, and passing on donations to particularly needy homes.
Some things are now clear
- Muslims and the rest of us here are stunned
- some Muslim women are thinking their headscarves may make them unsafe on the streets
- racism is deeper than many of us thought
- immigrant familes have been left without a bread-winner or an English-speaking elder
- the strong, gracious, over-flowing love of the Lord Jesus is now greatly needed in the small Muslim community in Christchurch
PI contacts have generously donated money and we are personally giving that to needy, grieving families we know. By late March over $5000 has been donated. We have distributed almost all of that directly and in person, in lots of $500, to widows and families who we know are in great difficulty.
We have distributed much more widely, dozens and dozens of small gift packs of halal food prepared by Christchurch churches,.
We now are approaching Muslims we know or meet on the street, assuring them of our good will, praying with them, and sharing the message of Psalm 23, “…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your (shepherd’s) staff comforts me.”
Like to donate?
PI people in Christchurch are personally connected to Muslim families. We can distribute your gift to needy families directly. We are doing this already and can find appropriate families to give any further gifts to.
Thousands of bunches of flowers, notes of condolence and support, and even soft toys have been placed by Christchurch people along the 150 metre front wall of our Botanic Garden. And there are similar shows of floral support through the city. We are shaken but resolved to show our grief for the loss and our rejection of the hate that caused it.
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