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Disaster Recovery Training For Ministers

The Methodist Church in Fiji has acquired the services of specialised disaster trauma counsellor Reverend Stephen Robinson. This was confirmed yesterday by the church general secretary Rev  Epineri Vakadewavosa who
02 Mar 2016 10:30
Disaster Recovery Training For Ministers
National disaster recovery officer of the Uniting Church in Australia Reverend Stephen Robinson.

The Methodist Church in Fiji has acquired the services of specialised disaster trauma counsellor Reverend Stephen Robinson.

This was confirmed yesterday by the church general secretary Rev  Epineri Vakadewavosa who said the UCA’s National Disaster Recovery officer would be providing intensive disaster recovery training in Suva for key ministers and leaders from March 10-12.

“Participants will learn about the stages of recovery after disasters, self-care and how to care for others during trauma,” he said.

“We have opened this up to members of the Fiji Council of Churches so that we can share the training as we share in the work.”

Rev Vakadewavosa also indicated that Rev Wesley Neal, a missionary lecturer at the Davuilevu Theological College and qualified to teach disaster trauma recovery and counselling would be taking special classes for their final year students. This is in the ministerial formation and Bachelor of Divinity programmes.

“Our ministry formation students will be sent out to affected areas as part of their practical work and provide counselling. We hope to also involve our Deaconess Order.”

Rev Vakadwavosa said in terms of reaching out to cyclone victims, five of their church secretaries (heads of department) are on their way to Vanua Levu, Ra, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka and Lomaiviti to do pastoral visitations and church assessments.

“This is to provide pastoral care and solidarity as well as identify possible participants for the training. It will also be a survey of the situation on the ground.”

Rev Vakadewavosa said this included surveying the condition of church buildings– churches, halls, schools, quarters so that we can continue to assist government through:

 

The ongoing provision of halls as evacuation centres and temporary shelters until people are able to rebuild their homes – for however long it takes.

The provision of churches, as temporary classrooms to help children return to school- the Methodist Church of Fiji president is writing to the Minister for Education to make this offer)

 Assist our ministers, deaconesses and lay pastors who will then be in a better position to help their communities

 

Rev Vakadewavosa said they were grateful to the Uniting Church in Australia, United Methodist Church in the US, Methodist Church in Britain, Korean Methodist Church and the Fijian Methodist communities around the world who have all made pledges of financial or in-kind support.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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