Some Initial Afterthoughts and Steve Graham on what God is saying to Christchurch

I came across this blog entry by Steve Graham in relation to the Christchurch earthquake. Absolutely beautiful and words many of us need to hear (if your read out loud) or read.

It is very easy in all the tragedy and adrenaline filled stories to overlook the small things that are important as well. Sure enough I was disappointed with myself for not being out there in the streets to do the big stuff, but why? It has nothing to do with God’s love and all with pride and looking for the rush. Praise God for a wife that helps me see things for what they really are and bringing me back to reality: a grim one but also one of many undervalued moments of love and compassion in words and (perhaps many little) actions ,  and for pointing me towards a here and now and immediate future that offers still plenty of opportunity to serve God, my family and community, but this time according to His will for me and not my will for Him.

I guess Steve Graham further emphasized her point. His summary says it all:

  • Grieve: be true to what your heart and your body are saying you need to do. The sooner you do the sooner you move through that phase.
  • Take care of yourself: do the basics: eat, and sleep.
  • Listen for the heart promptings of “good” you could do
  • Begin restoring order and filling – and celebrate each small step and pace yourself as you do it.
  • Team together and focus what you can do knowing others will be building right next to you.
  • Find the life giving presence and power of God, the resurrection power of God, to rebuild hope life, laughter, joy, order, love, structure and fullness.
  • Let hope begin to arise – God is with us for recovery and this great city can be rebuilt.

Christchurch was beautiful city with a great legacy – but as Gerry Brownlee says legacy also plays forward. This is our chance to recover and build a legacy in this city for our grandchildren. May they be thankful for the recovery we brought, led and empowered by God.

For those of you who are not familiar with the name: Steve is the Dean of Laidlaw College. Read his entry here >>>

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What God is saying to Christchurch: “Recovery”

Christchurch has suffered a terrible tragedy – devastation, loss of life, calamity, unbelievable, mind-boggling, mind-numbing. Some of us just don’t know what to think and what the way ahead is. Is it hopeless, just so overwhelming that we cannot actually see a way ahead? Some of us hear the words of confidence and determination but our hearts don’t leap at the words and they fall flat and we feel more hopeless. Such a small community really, we might know one person who died but we know six people who know someone who died. So we know of seven people who died. Two degrees and all that. And so we also wonder, what is God saying in and through this time? What is He saying to the people of God? What is he saying to the city? How should we respond? What should we do? And even if we don’t wonder, others are more than happy to tell us what God is saying. Some claim it is an act of God, of His judgement. I actually do want to claim that I know what He is saying… He is saying “recovery.” (emphasis added by me)

Read the rest of this article here >>>

(John)Key Notes 25 February 2011


25 February 2011
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My thoughts and sympathies are with everyone who’s been affected by Tuesday’s earthquake, especially those who have lost loved ones. Watch or read my speech here

I’ve been down to Christchurch a few times since the earthquake. When I walked through the central city, it felt surreal. It was eerily quiet but as you looked around you knew that a real catastrophe had taken place.

It’s a disaster that has affected all New Zealanders in some way.

I’ve been heartbroken by stories of great loss and pain, and shocked by the extent of the damage. But I’ve also been encouraged by the survivor spirit of Cantabrians. It’s that spirit that I believe will get you through.

In Lyttleton, I saw a community that was devastated but rallying together in its time of greatest need. I met a woman who was cooking almost enough food to feed an army. Locals were bringing food from their freezers to her, she was cooking it, and they were sharing it with all who needed something to eat.

I met international tourists in Hagley Park who had fled from where they were at the time of the earthquake, leaving behind all their possessions including passports. They told me they were amazed by how well Cantabrians had looked after them and helped them.

That extraordinary spirit makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

This earthquake marks the beginning of a long and challenging journey for Christchurch. But New Zealanders stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you face this journey, and the Government is behind you 100 per cent of the way.

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work being put in by so many people, particularly the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, and medical professionals.

Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though Christchurch will never look the same, we will help Cantabrians rebuild their lives.


Our immediate focus is on search and rescue. Here’s some of what the government has done so far:

For the latest information on the Government’s response, click here.



I’d like to thank the thousands of New Zealanders, and people around the world, who are donating money and offering to help Christchurch.

If you would like to help, you could contact the Red Cross (, the Salvation Army ( or the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service ( Many banks are also offering ways to help, so contact your bank to find out more.

All other offers of help from the public should be directed to

Best wishes,

John Key
Prime Minister

Click here to view photos on Flickr of my visits to Canterbury this week.



Thanks John for these notes, you presence here in Christchurch is, I am sure greatly appreciated. For the first time in a long time they felt for real again.