Photo Journal: Christchurch Earthquake, Getting to Grips With Things

This afternoon we went for the first time since the 22nd of February to the beach at Sumner and we ended up driving through town just to get a feel for what it is really like.

Even though this is a photo journal I can but say that no picture can do justice to what it is to physically experience the sight, smell and noise of piles of rubble for as far as you can see, your own city cordoned off by military, almost damaging the car because the road goes like the surf of a beach.

Sumner: Shag Rock Turned Shag Pebble,
Cave Rock Caved In

The road to Sumner was open and although not too bad the cracks and bumps are still there for sure, and it requires you to pay even more attention that usual.

Substantial parts of the road were protected by containers  so as to avoid rocks falling on the road and cars.

Shag Rock at Sumner is one of those iconic little spots here: was I should say. Last year I took this picture.


And yesterday, this is what I found:

The reserve on the other side of the road is now covered in rocks that came down from the rock face. We could not help but wondering but wondering whether there may have been some unsuspecting people covered under there: perhaps going for a little walk through the reserve, perhaps having a quiet lunch in the sun out of the wind.

Cave Rock, further down the beach is a place of good memories for me. It is the place where I had my first beer on the beach with the family and friend Jason Wilcox. I remember well how cool I thought it was to be able to be sitting in the shade of a small cave, what a change from the crowded beaches in the Netherlands.

To give you a feel of what the beach looks like on a sunny day in the Netherlands see the picture on the left side.

All that is missing is a guard blowing his or her whistle  so we can all turn at the same time to sunbath our other side. That same little cave at Cave at Cave Rock caved in.

I guess when you arrive at the place from the parking lot you get a good indication of what to expect straight away.

The City

On the way back we went past the city center and as it is cordoned off, you can’t come to close and get yourself into trouble. But it was there where it started to hit in how enormous the damages really were.

Road may be open but that does by no means mean that they are still qualifiable as safe roads. It was as if we were riding the surf.

We drove up towards one of the fences that mark the cordon and when I walked out and looked at what seemed to be endless amounts of rubble, with a building here and there I simply was not able to shoot any picture and not feel like a complete @#$%&*!

Most of all it was then that I realized that no picture could ever do justice to what I was seeing there. My oldest son grabbed my hand and like me he was not able to say anything. Sure enough most of it can be replaced but I have serious concerns not just for those who have loved their loved ones in all this but also for those that had their livelihoods, their businesses (small businesses) in the struck areas: the dairies, the small boutique little businesses, coffee shops and restaurants that have been kept afloat by these courageous people with a vision, with a passion and which made Christchurch the lovely place it is. And I am sure it will be that same great place again but the road ahead, the road to restoration of people, lives and property will probably be long and steep.

Enough said, time to pray for the city and time to prepare for guitar students coming in. And in the complete faith that nothing is impossible with God, I pray for restoration of the people and city of Christchurch.

    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 >>>

    Kevin Dedmon in Christchurch


    1 & two March 2011
    Halswell Baptist, 6 Balcairn St, Halswell, Christchurch

    This conference focuses on equipping, empowering, and activating the Church in signs and wonders, miracles, healing, prophetic, and supernatural evangelism, so that releasing and expanding God’s Kingdom becomes a natural lifestyle.
    I would like to add on a personal note that as people from Christchurch this is probably what we all need in these times so that in all the current chaos His love may shine.

    Kevin Dedmon has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years and has a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a M.A. degree in Church Leadership from Vanguard University. Kevin conducts Supernatural Lifestyle Conferences in which people are equipped, empowered, and activated in miracles, healing, prophetic, and evangelism as a normal lifestyle of the believer. Kevin also oversees the Firestarter Class, which equips and empowers newcomers and new believers to live as revivalists – healing the sick, prophesying, and supernatural evangelism. He is also the director of Bethel Church’s Firestorm ministry, which sends teams to local churches for the purpose of demonstrating the revival culture of Bethel Church, as well as imparting, empowering, and activating the church to live naturally in the supernatural, so that the atmosphere in both the church and the community is transformed. Kevin also speaks at conferences and churches world wide, focusing on healing and supernatural evangelism. He also teaches revival theology in the School of Supernatural Ministry, and trains new believers and new members in a revival supernatural lifestyle in his Firestarter’s class at Bethel Church. Kevin is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Hunt, and Unlocking Heaven: Keys to Living Naturally Supernatural.

    Hosted by Harmony Church, Oaklands School Auditorium, Cunningham Place, Halswell. For more information or conference registration brochure call on 03 338 4253 or email or website

    I hope to all see you there if not for the conference perhaps because it is a good way to catch up with others from our community to prepare us for the road ahead.

    Photo Journal: Random Impressions of the Last Week

    It Summer Holiday so that means less time behind the computer and more time spent with the family. Some random impressions of the last week below.

    Evening Walk

    Earlier this week we had an incredibly warm day. Later i the evening, to cool off a bit I went for a walk with my oldest son to see this amazing sunset right around the corner.


    If there are a few things that are dominating in terms what the back yard is all about it is probably the butterflies, the veggie patch and playing children. In a recent post I detailed the cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. And after these beautiful animals took off we already have a number of new caterpillars running and eating their favorite Swan plant.

    Besides that we are very pleased with the promise of home grown vegetables such as the spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots and silver beet.

    Are you getting hungry yet?

    Hagley Park

    Hagley Park is again quite stunning this year and it is so amazing to see how it is different every year. Here some impressions of this every beautiful park and one of my favorite places to go to for a quick walk. There is always the beautiful scenery and at thew same time the beautiful detail if you keep your eyes open: flowers, insects, birds.

    Time for a rest near one the amazing ponds in the park.  Who would not be amazed, inspired by scenes like below.

    Barnett Park Walk Way

    In the absence of our youngest, we took the other two out for a highly recommendable walk up the Barnett Park Walkway: a two hours walk (with kids) up to a large cave, near Sumner, Christchurch with beautiful views over Christchurch  and a nice walking challenge for the boys.

    Yes you guessed it right, the black spot in the rocks up there is the destination. The great part was that the track is cyclic so you walk back down a different route.

    Again it was a great mix of stunning scenery and beautiful detail making oit clear how much the two are related. From the cave there was a spectacular view back to Christchurch.

    Inside the cave it was the breathtaking scenes provides by the differently colored rock formations that took all of my attention.

    Any abstract painter would be pleased with an outcome like that.


    Finally we ended up for a quiet afternoon at Rapaki, a little settlement in one of the bays near Lyttleton. A lovely alternative when you want to go to the beach but have the luxury to hang out in the shade of the trees when the sun gets to warm. A walk around and a little chat with the fishermen or in my case the fisher ladies, having their minds set on catching some fish for diner.

    Keep an eye on my flickr stream as I will be uploading more there.