14 April 2022StatementFrom the desk of the General Secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana
The South African Council of Churches extends it deepest condolences to the people of KwaZulu Natal (KZN) where the impact of the floods has resulted in the unfortunate loss of over 300 lives, with additional losses to infrastructure that are yet to be calculated.
“The devastation we have seen – the destruction of homes, schools and churches and the loss of lives – brings us to our knees as we pray for the safety of the people of KZN,” said the General Secretary of the SACC, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana.
As the country celebrates Easter this weekend, the SACC encourages members of the Christian faith to set aside a moment of prayer on Good Friday, 15 April 2022, to pray for KZN and the victims of the floods. “Whether in our homes, or in our religious spaces – let us offer prayers for the KZN Province, and those affected by the floods. Let us pray for safety; pray for the comfort of those who have lost families, their homes and livelihoods; and let us pray in faith, that with the Resurrection of Christ on the third day, the spirit of restoration will wash over the province,” said Bishop Mpumlwana.
On the ground, spearheaded through the SACC provincial chapter, the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC), the church is actively responding to the devastating damage and loss to property and life. In its statement dated 13 April 2022, the KZNCC and the KZN Church Leaders Group led by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, are working with the KZNCC Ecumenical Regional Offices throughout the province, partnering with organisations such as the Red Cross, Domino Foundation, Zoe Life, and City Hope to respond in disaster relief. They have identified at least 1 686 households affected by the floods across the province from the south coast to Jozini in the north. The numbers are growing as more reports are gathered through local churches “We have requested clergy in the affected areas and from across the province to voluntarily participate in pastoral visits (pastoral counselling and support) comforting the families and individuals affected by the floods; we are also requesting church-based activists and clergy to come and volunteer in distributing food parcels and blankets to affected families and individuals,” said Dr Douglas Diva, the Chief Executive Officer of the KZNCC. Donations in kind are also being collected that will ensure the displaced are housed, fed, dressed and kept warm.
The SACC urges the residents of KZN and those who may travel to the province this weekend in observance of the Easter celebrations to review their Easter plans with the preservation of life in mind. “We are calling on churches in the affected areas, to review their Easter service plans and prioritise the safety of all individuals,” said Bishop Malusi. The risk of gatherings in areas prone to landslides, or where there may be water shortages should serve as reason enough to find alternative ways of marking the Easter observances.
“We’ve been advised that the rains may likely continue throughout this weekend, therefore, all road-users traveling into KZN should be mindful and careful, particularly when crossing bridges, and not take any risks with the lives of people” said the Bishop.
“As echoed in our statement of Saturday 9 April 2022, let us, through prayer, collectively mount all our pain, together with the pain of the devastation in the KZN – on the cross of the crucified Christ, that the Easter Resurrection may give us a new sense of human consciousness, heal the wounds of our past and restore what has been lost,” concluded Mpumlwana.
—ENDS—Media enquiries:Khuthalani KhumaloSACC Communications ConsultantSouth African Council of ChurchesTel: 084 074 1285 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org