Vanuatu churches help famine-stricken communities

Vanuatu, Asia-Pacific Region

The small island nation of Vanuatu has received significant outside aid for many years, especially in times of disasters. Over time, this can produce an attitude of helplessness and dependency. It can also make people think compassionate care is someone else’s responsibility.

God is helping local and district Church of the Nazarene leaders begin to see through eyes of compassion. They are now seeing the needs around them, and thinking about what they can do to help.

Since last fall, the periodic weather phenomenon known as El Niño has brought heavy rain to some parts of the world, but drought and famine to others. This has been particularly devastating for areas used to frequent rainfall.

Among these hard-hit areas are Papua New Guinea and a number of Pacific island nations, including Vanuatu, a group of 85 small islands. According to OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), 4.7 million people are affected by drought in 11 Pacific countries, and 40 percent of communities in Vanuatu are expected to run out of safe drinking water.

For the rest of this story about how Vanuatu Nazarenes are serving others, see Engage magazine