It is nearly 19 hours since I awoke, ready to catch the first public flight into Christchurch since the earthquake - so I won't at this stage go onto details of aftershocks and what life is like here, with no water etc
We are here for the people - we set off in the Canterbury Kids' Coach soon after 9am and as soon as we pulled up at the side of the road the kids came running, each eager to tell their earthquake story. Some offered scientific explanations of why earthquakes happened, others gave advice on what to do should another big one happen - all had a tale to tell. They were each encouraged to offer prayers of 'thanks' and 'please', and nearly all did so.
Louise spotted a lady walking by, and at the first gentle question the tears flowed freely. Prayers were offered and gladly received on the roadside. Another Mum sat on the bus and stared into space - seemingly overwhelmed by it all and grateful for a place to pause and rest.
Another team member arrived, having called in on a lady to find she had tried to take her life with an overdose - the police and paramedics arrived in time to save her life. Thank you Lord. Another distressed lady explains that her home has been condemned, and she has no idea where she will live in the coming months. No answers at this stage, but sympathy and the promise of ongoing support.
I could go on - but you get the picture. These stories are all real, and from today. This is work at the coal face, at ground level, with desperate folk. This is an authentic, powerful expression of God's love, and I am fiercely proud of our team here.
Tomorrow - life without water, aftershocks and students.
13 hours ago