Family Update and Providing Support

I want to update you on the news since we gathered on Sunday and it is sad news. I also want to give some ways that you could provide prayer or practical support. Thank you so much for being such a loving and supportive church.

Update on our Syrian families
Four members of our Syrian families were attending the Masjid Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave on Friday afternoon.

The father of our family living in Somerfield, Khaled, was shot, and died a few hours later at Christchurch Hospital. His 16 year old son Hamza was shot and died at the scene. His 13 year old son Zaid was also shot. Zaid received a six hour surgery on Friday evening and is recovering well.

The father of our family living in West Spreydon, Hisham, was shot. Hisham received surgery on Sunday morning and is recovering well.

Care for the carers
We’ve had many offers of people reaching out and wanting to help. If you know people who have been directly caring for the families affected by this tragedy and are in need of some care for themselves, please get in touch with our Pastoral Care team on 03 3384163 or pastoralcare@swbc.org.nz.

Muslim Families Support Fund
We have created this fund as a short-term account to provide financial support to families who have been affected by this tragedy, including those who we have helped to resettle in Christchurch and others who are connected to our church.

If you would like to contribute to this fund, the details are as follows:

Bank: BNZ
Branch: Riccarton
Name of Account: South West Baptist Church
Account Number: 02-0820-0247412-00
Particulars: MuslimFamily
Code: Donation#### (put your donation number here if applicable)

We will be able to issue a donation receipt for these donations, please include your donation number if you have one.

Offer of Buildings
We have sent a letter of support to the Imams of Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid Mosque offering them our prayers, our sorrow and practical support including the use of our buildings if that will be helpful.

For ongoing information over the next few days, please visit this blog which I will be updating daily.

A Helpful Prayer
Lord, in our shock and confusion, we come before you.
In our grief and despair in the midst of hate,
in our sense of helplessness in the face of violence,
we lean on you. 

For the families of those who have been killed we pray.
For the shooter—help us to pray, Lord.
For the communities that have lost members—their anger, grief, fear—we pray.
For those striving to be your light in darkness beyond our comprehension, we pray.

In the face of hatred, may we claim love, Lord.
May we love those far off and those near.
May we love those who are strangers and those who are friends.
May we love those who we agree with and understand,
and even more so, Lord, those who we consider to be our enemies.

Grace and peace,
Alan