Sorrowful, Yet Rejoicing

April 6, 2015 • Vanuatu

Believers display strength in Christ despite losing everything to Cyclone Pam

This Easter, Christians in the island nation of Vanuatu—battered by Cyclone Pam just three weeks ago—raised their hands high and their voices loud. Pastors preached from broken pulpits, under splintered roofs, and some whose buildings were completely destroyed led their congregations in the shade of Banyan trees. They celebrated Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.

Samaritan’s Purse is providing medical care and relief supplies to storm victims in some of the poorest, hardest-hit areas of this country, including remote villages that have not received other outside help. Our staff prays with the people and spends time encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Easter Sunday service at Calvary Life Church on Tanna Island


Believers here are suffering, yet so many express a profound hope in the Lord.

Sabrina Sam, a young mother whose home was badly damaged in the storm, told us that she trusts Him to meet her needs.

“We must have faith in God no matter what challenges we face,” she said.

The cyclone destroyed Ellen Wap’s home, but she also remains confident.

“God will never abandon his people,” she said.

Despite losing all four of the houses he was building for his children, 60-year-old Nelson Niras has spent his time volunteering to help clear the road to the hospital.

church service on Tanna Island at New Life Church (Palm Sunday)

“Although we go through hard times, we are here in the house of God worshipping together,” Pastor Taisen said on Good Friday.

“When you have God’s spirit, you have this feeling, this strength in your mind to do something to help others,” he said.

Samaritan’s Purse has provided help in the aftermath of the cyclone to Sabrina, Ellen, Nelson, and over 2,000 others in Vanuatu. We are supplying families with tarps, water jugs, blankets, cooking kits, mosquito nets, and hygiene items.

Our medical team has seen over 1,000 patients through their work at a local hospital and mobile clinics in villages without access to health care.

All of our work is done in the Name of Christ.

Pastor Jonathan Moses, a church leader on Tanna island, prayed for the community at one of our distributions and said he has never seen Christians come to serve his people in this way.

Easter Sunday service at Calvary Life Church on Tanna Island

“This makes me really happy to see, to strengthen our faith,“ he said. “This is a church coming out with us.”

Please join us in praising God for the faith of believers in Vanuatu, and pray that He will bring restoration to all who are suffering from the storm.

“…Behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Corinthians 6:9-10).