Second message from Greymouth Ministers' Association

The Greymouth Ministers' Association again asks for prayers for those affected by Pike River Coal Mine
Thursday 25th November

On Wednesday the 24th at the 4pm family briefing we were told of the second explosion and there was an immediate outpouring of grief as the reality of the news hit people. In itself this showed how much people had been holding onto hope, a hope which was now gone. There was also anger from a minority who felt that things could have been done differently and they expressed themselves loudly and vocally as they stormed from the building. The majority however supported Peter Whittall and the Pike staff because what they had feared all along happened. Imagine a rescue team in the mine when the second explosion occurred and the ramifications of that. The families and wider community are now in the various stages of the grief process and we along with many others are supporting them the best we can.

So on behalf of our community we request prayer for the following:

•For the families who have lost their loved ones. For the Holy Spirit to come and bring comfort and peace to individuals and families, to ease their pain, to help them through the grieving process and that they would continue to seek out help and support as and when they need it.

•Give thanks for the wisdom of those directly involved in the rescue process. Their caution probably saved more lost lives.

•Continue to pray that God's people will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in offering comfort, care and support to those in need.

•Pray for the recovery of the bodies. The families and wider community all want and need their men back. It will make the grieving process easier and bring a better degree of closure. Pray therefore for the efforts of Pike Staff and the Recovery teams as the seek to render the mine safe enough for the recovery of the bodies.

•Give thanks for our national media who have been excellent but continue to pray for the overseas media in particular that they will be compassionate and gentle in their quest for information. Not intrusive and invasive. To see the people and not just the story.

•Pray for the pastors and clergy of the community, for wisdom in handling the media, sensitivity and compassion in dealing with families especially now as they support families in their grief and in time begin to prepare for funerals. Continue to pray for strength and the Spirit's sustaining for the duration.

•Continue to pray for those struggling emotionally, especially now with the news of no survivors for those with survivor guilt, unresolved and also for those with now re-opened grief from previous mining tragedies and for those providing counseling and comfort.

•Pray for the the work colleagues of those lost who because of the common bond are feeling this more than most apart from the families themselves. Some are struggling with the thought of returning underground to work and others because of their more informed knowledge will be wrestling with how that impacts what they say to people in relation to chances of recovering the bodies, the future of the mine and so on. Pray for wisdom here.

•Pray for all those supporting families that they would offer appropriate care and support that would be of real benefit to the families.

•Pray for our town as the Spirit leads. This will leave a scar and shape our identity for the future but we want the processing of our communal and wider grief not to lead us crippled and dysfunctional in the future but rather stronger and more resilient as a community.

•Pray for the "Community Remembrance Service" on Thursday the 2nd of Dec at 2pm at Omoto that it will be a fitting service for the families and the wider community as they wait for their loved ones to come home. That those organising and fronting the event will have real wisdom in shaping the service and in selecting the words they say. Pray too that there will be a fitting balance between local and national needs.