– Burwood, Canterbury, New Zealand

It has been a long (almost) 12 months since our world was turned upside down – (Shaken not Stirred). House advised “munted” by mid-September; the long, long wait to learn if our land could be remediated – and no – Red Zone! Right from the outset so many good things have happened for so many of us: for example: getting to know our neighbours who we previously “nodded and smiled at”. Several are now very dear friends and will be even after we go our separate ways to our new houses. The Christchurch City council has look after as best they can in the terrible circumstances that we now find our street and suburb (Horseshoe Lake). Many of us have had comfort by joining the Facebook Group: Horseshoe Lake Residents. There has been much lively and informative discussion as a real community spirit has developed. So many good things to talk about and reflect on. And then today, Sunday 14 August, 2011 – just before the first sleety squall came across – we answered our front door to a lovely couple who presented us with an envelope – and inside it – a card – on the front, an unfurling fern frond and the words “Kia Kaha! Be Strong” and note on the back: “This little gift is the result of Presbyterians from here, elsewhere in New Zealand and overseas, who are concerned for you with all that has happened with the earthquakes, and that we hope that in some way we have helped make your week easier. Our best wishes to you! From St Mark’s, St Stephen’s & St Giles Presbyterian Churches, Christchurch.” The little gift: A $200 New World Voucher.

The kindness continues. We in the Red Zone are so appreciative. Thank You.

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