Seventh-day Adventists across the South Pacific are anxiously awaiting news of family and friends following the eruption of a huge underwater volcano near Tonga on Saturday.
Communication with Tonga remains limited due to damage caused to the main undersea communication cable.
“My heart and prayers go out to my people in Tonga,” said Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga, who is Tongan.
“Having no communication at all with them can be very frustrating. However, I am trusting in God who is everywhere and so loving. He is the one that is taking care of them better than we can.”
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano caused a tsunami which inundated parts of Tongatapu—Tonga’s main island—and other nearby islands, and triggered tsunami warnings for several other countries.
ABC News is reporting that Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, was covered in a layer of volcanic dust, which has contaminated water supplies. A British woman swept away in the tsunami is the first confirmed death.
Staff from the Tonga Mission office reportedly evacuated to Beulah Adventist College after the tsunami hit.
Church leaders are encouraging Adventists to continue to pray for the people of Tonga.