News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Supports New Caledonians During Difficult Times

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Caledonia and New Zealand are working to support Church members and missionaries, as well as others, as the French territory in the South Pacific endures days of riots and violence.

Mission leader, Mark Messick, reports that “the missionaries are all safe, accounted for, and doing well. We just had a zoom call, and all were present. They are simply remarkable.”

Parents of missionaries are receiving regular updates.

Stake President (leader of several congregations) Jean-Olivier Smatti said that Church members are staying safe and praying for peace to be restored.

Bookman Thonon and his family live in New Caledonia. In the following, he shares an experience they had this week:

“My lovely wife, my children, and I went out today as we decided that it was time to help to clean the street and in front of the burned shops.

Wednesday, we had a message from stake president Smatti that the whole stake should pray together at 8pm for our missionaries, for the members and for peace in New Caledonia. 

After the prayer we felt peace and a strong feeling, we should go out the next day and begin to talk with the rioters who were blocking our area.

We did it and met other people who wanted to do the same. A bit later the youth of the block came out and helped us to clean. 

We then talked with them to understand, to promote unity, and support each other.

We passed through routh times. It will take time to heal so what we did is just a beginning. We know that Heavenly Father is watching over us and that He will help us.”

View pictures of the Thonon family’s experience here.

Elder Peter F. Meurs, Pacific Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that “the Church is working with local leaders to understand the needs of members, missionaries and others impacted by this situation. We are learning what we can, organising to provide relief, and praying for peace and calm for the entire territory.”

Elder Meurs continued, “In challenging times such as these, we need to rely on the Lord Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace—for His blessings. As followers of the Saviour, we must also do all we can to be His hands in bringing aid and relief to those who are suffering.”

Read more about the situation in New Caledonia on the Radio New Zealand website.

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