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Continuous environmental cleanup leads to local development

The earthquake that occurred in 2010-11 has become a major setback in Christchurch. However, the enormous cost of rebuilding the city has become an opportunity for new challenges, and the process has become a stepping stone for innovation and prosperity. Last year, Mayor Lian Dalziel announced a mid- to long-term vision for regional development, and Christchurch is emerging as a viable opportunity. Among them, World Mission Society Church of God (Rev. Kim Joo-cheol, the Church of God) also volunteered to contribute for the regional development initiatives.

A church official said, "New Zealand, which boasts a stunning natural landscape, is just saving the nation's economy by preserving it. Among them, Christchurch is a beautiful place to be called 'The Garden City of the Plains.' We hope that our environmental cleanup activities will not only protect and preserve the local environment, but also contribute to saving the local economy."

With that in mind, on the 28th of September, 50 church of God members volunteered to clean the University of Canterbury.

The University of Canterbury boasts a long tradition and history and is always crowded with students from around New Zealand and all around the world. On this day, the volunteers cleared 5km section of garbage from the University to nearby residential areas. Various kinds of garbage such as drinking water cans, plastic water bottles, disposable paper cups, and various kinds of packaging materials were collected. In addition, the volunteers picked out the weeds, fallen leaves and flower beds piled up on the roadside. The collected garbage in UC Campus, Clyde and Creyke Road reached a total of 50, 24 garbage bags along with some broken plastic pipes, couch and so on.

Vicky Buck, a city councilor, who participated in the cleanup of the Riccarton shopping mall in August, welcomed and supported the volunteer activity of the Church of God, saying "I appreciate the cleanup in the UC area". And Alexandra Davids, Chairperson of "Keep Christchurch Beautiful", also supported the volunteers, saying "Thank you so much for conducting another cleanup event in Christchurch." She participated in the Broomfield, Riccarton and University of Canterbury cleanup as well.

The Church of God has been carrying out environmental cleanup activities in the vicinity of the University of Canterbury, as well as the Riccarton Shopping Mall, New Brighton Beach, Shirley Road, Broomfield and Burwood. In the 2011 earthquake and flood damage in 2014, the Church of God also took the lead in disaster relief management. Branches of Church of God in Auckland and Wellington also conducted blood drives to help ease the lack of blood supply. The Church of God received an award certificate in 2013 from the Prime Minister, the Christchurch Market Appreciation Board in 2015 and 2018, the Wellington Market Appreciation Board, and the Christchurch City Council Appreciation Certificate. In addition, the Church of God has received various awards and acknowledgments from Labor Party, National Assembly members, New Zealand Blood Center, Regional Committees and Beautification Association.

All throughout New Zealand and overseas, praises for the Church of God has been constantly commended. Over 2,600 awards have been awarded by international government agencies and organizations, including the Queen's Volunteer Service Award and the US Presidential Volunteer Gold Award six times.

"All of these activities were possible because of the love of the members who resemble the love of God the Mother," a church official said. "We will share the love of God the Mother so that happiness and peace will prevail to our families, neighbors, and society as the salt and light of the world."

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