We have been confronted by disturbing images of suffering associated with the massive bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria over the Christmas period, including the emergency evacuation of Mallacoota by sea. Naturally we want to respond to this situation and encourage those who are ministering in the area. There have been some enquiries as to whether QB is going to be setting up a bushfire appeal. At this stage we are not planning to do so, but we are encouraging everyone to support the appeals being operated by our fellow state Unions in the most affected states.
The Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV) has opened a tax deductive appeal to assist those in need. Quoting from their website:
“The bushfires in East Gippsland are causing unspeakable heartache, massive devastation and huge loss of livestock. Our hearts go out to all the families who have experienced loss or are in affected areas and our prayers are with them. This is a time for all our Baptist family to stand together to help those in need”.
“In addition to the significant threat to homes and lives, farmers in these bushfire stricken areas who are already experiencing extreme hardship due to the drought are now under additional pressure with livestock in grave danger. A couple of our churches (Lakes Entrance, Corryong) have already taken the initiative to provide free hay to farmers to feed their livestock. The BUV is partnering with our churches with this effort and we need your help”.
Donations to the BUV Bushfire Appeal are tax deductible.
We will manage the disbursement of funds towards free hay and other relief efforts. As events unfold in coming weeks, there may be other ways we can help and so we implore you to prayerfully join us in our Bushfire relief efforts.
Donations may be made either on-line or at any Westpac branch into the following account:
Name: Baptist Union of Victoria
Account: 100008417 – Please clearly designate “Bushfire Appeal”
The Baptist Union of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory has also opened an appeal. Quoting from their web site:
“Parts of Australia are experiencing unprecedented bushfire activity and central to many of these communities are Baptist Churches and ministries. These churches are supporting many people from their churches and the community pastorally and practically even in the midst of their own loss, grief and distress”.
“The Disaster Relief and Recovery Campaign has been established by the Baptist Association of Churches to support work in disaster impacted communities through direct support to victims, church grants to support the work of the local church in affected communities and partnership programs aimed to compliment the already excellent work done by aid organisations on the ground”.
Your donation helps Baptist Churches give people the support they need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen. It also helps in the recovery phase with support for those who have to get their lives back on track over time.
The fund equips local churches to show the love of Christ to those in need and for our movement to practically demonstrate our collective love for those impacted by tragedy and emergency.
Donations may be made through the web site set up specifically for this matter with Baptist Financial Services
Registered Pastor Stewart Beveridge is heading up the Samaritans Purse Rapid Response team whose role is to swing into action with practical assistance on matters whenever a disaster strikes. The churches in Townsville speak very positively of this group’s practical response in the immediate aftermath of the flood crisis in their city in February last year. Quoting from their web site:
One town in Northern NSW, Killabahk, had bushfires that have now dissipated but the task of rebuilding homes and lives has only just begun. Over 40 Samaritan’s Purse volunteers joined together there to work on multiple properties that had been impacted by the fires in the region in December. The volunteers worked in sweltering heat, using chainsaws to chop up fallen trees, removing sheet metal from homes, shovelling ash, and more.
On one property, Samaritan’s Purse volunteers shovelled the ash of what was once a man’s home. He had been living alone and he was still very emotional as he shared that he had just lost the home that he had built with his own hands and raised his daughter in. Our volunteers were caring and supportive as they worked with him to help him come to terms with the loss.