Australian Bushfires Hit Adventists
Special offering taken, ADRA Australia aids community efforts
eventh-day Adventists in the Australian state of Victoria are among those affected by a series of wild bushfires that may have killed as many as 300 people and destroyed up to 1,800 homes, according to media reports of the damage. At least some of the fires are believed to have been deliberately set.
FIRETRUCK–  A firetruck in the midst of battle. Photo: Victorian Conference]

“The Victorian Conference of Seventh-day Adventists unites with all church members from around Victoria and Australia, to express their deep sympathy for the many families who have lost loved ones, friends, property, livestock, pets, and much more in the recent bush fires,” said Wayne Stanley, general secretary and communication director for the conference, in a statement on its Web site.
“We pray for strength and comfort for those who grieve such terrible loss and pray for rapid recovery for those who have been injured. We reflect on Christ who demonstrated unending compassion and sympathy for those who were hurting, and pray that His followers will demonstrate the same compassion as they support their friends and neighbors,” Stanley added.
“As fires continue to rage, our thoughts are with those who are fighting to save life and property, and those who face the grim task of assessing the level of loss to the community,” he said.
In response to the tragic and devastating bushfires in Victoria, ADRA/Australia has committed AUS$150,000 (approx. U.S. $101,000) to fund a response in partnership with the government-nominated lead agency, the Australian Red Cross. This continues ADRA/Australia’s long-standing formal partnership with Australian Red Cross federally, and in four Australian states and territories.
In order to further assist Adventists affected by the tragedy, the Victorian Conference is expected to take up a special offering in all its churches on Sabbath, February 14. The money collected will go directly, and as quickly as possible, to Adventist families and friends affected by the fires.
Among initial reports of damage to Adventist-related families, Stanley noted, are these: A church member and his family from Healesville lost their house; as has a church member from Greensborough. A family who are friends of the church in Kinglake lost their home, while another family attending church at Moe has lost everything. Some members of Seymour church, living at Broadford, have not been contactable, and an Adventist businessman lost a substantial amount of heavy equipment.
While many other Adventist facilities throughout the state reported no losses despite being located in or near fire zones, one family in the Greensborough Church lost its home.

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