Hear the cry… Help the grieving… Lift up the broken… Bear the burdens… Share with those in need…
Today I have been struggling to grasp the size of the natural disasters in Victoria (Bushfires) and northern Queensland (Floods).
I was watching the Channel Nine news last night, when I heard that well known Melbourne newscaster Brian Naylor and his wife, Moiree, had perished in the fire. I choked up a bit about that. I did not know the Naylor family personally, but he seemed a likeable man, someone who genuinely cared for other human beings. It then occurred to me that there are many other families affected by the fires, either by death of friends and loved ones, significant loss of property and homes. Or simply the terror of being threatened by fires, or in the case of northern Queensland (the town of Ingham in particular), rising floodwaters.
It’s Monday afternoon here in Brisbane, 2:45pm, and the death and damage toll is rising every hour. Everyone says the numbers will get worse in the next few days.
Here are a few stats as they stand at present
Cyclones and heavy rains have brought severe flooding to northern Queensland
- Ingham residents isolated for the eighth successive day
- Townsville residents sandbagging in expectation of a king tide
- Millions of dollars of fruit produce have been lost, the cane harvest in worst affected areas has been ruined http://tinyurl.com/aeagcm
- Many towns are isolated, many people are homeless
- Damage bill could exceed A$190million
- 128 confirmed dead in Victorian Bushfires
- The towns of Kinglake and Marysville have been almost wiped off the map
- Over 30 fires still raging
- Over 5000 people homeless as a result of the fires
Excellent news coverage for both Queensland and Victoria on the ABC News web portal: http://www.abc.net.au/news/
Now is not the time to argue about which agency should receive the funds, whether they go through churches, or community or denominational groups. People have died, thousands are homeless. Grief, trauma, and severe hardship has invaded the lives of too many people.
Now is the time to act. Act now. Be compassionate. Help your brother. Hear the cry of your sister. Care for the children. Read Matthew 25:31-40
And God would just want us to come to their aid, so here’s how you do it:
Bushfire Appeal: channel funds through the Australian Red Cross. Red Cross have stated that 100% of the funds donated will go to victims and their families. You can go straight to the donations page at https://www.redcross.org.au/Donations/onlineDonations.asp
Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal: Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland, has launched a special fund to help alleviate the effects of flooding in northern Queensland. People can donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal by:
• Phone: 1800 173 349. The Smart Services Qld Call Centre will be open 24 hours a day.
• Mail: Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal, PO Box 15185, City East, Qld 4002.
• In person: Visit CBA, NAB, Westpac, ANZ, Bank of Qld or Suncorp.
• Internet banking: Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, BSB: 064 013, Account number: 1000 6800
These agencies have a proven track record, capacity to deliver, forces on the ground, and public transparency.
God loves cheerful, generous and courageous givers.
Now is the time to act. Go for it!