Our ‘Disaster Relief Fund’ is available for any church in our Association who is assisting people in need because of a disaster. Our Baptist churches across NSW and the ACT have given generously in response to the effects of prolonged drought and destructive bushfires. Last year, over $320,000.00 was donated to our Bushfire Relief Fund, allowing 16 different churches to access funding and directly assist their communities. Now, an appeal has been launched for the recent devastating floods across NSW. We have already seen such generosity across our movement towards this cause.
Kiama Baptist dedicated this year’s Easter Sunday service giving to our fund. And at Gordon Baptist, a woman in her nineties (named Mrs Law) is not letting her elderly age stop her from doing good deeds. After learning how many houses were washed away by the floods, with victims having to be evacuated, Mrs Law hoped something could be done to help. Recalling last year when an English veteran in his 90s did a charity walk for the pandemic, she decided to do likewise. Though 95 years old this year, she still does circle-walking (using her walker) in her garden every day for exercise – and thinks that she can manage to walk for 20 circles each day for a week as her target. “I would like to encourage brothers and sisters to make an effort to care for those in need in accordance with the Bible,” she says. This great idea has even been supported by family and friends from overseas – and at the time of writing, we have had $over $12,000.00 donated through her appeal alone!
“It is such a beautiful display of generosity that will be greatly appreciated in flood areas,” says Kelly Crawford (our Public Engagement Coordinator). “We have spoken to pastors on the ground in several locations and they are already heavily involved in clean up and community support efforts.”
Linnah Hahn is our recently-appointed Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Hawkesbury Valley Area. It is her desire to connect volunteers with the needs that aren’t being met by other agencies as well as to identify people that may be falling through the cracks. She has made valuable connections with local agencies, who are beginning to refer people to her for support and assistance. In addition to meeting material needs, Linnah desires to provide a ministry of presence listening to people’s stories and letting them know that those stories are valuable and that people care. Linnah says a resident of the Wilberforce Caravan Park (which was destroyed in the flood) lost everything he couldn’t put in his car. “A friend donated a storage unit, another contact had a bedroom set, and a contact from the Dural Men’s shed had appliances available. Others lent labour, and someone lent a trailer. Through this network of communities, we were able to outfit his new rental nearly completely,” she explains. “As I left, I asked if I could pray for him. I prayed that Jesus would continue to show him love through provision, and that he would know deep down in his soul that Jesus loves him. His voice was choked as we parted.
We thank everyone who has donated to our Disaster Relief Fund. If you would like to donate and enable local church response where it’s needed most, click here.