Fakaofa Kaio, 22 January 2020
Greetings in Jesus name.
Jesus said, "Love your neighbour, as yourself." Matthew 22:39
The bush fires that have devastated the beautiful continent of Australia are merciless and unrelenting. It is like a wild beast running amok in a supermarket. This fire's span has not been days or weeks. It has been raging and destroying for months. Many human lives have been lost, homes and neighbourhoods turned to ashes. The animal wildlife loss is insurmountable, immeasurable.
Australia is our closest neighbour, both geographically and we have many ties in times of peace and war. We have a real sporting rivalry, in all sporting codes. We bring the best out of each other. But when calamity takes place; when turmoil and disaster come upon either nation; we respond, with aid, assistance, and resources to each other's hour of need.
Our firefighters, and military (Army, Navy) personnel, and many others with the required skill set have done us proud. Aotearoa New Zealand, we have reached out and embraced, and supported our neighbour, Australia. Bravo.
In the Church sphere there is a special relationship between the PCANZ and UCA (Uniting Church of Australia), more than any other of our partner Churches. Apart from Uniting Church ministers and congregations working in the local communities, they are also providing disaster relief chaplaincy which is being coordinated nationally. Their community service agencies are also working locally in effected communities.
Let us continue to keep our neighbour Australia in our prayers.
There are also opportunities for us to support financially. I draw your attention to one - details below.
The Uniting Church have a National Disaster Relief Fund that donations can be sent to, and which donations will be put through for this disaster.
You can make donations through the Assembly website, https://assembly.uca.org.au/
Also, if you wish to make a transfer of funds, please use the following:
National Disaster Relief bank account Bank name: Westpac BSB: 032003 Account number: 269941
Account name: ASM National Disaster