I was speaking recently to some people helping bushfire victims in northern New South Wales.
They were part of the Anglicare disaster recovery response, which helps in the immediate aftermath of fires, floods and the like.
Several religious organisations like the salvos help in this effort and they do a valuable job in meeting people at evacuation centres, providing a hot meal, bedding and clothes-as well as a hot shower and a listening ear.
They made the point that beyond what they were doing, that it is a long road ahead – it is going to take years for people to recover from this … emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
I thank God for the people who help in the immediate aftermath of these fires but we also need to pray for, and give thanks for, the faith groups and the local churches which are helping people get back on their feet for the long run.
I’m Russell Powell for the NSW Council of Churches