ADRA supports local church efforts to aid bushfire victims

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Volunteers in Bairnsdale loading water into trucks.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)—together with Seventh-day Adventist churches and volunteers—is responding to the bushfires that have been ravaging Australia since November of last year. Dozens of lives have been lost and hundreds of homes burned to the ground.

With funding and support from ADRA, churches around the country have provided food and accommodation to people affected by the bushfires, as well as supporting the firefighters.

In Victoria, Bairnsdale Church has been acting as the main hub to coordinate ADRA activities in south-east Victoria including the packing and distribution of 80 hygiene kits, the provision of multiple generators and food for livestock.

More than 80 hygiene packs were assembled by the volunteers.

“This past week I have witnessed so much devastation and suffering, to the point where you struggle to find a glimpse of hope,” said Rebecca Auriant, Conference ADRA Director for Victoria. “But then you see the country town of Bairnsdale come together to push through and support one another, with all the Victorian Adventist churches also responding, and you find hope.”

In NSW, churches like Bega, Dorrigo and Forster Tuncurry have been accommodating people who needed to evacuate. Up to 35 people and 15 animals had found shelter in Bega Church at the time of writing.

In Cobargo, six members of the local church have lost their homes. Pastor Dragan Kazimir of Cobargo Church said, “I have never seen anything like it. Everything is lost.”

So far, 30 Adventist individuals and families have received $500 payments from ADRA to help assist in the immediate aftermath of the fires.

While donations are crucial for the work to continue, Ms Auriant is also asking for prayers. “Please continue to pray for rain and the end to this suffering, as so many people have lost everything,” she said.

If you would like to help the bushfire efforts, the best way is by volunteering your time or donating money. To donate visit bit.ly/ADRAbushfires or call 1800 242 372.