Friday, 13 February 2009

Hillsong Australia active in practical support

Many of us from around the world have watched the devastation of people's lives in Australia due to raging Bush fires. Hillsong church have reached out and become practically involved in helping meet the need. Brilliant! Read this post from Pastor Brian Houston.

An Outpouring of Support: Victoria Bushfire Relief UPDATE from Brian Houston in Sydney.

Hope and faith remain, along with heroic stories and the Aussie spirit, even as the devastating news continues to come from the decimated communities of country Victoria. The bushfires continue to burn as more and more people are coming to terms with the magnitude of this disaster, and the enormity of their loss.

Currently, there are over forty chaplains representing our movement, the Australian Christian Churches, on the ground in some of the worst areas of Melbourne. My hope is to visit them next week, along with the Victorian President of the ACC, Alun Davies, to pray with them, encourage and thank them for their great commitment and response. I am so encouraged by the outpouring of love and support from our church family, and the tireless effort of incredible people lending a hand, and giving of their time and gifts to come alongside.

Last night, the core of Hillsong Church came together at Leadership Vision Night to pray and give of their resources to aid in this crisis. One hundred percent of the finances given last night, donations through the website, as well as a percentage of tithes this weekend are being distributed amongst the Australian Red Cross and Salvation Army to aid in their continued and effective efforts to bring hope, help and life back into the people of Victoria.

Both of these fantastic organizations are playing a major role in the restoration and organized labour of the emergency relief appeal. Both the Red Cross and Salvation Army are on the front lines, offering personal support and assistance to those returning home, ongoing counseling for people in need, temporary accommodation and world-class first aid. They are on the forefront of food and clothing distribution and have set up much needed call centers and blood donation clinics in the affected areas.

Thousands of volunteers are working around the clock at close to thirty relief centers, and continue to be innovative in facilitating the generous love and support of Australians all over the country, who are desperate to reach out and help.

I read an email this week from a volunteer at one of the Salvation Army crisis centres, who spoke about the distinct cross on the front of her uniform. She spoke of the recognition the cross received, and likened her job and that of thousands of other volunteers, as being the hands and feet of Jesus when people need it the most.

Please continue to remember the victims of this tragedy in your prayers, and don’t underestimate the way that God wants to prove Himself faithful in days like these.

Brian Houston

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