In the Australian city of Melbourne, “the sun and moon have had an orange tint to them, and the skies aren’t quite the azure blue we like to sing about,” minister Brett Christensen said.
Smoke from brush fires that began in early February in the state of Victoria continues to clog the air of southern Australia. The fires have claimed more than 180 lives and left about 7,000 homeless, according to news reports.
Members of South East church, where Christensen preaches, were ready to evacuate their homes as the flames approached.
“Fires reached within sight of some members, but were not close enough to pose a danger,” the minister said.
The Australian government, the Red Cross and insurance companies are providing the bulk of support to people who lost their homes, Christensen said.
“But reports estimate that about a quarter of the more than 1,800 houses which were lost were not insured,” he said, “and many who want to start clearing their property of the debris are being held up by red tape — even if they are insured.”
The South East church has identified many families in its community that suffered loss and has set up a fund to help, coordinated by church member Jules Cseszko.
“This is a huge opportunity for good deeds to meet pressing needs, like Titus 3 tells us,” Cseszko said, referencing scriptures that urge believers to be “ready to do whatever is good.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Jules Cseszko at [email protected]