Tony Cummings reports on the Church response to the bushfires sweeping Australia
Australia's churches have been responding to the cataclysmic bushfires
across the nation.
In response to the unprecedented and ongoing devastation caused by the Australian bushfires over the last several months, Hillsong Church has organised a Global Bushfire Appeal. 100% of giving will go towards assisting volunteer firefighters across the country and supporting families directly affected by the fires. In a later deleted tweet, Senior Pastor Brian Houston announced the church had raised more than one million Australian dollars for the appeal.
Melbourne's Planetshakers Church invited its members to assist victims of the bushfires with a donation. The congregation responded, offering $252,875.89 for relief efforts through Empower, the community service arm of Planetshakers Church. All of the money collected has been forwarded to the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army, Country Fire Victoria and ACC Bushfire Assist fund.
Said Planetshakers' Senior Pastor Russell Evans, "In the face of such a catastrophe, it's inspiring to see so many individuals standing up and being generous. I'm thrilled with the love and financial support members of Planetshakers Church have contributed during this crisis."
International response to the bushfire crisis has also been significant. The Billy Graham Rapid Response team have deployed two groups of crisis-trained chaplains from the USA, Canada and the UK to Victoria and New South Wales. Also, Hillsong's worship leader and songwriter Brooke Ligertwood from Hillsong Los Angeles said, "As Hillsong Los Angeles we get the great honour of being a part of a global church. Part of that honour means supporting our church across the world when disaster hits. As a church we're praying for Australia in the midst of the horrible fires that are happening across the country."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.