The Salvation Army in New Zealand has sent an emergency response team to New South Wales to support evacuees and firefighters battling the Australian bush fires.
A team of eight Salvation Army staff left New Zealand on the weekend of February 4-5 bound for Perth. From there, they were deployed to Narooma, six hours south of Sydney, with a trailer full of aid supplies to assist residents evacuated from the coastal town in New South Wales, along with firefighters.
The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga & Samoa Territorial Chief Secretary Colonel Suzanne Fincham said the Salvation Army in New Zealand has been in discussion with its Australian counterparts since the end of 2019 about helping during the bush fire season.
“With the situation escalating we received the call late last week requesting help. We have sent officers and staff who will offer support to the people who have lost so much in these fires, and the firefighters who are putting themselves at risk to protect lives and property,” Colonel Fincham said.
The team join Salvationists from Australia who are responding both at a state and national level, working alongside emergency services.
As the bushfire crisis continues to escalate across Australia, New Zealand Salvation Army General Brian Peddle has called for prayer:
"Pray for those brave souls risking their lives to battle the fires. Pray for those whose homes have been destroyed. Pray for those who have been evacuated and need to find temporary accommodation. Pray for The Salvation Army as they seek to respond in the best way possible. Pray for the Government of Australia – for wisdom and compassion as it finds the best way to respond to the current crisis and put plans in place for the necessary recovery work.’.