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One Year On From Australia’s Darkest Summer

This time last year, Australia was facing its most devastating bushfire season. Entire regions across the country were engulfed in raging flames that destroyed thousands of homes, burnt millions of hectares of land, and killed and injured many.

Our Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Response team was deployed from September 2019 until March 2020.

We had over 400 volunteers on the ground across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria who engaged in cleaning properties, debris removal, ash shifting and salvaging personal belongings. Our volunteers worked tirelessly to provide devastated homeowners with support and hope in Jesus’ Name.

One of our deployments was to Batemans Bay, New South Wales. Chrissy Guinery, a Batemans Bay resident (and author of When The Smoke Clears) who survived the bushfires shared this touching message with our team:

“Once the fire started, it just raged – completely consuming everything in its path. If you saw my daughter’s home that was lost, you would never have dreamed that a fire would come in there and wipe it out.

We’ve already got sprinklers back on our roof! Hopefully we won’t need it, but as the warm weather peaks, we are now starting to remember what we went through and we’ve never been more conscious of what fire can do.

COVID-19 came too soon for us. It seemed like a roller-coaster ride – in the middle of cleaning properties and rebuilding, everyone had to go home, and some didn’t even have homes to go to. We were just on standstill.

After sitting in limbo for a few months, the town is now starting to pick itself up again. We can watch our friends rebuild their homes, and my daughter and her family (featured right) are also starting to settle which is just beautiful.

Without all the support we had, we would still be in a big mess. Samaritan’s Purse was here with volunteers from all over the world to lend a helping hand. Watching them was like watching little ants scurrying off to each block, working for hours every day.

Looking at everything, you’d think where do we start? But Samaritan’s Purse brought this energy and hope with them.

The teams understood our needs and got to work, clearing blocks, fallen trees and burnt debris. It was healing to encounter such loving kindness from strangers and see people coming together in a time of need.

Thank you – these are two very small words, but they carry so much.

We couldn’t have done it without Samaritan’s Purse. I’m stoked this organisation exists and that they continue to serve with hearts of gold and the peace of God.”

As another warm summer rolls around for Australia with potential upcoming disasters, Samaritan’s Purse is preparing to respond.

We are constantly monitoring weather conditions and our volunteers stand ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

By giving to Australian Disaster Relief, you can help us provide emergency relief throughout Australia during disasters such as bushfires, floods, drought and other natural disasters.

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