The bushfires across Victoria are still burning. The threats of more dangerous fires are low, but as they start to reduce, the reality of the situation starts to hit.
The official death toll is 181 but police now say as many as 300 people may have lost their lives.
In the town of Marysville, a town of just 500 people, police suspect as many as 100 have perished. That is a fifth of the town! How do you begin to consider this, let alone begin the recovery process?
Well, Salvos are out in full force doing the thing they do best. We are serving and listening and giving and supporting...all the things that flow through our veins and pour out to extinguish crisis. But we will need more than our natural inclinations to get through this one. Horrific stories of loss, and the scars of bush fires leave us with a task much bigger than ourselves. And while the immediate response signifies our 'Army', 'Salvation' will be our mark of recovery and healing. We need prayer, and a tonne of it.
So anyway, while the fires were raging on Sunday, taking with it 181 lives, I was attending the Ambassadors of Holiness welcome meeting. The cadets sang the most wonderful sessional song which I love and will want to hear again and again. But I can't help but think that our enemy was hoping to pervert the session's mission and passion. You see the chorus of the song cries "keep the fire burning". My husband later commented, "do you think that was in poor taste?" Well, that is satan's attack, but here comes the counter attack. While the enemy comes to steal, our saviour comes to bring life. So while satan attempts to take both lives, and the passion of the Ambassadors of Holiness, I suggest they should bring life. I encourage every cadet to bring salvation to the lives of 181 people, or more throughout the coming years. We will win.
In the meantime, please be praying for the families that have been affected. I know it seems cliché, but do it anyway please!
Hope to have happier times next week,