The Christian Reformed Church of Australia (CRCA) has many congregations in the Melbourne area, where wildfires burned out of control the first week of February.
Jonathan Vandenberg, who works at the denomination’s resource center, said that in early February they had three days in a row of 44 C temperatures (111 F), when the area faced its worst wildfires ever.
In outer regions of Melbourne and rural Victoria, where many CRCA churches are located, fires spread so fast and hot that whole towns were destroyed and more than 200 people died. More than 700 homes, schools, and businesses were destroyed.
“The CRCA has only a few members who have lost homes and property. To our knowledge, none of its members perished in the blazes,” Vandenberg reported.
“The CRCA churches in the areas close to the fires are meeting with other local churches and local government to organize the churches’ relief work and community care,” Vandenberg said. “Many CRCA congregations throughout the Australia are contributing special offerings for the relief that is going to be distributed via the CRCA diaconal relief team.”