Thank you to all who have responded so generously to the appeal so far.
As the news stories and images of the devastation disappear from our screens, please continue to pray for those who face a long road to rebuild their homes and lives.
More donations are urgently needed, please donate here or by cheque payable to Careworks NSW and forwarded to PO Box 3561, Rhodes NSW 2138
For EFT transfers please contact Taksan on firstname.lastname@example.org or 8719 2630
All donations over $2 are tax deductible
Please share these updates with your communities:
From Pastor Rob Allen, Northern Rivers Church of Christ
Due to your kind and generous support we have been able to bless a number of families and business owners in our community.
The following was a message of appreciation from one of the recipients;
'We wish to thank you and the Northern Rivers Church of Christ for your help in our trying times. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts. People like you and your group help renew faith in the human race and show that there are caring and helpful people out there still. Hopefully in the future when we get back on our feet, we can help your group and help others in need like you do. Thank you.'
M & C
We so appreciate you're continued prayers and support.
Ps Rob Allen
From Fiona Hancock – Disaster Recovery Chaplain and Elder, Northern Rivers Church of Christ
I've worked several shifts this week as a Disaster Recovery Chaplain at the Lismore Recovery Centre. The chaplaincy role is responsive to needs - mostly listening to stories of trauma and loss from people who were already disadvantaged in some way; affirming the resilience of some and referring on to Mental Health staff many who seem in need of long term follow up; sometimes keeping small children occupied, so their stressed mothers can focus on getting the help they need; being a listening ear for local staff and volunteers who are struggling with the enormity of needs, with some also feeling survivors' guilt.
Chaplains have had many referrals from staff and volunteers at the Centre - Office of Emergency Management Disaster Welfare staff; Rural Financial Service; Rural Adversity Mental Health; Local Land Services for land erosion, disposal of dead livestock, animal welfare (they like returning livestock found safe on down river properties to their rightful homes); Legal Aid for issues with tenancy, insurance, etc; Fire Rescue, EPA & Safe Work for hazmat and waste & damaged infrastructure; Small Business advice/support. For people who don't qualify for Disaster Welfare financial support, such as Uni students from overseas, there is a team from The Salvation Army who provide vouchers for groceries, clothing, etc.
Now that the adrenalin of the crisis and immediate aftermath has worn off, the mood of most people coming for assistance is sombre; folks say they are exhausted and overwhelmed. They express gratitude for the smallest kindness. Some houses, caravan park cabins and permanent vans have been condemned, people who thought they would be moving back home cannot do so. For those who have homes, there is a battle to get rid of pervasive mould on everything that could be salvaged. The hospital is busy with people with respiratory infections and wounds infected from contact with flood mud.
There have been gifted moments of beautiful faith amongst the general heartache - a dirty, bearded, long haired, elderly man I sat down next to who grabbed my hand and urgently demanded, "Pray with me please!" The grubby saint then prayed a most eloquently worded heartfelt prayer for those suffering from flood damage. His own needs were not mentioned in his prayer, but he allowed me to pray for him later.
From Pastor John Latta, Tweed Heads Church of Christ
This is Tweed Church of Christ's effort for victims of the flood. Joined by volunteers from the community to clear the river mud. Also we fed clothed and provided groceries and toiletries. With the amazing help of companies and individuals, we also provided linen, pillows, bedding, towels and carpet. Emotional Spiritual and physical support as well to the hurting in our community by so many wonderful compassionate locals who joined us in the task. Well done to all who gave, clothes, food carpet and hands on help.
From Karen Sainsbury, Tweed Heads Church of Christ
We have been helping residents of 8 Lifestyle (caravan) Parks plus other residents of Chinderah. Many are elderly, on welfare due to disabilities or low income earnings. So what they have was in their vans. Often cars were destroyed as well as it was too late to evacuate when the waters rose.
We have approx. 110 people listed that sort some help from our "Mud Army" - consisting of our own church members, other churches in the area or members of the public who saw it on social media and responded. In all we have listed approx. 170 volunteers.
Donations of clothing, linen, carpets, food, toiletries, water, meals and a daily sausage sizzle lunch for the first week came from numerours businesses, facebook connect groups, and a generous public. It was a huge community outpouring.
• That connections made with our church into this community will continue to flourish - we have one 90 year old lady we helped who is now regularly attending our church. We pray more will join us.
• That as a church we take this opportunity to respond to God's will and serve by sharing what we have, and the Word of God with them.
• That the Sports Centre we own and base ourselves in becomes known as a haven in this community - full of people that genuinely care, who will listen and are willing to help the marginalised.
• That God gives us clear direction of how we proceed as a church after this.
• Those that need healing mentally, come to us to seek help and find a fresh hope.
I have been overwhelmed and awed at the response from the Facebook article my friend, Julie posted.
It started with two lads turning up and water blasting mud away from the drive. Their names were Elijah and Josh from the Tweed Church of Christ. Since then the parishioners have visited me every day with food and offers of help.
Thank you one and all – I am so very grateful!
Janette, Terrace Street Chinderah
I cannot find the words to show you how much the help I received at the beginning of this week meant to me . As a Christian I sometimes have to wonder about where we are at .This week I found out. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You not only restored my home but my faith too. God bless you all
Sylvia, Hacienda River Front