This reflection was written by Linnah Hahn.  Linnah is the Director of Baptist Women to Women and the Missions and Community Ministry Leader at Hawkesbury Valley Baptist Church

The HMA’s[1] Bilpin Bushfire Relief team has a regular ministry of presence; we are blessed in the Hawkesbury to have trained and accredited chaplains and pastoral carers. They are making themselves available and present at meetings and events at Colo, St Albans and Bilpin, the communities most affected by Bushfire in the Hawkesbury.

Council asked the churches to be involved in trying to care for our communities. They contacted us when a woman’s overseas children called them to say that their mother was in strife.  These children had reported to council that their mother (Lady M) had been spoken to by a nice woman in a purple vest, and that Lady M needed some help.  Could we please do something about it?

This is where the miracles of God through the efforts of church begin to show themselves.

I spoke with Phil E who said that the local coordinator of purple vest clad Chaplaincy Australia would know who made contact with Lady M. The leader spoke to her people.  One chaplain had exchanged numbers with Lady M.  The Council contact was relieved to know the chaplain would make further contact with Lady M.

Lady Chaplain connected with Lady M and discovered that her strife includes an inability to pay a significant bill for re-establishing the electricity infrastructure on her property.

Mid-January, the Baptist Church put out a call for donations for Bushfire Recovery and Relief and the Baptist community was quite generous.  We are blessed through our church to have access to these Relief funds.

Through these connections, Lady M’s power infrastructure bill will be paid, and she will not have to worry about that particular debt.  Meanwhile, the chaplain continues to connect with Lady M, listening to and accompanying her as she works through her own relief and recovery.

This is one of the more dramatic stories thus far of the team operating out of the combined churches to care for those who have gone through this trauma.  Recovery is an ongoing process.  As the churches of the Hawkesbury, we are committed to doing what we can to care for those who have been affected.

Please keep in prayer the HMA Bushfire Relief Team that we can that we can miraculously connect with those who we can help.

As Isaiah 40:29-31 says,

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.



[1] Hawkesbury Ministerial Association