Please read Matt Glover’s post about the bushfires.
Last night Geoff and I went up to visit our friends Mandy and Marco (and Bek and Adele). They live in Healesville and are rather weary of being on alert. Marco and Adele took Geoff and I up to the back of Hedgend Maze to the high point and the gazebo up there to where some of the locals have been going to keep an eye on what’s happening. I took a few photos on the drive there and a few while we were up at the maze. The burnt stick is one of the cool but charred items that blew in on Saturday.
Despite Melbourne being decidedly cooler than last weekend, fires still burn. The wider region has begun to respond, with Singapore promising the use of helicopters stationed in Queensland, a woman in Paris doing the legwork to track down a missing person in Melbourne and people in Uganda praying for the state of Victoria. (*Yes that was a sad attempt at a too-clever-but-just-bad lead-up but I did think both former facts were fairly interesting, so bear with me…).
My father-in-law Ron, and brother-in-law Mark are currently overseas with a group called Hope Builders, working in Uganda to build houses for widows and orphans in an initiative to build a physical community that will provide mothers and children for each other -ultimately shared care and new families.
I finally managed to track down the blog of ‘Team 3’ which includes a bunch of people from YVV.
It would great if you could check out what they’re doing, laugh at the fact that Ron had to preach as soon as someone mentioned he was ‘a pastor’ (Preaching not his usual role, although I’m sure he did fine!) and pray for the team.
But jumping back to Victoria now…
I was listening to the Radio (774) yesterday and the presenter was beautifully tactful suggesting that perhaps we have something to learn in looking at how the community pulls together in a time of disaster. This community spirit – as it’s bizzarely called, is something that should occur more readily in the bland old every-day. I couldn’t agree more. There is a striking similarity and gaping difference here in the response to the fires to the physical implementation of building houses in Uganda. I think that places like Uganda are already close, if not there in getting the community thing right but simply lack resources where the disaster of poverty is the every-day – hence the need for outside intervention, or at least our assumed response of intervention. Where as our over abundance of resouces in the Western world needs the disaster to tease out the community. This I am sure is none-to an original thought.
Western World: Resources + Disaster (Fire) = Community
Third World: Community + Disaster (Poverty) = Resources
Naturally… the Third world equation does not always eventuate and here lies the rather huge problem that faces our world. Despite this, I think the Third world might be coming from a better position initally in at least they have community on the correct side of the equation. In many ways, Australia is very, very poor – as is my equation theory, but in the true spirit of being married to a guy who really likes his theories, this is mine.
Fires continue to burn around the state of Victoria and we still have friends in threatened areas. As many of you know, the town of Marysville has been almost entirely burnt. The photo to the left is the aftermath of fire at the ESA campsite – where I have been and led on several camps.
If you can offer help in any way the ABC website has a link of networks to those such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army.