outpouring of grace and generosity


The fight is still on to put out the fires and minimize the damage done... The Salvos are out in full force in 12 different locations offering everything they can from provisions to financial help to spiritual comfort... truly God is with us in the outpouring of grace and generosity in these times... the expressions of kindness and empathy - the reminder of the frailty of life... a time to mourn. And a time to remember and be grateful for all that remains. Take some time today to pray for us and to be grateful for all the things we so easily take for granted...

Here is the latest news report from CNN:

The toll from Saturday's inferno has grown day by day. Police in the state of Victoria put the number of deaths from the fires at 181 on Tuesday. Watch the devastation brought to homes »

"We think there will be more deaths," Police Chief Christine Nixon said. "It's a major issue ... that we're finding more bodies as we gain access to locations." Photos: Bushfires leave path of destruction »

But there was hope.

"We don't muck around in this country. It will be back to the same in 18 months," said Ash Phelin, a volunteer worker helping displaced families. "It might not look the same. It'll be a bit burnt. But it'll be back."

The scope and scale of the fire brought Monique Locklier to help her bush mates."Its up the road from where we live," she said. "It's the worst tragedy we've ever seen and I hope we never see it again."iReport.com: 'Thank God we were spared'

Charitable contributions continued to pour into the Salvation Army as Australians were touched by the crisis.

"We're in the midst of this huge financial crisis and people want to give," Maj. Rodney Barnard said. "The Salvation Army has been running an appeal and we've raised in excess of $2 million (Australian)."

The need for humanitarian aid is expected to be great, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd laying out the costs of the fires before Parliament.

In addition to those killed, more than 500 people were injured, nearly 1,000 homes were destroyed, thousands were left homeless and 365,000 hectares (901,935 acres) of the Australian countryside have been burnt black, he said.

GeneralDanielle Strickland