The editor asked Tim Anderson, Vicar of Healesville-Yarra Glen, an EFAC parish affected by the Victorian Bushfires earlier this year, how things were going a few months down the track. This is Tim’s email reply:

At Healesville and Yarra Glen we are continuing to see God's blessing through the generosity of others.

- We have donations totaling $53,000 to support youth ministry in the parish from the Sydney Diocese and from St Matthew's West Pennant Hills;
- we have had a number of guest preachers from St Paul's Castle Hill and encouragement and support as we think about embarking on youth ministry;
- we have had teams from Barabool Hills Baptist church, Glen Waverly Anglican Church, and St Matthew's Prahran send up working parties;
- St Matthew's has bought and stocked a freezer for us with casseroles to give away, Glen Waverly has supported our play group, many individuals, churches and the Melbourne Anglican Foundation have given us money so we can directly support bushfire survivors.
- Christians in the Media have given us free copies of the "Introducing God" book to give away.
- God has raised up from within the parish an able administrative assistant who is receiving some funding from the Melbourne Anglican Foundation. This has been an important step in allowing me to have good energy for ministry of the word.
We are grateful to God for all the blessings he has lavished on us.

- Pray for us that we would find and appoint the right youth worker.
- Pray that members of the parish would own this ministry and generously support it.
- Pray that church members would be impacted by the fine Christian witness they are seeing in others.
- Pray that I might be a godly leader and make time for family, Christian reading and prayer.

I don't think it should take a newsworthy tragedy to mobilise the partnering of poorly resourced ministries by well resourced ones. There are well trained and passionate Christians seeking to serve the Lord in many difficult situations. Maybe partnerships could be formed that were far more widespread than merely those brought about by a natural disaster, much and all as I am extremely grateful for the latter.
Editor’s note: What a great story of EFAC Australia partnership! Perhaps your parish is in a position to actively support and encourage another somewhere in Australia. Drop us an email and we can certainly give you a few suggestions.