What would you take if you had to evacuate?

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Home > Media > News > What would you take if you had to evacuate?
What would you take if you had to evacuate?

By Ben Smith, Director of Life, Marriage and Family

The geographical extent and the protracted time scale of Tasmania’s summer bushfires has given us all cause for concern. We feel for those communities that have had to endure the impact of fires. We salute the brave firefighters from both Tasmania and elsewhere who have sacrificed their time and put their lives at risk.

The level of smoke produced by the fires has been phenomenal and at times has been disconcerting for all my family. I have woken up at night to check whether a fire was burning near our house located close to bushland. The general sense of vulnerability that this fire season has created in my family has led my wife and I to discuss the real possibility of having to evacuate if things got really bad. We have realised that staying and fighting is not an option for us. Leaving our house and taking with us what is of real value has been at the forefront of our thinking. Ensuring that our children are safe comes first, then the safety of identity documents, photo albums, family heir looms that are reasonably portable, a treasured prayer book or crucifix, a few items of clothing that could fit in some bags are all on our critical list. What would you take if you had to evacuate your house in a hurry? Most of the items I mentioned don’t have much of a book value but have a significant intangible value.

The question that has come in to my mind recently is how much time and energy do we invest in the things that matter most. It is very easy in the context of family life to get very busy with work, social occasions and extra curricula activities. We can struggle to find time to eat together, waste time with our spouse or children or even to pray together. These activities help grow the quality and strength of our relationships with each other and with God. What is something specific that you can do in your family in 2019 to create some space for growth?

Our thoughts and prayers are with those facing the threat, or recovering from the impact, of bushfires. Despite the devastation that has arisen from these fires, it does give all of us time to pause and think about what we value in our own lives and what we can do to treasure and enrich this value.

Bushfires continue to threaten lives and properties in Tasmania. As events unfold, we invite you to join us in praying for the fires to come under control and the threat to cease:

Dear Father,

We trust in your providence and your love for us.

We pray that you would have mercy on the people of Tasmania who are threatened by bushfires at this time.
At Jesus’ command the seas were calmed. We ask you to please calm these fires and give favourable weather conditions that the fires would be brought under control and no more lives or properties threatened.

We pray for all those who are fighting the fires; keep them safe and bless their efforts.

We pray especially for those who have suffered loss and are continuing to suffer due to the fires. We ask that you provide for them, bless them, and give them hope for the future.

We ask all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.