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Providing sanctuary

Captain Karen McIver, a corps officer in Carlton (Tas.), talk about the experiences of Salvationists and staff during last month’s bushfires.

The fires came within one kilometre of the corps; I was on holidays and the Sorell Council contacted me with information. I rang a member of the corps and together we thought it was best to take the emergency trailer up to Sorell. By doing this we were the first team to respond; ready and waiting.

I had come back to Tasmania on a Sunday morning, at 7 a.m., and gone straight to Sorell. Before I could take it in I was asked to assist a family. This became a pattern. In the early days I certainly knew I was there for families showing up the centre in Sorell, and also for the council workers. I have a great working relationship with the staff.

I have a woman who comes to the corps and they were still fighting fires on her property; other than her, I had made contact with everyone. Last week, every evening, I was going to Primrose Sands to the RSL (I'm the chaplain) to catch up with the people and on Saturday I conducted a wedding at the RSL.

The corps’ volunteers stepped up and worked hard together. Corps people came along to support as well; I have a fantastic team and I am very proud of each person.

This is just the beginning of the journey. We are already seeing the hand of God, with amazing stories. Please pass on my thanks to the many people from THQ who have been praying for us; it is needed.