While deadly floodwaters in eastern Australia have receded and the clean-up continues in the wake of the tragedy, praying for affected communities is more important than ever, say Lutheran church leaders in some of the worst-hit areas.

At least 22 people have died as a result of the floods in south-east Queensland, Brisbane, northern New South Wales and Sydney, while the cost of the damage is expected to be billions of dollars.

Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate from their homes and at least two people died near Gympie, about 170 kilometres north of Brisbane. However, Pastor David Seligmann of Zion Lutheran Church there believes each of his members is safe and none has lost their homes, something he describes as ‘an amazing blessing’.

But, he says, some business owners are doing it tough due to flood damage.

He encourages members of the LCANZ to keep praying for the people of Gympie and everyone affected by the floods: ‘Praying is absolutely the most important thing people can do.’

Like Gympie, the town of Lismore in northern New South Wales has been one of the worst-hit by the disaster. But Good News Lutheran Church president Glenn Faulkner said thankfully none of the congregation’s members has suffered significant losses.

The church property, located on higher ground at Lismore East, is unscathed, and Glenn said the congregation was keen to rent out the building for much-needed office space for the town. ‘We’re just so grateful [that our members are okay] – this flood was two metres higher than the highest ever’, Glenn said. ‘Everyone has gone and done their bit to help out. Yes, prayers would most certainly be appreciated.’

Members of the church are also invited to donate to help Lutherans and their communities (tax-deductible) via the LCA Disaster & Welfare Fund at www.lcadonate.online/lca-disaster-welfare-fund

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