The Pacific Area presidency released a statement of gratitude at the end of the day on Jan. 5, thanking all those who participated in a national fast for Australia’s relief from ongoing fires and drought.
“As this Fast Sunday draws to an end for the Pacific Area we are heartened as an Area Presidency to hear reports of just how many members joined with the Pacific Area Presidency in dedicating a portion of their fast to petition the Lord for relief from the bushfires and drought conditions in Australia,” the statement read. “We thank all who participated for this physical demonstration of their faith in Christ and their love and compassion for their fellow Saints.”
Although weather conditions were reported to have improved on Monday, Jan. 6, as winds calmed and rain fell in areas near New South Wales and along the east coast near Sydney and Melbourne, a report from The Guardian noted that the danger of the fires is far from over. Fires are expected to continue to burn for weeks to come as weather patterns continue to change.
According to a Monday morning report by Time, the wildfires have burned a total area about twice the size of the state of Maryland in the U.S., and more than 135 bushfires continue to burn, with 70 of them uncontained.
In Canberra, Australia’s capital city, the air quality Monday morning was the worst of any major city in the world due to the smoke and pollution caused by the fires.
“In temporal terms, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through the generosity of its members, will continue to respond to the needs of local communities and Saints alike,” the Pacific Area presidency said in their statement Sunday evening. “Comparatively, as limited as our help might be, we gladly step forward with assistance to make a difference for good, for that is who we are as Latter-day Saints and what we do.”
To Australian Saints, the area presidency expressed hope that the prayers and fasting of members from around the world will help give them strength and ease their burden in the face of “unprecedented conditions of fire and drought.”
The presidency concluded, “Please know that our prayers will continue on your behalf.”
Read the full Pacific Area statement.