Since Australia’s fire season began in September 2019, the country has been devastated by massive blazes caused by drought, heat, wind, and dry lightning. More than 14 million acres have burned, resulting in the loss of over 1,400 homes and 17 tragic deaths. In response to the situation, the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a letter calling for a fast from the Australian people. Others are of course invited to join in.
The statement from the Presidency, which includes Elders Ian S. Ardern, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, and Elder K. Brett Nattress, reads as follows:
As an Area Presidency we have been monitoring closely the devastating fires and the dreadful drought conditions in Australia, which show no signs of abating. Our Welfare and Self-Reliance teams have been monitoring the situation and have given excellent guidance to our local ecclesiastical leaders and the Area Presidency, for which we are grateful.
The Church has already responded to the two emergencies by donating thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid and stands ready to donate further funds. Local members have also responded by donating hundreds of hours of service to their fellow citizens.
With all that is unfolding in much of Australia, we invite the Australian Saints to unite with one another and the Pacific Area Presidency on the first Fast Sunday in January 2020 (5 January) and dedicate a portion of their fast to petition the Lord for relief from the bushfires and drought conditions.
Should members wish to donate funds to be used to offer relief to those impacted by the fires and drought then such can be done by using the Church donation slip and noting the amount beside the category Humanitarian Aid.
Please know the prayers of the Area Presidency have been, and will continue on behalf of your nation during this challenging time.
Pacific Area Presidency