The people of the Shoalhaven district, nearly 300km south of Sydney are feeling very cut-off by the bush-fires which still rage there.
The Rev Geoff Deutscher is rector of the parish of Milton which takes in a string of beachside holiday resorts and farming hamlets from Sussex Inlet to the regional centre of Ulladulla.
"We are pretty isolated. The Princes Highway is still closed up to Nowra because of the fire at Sussex Inlet," he said. "We can't go anywhere so there is little we can do." That fire is now burning south of Sussex Inlet near the town of Manyana. Another fire is also burning south of Ulladulla and the local church's Anglicare emergency team is on stand-by in case there are evacuations.
Mr Deutscher has also been unable to contact his colleague, the Rev Phillip Oliver who is the minister at St Mark's, Sussex Inlet. "We can't get to Sussex Inlet because the road is cut," he said. "The phone lines have also been down and there is no power there. Sussex Inlet has been very badly hit and it must be very traumatic for them."
Mr Deutscher asked for prayer for those affected, especially the who lost homes at Sussex Inlet. Newspapers are reporting that at least five families have lost their homes.
However Mr Deutscher is thankful that the annual beach missions have not been significantly affected, nor has a new coffee shop outreach that is being run by a team from Melbourne at St Martin's, Ulladulla.
"A few beach mission team members have been able to get through from Sydney but the missions are still operating," he said. Neverthless Mr Deutscher has canned his holiday plans, saying it is unlikely that the fires will allow his family to make their annual trip to the CMS Summer School to be held at Katoomba next week.
Article from: Anglican Media Sydney