News Release

Bringing Relief to Huonville


When recent fires threatened homes and property in small townships and communities of southern Tasmania, those seeking help were advised by authorities to leave their homes for safety.

They were sent to the town of Huonville where an evacuation centre had been organised.

With thick smoke covering the entire Huon Valley, community members and those of the Glen Huon Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sought ways to prevent loss of life and minimise property damage.

Elder Robert and Sister Roslyn Goddard, missionaries assigned to the Glen Huon Ward began by calling people to check on their welfare.

Seeking heavenly direction, the Goddard’s prayed to know what more they could do to help the community.

“Before we even finished our prayer,” recounts Elder Goddard, “local Salvation Army Minister Major Steve Miller called asking if we could help them at the Evacuation Centre.”

They began immediately by helping cook and provide meals for more than 500 people at a time. They did this for 11 days straight until the fire had been contained and authorities closed the evacuation centre so people could return to their homes.

Sister Goddard said, “Our experience working alongside the Salvation Army members was incredibly humbling. They were so genuine in helping people in need without any personal judgement.”

“We wore the Salvation Army Volunteer aprons and were told by them to wear our missionary badges so people could recognise who we represented."

She continues, “Their team leaders would give recognition to us as Church missionaries whenever accolades of thanks were given to them.”

Due to the Glen Huon chapel being under threat of the fire, there were no services held for two weeks.

Major Miller invited the missionaries to a Salvation Army prayer meeting to be held on a Sunday afternoon.

“We all believe in the same God even though we may worship Him differently,” said Major Miller.

Elder Goddard recounts, “We were invited to offer prayers on behalf of those that were fighting the fires, those that were affected by the fires, to ask God to send rain and make the weather favourable for fire crews to control the fires.”

Members of the community were also praying with the same desires. Within 24 hours the weather changed, winds subsided and rain fell. 

“This was the miracle people had been praying for," confirmed Elder Goddard. “The Lord hears the prayers of all His children no matter their faith or circumstances.”

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