News Story

Gold Coast Saints Invite Local Community to "Come and Help"

On 22 February 2020, more than 200 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (diocese) were accompanied by members of the community and The Church on the Rock from Coffs Harbour to “Come and Help” those in need. Forming a convoy of cars, four-wheel drives and twelve mini buses (donated by Volunteering Gold Coast and the Nerang PCYC) stocked with food, water, first aid kits, tools, donated water tanks and earth moving equipment, the group of adults, youth and children all participated to help out those in need in the small community of Nymboida in Northern New South Wales.


In November 2019, Nymboida (a community of less than 300 people) was thrown into chaos and despair as the town and surrounding bushland were ravaged by unimaginable bushfires. Raging through the bush at over 80km per hour, more than 125,000 acres were burned in a matter of hours, leaving over 400,000 acres of bushland and 97 homes in the Nymboida area burned beyond recognition. Most agree it was a miracle no lives were lost. One local resident stayed to save his home, but realising it was too late, he escaped by jumping into his dam staying submerged with only his nose above water to breathe until the fire passed.

Following the aftermath ,members from the Grafton Branch (congragation) saw the need for help. This effort grew to include fundraising activities to help feed the growing number of firefighters recruited to help fight the blaze. Members from the Gold Coast Australia Stake (diocese) took the seven hour round trip to Nymboida twice to help locals clear the remains of their homes so they could begin the rebuilding process.

When the locals heard of this initiative, they were overjoyed. They anxiously awaited the arrival of the group they had affectionately dubbed as “God’s Army." Fiona Passmore from Nymboida organised the locals, creating a register of work that was needed, collating a list of properties and the number of people required at each property. After a long day of work, cleaning and repairing, approximately six months of work was accomplished. 

In the bible we read the petition to "Love Your Neighbour." Now the residents of Nymboida have an extended neighbourhood of friends spanning hundreds of kilometres thanks to this simple initiative to "Come and Help."

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.