The new financial year has begun and with it comes two huge changes for Australian Mercy, both of which will have a significant impact on our work and ministry in the coming 12 months. These changes are the closure of RescueNet Australia and the Nowra Community Store.
Earlier this year, the Australian management team of RescueNet decided to disband its Australian operation and instead to deploy and train as an extension of Rescuenet’s European and US operations. This move makes a lot of sense as Australian team numbers had dwindled over the past few years, and realigning in this way takes a lot of administrative pressure off of the remaining small team and better focuses them on the actual work of disaster relief. RescueNet Australia will have no formal incorporation or structure here in Australia and has ceased to be part of Australian Mercy. Australian Mercy is still committed to serving people who are caught up in disasters and will continue to support the work of RescueNet International and other emergency relief opportunities through the setting up of a focussed fund through which it can assist with relief emergencies as they arise.
We have been thrilled to be part of the RescueNet journey over the past 20 years and look forward to our continued relationship with RescueNet International. We want to take this opportunity to thank Mark Cockburn, (who retired from RescueNet two years ago), and the RescueNet team, who over the past 20 years have deployed into very dangerous and unstable situations in order to preserve life and give aid to those who are experiencing the worst day of their lives. We thank God for your dedication and courage and wish you all the best for the future.
Nowra Community Store
On June 30, 2021, Australian Mercy’s community store in Nowra closed its doors for the last time. After many years of faithful service, Helen Esdaille has stepped back from leading the project, and after months of seeking a replacement management team and other options, the decision was made to close the store. However, at the last minute, there has been an expression of interest, so it is possible that the store may reopen again sometime in the future but it will no longer be part of Australian Mercy’s family of ministries.
We want to thank Helen and her team who have faithfully worked long and arduous hours reaching out to the families of Nowra and Bomaderry who have sought their help through the ministry of the Community Store. Helen who has managed the ministry for all of these years has been an amazing manager, encourager and friend to many. We wish Helen and her husband David all the best as they journey on into the next part of their lives.