In America, wildfires gripped the state of California. The good news is that for the first time last week, firefighters said that there is progress. Nevertheless, according to them, to get all the fires under control they can only in September. More than 14-thousand firefighters are struggling with the 18-TEW fires across the state. This is one of the largest fires in California history. During the chaos of the Church and volunteers rallied to give victims help and give hope.
The fire spread to 1150 square kilometers, which is equivalent to the territory of Los Angeles. The flames have destroyed over thousands of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. Destruction in Redding just awful. But the tragedy has United the local community and the Church. Sunday morning at Bethel Church, thousands of people raised their hands and sang about God’s love, despite the fire. You can still see the smoke from the peat fire, which destroyed entire neighborhoods, but bypassed some houses, leaving some to rejoice and others to lament. All worried for their safety. Pastor Elizabeth Wanning have spent the last week as a volunteer in the “Weili”.
“Doesn’t matter evacuated if you have you lost your house, or he survived the whole community was on the ears,” recalls pastor Elizabeth Wanning, the Church of God.
The air quality here is very poor and the Church issued a breathing mask. This is one of the many purposes for which churches work together. They believe that this will strengthen the unity among the people.
“More than 30 churches come together to pray, trying to solve the problem,” says pastor Ben sprag, the Church “Crosspoint Community”.
Five churches support the shelter, “red cross” in the Church “Crosspoint Community” and the congregation “Weili” have installed the help center “the salvation Army”. Volunteers offered food to the victims and those who lost everything in the center can find food and clothing. Among these and 25 employees “Weili”.
“In our team there are people who lost their homes. Many had to leave their homes. I had to take his family,” says pastor Chris Walton, the Church of God.
A member of the Bethel Church, Tony Stoltzfus, lost his house, which also was his office. Three days after the fire started, the man woke to the sound of the evacuation siren.
“We threw the suitcases in the car, took the animals and computers,” he says.
Mary Lou Cancel also lost their home in a fire: “I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just threw clothes and grabbed my Bible,” says the woman.
Mary Lou holds onto faith and the word she received from the Lord.
“I had no words, nothing but prayer in the Spirit. But before we left the house, I heard the words: “a new beginning, a new beginning, a new beginning,” says the woman.
For these and thousands of other people, housing is the main need.
“They’re going in droves to the houses of friends. People take any free sofa or on the floor. They want them,” says Elizabeth Wanning.
The government must allow victims of disaster to return to their plots this week. Many churches allocate funds for chaplains to help families during this painful process.
“This is very important. When people first see the burned house, down on my knees and start to cry. They need support,” says chaplain Jim Wesley from the Church “Crosspoint Community”.
Tony has already experienced her tears. But he is grateful for what is left, and for his work a personal trainer that prepared him for this event.
“I teach people how to separate their desires from the things of this world, which they believe, fills them, and find the desire in your heart to build a relationship with Jesus,” he says.
Experts warn that the Redding will take many years to recover, but the city hopes to become a example.
Pastor Chris teaches about his life on the example of the verse from Isaiah: “Only God can take ashes and turn it into something beautiful. Only God can take a catastrophe and give hope in the middle of it…”