Alliance News Feed – Facing a New Future After the Fire

The Carr Fire in Shasta County, California, has burned 173, 522 acres, reached 47 percent containment, and destroyed 1, 077 homes since July 23. There have been no more fatalities, and all those who were reported missing have been found.

On August 3–4, Simpson University hosted a donation giveaway in their gym for all those who lost their homes. That same weekend, Neighborhood Church hosted their Ninja Gym for kids, which mimics the American Ninja Warrior course. “We just wanted a place amid the awfulness of what was happening for the kids to smile and laugh,” said Pastor Gordon DeWitt.

Volunteers at Simpson University organize the donations for the giveaway. (Photo courtesy of Simpson University)

Chris Braun, former regional director for Africa who has relocated to Redding, California, writes:

“Redding’s gray smoke-filled atmosphere smells of ashes and cinders; a constant reminder that loss has been suffered. Though Shasta County is past the crisis point of the Carr fires, many people face stark new realities.

“More than 1000 homes were destroyed and six people killed in what is now identified as California’s  sixth most destructive fire. The smoke-filled atmosphere is suffocating. It is intensified by smoke coming out of new fires further south where more loss is being experienced as homes and properties burn.

“The silver lining to all of this is that so many people are doing incredible things. Last week we spent an hour and a half at Simpson University helping them organize mounds of items brought for evacuees. We returned home feeling the effects of smoke and heat but impressed by people working hard to bless others no matter how miserable the atmosphere.

“The Redding community as a whole is committing itself to bless the people who have suffered loss. Churches are raising funds, collecting items, and creating ways of blessing the people who come their way. Across neighborhoods there are signs thanking the different groups who are helping Redding through this crisis.

“Yet the smoke-filled atmosphere dominates our landscape. It demands prayer and care for the people who still have not been able to return to their homes, for the people whose homes were destroyed, for those whose homes suffered partial damage, and for those whose homes were spared in the midst of neighborhoods where homes were burnt down.

“Though the latter should be able to rejoice because their homes were spared, they are instead sobered as they taste the grief of their neighbors. Like the relentless smoke all about us, there are debilitating effects striking most everyone.

“Thank you for continuing to pray for the people of Redding and its out-lying areas. In many ways the saga of the following smoke-filled days will be more difficult than the crises experienced in the drama of the fast fury of the initial ‘firenadoes’. Even more important than stopping the intense forward movement of those winds into Redding, now we need a strong movement of the Holy Spirit bringing Christ’s care and salvation into this new era.”

Source: Alliance News Feed – Facing a New Future After the Fire

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