Alliance News Feed – Widespread Fire Devastation in Paradise and Chico

Update from Ray Van Gilst, superintendent of the C&MA Central Pacific District, Saturday, November 10:

Having spent much of the day in Chico yesterday, we are a little overwhelmed—we have never seen the level of heartache and hopelessness we saw today.  People wandering aimlessly, trying desperately to find out any news about homes and loved ones. Pastor Andrew Burchett said that he has never dealt with the level of grief in people that he has over the past couple of days.

The Paradise Alliance Church campus has survived! But almost no one in the church has a home or job to go back to. At least 8 families from Neighborhood Church of Chico have lost their homes as well, and part of the city had to evacuate, including Pastor Andrew Burchett and his family.  There was even the possibility everyone would have to evacuate from the church, which is currently housing nearly 400 evacuees.  Thankfully, for the moment, things have calmed down on the fire front facing the city of Chico.

The Neighborhood (C&MA) Church in Chico houses 400 evacuees

Please pray God pours out His Holy Spirit like nothing we have ever seen. We know how God uses events for His glory and His purposes, and where there is great loss and suffering, there is also much room for Him to work.

Many of you have been asking how you can help . . .

As far as Paradise Alliance goes, we just don’t know yet, and we probably won’t know for a few days. There are multiple offers of places for people to stay—thank you! We hope to get a better idea of what the needs are after Sunday.

Neighborhood Church of Chico is serving with excellence and has become the focal point of the community. Every time I see the news, they are broadcasting from our campus there. Hundreds of people are staying there, being fed there, and receiving medical care. They are pretty much maxed out with facilities and people.

Evacuees receive loving care and provisions

Many of you have asked how you can help there as well. I asked Andrew, and he said we can always use more volunteers on location. The constant cleanup alone is exhausting, and we can use as many of you who want to be a part of the support here at the NC Chico campus. We also need volunteers who can come and sit with people to listen to and pray with them. We cannot overestimate the value of presence–being Jesus to these hurting people. I will be back in Chico doing whatever else is needed in the next few days.

The financial needs of both Paradise Alliance and NC Chico are going to be staggering. Please give as you feel led. You can either send it straight to Neighborhood Church of Chico at 2801 Notre Dame Blvd. Chico, CA 95928 or to the Central Pacific District office, 715 Lincoln Ave., Woodland, CA  95695, as we will be collecting funds for them.

In His love and service,

Ray

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Source: Alliance News Feed – Widespread Fire Devastation in Paradise and Chico

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