“We Are Responding”
From the EFCA
In what has amounted to the deadliest wildfire in California history, 90 percent of Paradise, California, has been destroyed. More than 7,600 single-family homes and 260 commercial structures burnt to the ground. Forty-eight lives lost and hundreds more missing.
The following is an excerpt from a blog post written by Mark Lewis, director of EFCA Crisis Response, after he witnessed the aftermath of the wildfire:
“Black. Gray. White. Brown. The colors of the burn area. The landscape is charred. After 15 minutes of driving, we start to see the remains of cooked cars and piles of ash and twisted metal marking the remains of buildings. Brick chimneys stand like tombstones over the remains of still smoldering homes, neighborhood after neighborhood, for mile after mile.”
Eighty homes of EFCA congregants were destroyed by the fire, leaving just two families from Paradise EFC with homes to which to return. Eighty families displaced and facing the prospect of a nearly impossible rebuild. Still, by the grace of God, all the congregants’ lives were spared. From the ashes, God has provided hope.
As you read this, Crisis Response and the EFCA Western District are collaborating to mobilize response efforts in Paradise. Our ReachGlobal Crisis Response team is currently on the ground, responding to this horrific loss of life and property in Northern California. Along with the physical restoration, the team is focusing specifically on trauma care – providing support, counseling and love to those who experienced this disaster firsthand.
Support the Response
We’re responding, but we need your help. Amid this devastating crisis, there also lies significant opportunity. The people of Paradise, California, need the hope, love and overwhelming peace of Jesus Christ.
Will you join us, then, in coming alongside the people of Paradise, California? In response to this disaster, we need prayer, financial support and for the word to be spread:
Pray. Pray God’s peace, comfort, hope and restoration over Pastor Art Worthington, Paradise EFC and all those affected by the fire in the Paradise community. Pray also for God’s wisdom, guidance and strength for those currently on the ground responding.
Give. After Hurricane Harvey – by God’s grace – you contributed more than $1.6 million for relief efforts. The devastation of the Paradise wildfire has been even more catastrophic on our EFCA family. We need your financial support to bring restoration to Paradise.
Share. To help us spread awareness of this need, we ask that you’d share this message with your church body and dedicate a special offering to help those affected by this wildfire. To help you do so, we’ve provided: the video below (available for download on Vimeo), a bulletin insert and several prayer requests.
More information will be available in the coming days. For updates on our response to the Paradise wildfire and to get involved, visit https://www.efca.org/california-wildfire-response.
Despite the brokenness of this world, we have a sovereign God who loves, cares and restores. Amid this tragedy, let us take hope in our unchanging Savior. May God be glorified in the midst of this disaster.