"Still smoldering." Those were the words of Crisis Response director Mark Lewis as he walked up and down the streets of Paradise, California, days after the Camp Fire wiped out this rural community in November 2018. Art, Paradise Evangelical Church's lead pastor, woke to this devastation. Of the 72 families in his congregation, 70 had lost their homes. He said, “I can’t express what I’m seeing. The complete devastation. A complete obliteration of the entire community. It’s overwhelming. The magnitude and scope are beyond belief.”
He was heartbroken, but he found a blessing when he went to the church. The church still stood, untouched by flames and good as new, like an oasis in the desert.
So Paradise Evangelical Church in partnership with ReachGlobal Crisis Response sprung into action. Though funding and immediate relief were distributed, the homes were still gone. Many were underinsured (or uninsured), and what was left had to be cleaned up by licensed professionals after they salvaged their possessions. Today, the sites are clean but very few homes have been rebuilt.
Now, the partnership between Paradise Evangelical Free Church and ReachGlobal Crisis Response is taking the next step. Starting April 1, 2021, we will accept volunteers to holistically rebuild the lives and homes of the people of Paradise. Our mission: sharing the love of Christ with those in need. We know that Christ's love will reign through these efforts.
There are plenty of available slots to serve in Paradise to assist this effort. No experience in building or construction is needed. Please consider gathering a team from your church and coming to share Christ's love with those in need.
For information on sending a team, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pray for:
- Those impacted by this fire two years ago, that they may see the light of Christ through the volunteers' words and actions
- ReachGlobal Crisis Response Staff who have commited to live near Paradise
- Pastor Art and the leadership at Paradise Evangelical Free Church, that the church will survive and thrive
Invest financially to help the families affected by the wildfires and ongoing Crisis Response outreach by giving online or mailing a check to:
901 East 78th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1300
(Designate the check with the memo: Crisis Response Account 21709-39286.)