Updates From Our Wildfire Response

July 20, 2012 •

Samaritan's Purse program managers in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Fort Collins, Colorado, give updates on our response to the wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes out west

By Brent Graybeal, program manager in New Mexico

Three debris teams and one metal team worked in Bonita Park yesterday. The volunteers have consistently worked hard every day of this deployment. The weather is finally cooperating and no time was lost to the rain. The forecast is favorable for the next 3-5 days, and we will use every minute with fresh volunteers to complete more of the remaining work orders.

We are on task to finish up the work here by the end of next week. As eager as we are to finish and start heading home, we are determined to not overlook any opportunity that God gives us to share His love.

A friend of a homeowner, Rebecca, came by to pick up a ring that the team found after the homeowner left the site a couple of days ago. The chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had the opportunity to speak with her about the loss of her home as well. Rebecca said she has been struggling lately and had gotten to the point where she knew she couldn’t handle it anymore on her own. She made the decision to rededicate her life to Christ and to let Him carry her burdens.

A few minutes later, a Hispanic man and his younger son came over to inquire about the food distribution at the church. Since the fire, the church has postponed any distributions until Samaritan’s Purse completes the deployment. We’ve been referring people to another church in town. Not missing an opportunity to talk to someone about Christ, a chaplain followed him out to his car and shared “Steps to Peace with God,” and the man asked Christ into his heart.

Two decisions for Christ gives us two more reasons why we are here.

By Tony McNeil, program manager in Colorado

What a wonderful day we experienced yesterday in Fort Collins. God has used everyone here in such a powerful way, and we praise Him tonight, giving God all the glory.

I am happy to report that we finished our work here, and we have no more work orders open. Our teams were blessed with a beautiful day, and God held the rain to allow us to finish strong.

God has been so faithful in supplying our every need, and He has allowed us to once again witness the Holy Spirit working as we welcomed three new brothers and sisters into the family of God.

We witnessed a mother bring her young son and daughter to the disaster relief unit for a visit. God brought them here to give them the greatest gift that has ever been given to mankind—the gift of eternal life with Jesus. Tears of joy filled this office as these three prayed to receive Christ. Through our work in Colorado, God has added 16 lives to the Kingdom.

Our work orders are complete, but we still have many things to do. Our overnight volunteers are going home today. We have local volunteers that will assist with wrapping up our response here, washing equipment as well as the trucks that were loaned to us.

The Lord has blessed us to be here to reach out to so many, and now we are drawing near to the finish line and will be heading home early Sunday morning.

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for the return trip.