Western Wildfires 2020

October 5, 2020:
Pastor Gene Crow of Redding Reformed Fellowship OPC says, "Regarding the Zogg fire here near us. Just since [the end of last week], the wind has stayed low and by God’s great grace, the attack on the fire has been very effective. This morning they are reporting that the fire did not grow overnight and it is now 67% contained, evacuations are being lifted and people being allowed back in to the fire area. 

Sadly, we know that when they do, many people are going to find their homes no longer standing. Please continue to pray for those affected in this way, and pray that the church will have opportunity to minister spiritually and physically to some of them."

October 3, 2020
Redding, CA: Many are wondering about our churches in California. The OPC closest to the flames is in Redding, CA. Pastor Gene Crow reports: Yesterday was a good day, with winds having died down and the firefighters were able to hold the fire to a small growth overnight of only about 300 acres (amazing!) and now have the fire 26% contained. Very good news. Temps are going to up over 100 for the weekend, but it sounds like winds will not be a big issue. Please keep praying for the church in Redding, for those risking their lives to fight these fires, and for those who have been affected. Thank you!

September 24, 2020

Presbytery of the Northwest: As wildfires continue to smolder in the western half of the state of Oregon, we have learned that, praise the Lord, there has been no loss of life to OPC members, though several families have lost their homes entirely. A deacon at Trinity OPC in Medford, Oregon, reports, "Our community has been severely impacted by the wildfires in Oregon. We lost almost 1,000 homes in our valley, and it seems that most of the families are low income or elderly." Please keep the local church deacons in prayer as they begin to formulate plans to minister to their community.

Update on the wildfires in OregonBrian Nicholson, pastor of Trinity OPC in *Medford*, OR reports:
• Two families suffered total loss of their homes and possessions to the wildfires and are investigating coverage by their insurance companies. No needs are reported at this time. [Entire neighborhoods in Phoenix, OR area have been burned to the ground.]
• A third family had to evacuate from Phoenix but thankfully it appears that they only lost food items and will get support from their local deacons.
• A fourth member lost a number of tools when a fire hit a home in which he had been working. More investigation will be done into this.
• The wind shattered a tree on the church property. It needs to be removed.


John Mahaffy, Pastor, Trinity OPC, Newberg, OR reports on the following churches:


Karl Thompson, pastor of Faith OPC, Grants Pass, reports:
By God's grace, we have seen no direct impact from the fires. We have set up the church to receive evacuees for temporary housing, but at this time there are more beds in the county and there are people who need them. Please pray that we would minister faithfully to those in need over the long run.

Continuing north, Jeff Scott, pastor of Covenant Grace OPC, Roseburg, writes:
Thanks for asking. We have two families in our church that are displaced because of the fires. No one, yet, has suffered the loss of their home like the two families from Trinity-Medford has--thanks be to God!

We would ask that the Presbytery of the Northwest pray with us that we as a congregation will be provided an open door to minister to some of the 3,000+ people in the Roseburg area who have been evacuated from their homes.

And to update you on Trinity OPC, Newberg, where I serve, the immediate danger in our area is decreasing. Give thanks! The winds are calm today, which means that our valley has dense smoke. However, the fire just to the north of town is now partially contained. The number of firefighters on the scene has been reduced from 200 yesterday to 70 today. Some evacuees are being allowed back into their homes. One of our ruling elders lives in Milwaukie, a suburb on the SE side of Portland. He and his wife are on a level 2 evacuation notice (be prepared to leave). They are packed in case it moves to level 3. The Rev. Glenn Black, retired OPC pastor, is 96 years of age, and lives in an assisted living facility in the town of Canby, which is ordering some evacuations. He is with his daughter and son-in-law staying in a condo belonging to the son-in-law's sister in Beaverton. Give thanks for their safety. I heard that a family in the United Reformed Church in Salem lost their home.

Please pray for the many people affected by the fires, that even in this God will make people aware of both his power and his grace. Pray that we as his people may reflect his compassion in these difficult circumstances. Thank you for your faithful prayers.

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