My family and I have been vacationing in Eastern Washington this summer. While here, we saw the skies turn blood red and felt the evening winds pick up, as massive wildfires continued to devour over 250,000 acres of land (at current count)—an area nearly four times the size of Seattle.
Homes have been burned to the ground, so many families have lost everything and are now homeless.
Washington State’s largest wildfire
Eastern Washington’s economy is largely agricultural and based on their fruit production. Many people in these towns are farmers and make their living from the land. Being the summer season, the fields are full of this year’s harvest. The fire’s destruction is not limited to burning down homes and consuming entire orchards, but additionally, it has caused power outages that have stopped necessary irrigation. So, the dry, 90+ degree heat is ruining the harvest of even the orchards that are untouched by the fire.
This season’s harvest is destroyed, so many farmers have lost their income and their ability to care for their families.
Grace City Church, Wenatchee, WA
On Sunday morning, my family and I had the privilege to worship Jesus with our friends at Grace City Church in Wenatchee, WA. Pastor Josh McPherson began the service with prayers and tears for those affected not only in their church but also in the surrounding community. These are not distant and nameless faces, but they are our brothers and sisters in this church who need your help.
I talked to many victims who have lost everything while I visited the affected areas. I’m praying you will be moved to give.
What can you do?
First and foremost, I ask you to be praying for the firefighters, care workers, and victims, and also that the scope of devastation will eventually be contained. However, we know that the largest fire in Washington’s history will leave many of our brothers, sisters, and their children homeless, without income, and in urgent need of support and care.
In light of this, we want to love like Jesus by partnering with Grace City Church in Wenatchee, WA. You can bless, encourage, and support your brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who don’t know Christ in that community. Please prayerfully consider giving to the “2014 Washington State Wildfire Relief” fund. Your gifts will aid and support the victims of these fires. This temporarily restricted fund is dedicated to the support of victims of these wildfires. Relief efforts include but are not limited to the immediate and interim direct relief to victims, their families, and affected churches as well as long-term rebuilding efforts. (You will find the fund listed in the drop-down box on marshill.com/give.)
Please be praying for all the victims as they begin to rebuild their lives.
Abundance and need
As I was spending time with the Lord praying for these people and the current situation, I read 2 Corinthians 8, where Paul talks about the generosity of the Macedonian church:
“For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.” (vv. 2–3)
“Your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.’” (vv. 14–15)
As he concludes this section, Paul tells the Corinthian believers, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God,” (2 Cor. 9:11). We believe this at Mars Hill and the Holy Spirit moved me to call our church and our Global Family to take action because we learned in James: Jesus’ Bold Little Brother, that faith without works is dead (James 2:1–26).
The devastation these victims have experienced is overwhelming.
I am always blown away by your generosity and I trust the Holy Spirit within you to lead as he sees fit. Thank you for your continued obedience to Jesus. May your generosity “produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:11) from the victims of this tragedy.
Grateful for you,
Pastor Sutton Turner
Executive Elder and Executive Pastor
P.S. If Jesus is calling you to support the victims of these wildfires, please don’t delay. Go to marshill.com/give now and donate!