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Bethel Church responds to deadly California wildfires

Mon 30 Jul 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

Bethel Church in Redding, California has responded to a wildfire that is close to one if its campuses.

The so-called Carr Fire that affected Redding - a city of around 92,000 people about 230 miles north of San Francisco - was ignited by a vehicle problem last Monday about ten miles west of the city.

The fire was among 17 significant blazes in the state on Sunday that had forced roughly 50,000 people from their homes, including Joel Taylor, the head of Bethel Music. 

 

The Taylor Fam evacuated our home in Redding on Thursday night to prepare for living in tight quarters for a long period of time without answers. All too familiar - We took what necessities we couldn't live without and fled at midnight, driving through the night and finally found a hotel where we crashed for a few hours that morning. Now we're staying in my Mom's little cottage and letting it all sit in - I've been working remotely to ensure that our teams back home are okay and that Bethel Music and Bethel Media are stable during this time. Our Bethel leadership team is scattered all over the state, but doing an incredible job to catalyze relief efforts and make sure our employees and their families are taken care of during this time of crisis - We've been through many trials and tribulations together and one thing I'm certain of: VICTORY. If God be for us, who can be against us! - The kids..well, they just think this is a fun vacation :) Through it all, the knowns and the unknowns, we are blessed beyond measure

A post shared by joeltaylor (@joeltaylor) on

 

Bethel Church said in a statement: "Our hearts are with families in our local community who have lost loved ones, lost homes, or have been displaced by the Carr Fire."

The church's disaster relief team, Bethel Global Response, has partnered with the Salvation Army to be a distribution hub for people in need.

The church initially wanted to serve as an evacuation centre but was told by Red Cross and Redding city officials that the church's College View campus was too close to the fire.

While preparing to be a distribution hub on Sunday, Jordan Pacilio, director of Bethel Global Response said: "This is the first time we have provided disaster relief efforts while also being directly impacted by the disaster ourselves."

The church will be distributing household supplies, food supplies and children clothing to families in need.

A post shared by Bethel Church (@bethel) on

 

So far authorities have reported six deaths and a dozen people missing.

Bethel Church has asked people to pray that the winds die down, for the smoke to lift for planes to be able to provide air coverage, for no more loss of life and for peace, safety and wisdom for firefighters and first responders.

Christian charity Samaritan's Purse has also sent help. The organisation, led by US evangelist Rev Franklin Graham, sent a tractor trailer filled with equipment and supplies.

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