Rebuilding Community

The fire response in Paradise, CA looks different from our other ReachGlobal Crisis Response sites. It’s been three years since the Camp Fire devastated the town, and since most of the infrastructure was completely destroyed with the buildings, the restoration has been painfully slow. But our staff there report seeing God moving in the lives of the people we are meeting, just like He does in the wake of every other crisis.

Kristy came to serve in Paradise this year in between her chemo treatments. Unable to spend all day on a jobsite rebuilding a house or cutting down trees, Kristy spent time sitting with homeowners and listening to their stories. Siran, a homeowner we have been serving for months, shared her own cancer journey with Kristy, who was able to relate and encourage her in a way that none of our staff could. Kristy was also able to spend time listening to Lori who had just had a surgery and was still in the process of rebuilding her home. Her willingness to come, listen to others, and share her own experiences was a gift that blessed so many people that week.

Lori and Kristy connected while other volunteers worked on rebuilding Lori’s home

Paradise EFC was spared damage in the fire, but almost every church family lost everything. The church is less than half the size it was before the fire, but many of the people attending now are new. Even though the structure wasn’t lost, Paradise EFC has been rebuilding their church for three years. This past week our staff and a volunteer team from Utah were able to join in and serve food at Paradise EFC’s first Thanksgiving service since before the Camp Fire. It’s exciting to see so many people coming into the church to share praises and worship God. We are praying for more volunteers for 2022 so we can continue to support what Paradise EFC is doing and so we can continue to encourage the community. If you would like more information on how you and your church can be part of this opportunity, email respond@efca.org.

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