NOTES FROM THE FIRE LINES OF CALIFORNIA
I'm writing you from the fire lines of Southern California.
Two weeks ago, as I was finishing a speaking engagement in Oklahoma
City, the pastor asked me, "If you were back home, would
you be sent to the fires in California?" I replied that
I probably would. When I reached my car, I had a cell phone message
waiting. Sure enough, it was the Dispatcher calling me for a
California fire assignment. Of course I couldn't go since I was
almost a thousand miles from home and had another meeting scheduled
the next evening. Two days later, as Melva and I were reaching
home, the phone rang again. Within an hour of arriving home,
I was on the road again.
What a terrible scene greeted me there. Thousands of homes and
businesses destroyed. Over two dozen deaths. Blackened hillsides
everywhere. And, perhaps worst of all, a litany of tragic stories
relating how some individuals perished needlessly. For instance,
the man who wouldn't wait to return to his home. When police
roadblocks prevented him from driving into the fire area, he
went around them on foot through the woods. His body was discovered
the next day. In another case, a couple evacuated their home;
but once safely away, they decided to return to save more possessions.
They perished as they reentered the area.
The Bible warns us of how temporary "things" are.
In reality, they're all going to fall apart and burn someday.
It's only the soul's of men and women, boys and girls that will
last for eternity. Disasters such as these give us pause to reflect
on our priorities in life.
On a positive note, I was able to share the Lord with several
firefighters and gave away a number of firefighter New Testaments.
I also had the joy of running into several other wonderful Christian
firefighters and chaplains.
Before the fire Melva and I had a wonderful 2 week trip of ministry
and meeting with supporters in TX, OK and AR. I had the privilege
of preaching at
Covenant Community Church, Abell Community Church and Chapel
Hill Methodist Church in Oklahoma. What a blessing to share God's
Word and renew friendships in these great churches! In Texas
we were able to meet with dear friends and spend an evening of
worship and fellowship with a youth group from 1st Baptist of
Dallas. Then, in Van Buren, AR we shared with First Baptist's
adults and Senior High's.
Upcoming: I am scheduled to arrive home from this fire assignment
on November 13. The 14th we leave with 6 college athletes to
spend a weekend in Protection, KS sharing with the youth in several
small churches. Please pray for us! After Kansas, we'll head
back to CA to spend Thanksgiving with our son Tim at Biola University
and I'll be sharing at the Horizon School of Evangelism in San
Diego. Again, we'd really appreciate your prayers. Then, it's
back to focusing on our college ministry and teaching skiing.
Lord willing, I'll take another class in January which will help
me prepare for starting my Doctorate.
Finances: Thanks to your prayers we are within a month of catching
up on our ministry finances. Would you please pray that the Lord
will help us catch up by the end of the year? The best scenario
will be that we carry a surplus into the new year which will
enable us to continue to expand our training ministry to our
Special Prayer: Our friend Tom Freeman, a missionary to cowboys
and Native Americans, is fighting cancer. Please pray that God
will heal him and provide for the medical expenses that exceed
his insurance. If you'd like more information, please call Melva
Thank you for your partnership with us in the Lord's work. May
He richly bless you!!
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies
they never come to an end. They are new every morning, great
is Thy faithfulness!" Lamentations 3:22-23