Breaking News — Colorado wildfires update from Evangelical Press Association

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (EPA) — As wildfires rage through Colorado, many Evangelical Press Associations (EPA) member organizations and staff members have been touched by this tragedy.

Many EPA publications are based in Colorado Springs, and of course this year’s annual convention was held there. We asked EPA president Dean Ridings, of Focus on the Family, for an update.

“Things are surreal and somewhat chaotic here — we’re trusting in the Lord,  grateful that there have been no reported deaths or even injuries. The radio  reminded us this morning that “This isn’t the day after,” meaning that  there was a lot of devastation yesterday and today there could be a lot more as  firefighters remain on the defensive . . . Our family is among last  night’s evacuees who had limited time to pack up essentials and make our way  east . . . Our four children were home, including two who were  serving up at the  Navigators’ Eagle Lake Camp, which was evacuated on Saturday.

“We also had three  additional Eagle Lake campers with us . . . It was slow going  but we finally got  out of our community on the northwest side of the city (just south of the Air  Force Academy) with our family and guests as well as two cars neighbors asked us  to drive out for them . . . Our family is among some 32,000 who have  evacuated – more than 15,000 acres have been burned thus far.

“Navigator staff  are housed at Focus on the Family, and we  heard this morning from their  spokesperson that Navigator headquarters at Glen Eyrie is okay thus far this  morning but the Verizon building next to it is reportedly on fire, as are the  houses above Verizon. Above them is the Flying W Ranch, which is a total loss. (The Flying W Ranch was an off-site event destination for past  EPA conventions.) No “official” word of how many structures have burned . . . Jim Daly  addressed Focus staff and led us in a time of prayer for our community  this  morning. He said Focus is ready to assist the community in any way. In fact, we  had offered to be a place where the community can come, but they’re actually   looking for shelters more up the road in the Monument area to get people out of  town and make more room for the firefighters to remain on the defensive . .  . In this community that has seen so much division through the years,  there’s a strong sense of unity that “we’re all in this together” . . . From  what I’m hearing Christians in town are doing a wonderful job of living out  Matthew 5:16, letting their lights so shine that others would see their good  works – gifts of money and food, homes and churches as shelters — and glorifying  God.

“We appreciate all the Facebook posts, Tweets, texts and phone  calls letting us  know we’re in your thoughts and prayers. It means more than you  know. Thank you  for your ongoing prayers, especially for the some 1,000  firefighters now on the scene. Pray also that the “day after” would come soon,  with a continued sense of unity as Christians live and minister among the  community and also encourage one another “as you see the Day approaching”  (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Please be sure to remember your EPA colleagues and their ministries in prayer during this challenging time.

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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