Once again in our province, a raging wild-fire is laying siege to one of our largest cities in Alberta. I remember so well a similar fire five years ago that devastated the town of Slave Lake. https://lynndove.com/2011/05/24/wild-fires/ Yesterday Fort McMurray was evacuated, the largest evacuation ever seen in Alberta’s history with well over 80,000 people fleeing their burning city.
As I watch the news, I feel helpless, but I feel emboldened to ask for prayer for my friends living there and for our province as a whole as we begin disaster relief efforts.
Our fair province is in an economic slump. Thousands of people have lost their jobs in the oil patch and Fort McMurray was one of the hardest hit cities by the economic downturn. Now those people not only face job loss but may also be losing their homes to fire. It is, as some would like to say: A Perfect Storm.
This morning my grade six students came into class full of reports from family and friends who live in Fort McMurray. They immediately asked me to forgo our usual devotion time and just pray for the events happening there. I am so thankful for students who know that their “help” comes from God and they know that their prayers do make a difference. Hearing them lift up prayers for safety for firefighters battling the blaze, and praying specifically for family and friends who have lost homes already I was overwhelmed with emotion. The smell of smoke may lay heavy in the air but their prayers are breaking through and their prayers are the sweet smell of incense, a sweet aroma to God.
I know that there will be a lot of good people who will become the hands and feet of Jesus during this time. They will be present to help with distribution of clothes, food and providing the basic necessities to those people who have lost their homes. I am unable to go to Fort McMurray myself, but I can help by donating to the Red Cross and supporting those church organizations who want to provide help right there in the city and surrounding areas.
I have to remind myself that God is in control. He is sovereign. He hears our prayers. This is an out-of-control fire, an out-of-control situation but HE is in control.
Please join me and all the students in my class in praying for the people of Fort McMurray. I have provided a link for those who would be willing to donate to the Canadian Red Cross and their efforts to provide aid.
“Hear our prayers, Lord! Protect those in harm’s way and surround them with people who will love and care for them during this very difficult time. Amen.”