The Northern California Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists and Adventist Health have released updates regarding the damage done by the Camp Fire and how to help in the aftermath.
The wildfire known as the Camp Fire burned through 218 square miles of land and destroyed the town of Paradise, California, leaving at least 56 people dead and over 300 missing as of Thursday morning, according to a report by NPR.
In the NCC’s newsletter update, released on November 15, they listed the following devastation to the Adventist community:
• The Paradise church was destroyed (photo above), and so was the K-4 area of Paradise Adventist Academy and the industrial shop in the basement of the gym. The rest of the school is still standing, but we don't know the extent of the damage.
• Scores of Adventist families have lost their homes, but we don't know how many. The three pastors of the Paradise church, the pastor of the Magalia Upper Ridge church, and the pastor of the Orland/Willows district have all lost their homes to the fire. Most of the staff at Paradise Adventist Academy have lost their homes.
• A number of people from local area churches are still missing.
• The Paradise church congregation will meet with the Chico church congregation for the foreseeable future.
• The goal is for Paradise Adventist Academy students to return to class after Thanksgiving at Chico Oaks Adventist School and/or the Chico church.
The newsletter continued saying, that “volunteers and donations of clothes, toiletries, and other supplies are not needed at this time,” but that “money and gift cards are needed.”
The following ways to help were listed:
• Gift cards for stores or gas stations can be mailed to the Chico SDA Church, 1877 Hooker Oak Avenue., Chico CA 95926-1738.
• Make a donation by visiting www.nccsda.com.
• Make a donation by texting NCCSDA to 77977.
• Mark “NCC Disaster Relief” on your tithe envelope.
• Continue to pray.
• Contact Ed Fargusson (Ed.Fargusson@nccsda.com) if you know of families needing help.
“During times like these, we have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus for each other. Please consider donating to NCC Disaster Relief to help those who have been struck by this fire. And also pray so that people affected will feel that the Lord is near them, even in the midst of this calamity,” wrote Marc K. Woodson, president of the NCC, earlier this week.
Additional updates from the NCC can be found on its Facebook page.
Adventist Health Feather River Hospital has not yet been able to assess the full extent of the damage to its facilities, according to the latest statement released on November 13, 2018:
The good news is that part of the upper level of Adventist Health Feather River is standing, as is Birth Place, ED, Outpatient Surgery Center, Home Health, Cancer Center and Sleep Medicine. That said, the lower level of the hospital, the chiller and utility area and most of the other outbuildings did sustain damage. Please know this is not an entire list. We are still assessing the situation to determine the full extent of the damage of all buildings.
Additional good news is that Adventist Health Medical Office on Skyway is standing, as is Feather Canyon and Quail Run clinics. Again, this is not the entire list. We are still assessing the situation to determine the full extent of the damage of these locations. We will keep you updated as we learn more about those details.
As previously reported, all of the patients were evacuated to safety. At a recent Feather River Town Hall session, Adventist Health officials confirmed that most of the Feather River Hospital staff lost their homes. It is estimated that at least 600 homes of Adventist Health employees in Paradise have been destroyed. According to its website, Adventist Health has committed “more than $30 million to ensure that our team has ongoing pay and benefits through February 5…. But we know their needs are so much greater. Many need money for insurance deductibles, security deposits on new homes, replacement of their possessions, relocation, travel, lodging costs and more.”
Adventist Health lists the following ways to help on its website:
1. Make financial donations by going to adventisthealth.org/giving and contributing to the Fire Assistance Fund.
2. If you can provide temporary housing, please utilize the resources Airbnb has made available at https://www.airbnb.com/openhomes/disaster-relief.
In an open letter regarding the Camp Fire, General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson expressed his condolences, sympathy, and love to the Paradise community. He continued, saying, “I call on Seventh-day Adventists worldwide to pray for the recovery and resettlement of the thousands who have faced this tragedy. As you see people around you in need, let’s follow Christ’s ministry of helping people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.”
Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image courtesy of the NCC.
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