Many of you have been experiencing the effects and devastation of the wildfires that have impacted BC for yet another summer. My heart grows heavier as I hear the news of even more wildfires in the last few days that have prompted the recent declaration of a provincial State of Emergency in BC. Added to that reality for us is the news of the evacuation of Yellowknife as fires burn across the Northwest Territories.
My heart and prayers go out to the members of the communities of faith, and the wider communities in the Okanagan, Shuswap, and Fraser Canyon areas, who are directly affected by the most recent fires which have necessitated evacuations or persons to be on alert to leave their homes at any moment. If you are not living in an area directly affected by the fires, you likely have friends and family in one or more of these communities. The anxiety and uncertainty are real and profound, and there is a sense a loss, helplessness and uncertainty as these communities wait to be able to return to their homes.
I am heartened however by the many stories of the people of BC pulling together as a community to support those affected, those who are fighting the fires, and other first responders who are helping them. Others are making space for evacuees by providing temporary shelter for persons as well as farm animals and pets. It is at times like these that we are reminded that we are indeed called to be our brother’s keeper and serve one another in love.
As we collectively deal with the fires around us, during this time of uncertainty and anguish, we are grateful for our siblings in Christ who are reaching out to, and supporting, those who are displaced. We ask for Creator’s guidance for our first responders and pray for the safety of all at this time. We move forward in hope and deep faith, rooted in the truth of these words from A New Creed that “ in life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.”
Where Donations May Be Made
Red Cross Canada
Pacific Mountain Regional Council’s CanadaHelps
- https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/43314?v2=true. Select “Emergency Fund to Assist BC Communities Affected by Wildfires 2023”
University of BC Okanagan has a donation link to support students
Donations to assist northern communities
• Northern Spirit Region, The United Church of Canada, has set up an emergency fund to assist communities affected by wildfires. To donate, you can do so by eTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a note in the memo line indicating that it is for support for these Northwest Territories communities in crisis.