Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fire

Howdy! When Sid and I got out away from the mountains and Camp Blue Haven that Sat. morning we looked back and saw this sight. Whew...we quickly called camp and reported the fire. No one at camp knew about it yet but it turns out the firefighters had been fighting it all night. They said it started with a dry lightning strike. I have to say that we were alarmed. It looked very close to camp. If you look in the picture below and follow the long ridge right in front of the smoke...camp is close to the end of the ridge on the lower left side of the picture.




By the time I made it back from Albuquerque it had really blown up and was quite large.

This is Bear Mountain that is burning.

We stood on the road in camp by the playground and watched the fire(works) explode. We did a lot of praying for God to save the camp and Michael did alot of thinking about evacuation plans and about the bus loads of second session campers already on the road headed to camp. God was gracious and the wind blew steadily from the south toward the fire everyday but one and God lovingly answered prayers and kept the fire from Blue Haven land. At this point the fire was only a half a mile from the Blue Canyon cabins and only two miles from camp.



Michael felt it was not safe for the cabin owners in the Blue Canyon to stay. He asked them to evacuate on Sat. By Sunday most of them were gone.

The next day the campers rolled in and we were all on pretty high alert and trying to be positive. The hot shots were stationed in the corral for a while with a helicopter flying in a couple of times. They then moved up to Johnson's Mesa because they did not want to risk the safety of people in camp by flying the helicopter over camp alot. It was pretty exciting Sat. and Sunday watching all of this going on.

The firefighters came to talk to camp and explain what was going on with the fire and to reassure the campers that they were taking care of them. Funny thing is though that there was an overwhelming feeling in camp with the campers that God was in control and they were safe.

This picture was taken toward the end of second session, nearly 14 days after the fire started. You can see how it spread to the North and not heavily toward camp.


Michael got to know the firefighters pretty well during all of this. He and Polly (a former counselor and friend of B.Haven and also a firefighter) decided it would be great if the kids of second session could write thank you letters to the firemen to put in their lunches one day. They wrote the letters and Polly was able to read one to all of the top firemen and I think a senator from the state of New Mexico at an official briefing they had one day. She happened to pull out a letter from an older girl that said something like:

" We have been studying how Jesus saves us by dying on the cross and how He puts Himself between us and death when we choose to be His. I feel like you as firemen have put yourselves in between us and this fire and have kept us safe. It has been a blessing to me to be able to see in real life an example of what Jesus has done for me. Thank you for keeping us safe and putting yourselves between this fire and camp."
Polly said that it seemed not even a breath was taken for minute after she read it and there was an awesome silence. The senator then said, " I want that letter!" Before he took it though they copied it and put it all over the lockers of the firemen and their manifests for work assignments so that they could all see it. They were so touched by it. They then gave the rest of the thank you letters to many firemen.
Awesome that a forest fire and almost tragedy for the camp would bring a chance to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful and so blessed to see that in every circumstance even when it seems hard and frightening...if you are looking for any way to talk about Jesus, then He will help you spread the good news.

Thank you Father, and thank you for keeping this wonderful camp safe and running so that people can continue to lay their lives at Your feet and grow in Your love. Thank you for even the hard times, for it is during these times that our faith increases if we walk closely with You.

Blessings. Amy

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