The human tragedy in this rural community is just coming into view; 9700 homes destroyed, 450 business destroyed, 71 confirmed deaths and just over 1000 people unaccounted for or considered still missing.
How do we respond? What comes next? The Holy Spirit knows what step we should each take next. Here are some prayer ideas:
1. Please pray for the weather as firefighters are still battling in some very difficult wild lands. Firefighters, and all ancillary EMS fire and disaster response staffing - wisdom, strength, resources and skill.
2. Pray for people who are living in shelters now (just over 50K) from Chico to Yuba City as Noro Virus outbreaks have begun, healthy food, clean clothing, safe shelter, and winter is on its way…Pray for the churches that are rightfully giving time, space and resources to support sheltering needs. Those churches still have bills to pay and staffing responsibilities as Sunday approaches and they are modifying their services to accommodate accordingly.
3. Housing and jobs for the 10,000+ people who cannot return to their homes, jobs, etc. for the foreseeable future. Are there 10,000 hotel rooms between the Oregon boarder and Sacramento to house everyone displaced?
4. CA leadership. As we transition from Governor Brown to Gavin Newsom our state leadership will need more prayer! Pray for unity in problem solving and for the dissolution of demonic strongholds of greed, power, blame shifting, manipulation and rampant divisive lies - none of that helps solve the human crisis we are facing as a state. Our US Senators and congress people seem to be more focused on political wrangling and back biting than on the on ground needs of the people of CA. Hundreds of thousands of CA residents are in dire need right now, beside the millions being squeezed by the economic challenges of a site our size - please intercede for our leaders to be pressed hard to refocus on meeting the needs of the people living in CA right now!
5. Housing, housing, housing - 20% increase to the current annual home building demand in CA in 1 calendar year from Northern CA alone.
5. Pray for people to give toward on ground assistance of those displaced.
Not only have people lost their homes, but people have lost their jobs. Over 500 businesses in Northern CA have been damaged or destroyed by fire in 2017-18. As a small business owner, I can’t imagine having to go back into debt to start over after the trauma of loosing what I invested to build. Many who lost their homes are finding they were underinsured and are having to access more loans to rebuild what was damaged or destroyed, while still being responsible for the original mortgage shortfall. How do you afford to start over? Red Cross and FEMA help, but not to the extent needed locally. Red Cross and FEMA are national organizations that have huge demands on their resources from hurricanes, floods, fires, etc. Over time there is very little accountability for the allocation of funds given (Haiti and Katrina are good examples of little long term accountability for billions in disaster relief donations).
When you choose to give - look local. Take 10 minutes to look up the organization to make sure they are legitimate and have a good track record of investing in what they say they do. Locals are the most committed to local the needs of local people!
National Organizations with strong local, financially ethical, thumbprint where you can give right now:
These organizations are well developed and easy to access, but if you really want your giving to have a local impact - find a reputable non-profit that helps with getting people into adequate housing, caring for seniors, counseling for trauma recovery, local healthy food resources, getting kids school supplies and modified learning schedules, helping teachers that are directly engaged with kids in recovery areas with supplies, books, learning manipulatives, etc., financial assistance counseling, and the list goes on. Fire recovery from the last 14 months in CA will continue for years to come - invest in the future of CA residents by investing locally.
Please pray with us for a 2 Chron. 7:14 move of God upon our state - for God to heal our land - no politics, no media, no partisan BS! Pray for people who are called to live in the most populated state in the union and love and serve the most diverse population on the planet. ~ Dennis Shillingburg