UM VBS students reach out to fire victims

July 06, 2007

“I’m praying for you.”


“I’m sorry that you lost your house.”


“I’m sorry, and I am praying for you.”


“I am sorry that you lost your dog in the forest fire.”


“I’m sorry that your house burned. God bless you. Gillian 4 yrs old”


These are some of the messages from children attending Vacation Bible School at Trinity UMC in Chico, June 25-29. The children – some so young that they had to dictate their messages to adults – made cards for victims of the Angora wildfire in Lake Tahoe and sent them to the Conference office. The cards are being forwarded to Carson City UMC, headquarters for area churches’ relief efforts.


The youngsters’ cards reflected an innate sense of God’s Presence in time of disaster - “I’m sorry that your house burned down. God loves you,” wrote Nicole – along with surprising empathy.


From Emily, “I hope your pets are safe and your things that are special aren’t lost,” and, from Griffin, “I’m very sorry that you lost some thing valuable.”


Along with the children’s prayers for comfort came prayers of thanksgiving, as voiced by Anya, age 2 ½. “I’m glad you are safe,” said her card.


What adults can do

Individuals and churches within the Cal-Nevada Conference who would like to help are invited to send donations. Checks should be made payable to the California-Nevada Annual Conference and mailed to P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798. Be sure to write “TAHOE FIRE RELIEF” on the memo line.


The Conference sent $2,000 in emergency aid to the Tahoe region on June 29. In addition to the Conference assistance, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), at the request of Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, has issued an emergency grant to help provide emergency shelter, food, clothing and transportation. Bishop Shamana had said many of the displaced homeowners are service providers to the Lake Tahoe area resorts and are without insurance.


While an Advance Special Number designated for the Tahoe disaster has not yet been posted, UMCOR’s website urges that you give to the US Domestic Disaster Response Advance, #901670, “so that the church's response to these and future US disasters can be generous and timely.”