July 05, 2022 | by
Rewarding work, Christian comradery, and making a difference – the perfect formula for a successful mission trip. The last week in June, a team from three East Bay churches (Asbury UMC in Livermore, Lynnewood UMC in Pleasanton and San Ramon Valley UMC in Alamo) traveled to Paradise, California to help with rebuilding from the Camp Fire.
The Camp Fire, November 2018, was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Tragically, 85 people died. The fire burned over 150,000 acres and more than 18,000 structures. The towns of Paradise, Concow, Magalia and Butte Creek were largely destroyed.
The team worked on three new homes being built by our trusted partner, Hope Crisis Response Network. Mostly a week of interior and exterior painting, it was fun to be a part of the progress towards completion of these homes.
We especially enjoyed meeting two of the homeowners, Deb and Annette. Their stories of escaping the fire, the subsequent struggle for stability and the prospect of a new home were so compelling. Now, three and a half years later, they are approaching a new normal. It was fun to hear of their plans for decorating the homes and for the special touches they envision adding.
Great food and reflection time round out each of our workdays. We share new bits about our lives and retell the familiar ones with equal gusto, laughing again at moments we have shared together over the years. Our reflection time was a chance to consider the meaning of our work and to reaffirm our Christian values.
The rebuilding in Paradise will continue for several more years. And we will be back again. The survivors need us.
In Mission Together,
Note: Steve Elliott is the UMVIM Coordinator for the Cal-Nev Conference. For more information about taking a team to help with rebuilding in Paradise contact Steve at UMVIMCoordinator@calnevumc.org or 925-640-9797.