Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tennessee Wildfires

My heart  has been heavy this week.

While we live clear across the state from Sevier County, we have vacationed and retreated there for over ten years. The sights and people are near and dear to us . . .

Here is the Facebook post of one of our most loyal and supportive blog readers, Pat Brown:

I keep seeing that God is speaking to East TN and that may be true. However, I believe this is the work of satan. Sometimes we forget how powerful he is. TBC just had an amazing Summit in Sevierville a couple weeks ago and God IS moving in our state. People are getting about the Father's business and satan is scared. So let's don't get mad at God. Through the fires, tornadoes, murder/suicide and all the other stuff happening around us, we continue to see miracles He's done during these tragedies. I've never heard such a great call for prayer and the recognition that prayer is needed and is working, from so many on tv. We can't understand all this, but I choose to trust that God has all this under control. So don't give up on God. Keep spreading His love.

 I think she is spot on.

Here is the letter our state convention president, Randy Davis, emailed out today:

Dear Tennessee Baptists, 
As one who lived nearly 20 years in East Tennessee, and 10 in Sevier County, my heart is breaking for the people of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. So many of them are close personal friends. I am getting reports of at least two of our churches that have been partially or completely burned, and other iconic places and businesses that have been destroyed by the wildfires that have swept across southeastern Tennessee over the past three weeks. Unfortunately, reports are also coming in that there have been a number of fatalities.
However, you’ll be proud to know that within 24 hours, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams mobilized and were on site serving evacuees and others. There are feeding units and chaplains on the scene and more teams are staging to deploy. 
But we need your help. This has been one of the most taxing years on our Disaster Relief teams with well over 20 callouts serving hurricane and flood victims in West Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Louisiana to name a few. But now, our fellow Tennesseans need us to rally. 
Please consider making a financial contribution to Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief. You can make that contribution online by going to or by mailing your check designated “Gatlinburg” to Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024. 
And above all pray. The emotional, physical, and economic impact of this event is enormous. We need our Great God to pour out His mercy and grace in this situation. 
And from someone who made his home for more than 10 years among these beautiful mountains and dear friends, I personally thank you for your help and prayers. 
It is a comfort and honor to be with you on this journey.
-Randy Davis
God is moving and working in the midst of the fire . . . . He is not blindsided by this, nor is He wasting the opportunity . . . . The question is "How will we join Him in His work?" 

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