As I write this, there are wildfires streaking across Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Why do I mention this? Well, it is on my mind for two reasons. The first is that my parents had to flee their home in southwest Kansas. They drove their car through flames that were leaping across a two lane highway, and made their escape to safety. They are in their early eighties, and this was no small feat. Their home was somehow spared, but other friends in their ranching and farming community were not so fortunate.
Secondly, the day before my parents fled their home, my daughter-in-law’s brother, who ran their family ranch in Texas, was tragically killed in a wildfire along with two others trying to save cattle from the flames. He was 35 years old, his wife was pregnant, and they had two small children. His death is a painful reminder of the strength of nature and how it can impact all of us.
Grief like this is hard to even comprehend, and the sadness I feel for his family tears at my heart. Many of the people we help face similar grief and life struggles. Their pain is beyond what anyone should have to bear. Over the last several years, you have read stories in our newsletter about folks who come to us in pain. These stories of hope that we share have an overriding theme. They are stories of program participants whose lives have been changed at the Mission—who now have Christ to help them walk through their pain and provide hope for tomorrow.
We all experience pain, whether from wildfires, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, or other circumstances of life. Frankly, I cannot imagine how hard this life would be without Jesus to lean on. Thank you for making it possible for us to come alongside others with Christ’s love when they are hurting.