Last night on Twitter, my friend and apologetics expert Lee Strobel asked for prayer for his community – a huge chunk of the Colorado Springs area was in a firestorm of epic proportions.
Twitter was soon lit up with prayer requests from residents of the area and from loved ones around the world.
The Gazette wrote this morning under its live blog:
Residents of Colorado Springs are waking up – if they slept at all – to a new city Wednesday. And it’s not a pretty sight.
Some neighborhoods in the northwest part of the Springs will be unrecognizable, charred by a raging, aggressive and unpredictable fire that has forced more than 32,000 people to vacate their homes.
The Waldo Canyon fire is in its fifth day of destruction, but no structures were lost until Tuesday. The urban wildfire exploded when it moved past Queen’s Canyon and shocked firefighters by jumping two containment lines and racing into Mountain Shadows, where many homes were destroyed.
Today, I've been assigned to do a story on the fire. So, check back here throughout the day for updates. If you are a pastor, ministry leader, or someone who simply believes they need to share their story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
MOST RECENT UPDATES
6:19 pm MDT Wednesday
From the Gazette's Live Blog: A firefighter told reporter Ryan Maye Handy today that during a briefing, crews learned that 200 to 300 homes have been lost. He said it was difficult to be accurate about the number, since the devastation is so complete that you can't even make out addresses.
EARLIER ON WEDNESDAY
9:50 am MDT
Pastor Brady Boyd (@pastorbrady) of New Life Church in Colorado Springs: So proud of all our local churches. We should always be at the front of the line when our city needs help.
11:01 am MDT
Just completed interview with Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life. He described the firestorm last night as "apocalyptic." He is absolutely in awe of how his congregation, local churches and Christians immediately responded with offers of housing in their own home, food, evacuation help for people and ranch animals, and are on the frontlines of relief work without having to be prompted or led by church leaders. Instant activation! The east side of the I-25 (where his church is located) is safe, he said. Plans for a teen conference starting today with 4,000 teens from more than 30 states coming in are still on. Everything moves indoors.
1:51 pm MDT
Just finished interview with Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team about the deployments in Colorado and New Mexico. His team of chaplains has been helping in the Ft. Collins area fire, ministering to those suffering loss themselves or of someone they love. The team has not gone into the Colorado Springs area yet, but are ready to go at any moment.
3:40 pm MDT
UPDATE from The Gazette's live blog: Thunderstorms blowing through the area are creating high winds that have stirred up some flames and forced firefighters to retreat. C-130s are also reportedly grounded. So far, any rain/hail coming from the storms doesn't appear to be helping the situation.