“At our final outdoor worship service at Carbon Valley Lutheran we could see the smoke coming across the sky, and by the end of worship we had ash and burnt pine needles on our cars,” describes Tim Spiegelberg, pastor at Carbon Valley, Firestone, Colo., and also vacancy pastor at Peace, Boulder.
While Colorado is no stranger to wildfires, 2020 brought some of the biggest and longest lasting in the state’s history. As the fires closed in, four families from Peace, Boulder, were told to evacuate.
Two of the families needed a place to go, and without hesitation, the council at Peace opened the doors of the church, allowing the members to stay as needed. Carbon Valley assisted as well, providing gift cards for necessities. Unsure of how widespread, long, or damaging these fires would be, Spiegelberg turned to WELS Christian Aid and Relief, seeking assistance before the crisis got bigger. Christian Aid and Relief answered the call and provided additional funds to help families if needed.
Spiegelberg explains, “It was incredibly easy working with Pastor Dan Sims [director of WELS Christian Aid and Relief]. It was as simple as a phone call describing the situation, and [Sims] gave me the assurance that Christian Aid and Relief was there for us.”
“I think the story here is moving swiftly with compassion before things get out of hand,” says Spiegelberg. “It turned out that those families were okay. They were able to go back. God sent snow and stopped the progression of fire. But we were in place and ready to go.”
After a record fire season—not just in Colorado but on the West coast as well—Sims says he will be meeting with pastors from the fire-hit regions to brainstorm the best ways for Christian Aid and Relief to assist with these disasters in the future.
Learn more at wels.net/relief.
Volume 107, Number 12
Issue: December 2020