I pray that as you look back over the past year and reflect on all God has done you will be able to “rejoice and be glad in all He has done!” I know we are thanking God for the many blessings he has poured out on Village Missions this past year-blessings not just in good times but in the difficult times as well.
Since the deadly and very destructive Camp Fire in Paradise, California, started on November 8, 2018, many emails, Facebook posts, and prayer chains have circulated around these events, prompting some confusion. We greatly appreciate all your prayers and your generous support in providing for the victims of this fire and past fires in California. To help you understand how churches served by Village Missions and Village Missionaries experienced various fire events, we’ve provided this breakdown.
June 9—Hillside Bible Church in Oregon burned to the ground. Village Missionaries Tim & Bonnie Goold have been faithfully serving at this church since 2004.
July 13—Village Missionaries Ed & Clara Sulpice return home.
July 23—Carr Fire starts just west of Redding, California, and causes an immediate evacuation of our field in French Gulch, CA. Village Missionaries Jake and Katherine Leichliter have been faithfully serving the church since 2015. Jake and Katherine were evacuated to Weaverville, CA, as the main road out of French Gulch was closed because of the fire. While there, they ministered to many of their fellow evacuees.
July 27—Village Missionaries Ed & Clara Sulpice (Ono-Igo, CA) are evacuated from their home for a second time due to the spread of the Carr Fire.
July 27—Mendocino Complex Fire startsAugust 4—Village Missionaries Kevin and Darlene Weston (Stonyford, CA) are evacuated from Stonyford, CA, because of the Mendocino Complex Fire. Kevin and Darlene and their family live temporarily in a 5th wheel down in Elk Creek, CA, with Village Missionaries Joe and Ana Levesque.
August 7—Village Missionaries Ed & Clara Sulpice are able to return home from being evacuated. Both the parsonage and the church are not destroyed in the fire.
August 7—Village Missions began a fundraising campaign to help our churches, communities, and missionaries affected by the fires.
August 9—Village Missionaries Jake and Katherine Leichliter were able to return home after 18 days. Both the parsonage and the church are not lost in the fire, although some smoke damage occurred. Several homes in the area burned.
August 9—Village Missionaries Kevin & Darlene Weston return home, the fire never reached the town; both the church and parsonage were safe.
September 4-Carr Fire is contained
October 1—Mendocino Complex Fire contained
October 19—Village Missions mails the Fall Country Matters Issue focusing on and around the events of Hillside Bible Church fire.
October 28—Village Missionaries Joe and Jenny Murrell have last Sunday at Paskenta-Flournoy Bible Church. Joe and Jenny moved their personal belongings from the parsonage in Paskenta to Pine Valley, California and began a time of vacation at their home in Paradise, CA, before starting at Pine Valley.
November 1—Village Missions partners with Evangelical Bible Church AWANA in Dallas, OR, to collect canned goods for French Gulch Fire.
November 8—The most destructive and deadly fire breaks out in California: Camp Fire. The town of Paradise, California, is completely consumed. (Paradise, CA, is not a Village Missions field nor does Village Missions serve any churches in the area.) Village Missionaries Joe and Jenny Murrell lost their personal house in the fire along with their car, travel trailer, computer, personal belongs, etc, while taking vacation between fields in Paskenta-Flournoy and Pine Valley, CA. Joe and Jenny lived in this home when they served as District Representatives, but returned to serving a field because of health reasons.
November 18—The Village Missions Stewardship Department, Village Missionaries Jake and Katheryn Leichliter and the French Gulch Community Church worked together to pack 50 Thanksgiving food boxes for the community. The canned goods from the EBC AWANA Food drive and funds from the 2018 Fire Aid were used to buy turkeys, stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin pie.
November 18 & 19—Village Missionaries Jake and Katheryn Leichliter along with members of the church handed out the food boxes to the community.
November 25—Camp Fire is 100% contained.
December 9 or later—Village Missionaries Joe & Jenny Murrell will start serving again at Pine Valley, California, and living in the parsonage.
Through all the fires of the 2018 Wildfire Season, Village Missions was very fortunate not to lose a single church or parsonage to the fires. Our hearts go out to church members who have lost everything in these fires. Village Missionaries who serve in areas affected by the fires continue to minister to the needs caused by the fires.
We are sad to have lost a beautiful church building, dating to the 1800’s, due to an electrical failure in Hillside, OR. The church continues to meet on a weekly basis in a converted airplane hangar and is seeing God work in many ways. They continue to work through oceans of paperwork and are working on permits to begin the rebuilding process.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Village Missionaries Joe and Jenny Murrell who lost their personal home in Paradise along with the thousands of individuals and businesses. Joe and Jenny are working with the insurance company on their personal loss. We greatly appreciate your prayers and concern for them during this time.
For now, donations received in the Village Missions’ office have been sufficient to meet needs as our Village Missionaries minister at their fields. We will let you know if there are further needs and if Joe and Jenny have additional needs after insurance claims are processed. We will also keep you informed about progress and needs in rebuilding the Hillside Bible Church