The past two weeks of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire have been a complete whirlwind. On August 17th we launched our After School Adventures program and were rejoicing at having children at camp once again – and then two short days later we were ordered to evacuate in the face of an unchecked and swift moving wildland fire. On August 19th we quickly secured the campus, canceled all programs, rushed to our homes to pack important items, and left beautiful Mount Hermon in God’s hands for protection.
The ensuing handful of days were incredibly stressful as the fire consumed Big Basin State Park and crested the ridge beyond Felton threatening several of our local communities. We tuned into the daily CalFire briefings with a mixture of anticipation and sadness as news emerged about friends and community members who were losing their homes.
In the midst of our time of need it was a blessing to receive your prayers and support. Your messages, emails, phone calls and texts meant the world to us. Seeing the community of believers rally in prayer for Mount Hermon and mobilize locally to meet real needs is a testament to the power of prayer and the good work of Jesus who is alive in the hands and feet of His people.
On Tuesday the 25th CalFire began a critical “back-burn” operation to secure a fire line around the community of Felton and provide a defensible barrier. Over the following two days firefighters worked around the clock to complete the operation which resulted in a lifting of the evacuation order for Mount Hermon on Friday the 28th.
We are so grateful to announce that God has once again protected this beautiful place! Staff and residents have returned home and besides some smoke and a little ash, the fire has left Mount Hermon untouched. Praise God!
As of this morning the fire is under relative containment. Although Mount Hermon is safe at this point, please continue to pray for the residents of the more than 921 homes that have been lost to this fire.
Yet again this year we’ve been reminded of what is truly important – our dependence on God, our health, and our loved ones. As the things we often place our security or trust in are stripped away it lays bare our utter dependence on Christ and His goodness in the midst of a sinful fallen world.
God’s people are powerful, resilient and loving. Seeing the outpouring of prayer and support from our Mount Hermon community has been inspiring. The way the local Church in Santa Cruz County and beyond has mobilized to meet real needs of food, shelter and clothing shows that even during a time of unrest and division Jesus is at work through His people.
Again, thank you so much for your continued prayers and support throughout this past week and a half. They truly mean the world to us. We look forward to better days ahead and to participating in God’s work in our community.