Mission agency affected by wild fires in the United States.

By October 30, 2003

USA (MNN) — Wild fires in the United States continue to rage out of control in southern California. More than two dozen people have been killed, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and thousands have been evacuated.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is headquartered in Redlands, just a few miles away from the fires. MAF’s Ghislaine Benny says, “(we’re looking at) all of the hills and mountains that are adjacent to our air port.” She adds, “We’re separated by a dry river bed. (We’re) just a very few miles away.”

Benny says their ministry has been affected. “Our training and evacuation schedule has been delayed. We’re partially grounded. We’re able to fly with special permission. Then, we also have sadly seven of our families in Redlands who have had to evacuate.”

Benny says if her church is any indication, the fires are forcing Californians to think more about spiritual things. “This past Sunday we had 60 people receive the Lord. It is a rare Sunday where we don’t have anyone coming forward. But, 60 is a large number. Typically that’s seems to be what happens. Humans fall into problems and then they turn to God, and then when everything goes well they tend to ignore them.”

Benny says it appears the fires are moving away from MAF headquarters, but she says anything can happen. She’s asking people to pray for the many local churches that are collecting clothing, food and other supplies for victims of the fire.

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