The 2015 fires of Okanogan County will probably go down as the most devastating fires ever for the State of Washington. Just like the Carlton Complex fire, lives were lost, families disrupted, businesses destroyed and landscape destroyed. Some, trying to make a positive statement, might say, “Well, look on the bright side, it could have been worse.” True, it COULD have been and still MIGHT be; or, it could have been less. No matter what, it was and is what it will be.
But, in looking at what was and is let’s take a positive reflection upon what did take place. Firefighters did respond and some lost their lives. Volunteer firefighters responded and gave hours of treacherously dangerous work and time, neighbors responded and became neighbors, not for pay as many sometimes do, but simply to help others out in a times of need, i.e. neighbors being neighbors often meeting people they had never met before. The tentacles of reaching and helping actually were far and wide by example, the Red Cross set up in various Churches and Schools to provide housing and food was donated by other concerned and caring people.
But, I want to share with you about some people from Ephrata that were made aware of and responded to the challenge. The couple, one of whom is a former resident of Tonasket. As a result of the generosity of many, many people in Ephrata, the couple loaded the bed of their pickup with cases of water and clothes and packed the inside of the cab vvith cans or cases of food as well as collecting nearly $2000 to be distributed to those in need. All of this from a community reaching out to fulfill the message from Jesus to feed the hungry, clothe those without and visit the sick and lonely.