At the beginning of August, we had an exciting event happen at the Ranch while we were serving at Character Camp! We were surrounded by three fires! They came closer and closer together and eventually joined to make a HUGE fire which was out of control.
The first picture is one we took from the pasture/cabin area. This was the scariest night by far because the fire was literally on the hill racing towards us. Thankfully, we still had power at this point which meant we had water. This was a big blessing and God’s provision. We worked hard the whole week preparing the place in case the fires came, and getting things fixed in order to fight the fires ourselves.
It all started on Tuesday night, with a storm and lots of dry lightning. Claire, a friend of ours called and said there were three fires started on Columbia River Road. My grandpa, my mom and a few others went up in the car to see how far away they were. From the Ranch, you could see the flames on the hill toward Grand Coulee/Nespelem area. All the older kids prayed together and then went to work. Our job was to get water in case the power went out. The storm continued through most of the night with dry lightning flashing all around us.
We prayed that we could continue to have the Native American kids come down to the Ranch for Character Camp (similar to a VBS) in spite of the fires. God granted our request! It was an awesome week with the kids. We were so thankful to continue with Character Camp even with the fire danger. We were in Level 1 evacuation until Thursday. The fires always looked worse at night than during the day. Each night we would check out the fire progress. Those were fun drives!
On Thursday, our last day with the kids, a Tribal officer walked into the dining hall at lunch and notified us that we were in level 2 evacuation. We asked him if it would be ok to continue our program with the kids until 4pm, when it ended. He knew these kids had already had a hard summer with the fires up in Nespelem and so many things canceled. He said it would be ok to continue the day and he would come back if things changed. Praise the Lord! We were able to finish out the last day with the kids! After they left, we started packing and getting things ready to leave.
It was a pretty hectic time, the men were trying to get the orchard sprayer and water gun fixed so they could fight the fires in case it came. We went to bed that night with flames on the hills above the Ranch. It was pretty frightening but we were able to rest in the fact that if God was done with the Ranch He would let it burn, but if He still had use for the place, He would save it. And save it He did! He kept the fires from burning the last 1 1/2 miles to the ranch. It was a miracle since the flames were going fast and the wind was blowing.
The fire damage was so sad it literally burnt from Omak Lake to the RV park on the way to Nespelem. Which is over 20 miles! I am so thankful that God spared the Ranch and kept His hand of protection over us. We never did have to evacuate. He kept the fires back.
Once again, just like last year, He has shown His faithfulness! What a blessing that is! I love being able to rest in His hands, knowing He has everything under control!
Written by Lauren Davies