Bethel Church in Redding, California, will give $1000 to every family that lost a home in the devastating Carr fire.
"We are incredibly blessed as a church by people all around the world praying for us, donating and supporting our community here in Redding. The generosity of gifts coming towards us is both humbling and much needed. Christians around the world are coming together and supporting a cause that is bigger than any one individual alone can carry," Bethel says in a statement posted to its website.
More than 40 families associated with Bethel lost their homes in the blaze.
There are specific qualifications for assistance.
- Home must have been your primary residence that you were currently living in
- Home must be listed on the Housing Authority report as 50 percent or more destroyed
- One gift per home (even if multiple people were living in the home)
- Both owner-occupied homes and renters who were living in the home are qualified
"When we first made the decision to give a financial gift for the people in our city who had lost their home, the numbers being reported were 150-200 homes," according to the site. "Within just three days, that number had climbed to over 1000 homes, and the amount we had expected to raise and give went from $200,000 to over $1,000,000. This was a step of faith for us to say 'yes' to this commitment, $200,000 was a challenge, but doable in our own strength and resources. But $1,000,000 is a God-sized step of faith. We are believing Him for it, and are now in the process of reaching out to our friends around the globe to be the hands of Christ to our city in this moment. We are determined to honor this commitment, whether the generosity comes from gifts from the global community or from our own church finances."
Bethel church, which was in the crosshairs of one of the most devastating fires in state history, opened its doors as a Salvation Army distribution center in late July.
"Outside is what's from the devourer; not from the one who gives life," Pastor Bill Johnson said during a sermon on July 29.
Cal Fire reports the wildfire scorched 177,450 acres and is 48 percent contained. More than 1,000 residences, 22 commercial structures and 500 outbuildings were destroyed; and 191 residences, 26 commercial structures and 65 outbuildings were damaged.
In addition to financial resources and other distributions, the church is recruiting volunteers for the mass clean-up efforts around their community.
If you want to help those affected by the fires, you can give through Charisma's non-profit partner Christian Life Missions. One hundred percent of your donation will go to those affected. We have already sent $5000 to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church since they know where the needs are. Send a check to Fire Disaster Fund, Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Rd. Lake Mary, Florida 32746. Or give through PayPal at christianlifemissions.org. or call 407-333-0600 during business hours to give by phone.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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