On December 5th around 2:47am – helicopters were flying over our house and voluntary evacuation alerts were going off on our phones; smoke was wafting through our slightly cracked windows and all the power was off. The Thomas fire has been raging for over eight hours with no end in sight and eventually was about a mile away from our house. Then, Chelsea whispers to me – “this is what war must feel like.”
We couldn’t sleep so I got up and went into the office hoping to get a news update in Oxnard because most of Ventura was shut down. “God, what is happening? Please keep our firefighters, police officers and first responders safe. Please keep our friends and their homes safe.”
As the day wears on updates were coming in, some staff have been evacuated and displaced, and dear friends have lost their homes. “Will this ever end?” was the thought that ruminated in my mind. The rest of the week was a blur, but I know I had a staff meeting and I am struggling with what to say. I am not sure I could keep my composure- it has been a difficult year for the City Impact family. The question hanging in the smoked filled air – Is there hope?
- When Kevin and I sat with friends who lost their home – is there hope?
- As we stood in tears by the death bed of a dear friend – is there hope?
- As you sat in the doctor’s office to hear the bad news of the test results – is there hope?
- When you are overwhelmed with your rebellious teenager and you don’t think you can handle it anymore – is there hope?
I do know we can’t put our hope in people – they will disappoint us. We can’t put our hope in our retirement – they have been so up and down. We can’t put our hope in the government – it continues to disappoint us. So, what do we put our hope in? We put our hope in the 5,467 promises in scripture. Below are a few:
· The presence of GOD Ex 3:12; Ex 33:14; Jos 1:9; Isa 58:9; Mt 28:20; Heb 13:5
· The peace of GOD 1Ch 22:9; Ps 85:8; Isa 9:6-7; Ro 5:1; Php 4:4-9
· HE is absolutely trustworthy Nu 23:19; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:13-18
· HE is unchanging Ps 110:4; Mal 3:6-7; Jas 1:17-18
· HE is faithful to keep all his promises Jos 21:45; Jos 23:14-15; 1Ki 8:56; Heb 10:23
We can trust in God – HE is faithful, loving and steadfast – we can depend on HIM. Thank you for all your continued love and support. Blessings to you this wonderful Christmas season!
Because of HIM,
Betty Alvarez Ham
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