June 25th: The Waldo Canyon Fire was started about 15 minutes from my family’s house in Southern Colorado Springs. I heard this news while spending a weekend with my grandparents in Lancaster, PA just before starting my fourth week of groups at CSM Philly. Beginning a week not knowing what was going to be happening to my family, my home, my city, or my life back home was frightening. It was so vital to completely trust in God through this. The power of prayer was utilized to the maximum capacity here at CSM. We had groups pray for Colorado Springs and the families there. As the fire began to take route, it was comforting to know that it was moving north, away from my house, yet devastating to know that in an instant my city could be burned to the ground. However, it was such comforting news to ease my mind, and to get me focused on the group that was here and still help them have the very best week possible in the amazing city of Philadelphia. For the next few weeks, I would still hear the stories of neighborhoods being engulfed by flame and people missing, and that stayed on the backburner of my mind. Thank the Lord, July 10th the fire had been completely contained.
July 20th: Friday morning I woke up to hear the devastating news that a man in Aurora, Colorado set off a canister of tear gas and open fired in a movie theater in the early hours of the morning at the new Batman Movie Dark Night Rises, killing 15 innocent people and injuring 58 others. This happened only an hour from my home, and only a few minutes from Columbine High School, which had encountered a similar experience 13 years ago.
For a while there, I was ashamed to say I was from Colorado. People came to me and told me, “It’s so nice to meet someone who isn’t evil from Colorado”. Through that, however, God taught me a HUGE lesson. Colorado isn’t evil,GOD isn’t evil--man is evil. Because Eve took that forbidden fruit thousands of years ago, sin entered the heart of man, and that has affected the entire outcome of the world thus far. God is almighty and victorious. He has ultimate control and power over all situations. It is devastating what has happened in Colorado, and its heart-wrenching that I am unable to be there and comfort those who have lost everything, but life is a balancing act, and only through the power of Jesus Christ, can we win the Gold medal. My prayer continues to go out to all of the victims that have lost something in Colorado this summer, whether it was their house or a loved one. I also pray for the CSM Denver staff as they are forced to deal with these issues so close to their ministry-- that them being in the city will offer a light and bring hope to a city that may seem disillusioned to what has taken place.