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Friday
Jun292012

Update: Fire Impact On AWM - June 29, 2012 9AM

June 29, 2012 UPDATE

This is an update on how the Waldo Canyon Fire has affected Andrew Wommack Ministries as of 9 a.m. MST, June 29, 2012.

Yesterday was a mix of good and bad news. We learned last night that one body was found in a burned out home and two people are missing. They don’t know if these people are just missing or lost to the fire. We also learned there were 346 homes destroyed. This isn’t the largest fire in Colorado as measured in acres burned, but it is the worst fire in terms of lost homes. Couple this with the High Park fire near Ft. Collins and this has been the worst fire season in Colorado history. Ten wildfires are still burning in our state.

The good news is that the Waldo Canyon fire didn’t grow last night but containment increased from 5% to 15%. In the last two days, the spread of the fire towards the Sanctuary, our property in Woodland Park, has not increased. The authorities say they feel very good about containing the movement of the fire towards Woodland Park.

Some of the evacuations have been lifted including the evacuation of our ministry offices. We do have people at work but it’s a skeleton crew. Many are just getting back in their homes and some didn’t get the notification in time. We are allowing all the staff who were evacuated to use today to get settled back into their homes.

Much of this improvement has been due to the two best days of weather since the beginning of the fire. I attribute this to the prayers of people all over the world. We have had three straight days of very good rain at our house. It’s been a soaking rain that has actually washed my driveway. It hasn’t fallen directly on the fire but the temperatures are about ten degrees cooler than the record highs and record low humidity that characterized the first few days of the fire.

The Waldo Canyon fire is still burning and very dangerous. The High Park fire in northern Colorado is a good example. It was 65% contained when the winds came up last Saturday and it jumped the containment lines destroying another 50+ homes. The same thing could still happen here.

So, we appreciate your continued prayers for rain and cooler temperatures. This will be my last daily update if things continue to improve.

I looked at some of the national coverage yesterday and it was appalling how misinformed they were. Their information was a couple of days old and they were mixing reports from other fires with this fire and it was totally misleading. This re-enforced my conviction that if you are depending on the national news to be informed, you are really misinformed. So, if something drastic happens, I will keep you posted.

Thanks for your prayers and support and understanding. We will get back to full service as soon as possible and will keep you posted on the rescheduling of our ground breaking.

Andrew and Jamie

Thursday
Jun282012

Update: Fire Impact On AWM - June 28, 2012 9AM

This is an update on the impact of the Waldo Canyon fire on Andrew Wommack Ministries as of 9 am MST on June 28, 2012. Please see my previous posts for more information.

The Waldo Canyon fire only grew approximately 3,000 acres on June 27th. This was the least growth since it started on June 23rd. It now stands at 18,500 acres and there are still fires burning within Colorado Springs. Although official numbers of houses destroyed were not given, the mayor of Colorado Springs said it would be in the hundreds.

The leading edge of this fire was as close as one mile from our office. That area of town is still under mandatory evacuation so our offices are still closed and all operations suspended. Between 30 and 40 of our employees also live in areas under mandatory evacuations too.

The mandatory evacuations extended into parts of Woodland Park yesterday. That’s where our new Sanctuary property is located. At this moment, our property is outside of the evacuation area but it is on standby.

The weather forecast is better for today. The temperatures and winds are both predicted to be less and the fire fighters are predicting to make a lot of progress on containing this blaze today. I agree with that.

In my previous post, I announced the cancelation of our Summer Family Bible Conference, the CBC director’s meetings, alumni dinner, and the postponement of our ground breaking at the Sanctuary.

We appreciate all your love and support and prayers. We believe these fires are being put out and our state is returning to the beautiful place God created it to be.

I will post a daily update on our web site and if any dramatic changes occur, we will try and keep you informed.

Andrew and Jamie Wommack

Thursday
Jun282012

Conference Canceled - Groundbreaking Postponed

June 27, 2012 - 9 PM

I have decided to cancel our Summer Family Bible Conference, which was to be held from July 2-6 at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs. I have also canceled the groundbreaking for Charis Bible College (CBC) at The Sanctuary in Woodland Park, our CBC directors’ meeting, and the alumni dinner.

No one regrets doing this more than me, but it’s the prudent thing to do for these reasons:

The Andrew Wommack Ministries offices are under mandatory evacuation. The fires are still active just over a mile from our offices. We believe that our facility is protected, but the officials are saying that the remains of smoldering structures will continue to keep the evacuated areas closed for a few more days even if the fires don’t spread. If the fires do spread, it could get much worse and the evacuations prolonged. Therefore, we are unable to get to any of our products, equipment, registration information, and a host of other things needed for the conference.

A large number of our staff and volunteers have been evacuated from their homes. Many are staying with friends, families, at shelters, and even with other staff members. In those circumstances, it would be a real hardship on them to go ahead with the conference. The children’s ministry and much of the behind-the-scenes work is accomplished by volunteers. Most of them simply cannot be there.

The hotels we use for the dozens of people we are responsible for have also been evacuated. Many of our friends and partners coming for the conference may find that their hotels are closed or that their rooms are unavailable. Every hotel room in Colorado Springs and most from Pueblo to Denver have been taken by the thousands of displaced families.

Because of this, I had to move quickly and notify our international CBC directors. Many would have left today or tomorrow to arrive for our weekend meetings.

There are also health risks with all of the smoke in Colorado Springs. Officials have been wearing gas masks and residents have been warned to stay inside. We are told that even when the fires are completely contained, there will still be smoke from the smoldering embers and the other dozen or so wildfires that are active in our state.

I’m sure the international coverage of the fires would keep many people away. We could still hold the meetings at the Pikes Peak Center because downtown Colorado Springs is pretty safe. But I feel bringing in an additional 1,500 to 2,000 people to the city would be adding to the difficulties of a city that is already in “survival mode.”

Because of these and other issues, I’ve decided to cancel the Bible conference and all related activities. I wanted to wait until the weekend to make this announcement because I was praying and believing for a miraculous intervention from the Lord in the form of a good, soaking rain that would put out these fires. I had hoped that things would turn around in the next couple of days, and I’m still in faith for that.

But the fact that so many people are already beginning their journeys to the Springs with no place for them to stay prompted me to make this decision early. I didn’t feel like it was responsible on my part to encourage people to come when there was no way the infrastructure of Colorado Springs could accommodate them at this time.

I pray that all of you understand and will support me in this decision. It wasn’t a selfish choice. I really believe that this is what is best for others, not myself.

Again, I would like to mention that all our normal operations are suspended until we are allowed back into our offices. And even then, I’m sure it’s going to take a lot to get caught up. We already had some employees working overtime to handle all the ministry contacts. We will be recovering from this for a while.

I am disappointed but not upset. We always triumph. God is much bigger than all of this. This isn’t the greatest problem we’ve ever faced. By the grace of God and your prayers and support, we will be stronger than ever before. The Word says to bless the Lord at all times (Ps. 34:1), and that is exactly what Jamie and I are doing. Praise God this didn’t happen in the midst of the conference. It could have been worse.

If we win, we win, and if we lose, we win. We can’t lose for winning. Praise God for Jesus and thanks for all your prayers and support.

Andrew and Jamie Wommack