Our neighbors at the College Church of Christ in Fresno suffered a blow during the night on Monday when an arsonist struck, igniting a fire just outside of their church building that did about $50,000 worth of damage to their facility.
Please keep them in your prayers today.
Yesterday, an arsonist struck at Woodward Park, lighting a roll of toilet paper on fire in a women's restroom. The office staff reacted to a foyer filling with smoke by calling 911. The fire department personnel and fire investigators came to our building and did extensive investigative work in attempting to identify the source.
Fortunately for us, the fire did not do any significant damage to our building -- nothing near the damage inflicted upon the College church building.
Doug Baker, one of the ministers at College, came to our building when he learned the news of our small fire and expressed the blessings and best wishes of the College church for us. I greatly appreciated Doug's expression, as well as an encouraging email I received last evening from Steve Thurman.
I hate the repercussions that fill my mind in the aftermath of the work of an arsonist. Safety and protection of our members must be valued, but our houses of worship cannot become enclaves where we wall ourselves off from the outside world in fear. I know the likelihood exists that we'll revisit some of our safety/security procedures as it relates to our facility...and I regret that. I know it is necessary but I still regret the reality of it all.
My hope and prayer today is that, in the future, the only fire affiliated with our church is the fire and smoke that rises from Cedric's grill as we feed the less fortunate!