Chaplains help grieving Fort McMurray residents deal with losses from wildfire

By Frank King | Published: July 21, 2016




As she waited to see if Samaritan’s Purse volunteers could find any keepsakes in the burned remains of her Fort McMurray home, Brenna Chalifoux tried to answer a question from a Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplain:

Are Fort McMurray residents blaming God for the devastating wildfire that wiped out more than 2,400 buildings (many of them homes) in this northern Alberta city?

“I don’t think anyone feels angry at God,” said the 15-year Fort McMurray resident. “I don’t think it was God. We thank God for all you guys who are helping and everyone who has been so generous.”

Later, chaplain Ray Sider noted “it’s really important to be there with the homeowner and help them journey through these hours of sifting (through the rubble of burned homes) that are going on. Some have been back and have had time to adjust to the devastation, but….(others) are dealing with a lot of emotions.”

Since Rapid Response Team chaplains deployed to Fort McMurray on May 21, God has used them to bring Christ’s love and compassion to more than 2,800 residents. Twenty-one of them decided to commit their lives to Jesus Christ.

Please continue to partner with us so that when disaster strikes again in Canada or around the world, chaplains can quickly respond and provide hurting people with “the peace of God” (Colossians 3:15, NKJV).