Sorry the blog has been quiet for the past few days. My mind has been focused in other places. I don't know how much of this you are hearing about in The States but almost all Canadians have had their eyes on Fort McMurray, Alberta and the huge forest fire which encroached on their city.
In a dramatic turn of events, the fire, which was manageable, grew to an unruly size and within hours this past Tuesday, the entire city of 88,000 people was forced to evacuate. These 88,000 people included my brother, my sister-in-law, my 14-year-old nephew, and my 10-year-old niece.
Thankfully, except for one tragic car accident which killed two people, everyone was evacuated safely. Unfortunately, large sections of the city have been burned and over 1,600 homes have been lost. My sister-in-law's good friends lost their house and some of my nephew's friends have also lost their homes. However as far as we know, as of this morning, my brother's family's house is safe, and the fire is moving out of the city. However, it will be a long time until anyone can return home.
Needless to say my attention has been focused on communicating with my sister-in-law, soaking up every detail on the fire from the Fort McMurray Twitter feed (which has been doing an amazing job of keeping everyone up to date under, what I can only imagine, is tremendous pressure), and following the CBC live blog for any updates. And praying that no more homes are lost and that everyone remains safe.
I have also been particularly proud to be Canadian during this time as people from across the country are making millions of dollars in donations to the Red Cross to support everyone affected by the fire. Fort McMurray is an oil town and people from across the country have gone there to work (as my brother and his family did) so this is a tragedy which touches all of us from coast to coast.
I ask for your prayers of petition for everyone who is directly affected by the fire and for your prayers of thankfulness that, thus far (and except for the one exception mentioned above), there have been no human casualties.