As devastating wildfires spread through Colorado and Wyoming, 21 firefighters from Maryland volunteered to go help fight the blaze.
Squad Boss Bert Wagner said, “It was the highest fire in the nation—one of the highest places in the nation. We came from about 43 feet above sea level and went to 11,900 feet. You have to walk five to eight miles to get to the fire up very steep rocky terrain.”
“For the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.” —2 Corinthians 9:12
Wildfire Specialist Kevin Massey said, “We would get up in the mornings and it would be in the low 30s with ice on our tent and we were hailed on. We had one crewmember who had to be hospitalized for altitude sickness. Working 15 to 16 hours a day, while gasping for air was one of the biggest challenges. Your heart’s racing and you’re carrying a load, carrying 50 to 60 pounds of gear with us.” Massey continued, “To see someone picking through what was left of their home, everything they had, it was pretty devastating.”
But after all this work and risk, what did the firefighters say they would recall of this trip? “We had a cafeteria set up in the middle school in Laramie and the walls were covered with posters and letters from the children. For me, this is what I’ll take and I’ll remember forever.”
It is amazing how simple, heartfelt gratitude can often erase sacrifice and hardship for first responders. It is a reminder of the reason for this service in the first place—helping others.
SAVIOR, thank You for the many ways You have taken care of, saved me, provided for me, and helped me. May my life reflect gratitude to You as well and all those who help me in so many ways.