Christians respond as Colorado wildfires spread

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is in Colorado and New Mexico where thousands of people have been displaced as a result of wildfires.

Chaplains have been sent to the Ruidoso and Capitan area of New Mexico, and Fort Collins in Colorado, where they are offering spiritual and emotional support.

"Many of those who have been evacuated and unable to return home have told us that the worst part is not knowing," said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

"They don't know if their homes are still standing, don't know if their pets are alive, and don't know if they've lost all they own in this world.

"Our chaplains are there to encourage the ministry of local churches, and offer a listening ear, practical assistance and support to those affected. We want to bring the compassion and hope of Jesus Christ into this horrible situation."

New Life Church in Colorado Springs has made itself available to the authorities in case evacuees need shelter, although their facilities have so far not been needed.

Senior pastor at New Life, Brady Boyd, said that four semi-trailers of food and relief supplies were due to arrive at the church on Thursday and Friday to support people affected by the fires.

He took to the Web to ask the megachurch's members to pray for rain.

"First, I am so proud of the way our church has mobilized into our city to help during this fire storm," he wrote on the church's website.

"The offers continue to pour in by the hour for shelter, food, and donations. You are the church at its finest."

He added: "Our prayers are important now, more than ever. God is faithful to us even when circumstances are not what we had planned or imagined."

Rick Wood, editor of the US Center for World Mission's Mission Frontiers magazine, also appealed for prayer.

"Please continue to pray for all those fighting this fire," he said.

"Praise God that thus far no lives have been lost and no injuries reported among the fire fighters.

"We are huddled inside trying to stay away from the smoke that is blanketing the city.

"Pray for calm winds that will not spread this fire like it did yesterday. This remains a very dangerous and fluid situation."

He added: "We need a miracle and rain."