An Update on the Fires from Fuller Colorado
Director of Fuller's Colorado campus provides details on fires' impact
Director Will Stoller-Lee
To the Community:
As director of the Fuller Colorado campus, I'd like to provide an update on the Fuller Colorado family and the fires in Colorado Springs.
These fires started in the mountains west of Colorado Springs on Saturday, but conditions seemed to be improving until midday on Tuesday. High temperatures (several days over 100 degrees) and high winds (65 mph) created a tragic situation in which the fire quickly spread down the rugged mountain canyons into town, and a number of homes in the northwestern area of the city were destroyed overnight. A large section of Colorado Springs has now been evacuated (32,000 people in the northwest), with many others on pre-evacuation alert. One of our attractions and a favorite of many locals, the Flying W Ranch, was destroyed overnight. The historic Glen Eyrie Conference Center (headquarters for the Navigators) is located dangerously close to the front edge of the fire area, but up until this point has not sustained any damage.
The Fuller Colorado offices and the homes of most of our staff are located in sections of town that are in no immediate danger--except for one staff member, who was evacuated safely with family and is now staying with friends outside of the city. We have not received word of any students losing their homes, but there are a number who have also been evacuated. A number of our ministry partners and community friends were also in the section of town that was evacuated. One piece of good news is that there have not been any lives lost thanks in part to the comprehensive reach of the evacuation plans.
Our Fuller Colorado program manager, Lindy, has been volunteering with the Black Forest Fire Department for the past several years. She spent the night with her team assisting in one of the neighborhoods (Peregrine) that was in greatest danger, digging trenches and helping her team prevent the spread of the fire. She was sent home to get some sleep this morning when another crew arrived, but has been asked to report back later tonight. We are proud of Lindy's commitment to serve the community in this manner.
We have an intensive class meeting this week, Foundations of Biblical Preaching with Dr. Lisa Lamb. The scheduled topic for today's class session was "preaching during times of crisis." There will certainly be ample opportunities for these students to find a practical use for that class session in the days ahead.
Thanks for your many notes and emails of concern and support. We treasure your prayers for the Fuller Colorado family and the Colorado Springs community. Many of those who have been evacuated are living in the midst of uncertainty about the status of their homes. Please remember in prayer the many local churches and ministries who seek to provide practical help and spiritual support to the community during this time of crisis. And pray especially for Lindy and hundreds of other hard-working emergency personnel who are risking their lives to protect the community.
Will Stoller-Lee, Director
Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado