Finding Hope After the Fire

A man staring a standing cross surrounded by rubble

Finding Hope After the Fire

- by Hand of Hope
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"When all the press was gone and the people really needed help, you stayed the longest and worked the hardest." –Gary Jones

“Well, this is what’s left of my home,” Gary Jones said as he walked through the ashes of where his house in Cornell once stood.

Gary is one of thousands who lost everything this past fall when wildfires devastated 1.8 million acres in California.

“It was like a 20-foot-wide blowtorch coming right up this canyon,” he said. “It had already come over the wall and was burning my house. There was a lady who was working for me, so I had to get her out.”

Together, they ran toward the front gate, only to find it engulfed in flames. So, they retreated to the coolest area they could find—the base of a 10-foot-high wooden cross that Gary had built into the side of the mountain.

While they took shelter, the wildfires consumed everything around them, including his home, ranch, a lifetime of valuables and even his pets. In the end, only three things remained—Gary, his friend and the cross.

On the Scene…at a Moment’s Notice

With your help, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions partnered with the Dream Center in Los Angeles to bring immediate relief to the families in Cornell.

“When the fire died down and the people came back, there was nobody here to help,” Gary said. “That’s when the people from the Los Angeles Dream Center showed up—when all the press was gone and the people really needed help. These guys in blue shirts stayed the longest and worked the hardest.”

You provided temporary housing and vital supplies such as food and water. You also helped them begin the difficult task of cleaning up and sifting through the ashes for any personal items still intact.

Thanks to you, our teams were able to reach out to this community and so many others in the Los Angeles area, helping them to literally pick up the pieces and begin again.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Gary said. “I wish there was a better word than thank you. But that’s all we have.”

Hand of Hope