An influential charismatic church is giving $1,000 to every household that lost their home in the Carr Fire, a move it says is a “God-sized step of faith.”
Bethel Church, which has several thousand members and is home to Bethel Music, announced on its website that it would be giving the money to those whose primary residence was destroyed in the fire that began raging near Redding, California, two weeks ago.
“We are incredibly blessed as a church by people all around the world praying for us, donating and supporting our community here in Redding. The generosity of gifts coming towards us is both humbling and much needed. Christians around the world are coming together and supporting a cause that is bigger than any one individual alone can carry,” the church explained.
“When we first made the decision to give a financial gift for the people in our city who had lost their home, the numbers being reported were 150-200 homes. Within just three days, that number had climbed to over 1000 homes, and the amount we had expected to raise and give went from $200,000 to over $1,000,000 dollars.”
Bethel’s original plan to give $200,000 “was a challenge, but doable in our own strength and resources,” the church said.
“But $1,000,000 is a God-sized step of faith. We are believing Him for it, and are now in the process of reaching out to our friends around the globe to be the hands of Christ to our city in this moment. We are determined to honor this commitment, whether the generosity comes from gifts from the global community or from our own church finances.”
The only Redding and Shasta County residents who will qualify to receive the sum of money are those whose homes were their primary residence. Their houses must also be listed on the Housing Authority report as more than 50 percent destroyed. The money will not benefit those who lost their vacation homes, second homes, or rental properties. Only one gift of $1000 will be given per household.
Days after the fire began, the church came under criticism on social media for not opening its doors for evacuees. Bethel maintained that it offered to be such a site but was told that it was situated too close to the fire zone and that it would not work to have people stay overnight given that there is only one road in and out of its premises. The Red Cross subsequently confirmed to local reporters this was indeed the case. The church is presently serving as a Salvation Army aid distribution site.
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SOURCE: Christian Post