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8-12-15 Loaves and Fishes Principle – Still at Work Today!

by Patty Marsh



Four separate lightning strikes on July 14, 2014, in the Methow Valley in central Washington began the Carlton Complex Fire which would become the largest wildfire in Washington state history totaling 350,000 acres. In the following months God’s people responded to a simple request to support those hit by this disaster by donating with dollar gifts both small and large.

What difference would a $10, $100 or $1,000 gift make? Some of the dollars went for immediate needs, but most of the funds were held through the winter awaiting whether an Adventist Community Services (ACS) large warehouse would be needed in the spring which could incur great expenses.*

In late spring, 2015, the Disaster Response Advisory voted to use these dollars gifts for a one-time donation to the long-term recovery group who, after careful vetting, would assist in rebuilding 42 fire-resistant homes for the uninsured — individuals who would not have resources to rebuild themselves, many of them retired and on a fixed income.


Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) offerings totaled $11,377. Washington Conference ACS gave an additional gift to UCC’s donation adding $5,000 equaling a total of $16,377. The Brewster church, whose goal is to ultimately give $90,000, added to the Adventist donation, $18,000.

This is where the excitement begins — the week UCC made the ACS donation an anonymous donor offered to match any donation made to the long-term recovery group. The ACS donation became $32,754, the Brewster church donation, $36,000 making the total Adventist donation $68,754! 

And that's not all, because there were other donations from faith-based organizations that were matched as well, bringing the total to $509,023.60 for Carlton Complex recovery. It is clear that God still uses the principle behind the loaves and fishes yet today.

*When disaster hits, a long-term recovery effort easily last three years or even more. Unfortunately cameras and media leave within a few days or weeks — the result: donations for the most part end when needed most. The long term recovery continues as donations come in to help families rebuild.

Besides dollar donations, the greatest need in the rebuilding effort of the 42 homes is the donation of time, skills and equipment of licensed plumbers and electricians and heavy equipment operators to remove ash and foundations. For more information, contact Cindy Cook or call 509-220-9606.

Patty Marsh is the Adventist Community Services and Disaster Response Director for the Upper Columbia Conference.
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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