A devastating fire in the San Antonio area has claimed the life of one firefighter, and destroyed an entire church.
The department has made an emotional plea for prayers, while the community is also rallying together in the wake of the tragedy, with a local elementary school offering to let the church hold services in the school while they are without a church building.
Prayer in schools and other government organizations is becoming an increasingly touchy subject, particularly among activist organizations with a tendency to file lawsuits. In this case, it’s an afterthought.
On Thursday, Mosaic Church was forced to vacate after a fire destroyed most of the shopping center they’re located in, according to Eyewitness Kens 5. Instead of having to shop around for a rushed new location, a local public school, Linton Elementary, stepped in to offer up their cafeteria as a temporary worship space.
The deadly fire also killed San Antonio Fire Department’s Scott Deem, while injuring firefighters Robert Vasquez and Brad Phipps.
Mosaic Church’s lead pastor, Lucas Barrientes, struck up a relationship with Linton Elementary school’s principal Juan Perez about a year ago.
Barrientes said he went to principal Perez because he wanted to provide food and gifts to teachers at Linton. Because they had that relationship, principal Perez didn’t hesitate when the opportunity came for his school to be the one lending a helping hand.
“Juan Perez, the principal, actually called on Friday to ask how we were doing. He said, ‘Hey, if you guys need a place to meet on Sunday, our school is open for you guys,'” according to Barrientes.
Barrientes led a service this past Sunday to honor firefighters and to pray for Scott Deem and his family.
Also, Nora Silva, executive pastor of Mosaic Church said, “There’s a great sadness in our community, certainly with our firemen and women.”
Barrientes previewed worship this Sunday, saying, “What we’re doing…is not just praying for Scott Deem and his family, but we’re praying for Robert Vasquez and a quick recovery, Brad Phipps and the family, and we’re praying heavily for Chief Hood.”
In a press conference on Friday morning, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said, “We as a department, we need your prayers, especially during this time when we are in a life storm in this organization. And we will come out of it a stronger fire department, but we need your prayers.”
(H/T: Kens 5)
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