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New Mexico fires damage A/G families’ homes

Forest fires near the New Mexico city of Los Alamos did $1 billion worth of property damage and destroyed 235 residences in May. Keith Roepcke, pastor of New Beginnings Fellowship Assembly of God in Los Alamos, says he and others were forced to evacuate, and that two families from his church lost their homes. Another family lost a home that was almost built.

"We have fires every summer, but it’s always been contained," Roepcke says. "When they evacuated us, I couldn’t believe it was happening. I grabbed my Bible, the concordance, my computer. I never thought we’d have to leave."

New Beginnings church suffered minor smoke damage. The fire came within 250 feet of Roepcke’s home. Half a block away, he says, houses were leveled.

"It looks like a bomb went off here," he says. "Nothing left but foundations. This was in my estimation the most beautiful spot in the state. We had canyons, mesas, but they are stripped. The hills close to town have nothing but black toothpicks on them."

Los Alamos, he says, is a city known for humanism and New Age religion.

"My prayer is that every church on this hill that preaches Jesus will have visitors come," Roepcke says. "I’m believing for hundreds and thousands to come to the Lord through this."

Churches in New Mexico and other states sent semi-loads of food, clothing and relief items to displaced families. New Beginnings became a distribution center.

"All of us from the New Mexico District Council appreciate the prayers of those who have prayed for us," says R. Kenneth George, district superintendent. "We are very grateful that there has been no loss of life. Please continue to pray with us for the safety of all who are involved."

— Joel Kilpatrick


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