Glen Ellen teams up with Seacoast Community

When the Great Firestorm of 2017 hit Glen Ellen, we were suddenly faced with meeting emergency needs for food, clothing, and housing.  There was not much we could do to assist those burned out on their property because FEMA and others needed to clear off the lots until the toxicity levels were met.  It was then that we decided there would come a day when we could go onto the properties and assist.  Enter Seacoast Community Church of Encinitas, Calif.  Pastor Jonathan Searle and associate, John Boehmer flew up to scope out the disaster and after spending a day on site, God gave them a vision for a work trip to come and help in our community.  After developing a plan for assisting, Seacoast recruited 12 from their church to come to Glen Ellen at their own expense in order to make a difference.  On Thursday, March 16th, the team, primarily in their 20’s – early 30’s, arrived in Glen Ellen ready to take up the work.    

After a partial night’s sleep in various homes and on the floor of our sanctuary which was built in 1895, the team arrived at the first job site, which was the home of Dan and Susie Snetsinger’s burned out lot at the corner of Dunbar and Sylvia.  Work there included building a portion of a wooden fence, ringing 2 ½ sides of the property with a wire fence, re-building a bridge, digging out burned out plants and shrubs, planting new plants and shrubs, and re-furbishing a partially burned out patio overhead.    After a busy day, the guys were ready for spaghetti/pizza and a bit of fellowship.

The next day brought more of the same as the pile of branches in need of chipping continued to grow.  While this was being done, part of the team had gone to the neighbor’s lot across the street and cut trees, mowed their lot, and chipped more branches. Then after lunch, the chipper was loaded up and taken to the burned out area on O’Donnell lane, just down from our church.  Trees were taken down on 3 lots, and previously downed trees were in need of chipping on a fourth lot.  The guys worked hard up until the sun began to drop low over the horizon.  That night, two from Seacoast presented everyone with wonderful BBQ’ed steaks and our ladies provided the necessary side dishes.  

The next morning, several of the Seacoast team participated in our morning worship service.  In it, we were blessed to see one lady in attendance who lives on a lot which the guys worked on the previous day.  It was a great morning of rejoicing and being thankful for all that the Lord had done during our time together.  In summary, we saw 12 young men from Encinitas joined with over a dozen men and women from GECC and the community assisting in the work.  Another eight were working on food preparation and several more provided bedding.  This was a great community effort and we would like to thank Pastor Lance Pruett as project supervisor, Susie Snetsinger, Lorna Knudtson, and Brenda Hill as food coordinators, the team from Seacoast Community, and so many more who help out in so many ways.  Also, we wish to thank those who have donated to GECC’s fire fund which made it possible by providing materials and food.  Thank you to the Community of Jesus Christ for praying for us as we sought to minister in our back yards – that Jesus Christ might be made known through us.