Grenfell Tower Fire

Please read this positive email from Major Paul Kingscott, Assistant Secretary for Mission, received late last week.

Ruth, with her husband Karl (Ed note: Captains), were the first Salvation Army responders (along with Lieut Anne-Marie Gifford) at the Grenfell Tower fire, they have worked tirelessly since ensuring that the response vehicle is stocked, resourced and manned. Since then we have been overwhelmed by offers of support but here is the outworking of God’s mission through an unprecedented event.

So please read and share this email with your Corps, Centres and community.

Captain Ruth Gray writes:

We are now a week away from that morning when the pager went off, we made the phone call and the chilling words were said back to us, 40 pump fire. “Major incident declared.” We’ve been to a forty pump fire before, closing day of the Olympic Games, a factory in East London, devastating for the owners but no one hurt. This is different.

I spoke to my mum last night, they live in beautiful Whitby in North Yorkshire, she said “Ruth this must be awful the tower block looming  over everyone a constant reminder of ……..”

This email is not to make you sad or to remind you about it again, this email is to tell you that as a church, organisation, Army, movement, (titles mean very little this week) we have taken Jesus in maybe a tiny way into the area directly affected, we have seen and been privileged to show the love of God that we know is our complete strength to people who have no strength left.

The Salvation Army has worked together, in an amazing, integrated way that I would never have dreamed possible.

THQ released resources immediately, our Regional Service Centre have had personnel supporting us above and beyond what we would have expected. Our DHQ team have been so good, I can’t even think of words. Yesterday I was able to say to the Local Authority now responsible for the site, I have secretarial support, as she looked at my colour coded rota. She said, “I wish I had had that as fast as you.” Divisions that border on to London have now sent teams, even a team from a Division that doesn’t has helped us out. North and South London are “One Army” anyway, we all know each other. What happened last year at our organisation change meant that as Divisional boundaries have changed I now know more people. God for me again is so a God of detail. People who couldn’t physically help sent prayer texts to us.

So we are staying longer than this weekend. We will be there into next week. Today we will look forward whilst seeking God on how and when we go back to our “normal” lives and let others carry on.

Please pray for our city,

Please thank God for the Salvation Army.

Please continue to pray for us.

This morning this is what my Bible App on my phone started with.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint” from Isaiah 40.

We will keep you updated as we can, but let me be honest, life is a bit manic at the moment. Yet again what I have been reminded of this week is that God is the one who brings order to chaos but he is really also Lord of the chaos as well.

Ruth, you have our prayers!

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