Oregon Trail volunteers respond to NW Nebraska fire

Labor Day weekend 2012 found disaster-relief volunteers in Oregon Trail Baptist Association responding to their second fire in six weeks.

Wildfires hit northwest Nebraska and spread into the Pine Ridge area in South Dakota. These fires came on the heels of the late July fires in the Niobrara River valley in north-central Nebraska.

Oregon Trail Baptist Association operated two kitchens on Saturday, Sept. 1, to prepare breakfast and lunch at a Catholic church in Pine Ridge, S.D., for firefighters on the Pine Ridge reservation.

The second feeding operation was based at the Rushville, Neb., Fire Department and later at the middle school for firefighters at Rushville and Hay Springs.

“We went back to one kitchen for supper on Saturday [Sept. 1] and breakfast and lunch on Sunday [Sept. 2]. The Feds took over on Sunday morning and catered their meals. We prepared 1,900 meals Saturday morning through Sunday noon,” said Doug Lee, Oregon Trail director of missions.

“Going into Rushville, we understood that we would be preparing for 100-150 firefighters per meal, but as you can see it was much more. Our team did well in representing Christ in the three communities and did a good job in preparing the meals.

“Your prayers are what sustained us,” Lee wrote in an e-mail update. “Thank you for praying for your disaster-relief volunteers. Also, we had other DR volunteers from our churches ready to replace the first team. Thanks to those of you that were ready to relieve the first volunteers.

Lee continued, “Please pray for the firefighters and the families that were touched by the fires in one way or other in NW Nebraska. Pray for people to come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior by the witness of Christians living in these communities and the conduct of our volunteers.

“Also, let’s not forget to continue praying for the firefighters and families touched by the fires in north-central Nebraska in late July, Lee said.

Residents of Ainsworth, Neb., held a celebration on Saturday, Sept. 8, to thank firefighters and volunteers who fought the late-July fires in the area. A total of 104 fire departments responded.