When Sherry Beard, coordinator of the Reno-Sparks CROP Hunger Walk in Nevada, left church in the pouring rain last Sunday morning, she wasn’t sure whether anyone would show up for the Walk that afternoon.
On Saturday Sherry had sent me an email asking for prayers for the Reno-Sparks community. She wrote, “Please pray for us in the next few days; weather has deteriorated… We have thousands without power due to 50-60 mph winds, intermittent rain and at least 3 wildfires now out of control due to winds. Families and livestock are being evacuated and major transportation routes have been shut down as fire has jumped roads. Planes that are normally used to fight fires like this can’t fly due to the winds.”
CROP Hunger Walkers are a hearty bunch. They walk rain or shine. But wildfires?
Fortunately, Sunday’s rain proved to be a tremendous help to the firefighters. By that afternoon, safety was no longer a concern. Sixty-four committed walkers heard words of support from the President and CEO of CWS, the Rev. John L. McCullough: “please accept my deep, personal appreciation for your commitment in the midst of difficult circumstances. Your neighbors – which may include some in your midst – are experiencing dangerous conditions as a result of the rain, wind and fire that threatens homes and lives in several western states. My thoughts, prayers, and gratitude are with you today.”
Reading Rev. McCullough’s sentiments, “I had tears in my eyes,” said Sherry.
The only reply I had for Sherry was that I had tears in my eyes thinking about her commitment — and the commitment of those 64 walkers – to help others even in the midst of their own disaster. I believe I speak for the CROP Hunger Walk family when I say that we are deeply grateful for Sherry Beard and the caring, giving folks in the Reno-Sparks CROP Hunger Walk.
Kevin Murphy is a Community Engagement Specialist with CWS.