June 27, 2012 - 9 PM
I have decided to cancel our Summer Family Bible Conference, which was to be held from July 2-6 at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs. I have also canceled the groundbreaking for Charis Bible College (CBC) at The Sanctuary in Woodland Park, our CBC directors’ meeting, and the alumni dinner.
No one regrets doing this more than me, but it’s the prudent thing to do for these reasons:
The Andrew Wommack Ministries offices are under mandatory evacuation. The fires are still active just over a mile from our offices. We believe that our facility is protected, but the officials are saying that the remains of smoldering structures will continue to keep the evacuated areas closed for a few more days even if the fires don’t spread. If the fires do spread, it could get much worse and the evacuations prolonged. Therefore, we are unable to get to any of our products, equipment, registration information, and a host of other things needed for the conference.
A large number of our staff and volunteers have been evacuated from their homes. Many are staying with friends, families, at shelters, and even with other staff members. In those circumstances, it would be a real hardship on them to go ahead with the conference. The children’s ministry and much of the behind-the-scenes work is accomplished by volunteers. Most of them simply cannot be there.
The hotels we use for the dozens of people we are responsible for have also been evacuated. Many of our friends and partners coming for the conference may find that their hotels are closed or that their rooms are unavailable. Every hotel room in Colorado Springs and most from Pueblo to Denver have been taken by the thousands of displaced families.
Because of this, I had to move quickly and notify our international CBC directors. Many would have left today or tomorrow to arrive for our weekend meetings.
There are also health risks with all of the smoke in Colorado Springs. Officials have been wearing gas masks and residents have been warned to stay inside. We are told that even when the fires are completely contained, there will still be smoke from the smoldering embers and the other dozen or so wildfires that are active in our state.
I’m sure the international coverage of the fires would keep many people away. We could still hold the meetings at the Pikes Peak Center because downtown Colorado Springs is pretty safe. But I feel bringing in an additional 1,500 to 2,000 people to the city would be adding to the difficulties of a city that is already in “survival mode.”
Because of these and other issues, I’ve decided to cancel the Bible conference and all related activities. I wanted to wait until the weekend to make this announcement because I was praying and believing for a miraculous intervention from the Lord in the form of a good, soaking rain that would put out these fires. I had hoped that things would turn around in the next couple of days, and I’m still in faith for that.
But the fact that so many people are already beginning their journeys to the Springs with no place for them to stay prompted me to make this decision early. I didn’t feel like it was responsible on my part to encourage people to come when there was no way the infrastructure of Colorado Springs could accommodate them at this time.
I pray that all of you understand and will support me in this decision. It wasn’t a selfish choice. I really believe that this is what is best for others, not myself.
Again, I would like to mention that all our normal operations are suspended until we are allowed back into our offices. And even then, I’m sure it’s going to take a lot to get caught up. We already had some employees working overtime to handle all the ministry contacts. We will be recovering from this for a while.
I am disappointed but not upset. We always triumph. God is much bigger than all of this. This isn’t the greatest problem we’ve ever faced. By the grace of God and your prayers and support, we will be stronger than ever before. The Word says to bless the Lord at all times (Ps. 34:1), and that is exactly what Jamie and I are doing. Praise God this didn’t happen in the midst of the conference. It could have been worse.
If we win, we win, and if we lose, we win. We can’t lose for winning. Praise God for Jesus and thanks for all your prayers and support.
Andrew and Jamie Wommack