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Pateros in Flames

From VisitOkanogan.com

From VisitOkanogan.com

The City of Pateros, Washington is burning. This picturesque town of about 650 people in north central Washington where the Methow and Columbia Rivers meet is beloved by many. We go there to relax, to enjoy the outdoors, and to enjoy the scenery. An out of control wildfire, one of scores burning in the state right now, has consumed 100 homes in the county at last report. I just received word that a friend’s home– astonishingly– is still standing. That does not mean it is unscathed.

KXLY: Homes, businesses lost in raging Central Washington firestorm

Chaos and devastation cover Washington’s Methow Valley, as a wildfire jumped a ridge and flames burned into the town of Pateros. Homes and businesses are burning to the ground in the firestorm that is burning into the town of Brewster as well.

The fire, stemming from the Carlton Canyon fire, has been burning for several days. Around 6 p.m. Thursday night wind fanned the flames down a hillside and the flames came racing towards Pateros.

At 8 p.m. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers ordered the evacuation of Pateros. As they left town, witnesses reported seeing businesses and homes on fire. The hospital in Brewster was evacuated as was the evacuation center set up by the Red Cross.

I’ve been receiving email reports about this for a few days and am compelled to share some of that information about the fire as an appeal for help. First, a fire close to Wenatchee. I don’t know who to give credit to; their name is not on the OneDrive page I retrieved these from. This looks like hell. Or a furious volcano.

Central WA Fires 7-14 2

Central WA Fires 7-14 1

Here is one account from Thursday, July 17th:

…the last I heard the fire was headed to the shed in the back of our house in Pateros. The neighbor’s house across the street is now gone. When she called me the fire was in the brush in the back, green lawns and sprinklers didn’t seem to matter, in minutes it was gone. Fire was headed to the church also near our house. I have no idea what is burning and what will be left.  I talked to the Red Cross in Chelan, they said it was very bad.  I tried to get my renters back on the phone, no answer. (Renter) was sitting in her car watching the house and crying. I told her kids to tell her to leave, never mind the house. Safety and their lives is what matters. They were all crying, scared and shocked, after all it is their home and their belongings. It was pitch black at 4:30, power lines went out, so much confusion. Cattlemen trying to save their herds. My daughter’s grandmother in a nursing home has to be moved, the hospital in Brewster is moving patients to Omak. The whole hillside above the town was on fire when I was first called. The water tower’s just above the school. It’s not just one town, it is Twisp, Carlton, Brewster, I heard another on near Leavenworth  and around Lake Wenatchee. So many fires, so dry, like matches and gasoline, then the wind does its thing. One fire jumped the Columbia River, that is a big jump, they got that one under control…   

This is a photo of Pateros burning. It was sent with the caveat, “This picture was not taken at night, that’s how dark it was getting… I hope people here will step up like they did at Oso.”

Central WA Fires 7-14 3

One local said:

I received a call  from (family member), who actually saw the fire jump onto the hill in back of Pateros and he said within minutes it had spread horizontally, taking everything in its path. He said it was so painful, watching Pateros burn.  He had been at Ft. Okanogan earlier in the day and was returning home to Wenatchee.  This Carlton Complex Wildfire is a monster and all the surrounding counties are in flames.

I am sick at heart for all of you.  I am praying very hard and asking others to do so, too.

Tanya Wards Jones took this picture of vehicles leaving town. This looks like a scene out of a zombie apocalypse movie.

Central WA Fires 7-14 4

Okanogan County is in a state of emergency. The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle has continuing local coverage and right now is featuring these headlines:

Emergency declared by county commissioners

Wildfire destroys buildings in Pateros

Roads closed, structures destroyed in Methow wildfires

Methow Valley shelter moves from Twisp to Winthrop

Tribe mops up five fires at Owhi Lake

Malott area evacuation ordered; 100 or more homes lost county-wide

Utility declares emergency; repairs could take weeks

Their front page features this dramatic photo, timely as just before I went to their site I was thinking of these timeless lyrics to a favorite hymn. They’re a reminder that there is only one sure thing in this world and it’s Him.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground is sinking sand.

From the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

From the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

KOMO is reporting that Malott has been evacuated as well as part of Brewster. Also:

The fire consumed utility poles from two major power lines, knocking out power to Pateros as well as the towns of Winthrop and Twisp to the north.

Gov. Jay Inslee said about 50 fires were burning in Washington, which has been wracked by hot, dry weather, and gusting winds and lightning. Some 2,000 firefighters were working in the eastern part of the state, with about a dozen helicopters from the Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard, along with a Washington State Patrol spotter plane.

Karina Shagren, spokeswoman for the state’s Military Department, said 100 National Guard troops were on standby, and up to 1,000 more in Yakima could receive additional fire training. Active duty military could be called in as well, Inslee said.

“This, unfortunately, is not going to be a one-day or one-week event,” he said.

The Seattle Times has a map of the fire, information on highway closures, and other useful information.

KCPQ has video of the aftermath in Pateros.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources site has great information including a burn risk map, Twitter feed, and links to updates on the fires.

Here’s how to help. Please remember that both people and animals need assistance at times like this.

The Ron & Don show has posted this information:

All of the Les Schwab Tire Centers locations in Western Washington, along with shops in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and all locations up to Oroville are acting as drop-off points for item donations. All items are welcome. The locations will collect items and then drop them off where they are needed, including Chelan, Pateros and Brewster.

The Wenatchee World has compiled a list of other ways you can help our neighbors in need, some of whom have lost everything:

Chelan PUD offices are now accepting donations of money or gift cards to the Red Cross at their Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan locations. They will also collect donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Chelan Riverwalk Park. For more information, call 663-8121 or (888) 663-8121. • Wenatchee: 327 N. Wenatchee Ave., • Chelan: 1034 E. Woodin Ave. • Leavenworth: 222 Chumstick Hwy.

North Cascades Bank has set up a fire relief fund at all of its branches. Anyone can donate. For more information, call your local branch — Wenatchee, 888-6000.

A fire relief fund has been set up by the Community Foundation of NCW. The fund, announced by Beth Stipe this morning, will partner with the Red Cross to provide short- and long-term aid to fire victims. To donate, visit cfncw.org or send checks to 9 S. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801. For more information, call 663-7716.

Dicks Towing in Wenatchee will be accepting donations and delivering them to Chelan. There is no limit to donations. Necessary items include food, clothing, personal hygiene items, toys, giftcards and baby necessities. Dick’s will also be delivering supplies to firefighters, including snacks, water and personal hygiene items. Items should be dropped off at 110 Thurston St. near the Link Transit Station. Drop-off hours are Mon.-Fri., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To drop off at different hours or for more information call 663-1623.

Lakeland Veterinary Clinic in Manson is not accepting animals for boarding, but is taking dog and cat food donations for the Chelan shelter. You can reach them at 687-1021. 

Q13 says the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is also helping the animal survivors. Besides their wonderful website, they also have a Facebook page. They’ve also reported that there is a site dedicated to helping people find pets lost during the fires. It is managed by the National Disaster Animal Response and Recovery Teams.

There are many more ways to help and volunteer at the Wenatchee World’s How to Assist Fire Victims site. Please keep checking their page for updates. And please check before you donate goods– some sites are not collecting them or they might not be needed. Cash donations to the Red Cross are always helpful.

I have feelers out to the faith community in this county to find out how the churches are helping and what they need. Please keep the people and creatures in this area, great and small, in your prayers tonight. Also pray for the safety of those fighting the fires. I’ve heard some eerie terminology describing these infernos like “out of control,” “a funnel of fire,” and “cauldron of hell.” This is a very dangerous situation and once the flames are out there is a long road to recovery ahead.

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What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? -George Eliot

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

Special Operations

Spycar

You had me at illuminated manuscripts.

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with author Tom Lukas about his first book in a developing series, Special Operations. Standing by his ultra-hip 1972 Volvo p1800e coupe dubbed Spycar, which he’s touring  the country in to promote his series, he offered inside access to a mind always wired for writing, but that didn’t take the plunge until his 30s. At that point he exited a carpentry career to earn a degree in English literature. Readers will be glad he did.

Having recently read Special Operations, I can see how Lukas’ rich and varied life experiences, tinted by both triumph and tragedy, developed into a thriller that showcases the best and worst traits of the human soul. Knowing my interests in forensic psychology, he’d mentioned the complexity of the villain’s character. As you delve into the book you find that some bystanders begin to laud the antagonist’s missions and find yourself wondering how far you would go to protect innocents.

But is it protection, revenge, the indulging of a grossly overinflated, demonic god complex in a garish, theatrical bonfire of narcissism, or all of the above? Or more? What the Illuminator, the shadowy figure who captures key community figures, does is unquestionably over the top and excessive. But in bringing such a character to life, Lukas takes the revenge fantasies that victims of certain horrors might well have indulged and injects them with expired steroids. Some of these stygian twists and turns are so gut-wrenching they’re difficult to read, but they are not beyond the realm of possibility. That’s what makes them so terrifying.

How the Illuminator got from point A to point Z on the sadism spectrum really made me stop and think. I had to build a mental timeline to zero in on how an arguable hero became a butcher who seems like the next incarnation of Josef Mengele. This was especially intriguing because on the very first page, we learn that the Illuminator might be a woman. The MO and signature are not typical of a woman.

Spycar 3

 

Without giving away key plot points, I could see how certain events contributed to this, although how we respond to such events is often a matter of choice. But there was some other factor at play, something whispering behind the curtain that I couldn’t put my finger on until later in the book. This missing puzzle piece nearly floated to the surface by the final pages, shocking in its stark reality, and causing readers to question how often such things happen in the real world.

Also of particular interest to me were the law enforcement characters. I’ve known a lot of cops in various contexts– as a friend, as a spouse, as a coworker, as a student, as a survivor, and so on. Detective Nick Giaccone resembles some of the veterans I know, guys who now do consulting or side work as they age out of the ranks. Those are also some of the best investigators I know.

Giaccone is unwittingly drawn into this case just as he’s about to retire and is pulled deeper and deeper into a tragedy involving a rookie officer. In his investigation he realizes that he should have been paying more attention to his spider sense all along– and this despite his seasoned instincts. As he replays conversations and dredges up old memories, he is able to piece together the bigger picture, leading him to an epic showdown with a surprisingly formidable enemy.

In my writings on sociopaths and domestic violence, I like to remind people of what Gavin de Becker said in his bestseller The Gift of Fear, a book a trusted cop coworker introduced me to over a decade ago. Trust that uneasy feeling you get even if it doesn’t make sense– don’t dismiss it. If someone says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, pay attention.

In The Gift of Fear, de Becker tells us of a man who walked into a convenience store, but had an odd feeling and wound up leaving without buying anything. Shooting erupted soon after. Similarly, domestic violence victims often say that they sensed something was off when they met their abuser, but were charmed by their words anyway. That gut feeling isn’t prone to inaccuracies.

This is the voice that rises in Detective Giaccone as he teams up with a noted professor to interpret clues, particularly bits of illuminated manuscripts positioned at crime scenes. As Professor Canon Nailor and Giaccone connect over their shared second language and common cause, they become the odd couple of policing, at least for a time. We realize there could be more to Professor Nailor when the “dragon” enters, his vehicle of choice. But is there? And why would there be?

Ultimately this book reminded me of what a Holocaust survivor said about Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann– that Eichmann lives in all of us. Human passions and desires, unchecked, can lead straight to hell. There is a point at which the desire for justice  or revenge can cross over into the very territory that the justice seeker wishes to conquer. The abused can become the abuser; the advocate can become the vigilante. In our quest to set the world right we can become something even worse than the monster that violated us or those we love.

Special Operations starts like a roller coaster ride through a haunted house– if you remember the old Flight to Mars ride at the Seattle Center you’ll think you’re inside of that. Safely inside the standard formulaic crime novel, you buckle up and prepare to meet the usual cast of characters. Standard and usual, however, do not apply here. By the end of the book you’re out in the open, ten stories above the city at the top of the tracks not knowing when or how you’ll plummet down in book two.

Spycar 2

 

Lukas knows evil, and as a Christian who studies the dark souls among us, I am reminded of just how dark the night is inside a soul surrendered to forces that strengthen unholy desires. I am also moved to acknowledge how powerful love, devotion, and loyalty are, especially when there is justice to be sought.

In conclusion, Lukas has a gift for descriptive prose and a deep empathy and compassion for victims of sex crimes. For a guy who’s never worked in law enforcement, I appreciate how tuned in he is to the nuances of cops and the frustrations of some of the more seasoned investigators. My only major criticism, other than a smattering of choppy sentences that I tend to write with as well, is that at times I had trouble understanding how many years had passed between a key character’s death and this storyline. At times it seemed like a decade or more; other times much shorter. When I read it again sometime I’ll pay more attention to that. But first I plan to get my hands on a review copy of book two when it’s available. Lukas is actively conducting research to make the next installation at least as realistic and jarring.

Special Operations is published by Spycar Books and Yancastel Inc. in Seattle, Washington. Visit Tom Lukas’ website, Spycar Books, to learn more about this series, the car, and the man who had the courage to switch careers to start chasing his dreams.

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Are there, infinitely varying with each individual, inbred forces of Good and Evil in all of us, deep down below the reach of mortal encouragement and mortal repression — hidden Good and hidden Evil, both alike at the mercy of the liberating opportunity and the sufficient temptation? –Wilkie Collins

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

 

WAG 1

So what are you doing next month in mid-August? How about a little Gemau Byd Arallddweisol in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales?

For years I’ve wanted to host an absolutely ridiculous annual event compromised of guests in random costumes competing in contests of our own creation. Fastest Slip N’Slider covered in Crisco, perhaps, or blindfolded adult tricycle racing. The possibilities are endless and the best part is knowing wild and crazy people who’d have no problem abandoning themselves to such a day of glee.

It turns out that some of my intrepid Welsh brethren have beat me to the punch and created the World Alternative Games, held every August in a small town near the Irfon Forest called Llanwrtyd Wells. The idea for the Games was sparked after learning the Olympics would be held in London in 2012; WAG held its first official games that same year. The WAG website says:

And so, with this in mind, a small group of people came up with an idea - what about holding Llanwrtyd’s very own version of the Olympic Games, but with all the normal events thrown out of the window and replaced with an array of unrecognised and different events that are not part of the official Olympic calendar. These events have competitors who are just as dedicated to their unusual sports as their Olympian counterparts, and what better time to promote as many of these exciting and imaginative events as possible…

WAG 2

The origins of some of the Games’ events go back much farther according to one of WAG’s fun-loving, charismatic organizers, Gordon Green. Gordon told me that it was 1980 when Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Britain at 700 residents, held their first Man versus Horse Marathon. This is exactly what it sounds like; human runners square off against riders on horseback. And yes, humans have actually won the race once or twice, an amazing feat considering the 22-mile route.

Green says new events began to be added every year. One night in a pub he owned he and his compatriots were discussing how to raise money for a new community center. Someone said they had a bog in their garden, and someone else said, “let’s snorkel in it!” Llanwrtyd Wells now hosts the World Bog Snorkelling Championships as part of the Games. These intense races through peat bogs using flipper power only have blossomed into two related events, the World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships, and the World Human Underwater Bog Dredging Championship.

Here’s a listing of other events at the World Alternative Games. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to test your mental or physical prowess or simply stand there with a beverage and cheer on everyone else.

August 9th 

Red Kite Cycling Festival Road Sportive

MTB Challenge

Observed Trials

Downhill Course (these are cycling events)

Kids Skills Day

Mountain Bunny Hop

Penny Farthing Race

Round 4 World Bathtubbing Championships (in Llanelli) – be sure to check out the Facebook page for more info. on this sport, including some great photos

Universal Translators

The World Alternative Games at the Seaside (at Pendine Sands on beautiful Carmarthen Bay– you might know Pendine Sands by another name, the Sands of Speed)

August 10th

Worm Charming

Food Fayre

Space Hopper Race (most of you had something like this as a kid and have already raced them)

Spacehoppers

Spacehoppers

World of Grip

Egg Throwing

Porta Putt

Finger Jousting

Hide N Seek

Red Kite Cycling Festival Sportive Route 2

MTB Route 2

Downhill Race

Unicycle Race

Micro Bike Race

Slow Bicycle Race

Fun in the Sun Sup Races (in Llanelli)

WAG 3

Bog snorkelling. From Wales Online.

August 11th

Young Children’s Day at Ysgol Dolafon school

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Pooh Sticks

Zombie Race

August 12th

Scooter Slalom

Snail Racing

August 13th

Guided walks

Guided cycling

Geo Cashing

Golf Cross (played with an oval golf ball)

Tippit

August 14th

Pea Shooting

Water Slide

Belly Flopping

Russian Egg Roulette

Crempog Race (Crempogs are thick Welsh pancakes. Never had one? Here ‘s the Crempog Traddodiadol recipe.)

Crempogs

Crempogs

Conker Championships (Conkers is a game played using horse chestnuts on strings as weapons.)

Multi Sport Time Trial

Pole Dancing

Barrel Rolling

August 16th

Hay Bale Tossing

Woolsack Carrying

Tug of War

Team Nail Run

Scarletts Inflatable

Whitefern Mountain String Band

August 17th

Wife Carrying

Husband Dragging

August 18th

Soap Box Derby

Ping Pongo

WAG 4

Bathtubbing. From Wacky Nation.

August 19th

Hula Hooping

Horseshoe Throwing

August 20th

Underwater Hockey U16, U 19 (at Newport International Sports Village)

Guided walks

Geo Cashing

Golf Cross

Music Quiz

August 21st

Gravy Wrestling (oh YEAH!)

Backward Running

Bouncy Castle Wrapping

Wheelbarrow Racing

Toe Wrestling

Underwater Hockey U16, U 19 (at Newport International Sports Village)

August 22nd

Stilletto Race

Mad Shopper

Office Chair Racing

Twinning Day

Sack Fighting

Keep Wales Tidy Triathlon

Underwater Hockey U16, U 19 (at Newport International Sports Village)

Underwater Rugby Demonstration match (at Newport International Sports Village)

Woolsack carrying. From The Telegraph.

Woolsack carrying. From The Telegraph.

August 23rd

Bog Triathlon

World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships

World Human Underwater Bog Dredging Championship

The Manors Children’s Day (at Manor Adventure)

Corinthian Stone Skimming

MTB Chariot Racing (yes with mountain bikes)

Underwater Hockey U16, U 19 (at Newport International Sports Village)

Underwater Rugby Demonstration match (at Newport International Sports Village)

Sean Saye

August 24th

Dyke Jumping

Bog Snorkelling

Ditch Racing

Floyd Earl

August 25th

Quadrathlon

5 Km Run

Cani Cross

Closing Ceremony

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Mountain bike chariot racing. From The Telegraph.

So, my fellow Washingtonians, these daring Welsh folk seem to enjoy a lot of the same activities that we do– mountain biking, playing in the mud, running, swimming, zombies, racing our office chairs, and doing all manner of things underwater. Clearly many of us from the Puget Sound area in particular would feel right at home competing in many of these events. We need to bring some Evergreen State pride to this former Victorian spa town and give them a run for the money.

Personally I have my eye on the Worm Charming, Gravy Wrestling, Space Hopper Race, and Bouncy Castle Wrapping events. I don’t even know what the latter is but just last week I was complaining to an acquaintance that I’m tired of going to parties where the bouncy castles are only for kids. Adults need bouncy castles too. And I really wouldn’t mind attempting to bog snorkel. Any kid who’s grown up near Seattle knows that about mid-November, that’s basically what you’re doing when you play outside anyway. It’s old hat.

Attending the World Alternative Games should be considered a must-do by any serious lover of fun. Or any serious athlete as well. I’m thankful to Karen Perkins and Gordon Green for providing some history on the Games and look forward to hanging out with this brilliantly outlandish group at the Games as soon as possible. As the Welsh proverb says, adar o’r unlliw, ehedant i’r unlle– birds of a feather flock together.

Thank you, Gordon, Karen, and friends, for dreaming up this marvelous menagerie of colorful contests. You’ve put Llanwrtyd Wells on the map as the Games get international coverage and visitors from all over. I appreciate how you encourage participants to raise money for charity and the number of sponsors you’ve secured. This year’s games are guaranteed to be a riot, and they’re only going to get better with time. Lechyd da!

Man versus horse. From the World Alternative Games website.

Man versus horse. From the World Alternative Games website.

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Fun is good. -Dr. Seuss

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

The Eight-Cow Wife

Today a coworker and I were discussing terms that relate to the value of something. The term that popped into my head was “ten-cow wife.” That’s a phrase I picked up from a short movie I’d watched in seventh grade. It was about a Polynesian trader who seemed to pay too many cows for his bride.

To my delight, I found the movie, Johnny Lingo, on YouTube. The version above has some strangely-worded pop-up notes, but it’s a timeless lesson about seeing someone’s potential, true worth, and inner beauty. The bride, it turns out, is an eight-cow wife; my middle school memory was two bovines off. 

How often do we judge someone’s appearance and not consider that there could be something extraordinarily beautiful and magical on the inside? Perhaps life’s difficulties, or pain, illness, or loneliness has worn them down. How often do we consider that if that person is treated with love and respect that their inner beauty and magic will start to radiate on the outside as well? Maybe they just need someone to love them and believe in them as God loves and believes in you.

I invite you to take 20-some minutes and watch this late ’60s classic, bad wigs, stereotypes, and all. As Feodor Dostoevsky said, to love someone means to see him as God intended him.

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

Restoration Church

On Saturday, March 22nd, a catastrophic mudslide destroyed a community most of the world had never heard of in the foothills of the Pacific Northwest. Over the next week, millions of people had not only heard about Oso, Washington, but about the relief work being done there by the mighty 80-member Oso Chapel. They have raised about $300,000 for Oso slide relief since the slide (!).

Teresa of Avila said that Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. The Oso Chapel, an evangelical Baptist-affiliated church located just several miles west of the slide, did not jump into the fray to help their neighbors when the slide happened. They were already hard at work before that, as evidenced by this mission statement and video posted on YouTube on February 21st of this year, a month before the tragic event that killed 42 of their neighbors.

About two-thirds of the way through this video, you’ll see pictures of the church now known as Restoration Church near the intersection of Smith Road and SR 532 on Camano Island. Oso Chapel was already working towards establishing a congregation on the island when they threw themselves into slide relief. I’d been communicating with Pastor Gary Ray of Oso Chapel since the slide. So I was, frankly, floored when he said that they were going to open the new Camano church on Easter Sunday in spite of everything else they were doing for the community. I asked him if he and his family ever slept.

The Stanwood-Camano News announced the new church on March 11th, New church: restoration of an old plan. In that article, Jeremiah O’Hagan noted that the church would open on Easter Sunday. By the grace of God it did. Right off the bat, about 40 families had connected with the church in some form. Since then their main service has been held at 12:30 P.M. on Sundays preceded by refreshment and fellowship an hour earlier. There has been discussion about changing that, so you’ll want to check their website before you attend. See “The Schedule” on the right sidebar.

Restoration Church also has a Bible study and prayer meeting for teens and adults at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesdays. This coming Saturday, June 21st, they will be hosting a teen-led concert and pizza party at 5 P.M. This summer they will be focusing on developing their infrastructure and focusing on how to best fulfill the Great Commission. For those unfamiliar with this term, Jesus said in Matthew 28 (The Message version), “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.”

Just as the Oso Chapel and its associates have been infusing financial, material, spiritual, and emotional support into this community, people have been similarly generous in the effort to get Restoration Church off of the ground. The Oso Chapel’s fundraising efforts have provided support to about 150 families and hundreds of first responders. They have coordinated community meetings, established an information station, expanded their food and clothing ministries, and had more than 550 people involved in the Oso Tribute dinner program. They will continue to provide support to local families and businesses, so their work is far from over.

Similarly but on a smaller scale, the new Restoration Church has received many donations including sound system gear and recreation equipment. People have donated their time for cleaning, repairs, maintenance, and landscaping. The church is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and donations continue to enable them to do God’s work in the Stanwood-Camano area as they have in the Oso-Trafton area. Please note that they still need help and equipment, so if you have items, time, or money to donate, please contact them.

Restoration Church 2

Pastor Gary Ray, the leader of these efforts, has been married and been a pastor for 31 years. He, his wife Tina, and their family moved from the Bay area to Oso in 2010 according to the Arlington Times. His grown children are a part of these ministries and they have a passion for sharing the love of Christ, not just by talking, but by doing. Their strategy, according to Pastor Ray, is to serve and reach people by coordinating spiritual, educational, recreational, and fellowship programming at a number of locations and times each week.

In the midst of a tragedy that shook a nation, this country church has been a rock for their community and plans to be an anchor in the Stanwood-Camano area as well. There are other churches in the area and I hope that through the efforts of Oso Chapel and Restoration Church the fire of God blazes out into this area in a big way. There is a need for spiritual renewal and healing, and this church could just be the window through which God reaches in to do just that.

I come from a different denomination, one that I’m comfortable in partly because it does not condemn domestic violence survivors or victims of divorce. Ultimately all Christians are part of the body of Christ and as long as what Pastor Ray and his team are doing aligns with scripture, other believers should support them. As Northwest author Frank Peretti said, it’s not my church or your church or which tradition is right or how many candles we light—it’s knowing Jesus for who He is.

No matter what people in this beautiful corner of the Northwest believe, or what faith or congregation we’re a part of, we can all agree on one thing: the work this small but growing group of Jesus followers are doing has greatly benefited their community. Especially at times of great tragedies and disasters, we know who’s serious about their faith by how they respond not only to those in their own belief system, but everyone else as well. This is a church– now churches– that has opened their arms wide and embraced their neighbors. May they be richly blessed for being His hands and feet.

Restoration Church Camano

Body of Christ

Thank you to Pastor Gary Ray for continual updates and details.

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Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. –C.S. Lewis

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Another update, verbatim, from Pastor Gary:

  • Our summer teaching series is entitled, “ARE YOU READY?”   We will be giving special consideration to Jesus’ teachings in the week leading up to the Cross. There is a marked intensity and importance to Jesus’ words during this time in His ministry. Through the summer we will see how these teachings  prepare believers for both our ministry and His return.
  • A NEW SCHEDULE STARTS JULY 1st:
    • Sunday Worship will begin at 11:15am
    • Pastor Gary will lead a midweek Discipleship Class on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm (and a duplicate class on Wednesday mornings at 9:00am). Course books will be provided.
    • A Sunday morning Bible Study class will be offered at 10:30am
    • We will be incorporating a study component into our Child Care ministry.
    • Ryan Ray will offer beginner guitar lessons on Wednesday mornings at 10:00am. Classes are free but please RSVP by calling (360)862-3550. Participants must have a playable guitar with newer strings.

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Star Spangled Banner

This Saturday, June 14th, 2014, is Flag Day. This is the day we Americans celebrate the adoption of our national flag on June 14th, 1777. Until the latter part of the 19th century, we didn’t have a separate day celebrating our beloved banner. As a matter a fact, it wasn’t until the summer of 1949 that President Truman signed an act making June 14th National Flag Day. You can read more about our flag’s history here.

This year, the 200th anniversary of our national anthem the Star-Spangled Banner, the Smithsonian Institution is hosting a major celebration. Here are details:

Join us on June 14th as we host Raise It Up! Anthem for America, a national celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner.  On that day, people around the world will unite to sing our national anthem at 4:00 PM EDT and kick-off a Star-Spangled summer.

Here are three ways to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner on Flag Day:

  • Join us at the museum for a concert featuring guitarist Kristen Capolino, local blues band Little Bit a Blues, a 400-person choir, The United States Air Force Concert Band, and the official chorus of the U.S. Air Force, the Singing Sergeants. See Francis Scott Key’s original “Star-Spangled Banner” manuscript on loan from the Maryland Historical Society, the dress opera singer Renée Fleming wore to sing at the anthem at the Super Bowl, and, of course, the real Star-Spangled Banner flag. Can’t make it? We’ll webcast it live online.
  • Host your own party, using our tips for delicious, star-spangled snacks. Don’t forget to watch our concert webcast and tune in to the Smithsonian Channel later that evening.
  • Find a celebration in your community on our party map. Sumner, Washington (WHOO HOO! -wildninja), the “rhubarb pie capital,” is hosting an old-fashioned town concert. The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia, presents a kazoo version of the anthem. Edmond Historical Society and Museum in Oklahoma will showcase their flag collection.
  • No matter how you celebrate, share your photos with the hashtag #raiseitup. 

So join fellow Americans around the globe at 1 P.M. Pacific time in proudly belting out our national anthem. You’ll be able to watch this event live on their Anthem for America site and on YouTube. The Anthem for America site has information on the history of the American flag, the history of the song, conservation of the actual Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and more. It’s a fascinating look at our nation’s heritage.

As a descendant of patriots who dared stand up to oppression and injustice, I have a passionate love of my nation and its flag. My people sacrificed much to make this country succeed and in celebrating Old Glory I celebrate them and what Teddy Roosevelt called the virtues that made America: courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood.

My fellow Americans– long live the U.S.A., baby, yeah! Fly those flags!

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Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.     -John Wayne

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Adult CPR AED

June 1st through 7th is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. You can visit the Red Cross website to find out how to become CPR certified.

Having just renewed my certification, I was reminded of this classic scene from Dumb and Dumber when Harry and Lloyd attempt CPR on the hitman who’s been tracking them.

This foreign TV show probably made people afraid of doing CPR more than anything else.

These Australian guys finally get it right at the end of this clip.

The right way to do it is call 911, then push hard and fast on the center of the person’s chest– 100 beats per minute, which is approximately the tempo of the Beegees’ Stayin’ Alive. (I’ll admit that when I heard the tempo in CPR class I immediately thought of Another One Bites the Dust though. But we must think positive!)

Realistically you should assess the scene to see if it’s safe for you as well, shake the victim and shout “are you okay?” If there’s no response, tell someone nearby to call 911, get an AED (if there is one), and report back. It’s important to call 911 first so that the medics are on the way.

Then you can give 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths (tilt their head back so their airway is open). Keep that up– trade off with others if you have to– and hook the AED up to their bare chest when it arrives on scene. It will tell you if a shock is necessary or not.

I’m fortunate to live near the best place in the world to have a heart attack– many local residents are trained to do CPR, even on pets, and we have amazing emergency responders and hospitals. But higher survival rates like ours are possible in many other places as well if people would learn these simple steps that could save a life.

If, like me, you feel that it’s unsafe to put your mouth to a stranger’s mouth, carry a CPR mask on your keychain and in your vehicles. The Red Cross store carries various models.

Pet CPR

Lastly, my CPR instructor brought this mildly sleazy Ken Jeong video to my attention as well as the last two. It shows how to do hands-only CPR.

Know it, use it, love it, people! Happy National CPR and AED Awareness Week!

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Wherever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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