Happy Camp Wildfire Recovery Mission Trip – August, 2021

Happy CampIn the Fall of 2020, the Slater Fire, destroyed 200 homes and burned about 157,000 acres. Hardest hit was the historic mining community of Happy Camp and vicinity. Happy Camp is 70 miles West of Yreka in far Northern California on the scenic Klamath River.

Our August 2021 mission trip was to assist with setup of a base of operations for rebuilding homes. This is a relatively low-income area and includes Karuk Tribal lands. The plan is to rebuild about 80 homes over three to four years.

We assisted a non-profit, Hope Crisis Response Network, with preparation of facilities to house volunteers working on rebuilding homes. An Assembly of God Church has offered their existing buildings to be used for this purpose. The kitchen and dining area are nearly complete.

Our team came from three East Bay Churches: Asbury UMC in Livermore, Lynnewood UMC in Pleasanton and San Ramon Valley UMC in Alamo, California.

The team members were all wildfire mission “veterans.” Despite their experience, it is always sobering to see the devastation – burned trees as far as you can see, empty lots where homes once stood and the trauma of a community so deeply impacted.

While the work was meaningful, it is the anticipation of helping families restore their lives that was the real motivation. We enjoyed Christian fellowship, our evening reflection time and a lot of laughs. Since we stayed in the Church Sanctuary, we joked about “sleeping in the pews.”

Happy Camp is known as the “Home of Sasquatch”, the mythical “Bigfoot.” The Town sits on the so called “Bigfoot Scenic Byway” and hosts the annual Bigfoot Jamboree on Labor Day.
We look forward to several years of mission teams going to Happy Camp.

In Mission Together,
The Happy Camp Team

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