An afternoon celebrating the love God has given to a young couple in northern California was a welcome dose of normal for a pastor whose church is scattered after a camp fire destroyed his town.
Paradise Alliance Church Pastor Tim Bolin – who specialties include coordinating missions trips, disciple making and encouraging others in their faith – devoutly leads his congregation in Paradise, California, and his compassion goes out to the many families who have lost their homes in the ravaging fire.
After all of the devastation, Bolin had almost forgotten what it was like to be a normal pastor, but two Saturdays ago – a week after he and his family fled the firestorm that swallowed up his town, Bolin performed a wedding.
“It was fantastic,” he rejoiced. “It was nothing about the fire; it was all about that couple and their love for Jesus and their love for each other. It was just a breath of fresh air.”
Brian and Morgan Gobba tied the knot – not letting the fire scorch their plans.
Bolin says the bride wore white – although she came close to having to marry in the clothes she had on her back when she escaped the flames.
“Luckily, they saw the fire coming,” the pastor recounted. “The first thing they grabbed from the house was her wedding dress and all the wedding stuff, and got out. And the house did burn down.”
As for what normal will look like for his church looking forward, Bolin believes that it is still too early to tell.
“What I'm hearing is young families really feel like, ‘Yes, let's come back. Let's do this,’” the pastor shared. “But some of our older seniors, they just don't have it in them, which just breaks my heart because they're some dear friends.”
Bolin insisted that he will go where God sends him, but said that it is hard not to get discouraged.
“You know, I've been up here five times now, and I told my wife last night, I said 'I don't want to come up again,'” Bolin shared. “At first, I was in hopes [thinking], ‘Let's rebuild this town,” he recounted. “Now, every time I come up, I just see more and more and more devastation.”
Officials maintain that it might not be until May or later before people will even be allowed to go back and start rebuilding their homes and lives.
Listen to more of the pastor's interview with OneNewsNow here.