That is a quote from one of the firefighters Sunday at Ragtown.
Miracles are miracles, and God is the only One who does them. Sunday, God showed His Hand at Ragtown and saved that wonderful place for all of us. He made it clear that He’s not through with Ragtown Gospel Theater. Not even close.
Sunday afternoon we received a call from the man who boards his horses at the ranch. A brushfire had started at the highway, and 30-40 mph winds were driving it our way. He told us that firefighters were already on the scene. We were under the impression that the fire was threatening the area near the ranch house on the north end of our parking lot. That wasn’t the case.
Traffic was horrendous on the highway from Lubbock. Kids coming back from spring break, and fans who’d attended the Tech basketball game in Dallas were virtually bumper to bumper. It is probable that someone thoughtlessly tossed out a cigarette…and Satan just smiled.
We could see the smoke for miles. If you’ve driven down from Lubbock, then you know there is one place where you can see the roof of the theater from the highway. When we got to that place and looked down off the Caprock, our hearts were broken. The entire hill behind the theater was on fire. It looked like the flames had already totally engulfed the theater. For the long minutes it took to get across the traffic and to the ranch, we believed it was all over.
I remember first being amazed by the number of firefighters, and the elaborate equipment engaged in battling the fire. On the way down, I had been thinking that if the fire got close the theater, there was no way the Volunteer Fire Department in Post, no matter how dedicated and determined they might be, had the equipment and manpower to protect it.
I didn’t know what God had done.
When we got to the theater, the fire was within 10 feet in some places, but no flames had touched the building. We later learned that the wind, which had been pushing the fire directly toward the theater, suddenly changed direction three times, pushing the flames away from the building, then back toward it, and then away, taking the fire around the east end, coming within feet, but never touching the theater.
But that’s not all.
When we got there, Glenn and I went inside the theater and turned off air-conditioners, hoping to keep them from drawing smoke into the building, and tried to think of what we light try to salvage. There was really nothing we could do but pray, and for my part, my mind was reeling, just grieving, because at that point, I could not imagine that the fire would be contained.
We retreated down to the ranch house to watch and wait and pray. That’s when we sent out the word on Facebook, and to our supporters on our mailing list, just asking for your prayers. Within that hour, we had over 20,000 people engaged and praying for Ragtown and the firefighters. We received such an amazing outpouring of support and love, and we are so grateful. It was a grim time for us, but we didn’t have to wait long for an answer to those prayers.
The firefighters contained the main part of the fire around the building, and then fell back to the area where we were waiting. That’s when we learned what a miraculous thing it was that had just happened.
The Post Fire Department had received the call and was on its way within minutes. One pumper truck went directly to the area behind the theater, because the wind was pushing the fire straight across the top of the Caprock in that direction. At the same time, a teams of firefighters from Arlington, Denton, South Lake, and Aledo, fully equipped with their own trucks and equipment had arrived and checked in at the Best Western in Post for a training exercise. They called the Post Volunteer Fire Department to let them know they had arrived and discovered that everyone had been deployed to a fire.
They went outside the motel, saw the smoke, and were at the theater with all their equipment, suited up and fighting the fire alongside the Post firefighters within minutes. Is there any other way to explain that, than God’s Hand?
Trained professional firefighters from four cities across Texas, and all their equipment, joining forces with the Post Fire Department within minutes of the fire starting. Amazing! Just amazing!
But that’s not all!
When the fire fighters pulled back, it was because five planes were flying in from Amarillo to drop flame retardant chemicals on the remains of the fire. Those planes from the Texas A&M Forestry Service had earlier been deployed to a fire in the Amarillo area, but that call-out was cancelled. They were already loaded with the chemicals and in the air when they were re-routed to Post. As soon as the main part of the fire was contained, the planes arrived and were laying down the retardant across the remains of the fire, swooping all around the theater like crop-dusters.
Or angels. Just try to tell me that’s not a boatload of miracles from God!
We will be celebrating when the curtain opens Saturday at 3:00. There may be a slight aroma of smoke…to us that just smells like a miracle!
O Victory In Jesus!