It's been a week or two since we last chatted, and a lot has happened. First up on the list... I turned 30. The Big 3-0. Kind of a big deal, I agree, but I have to say, I literally don't feel any older than 7 days past 29. There was another really big thing that happened that has kept all of us out here in Alberta busy, and that is the Fort McMurray Wild Fire.
For those of you who don't know, almost 90 000 people were evacuated from Fort McMurray and surrounding areas! At first, it appeared that the fire had wiped out most of Fort Mac, but now it seems that at least 85% of the City is saved, and that's great news.
I've spent a number of days over the last few weeks working as a Chaplain for the evacuee's who are being hosted here at the Edmonton Evacuation Centre, and I have to say that I am incredibly and utterly amazed at the resilency of these people. Sure, there are difficult, emotional and frustrating moments. Every action requires a really long line, but from those whom I have interacted with, I have been stunned at the positive spirit.
I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the people of Alberta, and those all across Canada who have first given over $60 000 000 to the Red Cross, but also all of the volunteers and donations that have poured in, and of course, more help is still required!
All of these things make me proud to be an Albertan, proud to be an Edmontonian, and proud to be a Canadian. There is a pioneer spirit here, and opportunity is still in the air. For many, this is a fresh start, for others, this is a reminder to keep things in perspective, and for a few of us, this event stands to prove that when faced with impossible odds we can rise. Their is so much capacity within you as a human being, you have been created with a depth of courage and strength, and when you combine that with generosity you can clearly the shadows and the markings and the imprint of Jesus Christ, whom we have been created in the image of ... we are but a pale reflection of all that He has done, but even the dimmest of reflection shines bright for all of the world to see.
In other news, I have launched the Hope Not Hype Project! We have a great line of apparel and accessories for everyone in your family! This movement spreads Hope Not Hype one piece of clothing at a time! I would love for your to check out! And just for all of you special people reading this, be sure to check out our Men's Tank Tops, now only $20, just in time for Summer!
I am working on a really big special Hope Not Hype project, that I'm almost ready to share with you, so stay tuned, but know that every piece is helping spread HOPE NOT HYPE! Join the movement and help share the love with me this summer!
Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose.
Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger