"I feel very vulnerable posting this but I feel I should. My hometown of Paradise is on fire. My family is evacuated and safe. Not all my friends are safe. It's very surreal." That's how a Facebook post from Brynn Parrott Chatfield begins, a post that includes a terrifying video of flames raging around her car as she and her husband evacuate Paradise, California.
In the video, Chatfield prays for safety and thanks her Heavenly Father for her husband's bravery.
In an interview with CNN about the video, Chatfield bore her testimony of the power of prayer: "That drive was only about two to three minutes, but people experience that for hours. We were definitely scared for our lives, and the only thing we could do was pray, which we know works, and to have my husband just keep driving."
In the CNN interview, Chatfield explained that her three children evacuated the town with their grandmother a half an hour before Chatfield and her husband could leave. In that small span of time, the fire spread across Paradise an alarming rate. "[My kids'] experience was not this, which I am so thankful for," Chatfield says, admitting she thought she might never see her children again. "We were scared for our lives. . . . There are hundreds of missing people We know that the death toll is high. It's really devastating to see such a beautiful place with beautiful people so devastated."
On her original Facebook post, Chatfield added a note to those who have added their prayers to hers.
"We are overwhelmed by all your heartfelt responses and prayers," she writes. "There are so many wonderful people in this world. I would love to respond to each of you. We are astonished at the outpouring of love. Paradise has been destroyed. Thousands of us have lost our homes. Many have lost everything, including their lives. But, there are so many stories of heroism, bravery, and service, so much good comes from bad. We had no idea this video would touch so many others. Although my family lost our home and business, we are in need of nothing, just love and prayers. There are so many that have absolutely nothing and need help."