While most of us are busily preparing the house for company and planning grocery lists for feasts, I know of one family who is spending their days quite differently these days, than even THEY anticipated...
Some of our dearest friends are that family.
Last week, their three story barn burned completely down. Now a barn is a barn, you say, right? Wrong.
This Christian homeschooling family has twelve children and their sole income is in the form a thriving equipment business- that was run out their barn. Before that, the husband/father was a successful and extremely skilled cabinetmaker and so the barn held his many valuable tools, accumulated through years of work in that trade. They had just last year finished renovating the barn themselves to include a beautiful, custom-made office space and to house more equipment and so all the work they just did has now been lost. Their barn was not only used for the business though or even to house tools.
In addition to housing animals, it was truly an extension of their living space. They used a portion of the space as an exercise room and a play/game room. Because their home is full of PEOPLE, they used the barn for storage as well. They stored clothes there (to go to the next child), out of season clothes, homeschooling curriculum (to be passed down to consecutive children), outdoorsy things and holiday items. Sadly, they had irreplaceable things in there too- sentimental things like hope chests, and family photos, and special tools and treasures passed down from their parents and grandparents.
It all burned to the ground. Everything- lost. The family that worked together to build an addition to the barn just last year, now doesn't even have single hammer to rebuild with.
The barn burning down is a completely devastating event to their family.
They are starting from scratch not only with household things like clothes-(even winter coats and boots!), pingpong tables and hope chests but with their sole income source-their business, as well. To do this would be extremely difficult for a family of three. How much moreso for a family of 14?
Even through this tragic event, God's merciful hand was evident in that the many people in the barn at the time of the fire were able to get out to safety and that, though the barn was incredibly close to the house- the house was not ruined as well (due mostly, in my opinion, to the fact that it is made of stone.)
I praise God that our friends are wise enough to see God's goodness even in this time of grief. Their eyes are fixed upon Him; they are positive despite the pain, and thankful despite the hardships they now endure. When asked what they needed, they said "We only covet your prayers." They are truly exemplary people.
But I know that while prayers are so important...God often answers prayers through the fingertips of people. Every moment we are praying for them. So many times a day I stop and pray. So many times, a moment flashes when I recall what has happened, and I pray without stopping. But I want my fingers to work for them too. I NEED my fingers to do work for them.
Would you consider it also?
I have added a DONATE button to the bottom of this post and to my sidebar and I will keep it up until Christmas. If you have a few spare dollars that you would consider donating to this wonderful family, I would be so, so very thankful. And your generosity will touch them in ways we cannot even understand, I am sure.
For every $20.00 donation, I will send you a package of four postcards featuring some of my one-of-a-kind photos.
For every $50.00 donation, I will send you a handmade photo pendant (like the one here) featuring (you guessed it!) one of my photos. (Photos will vary.)
Any gifts larger than that will receive both items and a nice, warm fuzzy feelings in their hearts. :-)
Feel free to donate as little as $1.00 and as much as you could dream up~ each gift, given freely, will mean the world to this family.
Because I couldn't find an option through the DONATION page on Paypal, if you make a contribution and would like to claim your free gift, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Donation Gift Earned:
Name and Address:
I know my contribution to you is very small and meaningless compared to any contribution you might make on behalf of my friends, but I want to thank you (even in a small way) for helping this wonderful family who are faithfully trying to moving forward after such a hard blow.