I’ve posted variations on this theme on Facebook, in my church bulletin, and in various letters that have gone out to the many communities that helped our family recover from the fire that destroyed our home and belongings four months ago.  In case I’ve missed anyone (I know I have) I want to offer thanks here as well.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
— Psalms 46:1-2.
It is natural for people of faith to turn to God for help and solace in times of distress.  When our home burned we looked for Him and found Him in the generosity of those around us.  An anonymous poet once said “What is bitter to endure may be sweet to remember.”   Truly the loss of our cherished possessions is bitter to endure, but we will always remember the way so many people embraced us during this time, even many who were not personally known to us.  We’ve all heard that during our trials we learn who our friends are.  What we have learned is that we have many friends whom we never even knew about until this happened to us, and for that blessing we are grateful.
Just look at where we were four months ago.

Here’s where we are now.
It was the generosity of family, friends, and yes, strangers, that enabled us to afford to rent this house, which has sufficient rooms for a family of seven AND our home office.  It was their donations that furnished it.  On September 23, 2011–Moving Day–our “crew” went out with the 28-foot moving van.  That morning we owned no furniture.  By that evening we had enough to fill the house–beds, mattresses, sofas, televisions, housewares, linens . . . it was amazing.  Gift cards enabled us to to fill in the gaps and to purchase clothing and personal items.
“Blanket” notes cannot go far enough to express our appreciation.  If you gave us something, and it wasn’t anonymous, you can expect a personal thank you at some point.   Please accept this as a first installment, with the balance due to arrive in the future–not that we could ever thank everyone enough.
[I continue to feel guilty that I never finished all those thank you notes, even though we did have a housewarming party to which we invited everyone who had helped us.]


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