Little Antoni, 5 years old, came running down the stairs with flames chasing behind him. No one knows how it started, but at noon on Saturday, Aug. 18 a fire ignited the upper story of the house of a family that we love and work with.
With all the live wires connecting these houses, we are guessing it was electrical.
The family ran screaming out of the house, but Oliver, 13, went the other way, charging up the stairs with a bucket of water, determined to save his house.
But it was too late. He couldn’t put the fire out and the flames were so hot and strong his leg was burned in his attempt to save his home.
The neighborhood was screaming as the flames threatened other houses. People ran down the streets, waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the fire trucks to show up.
The family could do nothing but stand helplessly by while their entire world when up in flames.
They lost everything that day. All their clothes, beds, furniture, school books and supplies, everything that makes a life and home.
This mom, though, is rejoicing and holding her kids tight today. She is thanking God that they are o.k. and overwhelmed with gratitude because they still have each other.
The day after the fire we went to visit and pray with the family. We sat together, praying and clinging to God’s promise that He works all things together for the good of those who love him. All things. Even a fire. Even devastation. He will bring good out of it.
Antoni is one of Jude’s best friends. Jude was especially concerned for Antoni and wanted to make sure he had some toys. I took down everyone’s sizes and lists of things they needed and went over to the church to dig through donations.
We are so thankful for our amazing church that maintains a food and clothing bank for just such times as these. I was able to fill two large suitcases with clothing in all sizes, brand new backpacks and school notebooks. Jude prepared a special backpack for Antoni with some toys and things for him.
Two other girls helped me, and at the end of the afternoon on Sunday Katherine was able to hand Gloriana a brand new backpack full of notebooks and school supplies and watched Gloriana’s eyes fill up with tears. In the midst of chaos and disaster at least the children can continue in school!
While we were going through donations 13 year old Oliver spent the entire day digging through the ashes and cleaning up.
“Let’s get rid of all this so we don’t have to remember it anymore.”
When we returned he was covered in soot, but had made a huge dent in cleaning.
This is the house today. They have a bottom story but it is just a small kitchen, which is now where they eat, sleep and live.
One thing I’ve been talking about with the mom is how we are a body in Christ. When one part suffers, we all suffer.
So many people here in Jaco have been praying and concerned about this family. There are many that want to help. What we would like to do is coordinate our efforts and go in as a church community, full of local people, to help this family re-build their house. It’s a chance for local believers to put their faith in action and reach out in tangible ways to their neighbor in need.
When we respond to physical needs, we are meeting spiritual needs as well. When people in crisis see a faith community respond this ministers to weary hearts and souls.
God does work all things together for good. Out of disaster he builds community. Out of devastation he is building faith, hope, love and trust. If we as the body would only step up and respond, this is an opportunity to take what the enemy means for evil and bring glory to God out of it.
Would you like to help us be able to do this? If you would like to donate toward building materials, please let us know! You can email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org