Monday, November 19, 2007
Last Update About the Fire
This picture of my precious Ashcraft grandchildren was taken just hours before the fire last Sunday.Every thing in the photo was lost, but every body was saved. We are so blessed.
The Red Cross put the family up in a motel for four nights before they were able to move into a small rental house. When I talked to Johnathan on the phone his first night there, he sounded very excited. "Grandma, at my new house I have windows AND curtains AND walls!" Nothing like losing all those things to make one appreciate what we take for granted. The community has rallied around them, providing the family with basic necessities and lots of love.
Speaking of community, that is about to change. Several weeks before the fire, Mark had been approached by the Athena Police Department, asking him to apply for an opening they had. Athena is a small town NE of Pendleton, heading toward Walla Walla, WA. Mark had the interview on November 1st and knew he wouldn't find out the results until the 16th. Meanwhile, the fire occured on the 11th. As Mark and I stood before his burning house he quietly said, "I've been asking God for a sign." I replied, "I think this is about as close to a lightening bolt as you're going to get!" He was informed on Friday that Athena wanted him, and he accepted.
No one in Pilot Rock, including his kids, knew of this possibility. The girls (Brenna 15, Cassie 13) have grown up there. They were devestated when told that they'd be moving. In the span of 5 days they lost their house, their church, and now their school and friends. I would really appreciate your prayers for them as they work through all the emotions pounding through them. (And we're talking teenage girls, here!)
Holly's parents spent the weekend with them, helping sort through the few things they were able to salvage from the house. Strange things made it through, like Holly's spider plant she's had for years and the collection of crosses she had in her basement bedroom. Probably the strangest thing was the survival of the unity candle from their wedding. You just don't expect a candle to make it through a fire!
The four kids came back to Salem with Holly's parents yesterday, and will be spending the week with them. That will give Mark and Holly time together as a couple to deal with the changes and challenges ahead of them. A job change is a big enough stress, but to have all the rest of this going on at the same time...
The upside is that we'll get to have the kids with us on Thanksgiving Day. There'll be cousins here, as well as great grandparents and aunts and uncles. At this fragile time in their life, they'll be surrounded with family.
I pray you'll have that same blessing this Thanksgiving.