Praise God! Our home and our land are completely intact. We are so thankful for all He has done since this began on Sept. 5. He has given us perfect peace as we waited for news. We were blessed by the generosity of our friends; our children said they did not even feel displaced because they felt so comfortable in our friends' homes.We also had friends and family who prayed for us, checked on us, and provided meals for us. We cannot begin to thank you enough.
We also need to say thank you to all the local firefighters, police officers, local officials, and all the volunteers who worked so hard during this time, often with very little sleep (i.e. 2-3 hrs/ night). According to county officials, 98% of the fire fighters were volunteers.
Driving around our area, the devastation is beyond description. Homes that were busy with activity 2 weeks ago were melted by the fire, while another house stands next door as if nothing had happened. We cannot understand why one house was saved, but another lost in the fire. Brick homes and mobile homes alike were destroyed. Trees were charred and the ground blackened with soot. Some trees were completely stripped of branches and bark and only the trunk was left, but others were brown from the drought. Still other trees were completely untouched.
Here are some photos:
Burned tree right next to living trees.
Devastation from the fire
An interesting casualty... (It's a mailbox)
Green... right next to charred trees.
God alone is our security. (Not that brick isn't smart, just not fireproof.)
We are praying for the families who were affected by the fires.
This may seem like a depressing post, but it is not meant to be. At times like this, our family takes comfort in the sovereignty, loving kindness, and providence of God. This time, in God's providence, our home was untouched; however, even when we did not know the outcome, He gave us the grace to trust that He knew best. If we had not gone through this experience, we would not have the blessing of this peace that passes all understanding. There is so much for which to be grateful: our family was safe and together from the very beginning, we always had food and clothing, and we were surrounded by beloved friends and family. Most importantly, God gave us the grace to trust Him throughout this time.