Our friend in this area
Last Thursday night we had an electrical fire in our house. It started from some wires in our bathroom late at night, at a time we normally might have been asleep in our rooms. Instead, my roommates and I were in the living room, as it was my roommate’s last night before leaving for Norway the next morning. We were reading Psalm 34 together, and after we finished we were talking about verse 7, how amazing it was to know that the angel of the Lord was encamped around us right at that moment. We even laughed and said that because we were all three sitting in the living room, all the angels must be stationed right there! Just five minutes later, my roommate smelled smoke, and opened the living room door to see flames coming out of our bathroom, and smoke filling the entire house. We were able to get out quickly, as our apartment door is right next to our living room. If we had been in our bedrooms it would have been much more difficult to get out.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Our neighbors were quick to help us, and it didn’t take long for the fire department to show up. We stayed at our neighbor’s house as the firefighters entered our home, and all of our neighbors watched from the street outside and from the other apartment buildings as smoke poured out from our windows. Later, when the fire was out, the firefighters brought us in to take our valuables out of the house. It was surreal to see our house again, just a few hours later, now completely blackened from the soot and smoke. We were thankful for how God had so clearly protected us, and thankful that most of our belongings were not destroyed.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
In the days after the fire, we spent a lot of time around our apartment, saving the things that could be saved, and opening the door for various inspectors who came and left. We spoke to so many neighbors from our building and on the street, people we normally don’t have any interaction with. All of these people had the same response when they saw the inside of our home—“God is so good! He protected you, and He protected the entire building! It must be from God that none of you were hurt!” It was so cool to see that, as we had read in Psalm 34 just minutes before the fire—taste and see that the Lord is good—-all of our neighbors were testifying to God’s goodness.
I see God’s goodness even in the many ways He prepared us for the fire. The week before the fire, He kept speaking to me from John 10:10—“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” At the time I didn’t fully understand why He was highlighting that verse, but later as I witnessed the thief’s stealing and destroying in our home, I was reminded again that Jesus came to give us abundant life. Even during and after the fire, even in the midst of chaos, He was inviting us to step into His abundance of peace. In Him we had everything we needed.
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Thank you for covering me and my team in prayer in the days to come. May God take these very events the enemy means to intimidate or discourage us and use them instead to make us stronger and more effective in carrying out that which He’s calling us to do here.
Ask that God would continue to give us strength in the days and weeks to come as we continue to work through all the details that need to be worked through. We haven’t had much rest and are feeling exhausted. Pray protection over our health too, as we’ve been under a lot of stress and also breathed in a lot of smoke this week.
Pray for wisdom as we have big decisions to make in the days to come. We don’t want to have to move to a new apartment, but need wisdom to know if we should stay.
The fire department releases their report 10-15 days after a fire. Please pray that this report would accurately show the cause of the fire, and that we would not be held responsible for the damage. Pray that the situation could be resolved as quickly and simply as possible! Because our landlord died years ago, a lawyer is currently in charge of the place, and she is making things difficult for us. Pray against any corruption that could take place in the midst of all of this.
Pray that those in charge of our building would quickly find a professional cleaner to come, so that we will be able to move back within a few weeks. We have been staying with teammates, and are now staying in another home for a few weeks.
Our friend, Z___, has also had some crazy things happening in her home and at her brother’s home this week. Please continue to pray for her spiritual growth, and ask that these challenges would not stand in the way of His Word reaching many in her circle of family and friends.