This morning our dear friends, Pastor Danny and Calley Reed (and their nine children) lost their home and belongings to a horrific fire. Their home was built in the 1800s and they had been diligently working restoring it, little by little. What a tragic loss.
Dw, the kids and I were there 2.5 years ago speaking on behalf of The Gem and it was then that Calley and Danny became precious real-life friends. In fact, I will never forget pulling in and meeting them in person (prior to this I had only known Calley through the blog world). Anyway, that first night we laughed and laughed and the kids laughed and it was such a blessing to finally be true friends.
We have a lot in common (although we are about 100 years older than they are – ha!). They have a big ol’ pile with adopted treasures (some adopted older) from different countries, as well as bio treasures sprinkled throughout their pile. They senior pastor a wonderful church in Vidalia, Louisiana and Calley loves old homes – just like me. She took me driving to see beautiful, enormous homes from the 1800s. The days we spent with them will forever hold precious memories. And their home was truly lovely and we marveled at how they were working so hard themselves to restore it.
So when I saw Danny’s post this morning asking people to pray because their home was on fire through tears I called Uganda to ask them to pray (Dw, Isaiah and Nehemiah are there right now.) I texted Calley to tell her we were praying.
Texting Calley now, she said that they are sitting at her in-laws in disbelief. I remember the feeling so well – like it was yesterday. It was all surreal and beyond overwhelming. I remember thinking of how all of us needed a toothbrush and clothes and everything else and there I was standing in my bathrobe. Although I had no desire to shop, I wondered how I could even head to Walmart in my bathrobe? It was just so much to even grasp…and doing life with a large family whose lives already have been dealing with trauma? Their treasures also include complicated special needs and healing from past trauma. It’s beyond painful in every way.
Dw and I remember how total strangers came to us and gave us gift cards. Unbeknownst to us, the local supermarket put a jar in it for people to give to. And many of you – so many of you – literally tons of you sent gifts. Boxes and boxes at the hotel filled with goodies for the kids and things we needed.
Eleven years later and I still have beside my bed the tiny green and white patterned rug that someone sent. It’s a lovely rug and over the years I have thanked the Lord for the bloggy friend who generously sent it and truthfully, I will never part with it. It represents to me, the unselfish love of someone (whose name I don’t remember in the midst of all the recovery) who cared enough to buy it, pack it up and send it to us. We have other things, too, like a beautiful quilt on Ruby’s bed that many of you sent squares for knowing I’m a quilt lover and had lost them all in our fire. A blog friend, Chris pieced and sewed it all together – such a lifelong treasure.
Yes, we had insurance, but it was a nightmare to work with and we needed money immediately to just buy the basics!
So frankly friends, here’s where the rubber hits the road…
For some reason, unbeknownst to me, God has entrusted me with the beautiful privilege of having a blog where many from around the world stop by.
Rarely I implore my readers to give to something, but today I am here asking each of you to consider responding to Calley and Danny’s needs since losing their home and everything in it this morning. When we really put ourselves in other’s shoes by “doing to others as you would want others to have done for you” it’s a no-brainer.
This is the body of Christ, being the body of Christ to a fellow adoptive family with kids with severe special needs.
Honestly, most will never lose their home to a fire, nor will they understand the trauma that it brings, or the nightmare that insurance is to work with. Trust me, friends, it’s awful.
And since the need is real, would you please be willing to help lighten the Reed family’s load today?
Dw had an idea to invite you all to send gift cards and I love that idea!
I asked Calley for some help with what they have near. They live in a small community, but she said they have a Walmart, McDonalds and a Pizza Hut. When they take their kids for medical appointments they go to a city that has a Target and just about everything else.
Would you be willing to bless Danny and Calley Reed and their family in one of the ways below?
Here’s some practical ideas:
1. Calley’s email for gift cards: DannyAndCalley@yahoo.com
2. If you want to send a gift card through the mail, here’s the address of their church:
166 Cornerstone Drive
Vidalia, LA 71373
Attention: Danny and Calley Reed
3. If you’d rather send through PayPal it’s the same email as above: DannyandCalley@yahoo.com
Friends – our family was the recipient of your generous love back with our fire in 2009. Eleven years later and Dw and I thank you in advance for helping Danny and Calley. Trust me, they are just some of the sweetest people ever put on this earth – the real deal and they will be so blessed by your love for them.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you.