before the fire we received word about a big donation on the way
to purchase a car. Praise God! Please pray for wisdom to make the
right choice, and we should be able to show off our new vehicle
was about 7 am when we heard something crashing down which woke
us up. Having two cats, we didn't think much about it, but I got
up to check. As soon as I was on my feet and looked at the bedroom
door, I could see all these black fumes right below the ceiling
and wondered what was going on. I told Randy who was right behind
me in a moment. I walked into the hallway and into the living room
and couldn't believe my eyes. The whole living room was in flames,
fumes everywhere. It was like from a movie! I saw part of the house
entrance free, though fire all around - and then noticed that the
key was not in the lock. We had been removing it during the night
so nobody could cut through the mosquito netting and get into the
house. There was no getting out there. I shouted to Randy to return
to the bedroom, and we did. That definitely saved us from more severe
ran to the bedroom window and wondered how in the world we'd come
out of this alive as all our windows have iron bars. I had my mouth
right by the window to breathe, and also shouted at the top of the
lungs for people to come get us out and save our lives. I could
tell some people were at the entrance trying to get in. Both Randy
and I screamed for them to come get us out. After what seemed like
an eternity some kids ran to us as well as neighbors that were gathering
more and more and they grabbed rocks and tried to pull the bars
out of its concrete anchoring. They succeeded and we climbed out
of the window. I was never even worried about the scrapes from that
climb. We stood outside our window relieved that our lives had been
walked to the front of the building and still saw the fire in the
living room. About that time they managed to get into the house
and started pouring water to put out the flames. They put it out,
but some neighbors were still breaking window after window, in every
room of the house, for no reason. A big crowd had gathered by then
and I was concerned that they would start looting and stealing stuff.
I thanked them and asked them to go home, but nobody moved. I desperately
tried to tell our kids to have one person at every window to protect
the house, but I didn't feel like I got far.
then someone had called Paul, and he was on his way. I asked somebody
to call a taxi for us to go to the hospital, but it takes a while
to walk all the way to the main street, flag down a taxi, and bring
it back to our center. It seemed to take forever. My burns where
hurting more and more, and every few minutes someone was bumping
against my arm and back.
then I saw someone with our two kitties. One was alive, and I hoped
the other one was unconscious, but my little boy was dead. He was
lying on the ground, and they sat his traumatized sister right next
to him where she sat motionless. I wished they had either both died
or both survived. We kept Brownie in Sarata's room in the building
next to ours, but she escaped, and Paul found her in our burned
house. I guess she went to find her brother...
was so relieved when the taxi finally got there. Somebody had given
us their shoes as we were barefoot, and Randy was able to grab a
pair of shorts, and I a loose dress. We also took our phones and
computers, who were thankfully all in the bedroom with us. They
were just dirty with soot, as is the whole house.
taxi driver seemed shaken when he saw us, and I asked him to take
us to the only clinic I trust, where we'd send any visitor who needs
medical attention. It was not around the corner, and it seemed to
take forever to get there, with our wounds hurting more and more.
It's in the taxi I was able to write the first Facebook post to
let the world know what just happened. If you want to stay in touch
with our progress, please follow us on Facebook.
had salvaged our money box, and though it was partly melted, they
were able to get most bills out unharmed. Our bank cards weren't
all that lucky. So we had some money, and the taxi driver accepted
the amount I offered him without even trying to haggle.
walked into an empty clinic, as it was Sunday, but they immediately
took us to separate rooms and asked information about us and what
had happened, before putting us into wheelchairs and taking us to
hospital rooms. They put us into separate rooms, and I told them
several times I wanted to share a room with my husband, before they
finally rolled him into my room. They ended up just bandaging us
and putting an IV into our arms. They only had a skeleton crew on
next day a doctor came that we only saw that day, and he said my
rings should have been taken off my fingers right away. The back
of my hand was burned worse than anything, and my fingers in bad
shape, and he had to cut my engagement off my finger, after a very
painful attempt to just pull it off anyway.
me, this is the first day I'm doing better, and it's day 6 in the
hospital. The pain is less intense, and I was actually able to sleep
last night. I have a bigger surface on my body that was burned than
we are in a good clinic in Mali, you can still tell we're in the
third world, and so we have to go through some unnecessary pain
and stuff you would not encounter in the Western
world. They change our bandages every day, and some days they were
so brutal, I was just crying as they had not given me pain killers.
Another time they couldn't find a vein and kept puncturing my veins
unsuccessfully over and over again.
the dermatologist came by for the first time and gave them some
good advice. I wished she had come earlier. They are happy with
our progress, but we have no idea how long we will have to stay
in the clinic.
days after getting here I found out that I had an accident insurance
that would cover my hospital stay and would even take me to Austria.
But I'm staying at my husband's side who does not have any insurance.
We will have to pay for his stay cash, and already had to give them
Facebook photo album will be updated with new pictures (nearly)
every day. You can click on it now, but also later to see the newly
added pictures, even if you're not on Facebook.
HERE FOR ALL THE PICTURES,
INCLUDING THE LATEST
OF OUR HOUSE
you can see on the pictures, our living room was totally destroyed.
The fire started in the power outlet by the TV because a faulty
adapter was in there. I had noticed it the day before and now wished
I had removed it. The TV is gone, so is DVD player, Wii, and our
big collection of kids movies as well as my private DVD collection.
Our video projectors are gone, and our big collection of Christian
movies (most with French
versions) that we used for our weekly public movie nights. My big
collection of Christian books I have gathered over the past 23 years
are all gone. School supplies for our kids are gone, as well as
board games and toys, and many other things that were stored in
the living room. The heat destroyed our refrigerator and melted
our microwave. We had just finished painting a room in the back,
and so we had a lot of stuff from that room sitting in the living
room and hallway, including clothes for our children, but we don't
know to what extent those are affected. We are just amazed and thankful
that the two propane gas bottles in living room and kitchen did
what we know from the pictures and from Paul. We are grateful that
our bedroom was spared, and it looks like a big part of my office
was spared too. We'll only know details once we are released from
the hospital and can go home to see for ourselves. Paul had the
metal bars put back in place right away so that our stuff is safe
from theft. We also hired a professional guard service that Paul
and I had wanted to hire ever since our return, and their guard
now guards during the night together with our ex-street kid guard.
Had they been here, they
would have noticed the fire on their rounds.
is trying to get our house repaired (water, electric, broken windows)
and cleaned as much as he can before we return - when that's gonna
be, we do not know.
- Please pray for Paul who is taking care of everything.
He actually went home early on Saturday because he was not feeling
well, but God has restored his strength and he comes every day
to visit and said he was encouraged now, especially after I told
him about the outpouring of love we've received from all over
the world. He still needs prayer for strength and wisdom.
& Jérémie - Paul's wife Rokia has been
sick, and our boy Jérémie had to be taken to the
hospital on Monday and was diagnosed with typhoid fever and malaria.
He has had to spend his days there this week. Florentin (heart)
is doing alright, though the long walk to school in the extreme
heat is difficult for him.
Street Kid Party - We had a great time with neighbors'
children and street kids which nearly 100 showing up. They had
fun, heard the gospel, received food and shoes, and many wanted
to follow Jesus.
School Payment - It's time for the third and last tuition
payments for our 36 kids in school this academic year. We have
started paying them, but the biggest chunk is still ahead.
- Randy's youngest daughter is getting married
in July, and Randy is going to be in the US for that occasion
for over two weeks. It will be our first time apart.
- We will be ministering in Europe in September,
giving priority to France, Belgium and French-speaking
Switzerland. Please pray for connections and
open doors, and let us know if you'd like us to come to your church
Donors - We're praying that God would put it on people's
hearts to support us on a monthly basis so that
we have more than the current 41% of our budget
met. Could you be one of them?
Volunteers - Our children our out of school for four
months, June through September. We're looking
for volunteers to come during that time to watch and play and
spend time with our children. No language skills needed.
not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames
will not set you ablaze.(Isa