Yesterday at 5:00 p.m., the house my best friend Amy Hall's family has lived in for the past 13 years, caught on fire. By about 5:10, the home was gone, along with the cars in the driveway, all the family's possessions and two sweet Chihuahuas. Luckily, when Mrs. Hall discovered that the house was on fire (she heard a noise in the garage, went out to check, and found flames), she was able to get her elderly parents and herself to safety before flames shot out of the roof and all of the windows. Mr. Hall was at work and her youngest son, Joey, who I have known since he was a baby (and let the record state that he said "Rachel" before he said "Amy") was not home at the time. Amy is currently a MBA student at Notre Dame and thus, was out of state, as was their middle son, Daniel, who was in North Carolina. Thank GOD that everyone is okay. But there is nothing left.
You have to understand something about this house: It was a HOME. Some of my fondest memories in middle and high school are with this family in their previous house, as well as this one. This home often played host to random teenagers, at all hours of the day and night. Birthday parties, youth group events, you name it, friends were invited over for it. The Halls have done a lot for me, and countless others, just by opening their doors and their arms. They had the attitude that says, "what's one more?!" My heart is breaking that there is nothing left of this place; this great storehouse for love, laughter, tears, and memories.
And you have to understand something about my friendship with Amy. We have been through a LOT together. I have very few friends that know EVERYTHING about me, and she is one of them. And if you knew what she has been through, and what her family has been through, and now...this?! It makes me want to scream and yell with rage over the injustice of it all. If you know me, you know that I am fiercely loyal, especially to that small group of friends. And I would do anything for Amy (or any of you, close friends who are reading this--you know who you are) and her family. Not only because they've done a lot for me, but because I just love them. And if you knew them, you would too.
So here's what I'm asking. Please go here and read their story. Watch the video. Go to other Orlando news websites and look at other pictures. See for yourself. Their house is gone. Then go here to Brantley Balloons and follow the directions to donate to the family. Yes, they have insurance. But come on people, insurance takes time, and they. have. nothing. Their youngest son is a senior in High School, and a star athlete. Do you remember being a senior in High School? Yes, things are just THINGS and I'm sure that as Christians they know this too. But let's face it and be real and get past the preachy stuff. People need things. Can you help financially? Please, if you can, do. If you can't, please leave a comment here with some words of encouragement for the family. A prayer, a verse, anything. I'll give it to them. I'm sure they'll read it here on my blog. Let them know that we're here for them. I'll start it off:
Amy, "Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna go through it together"
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.