The next few days seemed like a blur. It became more and more a reality of the destruction that had happened. Many questions came to mind and were asked. Why did this happen? Where did it start? How did it start? What is God's purpose with this happening? What is going to happen next? Many of these questions did not have answers.
I was at the church everyday that week. I just had to be there...nothing had changed I just needed to be there emotionally. The only building available to work in, have meetings in, set up shop in was the youth building...called the Edge. James felt like his world had been invaded. Haha! In the last year our church started a contemporary service that takes place at the same time as our 11:00 service in the sanctuary. We had done a lot of renovations for the new service. Little did we know that God was getting us prepared for a major catastrophe.
Once again our community has really stepped in to help the ministers and others that were around the church. Christ Episcopal has allowed them to use their parlor area to have multiple meetings each day. They provided lunches as well as many other people. There has never been a lack of food in the youth building. Our first Sunday we met at the Mayborn Center, our local civic center, for church so we could all worship together as a church family. Our pastor received a call on Saturday from the pastor of an Assembly of God church in town saying that he was praying for us and also that they would be taking an offering in their service to pay for the cost of the center for us. Another unbelievable outpouring of love from God's people.
In the midst of the fire tragedy another loss was our Child Development Center. Because of the extent of fire, smoke and water damage, no one was able to go into the children's building. Around 150 kids and 35 workers were out of a place to go and a job. Initially, some of the teachers were able to go to different homes and keep some of the kids. Other facilities in town were willing to allow kids to come to them. Praise God. However after understanding the extent of the damage and knowing that they were going to have to remove all flooring, I believe walls, and many things within the center because of the chance of having soot on them. A day care, so we have learned, can only remain closed for a maximum of 90 days without having to jump through all the hoops of getting relicensed. (Don't quote me on all of this. I may not have all the facts just right.) As a result, the CDC was forced to be closed. There is just no time frame of knowing how long it will be before we have insurance money and quotes and the actual stuff done. This was a difficult decision. I cannot imagine the sadness that our director felt. She had been in this position for 19 years and truly loved each one of those children. I have heard that the majority of the teachers have been rehired at other places around the area...Praise God!
Throughout this week God really gave me a peace. James and I had switched roles. I am usually a stresser and don't handle "surprises" well. James was very numb and in shock and devastated a lot more than I was...He had actually experienced a lot more loss than I had so I guess I could see that. But even still, God had just really given me such a calm spirit. I was ok and felt like everything was going to be fine.