Wednesday, March 1, 2006

A small, quick fire causes a huge loss

Where yesterday stood a house for a family of eight, today stands a heap of ashes. A jagged concrete skeleton is all that remains, surrounded by piles of charred clothing, rusty pots and pans. The fire started in the afternoon while the two youngest children, Izrael and Stevenson, were home alone. Everyone else was at the local market, struggling to keep the family afloat by selling yams and bananas. No one knows how the fire started, and one can only imagine what was going through the kids’ minds as the fire gathered strength. Did they argue about who had started it? Were they afraid of the trouble they’d be in when their parents returned?
After trying to quell the uncontrollable flames, they repeatedly lunged into the house, tossing
everything they could out of the crumbling structure. Seven-year-old Stevenson lost his life attempting to salvage old, worn-out belongings that we would consider worthless in the United States. And so there the family members stand, with no home, no clothing and grieving a dead child. Neighbors have done what they could by sharing the little they have-- some clothing, a pot and pan.
We are looking for funding to build a new home for the Matechery family. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you.

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