So many of you (our family, friends, and colleagues) have been calling, texting, emailing that we cannot possibly respond to each of you individually. So, Shelly wrote this as an update for you and we have some pics attached:

Yesterday evening our house caught on fire and burned to the ground. Nothing left but a heap of ashes. David was home with his brother and nephew and, thanks be to God, they all got out safely.

I was in Antigonish at the time chaperoning students from my school at a conference. It was a tough thing to hear about on a phone call and I think I was in a bit of shock as I met with conference organizers to explain that I had to leave first thing in the morning. Thankfully, my long dear friend Anne was also at the conference and so I had someone to hug me and let me shed a few tears on her shoulder.

As word spread, so many emails, texts, and phone calls starting pouring in with loving words and offers of help. Our family, our friends, our colleagues- it has just been overwhelming and yet so humbling that you care so much. I am writing this post to address all of you at once and say thank you! We are dealing with insurance and trying to figure out next steps and so we haven’t had time to respond to you individually but I want you to know that your prayers and offers of help are so appreciated! At this point, we don’t really even know what we need, but don’t you worry – when I know what we need, I will be contacting you! So sit tight! For the time being, keep us close in your thoughts and prayers.

I may not know next steps and what the next 6 months are going to look like, but here is something I do know. I know God is real. Here’s how I know. Last night, about a couple hours after hearing about the fire, I turned off my phone and took a hot bath. As I soaked, bible passages that I had memorized long ago came to mind. The first was Phil 4:6-7. If you don’t know it, get a bible and look it up! At a time when I probably should have been freaking out because every single thing I own has disappeared, I had this incredible peace. PEACE! That promised peace that passes all understanding. Yep, who could understand feeling peace at such a time?!? But I truly did. In fact, when I got out of the tub, I finished marking a class set of labs (my students will likely be disappointed that their work didn’t go up in flames!) and then went to bed and slept so sound that I woke up in the same position I fell asleep in.

From David: The insurance company has placed us in a motel to rest and gather ourselves and we will work through next steps on Tuesday. It was a traumatic ordeal for me to witness it first hand and it is a lot to process. However, I too am filled with peace and calm. We have each other, we are blessed immensely. Our home is us, not a building. The house will be rebuilt in due time and we will watch how God carries us through. We do not put our value in “stuff” but in relationships….so thanks for your support, prayers and encouragement and we will keep you posted as the next few days unfold.

David and Shelly.

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