Saturday, 10 June 2017

Update

Dearest friends...
Oh my...where do I begin...I am so overwhelmed by the kindness, love, prayers and concern our family have received during this tragic time in our lives.
 
I never thought I would be a part of such a horrific national disaster...
I am not sure if any of you have been able to follow the news reports, but our house was the one of the first to burn, along with hundreds and hundreds of others in the Eden district.
 
We lived on a farm about 11km outside Sedgefield and the fire started in the valley just beyond us, but within hours, it spread and consumed ever so many homes, travelling so far so fast.
 
And it did not stop there...early Wednesday morning (the same morning we evacuated our home), our neighbours and friends could not make it out of their farm in time and lost their lives.  Oh, how my heart is breaking, dear friends...  We babysat that little boy...knew him from the time he was two weeks old and he would have been three years old today.  The grief is too much to bear on our own...the Lord is our comfort.
 
It has been so horrendous I cannot begin to describe it...
There is heartbreak and loss everywhere...the seaside town of Knysna is a mess...other areas are disaster zones too.  And yet, the tiny town of Sedgefield has been spared...everyone is on standby. People in need are being assisted from Sedgefield (so many have come to the aid of fire victims, sending food parcels, clothing, blankets, etc.)  So far, it has not been touched but there are fires nearby.
 
But...the fires still burn and I ask you to pray for RAIN and for the terrible wind to die down.
We left our house of safety early this morning...after our last experience, we don't want to take any chances and would rather be overly cautious... 
 
We have had another exhausting day...we have not been able to sleep properly and we have had people in and out dropping supplies and clothing off since Wednesday afternoon.  People are so kind and generous.   Messages and phone calls have been coming in all the time and my mom has not been in a place to answer any of them so I have undertaken to keep family and friends updated...
 
We are not safe...not at this stage.  Although fires are under control, the wind prevents helicopters from water bombing the fires.  Firefighters from all over the country have come to fight...they are heroes.
 
I am completely overwhelmed by this tragedy...and absolutely exhausted.
We have been living out of our cars today and are now in the town of George so we can get further away from the fires and also connect to the internet to update others overseas.
 
We are packed into two cars...our dogs, guinea pigs, bird and cat as well as all the children.
We were packed and ready last night to cut down on stress...  The little ones have been tremendous, although little Caleb has been very difficult to manage due to the stress, change of scenery and people stopping by...
 
Please pray for our country and for the safety of the people...please pray that the Lord would send rain and calm the wind.  I am reminded of the storm that Jesus calmed in Matthew chapter 8. 
 
"Then he got up, gave an order to the wind and the sea, and the sea became very calm..."
 
We cling to Him and put our trust in Him.
He is our source of hope and comfort, our God in whom we trust.
 
Through it all, the Lord continues to provide for all our needs and fill us with His joy and strength. 
It has been incredible to see.  People who have come by have asked why we are still smiling and truly, all we can say is the Lord is good and faithful.  He protected us and made a way for us.  He has supplied our every need.  We are not going without, even though we are under such strain.
 
There is so much more I would like to write...but right now I can do no more.
I know you are all praying and truly, we can sense the hand of the Lord upon us.
He gives us just enough for each moment.
His grace is sufficient.
 
I hope to stop in again soon, dear friends...I know you have all been worried and concerned. 
 
Love and joy to you in the Lord!
Kelly-Anne


23 comments:

Esther Asbury said...

I have been wondering how your family is, so thanks for the update. So, so sorry, Kelly-Anne. Sorry for your loss of property and possessions, but most of all the loss of neighbors and friends. I can't begin to imagine what you must be going through... you'll be in my prayers! May you feel the loving arms of Jesus around you, holding you up and giving your strength, help, and comfort for each day as it comes!

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Oh Dear Kelly-Anne! Thank you for the update! My heart just broke at your words that you are now spending the nights in your cars, and that you are not safe! and with all your animals, oh my dear Lord have mercy on all of you, and poor little Caleb, he can't understand!

Dear LORD JESUS! Bring rain to this hurting people, and help the heroes to put out the fires, and keep families safe, and help them to find homes of refuge until it is safe to return. Keep each one full of your strength, and bring peace and comfort to their hearts! In Jesus Great Name we pray this!

Kelly-Anne, thank you again for this update, as I know how to pray, and you know I will be praying moment by moment for you, your family, and your neighbors, people who are hurting! I will pray for your safety, for a safe refuge for you to stay in, and for continued peace and strength from the Lord to help you!

Keeping you and your family in constant prayer!!!! Hugs and love to all of you!!!

Paige said...

So sad to hear of your neighbors who lost their lives and of all that's happening in your country - I haven't seen anything on American news. I will be praying for your family and your country <3 It's good to hear that you are hanging in there despite all the stress - the Lord is your refuge and a present help in time of trouble. Love you!

Stephanie said...

My precious friend....where do I even begin? My heart is just breaking for the many people that have lost their loved ones and their homes. This dear family you knew....oh, how I cry out in agony! I am so, so, so very sorry for the loss of these friends.

How I praise the Lord that you and your family are safe! I will continue to pray to this end and how pray that everyone in the midst of these fires and storms stays safe. I will continually lift you up in prayer, dearest Kelly-Anne. You have many, many prayer warriors covering you and your family in prayer.

My mom is in Canada right now and she cannot check her blogger reading list or email, but when I talked with her on the phone she wanted me to tell you that she is praying for you and your family.

Much, much love to you, my friend!

Saleslady371 said...

Your faith in this crisis is inspirational. I come from Marilyn's blog and learned of your story. I am praying for you.

Mari said...

Thank you for this update, although it was not the one I wanted. :( Will continue to pray for rain and the calming of the wind. Praying for your family and friends as you deal with this disaster.

elizabeth said...

My dear friend,

I am incredibly sorry and heartbroken that this has not yet ended for you all. To be literally on the run from these horrendous fires....my heart goes out to you all! Thank you for the update. I am glad and thankful to know that you all are okay and safe. Please know that we are praying for you all...I know there are so many all over the globe who are joining in prayer for you and your family and all those affected and involved in this tragedy.

May God give you all the strength, provision, and rest you need through these tough and trying days. He is your refuge and strength! May He keep His loving and mighty hand of protection over you all as you travel and seek shelter and safety. And may He send rain and lots of it, and calm the raging winds. He is able!!

Dearest Kelly-Anne, we are lifting you all up and will continue to do so for however long it is needed. You have an army of prayer warriors flooding the gates of heaven for you and your family.

Stay well, my friend, and stay safe. Get some rest when you can. And remember that He goes before you and is with you always.

God be with you all!

With love and prayers,
Libby

Anonymous said...

It is very sad to know about the events you are facing. I hope and pray it rains in your area. I recently found your blog. Love to read the encouraging words from Scriptures, and also view those vintage paintings. Thank you for sharing them. May God bless you and your family.

Mrs.O said...

I am new to your blog. I don't really know much of your background..but I know JESUS.and I am praying!
God bless
Mrs.O

Ida said...

Kelly-Anne, Thank you for the update. I am so very sad to hear about your neighbors losing their lives in the fire. Prayers for everyone are being said. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.

Debby Ray said...

I have no words... other than that you, your precious family and everyone in the path of this horrific tragedy are in my prayers. I hope you can feel them, dear Kelly-Anne. ♥♥♥

Olivia Bell said...

Oh, dear friend, how my heart hurts for you, your family, and everyone affected by the horrific fires where you live. You are constantly in my prayers, dear friend, and I love you so much and just wish I could give you a hug... Please know that my family and my friends are all praying for you all! I love you so much, stay strong in the Lord, dear friend, He will sustain you.

I love you so much, dear friend.

Bonnie Smithies said...

Kelly-Anne, you and your dear family are of course in my and my family's prayers.... thank you for the update! I'm so saddened to hear about your friends who lost their lives. May the Lord comfort you all. <3
I came across this poem recently and thought you might be blessed by it like I have been.

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill,
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
- Amy Carmichael, in Toward Jerusalem

Cheryl said...

Dear, precious friend! Oh, how our hearts go out to you, and you are so often in our thoughts throughout the day. Your name comes up often in our home, and we wish we could be there to help you through this. SO thankful the precious Holy Spirit is with you and taking care of you and ministering to your dear hearts. We will continue to pray and believe that God will hold you ever close as you face these uncertain days, that He will provide a permanent home for you, and that your every need will be supplied. Sending much love and many prayers from our home to you, sweet friend and looking forward to what God will do in your lives. SO sad to hear of the ones who died! I had read that of the 8 who died, there was a family of 3...oh, how heartwrenching to know that you knew the dear family and that precious, little boy. Oh, dear Lord, it is so hard to understand. I am SO sorry for your grief, and just pray God to help you.

Conniecrafter said...

So very sorry to hear about your neighbors losing their lives, I can only imagine how heartbreaking that all is, so good to hear you are able to be comforted by the Lord's word and his promises to you.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Oh Kelly-Anne there are just no words to express the heartache I feel for you, your neighbors and your country. Being on the other side of the ocean does not help in knowing how to help you. If there is a way for your American friends to help, please let us know. I am praising God for your joyful spirit through all of this and for the update. The Lord is surely holding you all in the palm of His hands.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly-Anne I have been thinking of you and your family,neighbors and friends. So sorry for the loss of your neighbors and friends. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. I remember you in my daily Rosary also. God Bless you and yours. Praying for rain and the wind to die down.
Marilyn

Vicky Hunt said...

Oh Kelly-Anne...how awful that the fires are still raging and your family is still not completely safe. I am so very sorry to hear of the deaths of your neighbors/friends. How tragic...there are no words. I do wish there was some way to help. I will continue to pray for your safety and rain to pour down on your area and put the fires out for good. God is good and He is carrying you and your family through this horrible time. I look forward to the next update. Much love and prayers for you all.

Hugs, Vicky

Margie said...

I'm very sorry for the loss of your neighbours. I have been following the news reports on the deadly South African fires. I'm thinking and praying for your family and community.

Cecilia Bramhall said...

This saddens me so much. Praying for your safety and for peace of mind. May God send the rain and calm the winds!

Sylvia said...

Kelly-Anne, I am so sorry to read about this. I haven't been blogging as often for the last couple months. I can hardly type for the tears in my eyes. I know God is able to bring you and your family through this. Have faith and keep trusting and praying. I will be praying also. Take care my friend, and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs,Sylvia

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear neighbors, Kelly-Anne. There are no words to express my sorrow for them. I know you and your family are exhausted, but I am ever so thankful that you are together and safe. Prayers are with you, sweet friend. Thank you for taking the time to update us during this stressful time. Love, prayers, and God bless you across the miles, from my heart to yours.

Jazzmin said...

Dearest Kelly-Anne, please forgive me if this is a second message and repeating what I said earlier... I had written a comment, but I don't believe it ever published because an error page came up when I pressed send...
I just wanted to say, dear friend, how truly sorry and saddened I am to hear this news and what has happened to you, your family, and your community. Please know you will be in my fervent prayers, my heart and thoughts continuously. Your faith in the Lord as He holds you and your family in His hands is an inspiration to all reading your posts. Indeed He will carry and care for you.

I cannot imagine what you're going through- Praying for you dear friend and sending so many hugs and love to you.


Blessings and love,
Jazzmin