As some of you may or may not know my sister Nancy and my brother in law were displace with 375 other people after a devastating for to an apartment complex in Conshohocken, PA. The fire occurred on Wednesday August 13th, a little over a month ago.
The cause of the fire has been linked back to a construction worker removing steel frames with an acetylene torch which accidentally began the fire. That fire destroyed 180 units and many residents were displaced. Luckily my parents live close by so that is where Nancy and Pete went after the fire. They lost practically everything, my sister left her apartment before it caught on fire with only her car keys and the clothes on her back. I had come to find out that even her wedding ring and band were in the apartment besides everything else and that her car was damaged by the fire too.
But....there is always a hopeful side to every story. First they are both alive, no one was killed in the fire, and only 11 fire fighters were injured. On Thursday after the fire they went back to their apartment complex and received an insurance check that day as well as filed for jewelry insurance too. Pete and Nancy remembered that they had some clothes at the dry cleaner. "It felt like Christmas" Pete told me, he had a full suit and Nancy had a dress and some pants there. Also the President of Villanova University -where my sister works - offered Pete and Nancy a house use, which is usually used for professors and their families to stay it. It is close to Nancy's job and a path was made for her to go to and from work, they will probably stay there until the end of September. The President also offered to help others who were displaced too.
And by the grace of God, your prayers, and the intercession of St. Anthony, firefighters found Nancy's wedding ring and band in the their apartment!! !! Their section of the did not actually collapse so the firefighters took a chance and went up to a noted unsafe area and found the rings. They also found four frames with pictures from their wedding, a bowl from the kitchen, and some pieces of jewelry too! I originally planned to go into detail of the miraculous story that my sister told, but I have since then decided not too.
After talking to Nancy and Pete recently, it seems that the finding of the rings is more than a symbol of their love but a sign from God that everything will be okay. As closure begins so does new life and for them. I ask you to offer up some prayers of thanksgiving to God and for continued acts of mercy in our at times confused and troubled world. (If you are up to watching what happened here is a link to the ABC News of Philadelphia Website: Conshohocken Fire.)
I also take this moment to ask for prayers for victims of hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and most recently Ike. Pray for those evacuated their homes to find them not there when they returned. Pray for those were homeless and had not were to evacuate from or a place to go. Pray for the volunteer workers: firemen, policemen, shelters, medical personnel, and others who who help in anyway. Pray in thanksgiving for those who were safe and for the lives of those people who were not safe. It is interesting how much water can bring forth life and joy yet also death and sorrow. I ask God to grace peace in the hearts of all touched in anyway through disasters.
God Bless and Good Night!
Peace be with you!
My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.
Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!
*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*
*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"