After we both woke up a bit and realized that we were not having a bad dream, but that the FP house really was on fire, we called Jeff and Cheryl, dear friends to both the Chedesters and Pat. For years, Jeff has petitioned his Member of Parliament for a fire truck for the town of Fort Portal. Only a few months ago, did the first-ever fire truck appear on the streets. Gathering up volunteer firemen and the new truck, they tried to salvage what they could. Unfortunately, the fire was fast and consumed everything. It was only 5 nights ago that we were sleeping there.
It appears to be an electrical fire as similar ones have occurred in the last year due to power surges.
Pat had moved all of her belongings into the house and they were waiting for her mid-August arrival back to Africa. She is currently in America fund-raising for the "Women of the Proverbs" project. When I asked her what she thought about losing all of her possessions, she said, "Amy it is just stuff. It will all burn up someday anyway. I am just glad that no one was hurt."
But a house is always more than a just a house; it is a home. The Cash family tearfully remembered the 15 Thanksgivings spent with the Chedesters there. The Chedesters raised their children there. Pat had carefully selected paint colors for the walls in order to give her new home her own touch. For the past six months, our own little family found refuge there in the midst of malaria, team transition, and the many demands of life in Bundibugyo. We called it the Peace House.
In the midst of such tragedy, God left his fingerprints to remind us that He is here and does have a plan for the future of WHM in FP and specifically for Pat. Besides a few clay pots, only two items were not burnt, the journal writings of pioneer missionary Jim Elliot and the book "He Has Made Me Glad." In the middle of the latter book, unsinged was a photo postcard of the Road to Bundibugyo. Not sure what that means, but it does remind me that Pat always has a home here, where the road ends.