I recall a sermon I heard preached once down at Little Union. I don't remember the entire message, but I recall him talking about how we would be given houses and lands, and that we see that fulfilled in the Church kingdom, when we can travel across this entire country and have a place that is like home perhaps with strangers we have never met and spend the night being perfectly at rest. He spoke about having houses, lands, wealth, and not lacking for any need.
We also read in the New Testament where those in the Church gave "to all men, as every man had need" (Acts 2:45). Gary and I have been humbled to experience this in such a unbelievable way in this experience with Abigail. We have seen so many people give of what they had, to provide a way for us to bury our daughter. We had two funeral homes, Buse here in PA, and Hopewell back home in Florida write off as many of the charges as they could, as Gary has said, they lost money on us.
Gary said it reminded him of when they were building the tabernacle and the people had such a desire to give and serve the Lord in that manner, till they had too much and Moses had to restrain the people from giving. (Exodus 36:5). When Bro. Chris mentioned allowing people who had a desire to give, I thought a few people might send Little Union money to hold for us, maybe enough to bury Abigail, perhaps enough assist with the gas to get down and back. I was surprised with the page he set up, and thought he must be dreaming big to set a goal of $7500. Gary and I cannot relate just how floored we were that not only did people give that much, but they continued to give even after the goal was met until we had over $9000. Even more of you sent checks to us or our parents or our Church. It was a gift from the heart of so many, something we can never adequately say thank you for (II Cor. 9:7). It was astounding to see His love, shown by His people in such a way.
Gary and I asked Bro. Chris for a list of those who gave, since so many gave anonymously. We had hoped to be able to send some thank you notes, to be sure everyone knew just how grateful we were for their love and prayers and help. We were even more shocked to discover that many of the names on the list we didn't know but that they gave because they knew our friends, and saw a need. So many gave not even knowing us personally, but just because they saw a need. We also were sent so many card with words of encouragement, and gifts that in our grief are even more precious.
Due to the love of so many, we were able to travel to Florida to bury her at home, pay for the burial and her stone, and come home. Much of the money we have set to the side to wait and see what medical expenses will be. We've already gotten in our first bill, that insurance won't pay anything on. But, we also felt that as it had been given to us in our need, we should also share it with others who have a need. After all it wasn't our money, but something the Lord had shared with us. We set a small portion aside both in Florida and in Pennsylvania so that any family who has to endure the loss of a child, comes to either of the funeral homes that were so gracious to us, has help. We hope in the same way that so many of you helped us that we will be able to help another family who has to travel this hard road. We also have a friend here in PA who lost her son a little more than a year ago, just an hour after his birth. They have been saving up money for a stone for his grave, and have been such a help to us arranging things with the funeral home here, that we asked them to allow us to help them with the rest of the money that they need. We want you to know that your giving helped not only us, but will help three other families.