Believers Help Couple After Deadly Fire

Chapman receives a gas cylinder from Birke, the pastor of their church.
Chapman, pictured left, happily receives one of the gas cylinders donated to provide cooking fuel.

Chapman and his wife, Shavon, had lost everything. Their home had gone up in flames, the fire consuming everything inside. The couple barely managed to escape. Chapman’s 80-year-old mother wasn’t so fortunate. The fire spread too fast for her to reach safety, and she passed away.

A Second Tragedy

By the time the flames abated, all that was left of Chapman and Shavon’s home was the charred frame. But this wasn’t their original home: It had been a replacement.

Several years prior, a devastating earthquake had obliterated the couple’s initial home. Back then, the local authorities, in tandem with other organizations, had provided both funds and supplies to rebuild it.

But now that home was gone, much like their first home. Perhaps despair swallowed Chapman and Shavon as they looked at the remnants of their second home. The couple had lost everything in the fire, even the money loaned to Chapman to farm pigs, never to be recovered. But the loss of his possessions and money couldn’t compare with the loss of Chapman’s mother.

Never Alone

However, Chapman and Shavon were not alone. They were members of a church led by Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Birke, and when the pastor heard of the fire, he and other believers quickly gathered supplies and donations.

They accumulated food supplies, including rice, noodles, salt and oil. They collected soap, a gas oven, gas and kitchen utensils to replace items lost in the fire. They gave the family a tarp, which could provide temporary assistance. They offered financial assistance. But most importantly, they made sure Chapman and Shavon were not alone in their plight.

With words of encouragement and comfort, Pastor Birke and the believers prayed for Chapman and Shavon, offering condolences and assurances amidst their time of turmoil.

As tears filled his eyes, Chapman thanked his fellow believers for their generosity and prayers.

“I am [indebted] to your love, compassion and kind heart,” Chapman told the assembled believers. “I will never forget your help and support.”


Read how GFA missionaries helped another family in their time of need, providing an escape from torrential rains.

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