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Friday, February 11, 2022

Amish barnbuilding
Eli's barn being rebuilt this morning after a fire last night on our road.

"A Lesson From A Barn Fire"

Message summary: Wherever we live may God help us to see the needs of those around us who may be hurting and give us a resolve to help however we are able to do so!
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“If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Amish barn fire (from Facebook)Last night a fire truck rushed by our house and since that's a very unusual sight on our rural road I stepped out and then heard sirens from all directions. I knew it must be something big. I couldn't see anything but then our friend Jesse called to tell me that our neighbor Eli's barn was burning down. Eli Fisher, one of our three Amish neighbors, married about 18 years ago and is raising his large family up Kraybill Church Road from us. It was a loud, busy several hours with numerous fire engines and tankers speeding up our road, both coming and going. Ester found this photo of the fire on Facebook.

Early this morning while it was still dark on the way to our chaplain visit we drove by Eli's place and noticed people were already gathering. Returning home around 11:00 AM we could see the new barn already going up from several miles away!

We stopped by Eli's place and parked at the end of the lane next to the Amish school. There were numerous automobiles and buggies parked every which way including a hay wagon where a driver was unloading fresh hay for the cattle with his skid loader. Many Amish laborers and a few non-Amish were hammering away at the new framework for the barn with many stockpiled materials lying in piles ready to be used.

I visited with Eli for a few minutes and he told me they began procuring the materials last night and they were delivered early this morning. Friends and neighbors were dropping off food, the Amish girls were bringing drinks in five gallon coolers, hay was being brought in on truck wagons and one young man was spreading manure on the fields. Eli is a commercial grower for an organic produce company. Not far from his barn are five greenhouses that were spared during the large barn fire.

People from far and wide were there to assist, Amish and non-Amish. People just coming together during a time of need. Eli expressed his appreciation for how so many of his neighbors and church people were coming together to assist. When we got home Brooksyne went right to work making some peanut butter blossom cookies and pumpkin bread to take over when we are finished with our message today.

What we saw is a living demonstration of our daily text, "If one member suffers, all suffer together". In this context Paul uses the parts of our physical body to illustrate how we are to care for one another. When one part hurts the whole body suffers. If anyone in the church is is in need we are to empathize with that part, that is, to feel with them which prompts action to help as though it were we, ourselves, going through the difficult situation.

We were so blessed this morning to see this action and expect to see more this afternoon and in the coming days. Wherever we live may God help us to see the needs of those around us who may be hurting and give us a resolve to help however we are able to do so!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I'm so thankful to be part of the body You put together, making us one in the bond of love, that we might love, honor and prefer one another above ourselves. Being bound together in love we have learned that when one part suffers, we all suffer with it, when one part is honored, each part rejoices with it. None of us lives to himself but all live for each other that we might bring strength to one who is weak, food to one who is hungry, hope to one who is discouraged, friendship to one who is lonely. May we be Your hand extended to those who need us most, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Barn Fire  Video someone took last night.

Here are some more photos from this morning as they rebuild from the fire last night.

Amish barnbuilding
Not only did the barn need rebuilt but the fire damaged the siding on the house and needed replaced (as seen in background).

Amish horses feeding
The horses were eating hay off a wagon in the field.

Hay delivery.
The hay burned with the barn and the animals need feed! They were able to get the livestock out of the barn and none were lost.

When I went up the lane to get some photos and see Eli, Brooksyne stayed in the van at the end of the lane and observed people bringing foods in. This couple appears to be bringing cold cuts and sandwich rolls.

Food for barnbuilding
These ladies are bringing in drinks for the workers.

Amish school on Kraybill Church Road
The one room schoolhouse at the end of the lane appeared to be closed due to the fire event. I (Brooksyne) just visited the 22 children on Monday and brought them Rice Krispie treats and books for their library. The teacher, Naomi, brought a chair for me to sit in at the back of the classroom while the children sang two hymns for me (3 to 4 stanzas in each hymn sung by memory). After I sat one student stood, walked to another child's desk and taking her by the hand, began to sing the hymn classic, "Hand in hand we walk each day..." Hand in hand they went to another student's desk and took that child by the hand still singing the hymn until they collected the hands of all 22 students forming a winding human chain before they made their way to the front of the class. They stood in four rows in front of the bookshelves as they prepared to sing the next hymn. They sang with the usual volume and vigor I have witnessed in other Amish classrooms. A number of the children recognized me as their neighbor and had such big grins. Visiting an Amish school is a remarkable experience I wish all could enjoy. The children are so respectful and well mannered. 22 children with one older teen (or early 20's) school teacher who has perfect control. Each time I've visited the Amish classrooms the students are diligent in their studies while one teacher oversees 20 or more children, grades 1 to 8, in one classroom setting. I wish public education could apply much of what I see in the Amish classroom as I believe much more learning and discipline would be present. The chorus of the hymn is still with me today, "Hand in hand we walk each day. Hand in hand along the way. Walking thus I cannot stray, hand in hand with Jesus."

Amish school on Kraybill Church Road
Interior of school
(This classroom photo I took in February last year during my visit since the children were enjoying recess outside and the teacher permitted me to take the photos of the classroom decorations. It was just as colorful and decorative on Monday as well.)

Finally today:

Nick and Bill
Yesterday we joined two friends for lunch. Nick, in the purple shirt, is a long-time friend and also happens to be the broker for our Medicare insurance. He wanted to introduce us to Bill, a retired teacher. We visited together over a very nice lunch at our local CTC (Career and Technology Center) restaurant called Infusions. We really enjoyed hearing Bill's testimony for Christ.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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