Monday, April 13, 2009

Dad's 2nd E-mail

Dear Friends,

Please forward this to mutual friends.

There is no way our family can express how grateful and utterly humbled we
are by all the support we have received the last day and a half! The
prayers, offers of help, phone calls, emails, etc. have made us feel more
loved than you can know.

Please know that if we have not responded to your email, text or call it is
not because of a lack of appreciation. We are very encouraged by them all!
We are most encouraged by your prayers. You may think your prayers are
insignificant, but I can assure you they are sustaining us to an extent none
of us can truly comprehend. So, what can you do? KEEP PRAYING! God is very
much at work. I hope to be able to tell the stories one day.

Thank you for praying for Amy Katherine. She had a good birthday yesterday.
I had been looking for used cars for her for some time. I almost purchased
two different ones, but had misgivings about both. I had almost given up on
finding a car for her birthday, but Tuesday morning saw a new listing on
Craigslist and made the call. It was the perfect deal: low miles,
conservative driver, under priced, small, black, cool and reliable! The
owner allowed me to take the car to my mechanic to check out. After it
checked out I called and made a deal on the phone, got the cash and told him
I would bring the money to him around 7 p.m. Well, at 6:30 p.m I walked away
from the fire trucks and neighbors to make one of the more humorous calls
ever. When he answered I said, "If I were you, I would not believe a word
that you are about to hear, BUT..." He ended up coming to the house, getting
his money and he transferred the title to me on the hood of the car! Buying
a car in front of your burned out home is surreal at best!

The next morning we put the key in a Starbucks travel mug, presented it to
her and the rest is history. We have not been able to get to the beloved DMV
to get her license and I have had time for only her first lesson on driving
a 5 speed, but all of that will come in time. She was excited enough to take
the key in her purse to school this morning!

We buried Zach yesterday afternoon in the flower bed of our side yard. I had
never done a dog funeral, but I think it turned out ok. Many tears, laughs
and hugs. Burying Zach seemed much more about offloading the emotion of "the
fire." There is just something healing about digging a hole, placing the
dead, refilling with dirt, saying your good byes and walking away. I don't
know, It seems wrong but right. Maybe the beginning of healing over the
whole ordeal. It was impossible to go through the ritual without thinking
that it could be one or all of us that were going in the ground. So, hurt,
pain, tears and much thanksgiving! Oh, I don't know if all dogs go to
heaven, but I am pretty sure Zach has!

Here is how you can pray:

~ We are looking for a place to rent. There is a house for rent literally
behind our house. The owners have not returned our call. Our neighbors
across the street are leaving town for 10 days beginning today and have
offered their home. I believe we will be moving in there today or tomorrow.
Please pray we find a place of our own. Then we have to furnish it... Pray!

~ We must make the decision on a contractor today as well. We have
narrowed them to two. Pray for wisdom.

~ Rachel and I are beginning the task today of cataloging every item in
our home that was destroyed. Every pot, pan, napkin, nic-nac!!!!

~ It is suppose to rain today. Pray the patched hole in our roof holds!
The firemen cut a sizeable chunk out of it.

~ We are also beginning to buy clothes, phone chargers, coffee mugs,
etc., etc. Pray we will be wise with the money entrusted to us. Sounds fun,
and it can be at times, but it is also a bit overwhelming.

~ The community downtown has been amazing. God is multiplying our
friendships with business owners, and neighbors in big ways. People are
really watching how our family deals with this all. Doors are open to have
conversations we may not have ever been able to have without this tragedy.
So, pray for the gospel to be as powerful as the smoke smell in our clothes!
We have prayed that this gospel would "permeate" downtown. Well, here we go!

Again, thank you for all your prayers and love. We really do feel the
support. And we really will let folks know of practical ways to help if and
when they come!

Much love and grace,

Richard, Rachel and the fam

Richard Rieves

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