Thursday, February 23, 2012

Up in Smoke

A grease fire in the kitchen of the Tandoori King restaurant beneath us climbed up the vent and started a fire on our roof of tar and has demolished our offices.  We stood there and watched 6 or 7 fire engines and more than 30 firefighters try to save it and fail.

Shortly after I took these pictures, the batteries in my camera died, and there was nothing we could do, so I headed home to help put the kids to bed.  The rest of the team stayed a bit longer and told me that it got much worse after I left.

We got together today and cried and prayed and laughed.  (At least there's no more mouse problem.)  But it really was a special place that felt like home.  Many many people were blessed there, and we have lost many personal items, and there is much to grieve.  There is also much to celebrate: no one was hurt, and we have insurance.

We were joined this morning by members of Pacific Counselling Group, and International China Concern, who share offices with us on the floor above the restaurant.

When we visited the next day, this is what we saw:
The front of our building.

 Toni's office.  (Nice skylight.)

That's Ricky's office on the right.

The window of our foyer.

And these are two of the offices for counselors for Pacific Counselling Group.

I wasn't able to get a shot of my office because it's on the other side and because I don't have a window, so it'd be kind of a boring picture of a smokey wall.

A friend who's been through our program and experienced significant change in his life was very encouraging to us.  He said that all we had lost is stuff, and that the fire did not and could not destroy God's work.  He continued, "I am a living example of the real kind of treasure you've invested in, and that can never be taken away."  Thank you M.

One last thing to share, this morning at breakfast, we were talking about the fire, and Atticus said, "Papa remember that song that says, 'When you walk through the fire, I will be with you.'"  Indeed.  Thank you Atticus.  And the repercussions of that fire will continue, but we will continue to walk through it, and God will continually be with us.


  1. How heartbreakingly sad. Such devastation is almost unimaginable. But I was thrilled to hear Atticus' words. I will sing Steven Curtis Chapman's song all day today after seeing these pics. "Out of These Ashes Beauty Will Rise". It's not just a hope, its a promise! We love you so much and will be lifting you in prayer as you walk through these hard days ahead.


  2. We're all praying for you Andrew! May you have time this week for a chip and salsa break.