In the Bible, we are told to help others and love our neighbors, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
God has given us this life so that we can share His blessings with our family, friends, and community.
A Florida pastor experienced an outpouring of love from his neighbor after a devastating fire burned his house and belongings down completely on Sunday. But he was grateful for his neighbors who saved their pet cat and a goat from perishing.
The Bellview Assembly of God in Pensacola announced on Facebook Monday that the church’s parsonage burned down Sunday afternoon. Youth minister Jacob White and his family, who were living there lost nearly everything.
“Yesterday afternoon, the church parsonage burned down. Praise God no one was home and the pets were rescued,” the statement said. “Our Youth Director and his family lived in the house and they have lost everything.”
White has 4 children with his wife, Amanda, said that they lost a lot in the fire, but are grateful that the fire happened at a “convenient time.” The family was reportedly out celebrating a birthday when they got a phone call about the fire at the home.
“If there is such a thing [as] a convenient time for something like this, then it happened at a convenient time. Because nobody was here to be harmed or hurt and we are all safe and are ok,” White said. Escambia County Fire and Rescue said the fire was started by a failed power strip in one of the home’s bathrooms.
White lives now at a family mobile home on his father’s property and says they will have to start “from scratch” but expressed faith in God’s word to recover. “We have a roof over our heads… but as far as anything else goes, it’s just starting from scratch and just figuring it out. We just know that Romans 8:28 and what it tells us on God’s word and we are just going to stand on that,” he said.
Neighbors broke down the houses’s door and save the goat and the cat who were inside and also some of the pastor’s family photos. “I am thankful that everything that means the most to us survived,” Amanda White said. “You know our pictures and our memories, our memory books of our kids and children, and they revived our animals. So we lost a lot, but we didn’t lose the important stuff.”
The family thanked the community for stepping in to help them, “We have never been one to have our hand out. We have always been the one giving out, and it’s just nice to know that people love us and care for us and [are] willing to give and help us out in a time of need,” the pastor said.
A GoFundMe campaign with a $10,000 fundraising goal for the family had raised more than $3,200 as of Wednesday morning. “The outpouring of love, support, and prayer is humbling. I cannot even begin to express how grateful our family is! God is so good,” Amanda White wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“Everyone wants to help. Honestly, we don’t really know where to start. It’s overwhelming and we are frazzled.”