Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pray for Emmaus Mennonite Church

Emmaus Mennonite Church, about 40 miles NE of Wichita, burned to the ground last night. It was an old building, basically a tinder box that had no chance of being saved once fire started. Praise God no one was hurt. News story/video here.
My wife grew up near Whitewater, Kansas, in a little town named Elbing. She was raised attending Emmaus Church in rural Whitewater (in the middle of no where to us city folk). Emmaus is a farming community church, a sizable one as farmers come from all around to attend. Her parents met, courted, and were married there. So did her grandparents on her father's side. Her Grandfather on her mother's side was the pastor there before she was born. All of Shari's youthful memories relate to her activity at that church. We got married at Emmaus in 1993. I'll never forget my Buffalo-winter worn father looking out the window of the church and commenting on the miles and miles of unharvested, golden wheat as the heat waves from the 110 degree day rippled up off the parking lot. There is a cemetery adjacent to the building, many of Shari's relatives are buried there. Shari's parents are still active members at Emmaus. Now, the building-which is so representative of the community it hosted- is gone. It only took a few hours.
Emmaus, as a congregation, is 125 years old. The current building was built 79 years ago.

Pray for Emmaus Mennonite Church in Whitewater. I am confident God is using this severe trial for His glory and the edification of His people, but sifting through the ashes is still hard.


Frontier Forest said...

This was indeed, a sad tragedy… one that is very hard to understand. Yet we know, Romans 8:28 reigns supreme and our Sovereign Lord rules over all things. I was deeply moved by the quote from that dear elderly lady on the video. “This was a wonderful place for people to come and learn about Jesus Christ.” Could there ever be a more glorious legacy to leave and one that must be remembered and will begin again?

Rick Calohan said...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Tony and Shari, your parents, the congregation and the community devastated by the fire of Emmaus Mennonite Church. May His Grace and Peace comfort you. May His Holy Spirit move the Church to rebuild again so that the faithful find salvation and the careless are awakened. The doubting find faith, and anxious be encouraged. The tempted find help, and the sorrowful comfort. The weary find rest, and the strong are renewed. The aged find consolation, and the young are inspired. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us; unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen

Jill said...

I happened upon your blog after googling for articles on the fire. My husband grew up in the church, and all of his family still living in Whitewater attends Emmaus. I'm so glad that I happened upon your blog, I am extremely touched by the youtube video of Eliot - so touched, that I added it to my page and wanted to share with my friends and family! Thanks, J

AJF said...

Welcome Jill. I'm sure my wife knows your husband's family if not your husband himself.