Colby and Rachel have recently made an assessment of the actual cost of the property loss. They also found out today that they cannot keep any of the stuff they thought they could keep, because the insurer of the apartment building won't allow them to, due to the smoke hazard. So it turns out that the actual loss is closer to $10,000. Colby, Rachel and all of us are so thankful for the amazing response that they've received so far. The good news is, we are over half-way there because of all your generous donations! Please keep sharing and let's get them to $10,000.
Our dear friends Colby & Rachel Rybar had a fire in their apartment recently. Thankfully they are both safe! However, they incurred a lot of property damage and lost pretty much all that they had. They didn't have renters insurance so they can't get any money to replace lost items. The apartment they were in isn't livable anymore.
And as you can imagine they are both going through a lot emotionally and financially right now, including having a baby soon which adds to the financial strain!
Even a little bit helps - let's come together to raise some money for them so that they can get back on their feet and start replacing some furniture and household items. Let us also come together in prayer for God to heal the trauma and pain of this terrible event!
It was about 3:40 am. The baby didn't cease to remind mama to wake up and use the bathroom like he/she does every night around this time. I woke up pretty groggy to hear the carbon monoxide alarm going off. I rolled over to Colby to nudge him and say, "hey, I think I kept the oven on again." We both stumbled out of bed and went to our posts- Colby to the patio door to air out the place and me to the alarm, pillow in hand, to fan the smoke away. When Colby got to the oven he called out saying nothing was on. Adrenaline immediately kicked in. We realized we couldn't see anything around us besides thick, white smoke and that we could hardly breathe.
Colby went to look around for the source while I turned around to get dressed and gather the essentials: phones, winter coat, car keys, wallet. Rather than being put away like I always do each night they happened to be collectively waiting for me on the kitchen table. OH, how God knew.
*I am going to take a moment to state that our "freak" case is still under investigation so we will not be posting any details of how the fire started.*
Colby opened up the storage/closet room and more smoke came billowing out. We calculate now that smoke had been filling our home for the past 4 hours while we slept.
We made our way downstairs and outside where I called the school's emergency line and asked the head of the services department which steps to take next- to the best he could being woken up at the crack of dawn. He ran over to scope out our building and quickly called back saying to call 911. About a minute later, we could see the smoke from our apartment window turn from white to black. The fire sparked (4:00 am).
Everyone was able to evacuate the building safely. PTL. Robbie and Matt had incredible courage knocking on doors and making sure each resident was out.
Within 5 minutes the fire trucks rolled in and began to take care of putting out the fire. We were checked out by paramedics who told us we needed to visit the emergency room to be further seen.
Our friends drove us in and we were eventually discharged with smoke inhalation; we were told the monoxide in our blood would cycle itself out over time. We are still finding it difficult to breathe so we plan on keeping a close eye on our respiratory. I, Rachel, have had my fair share of smoke inhalation before and am being attentive as I can to our bodies; ain't nobody got time for bronchitis or asthma again.
We came back to the apartment to hear about the damages. The fire started and ended in our unit. There was severe smoke damage throughout the building and water damage in many of our neighbor's homes. The cleaning department began to sort through our home to find what could be salvaged. Cleaning is a practical need we are beyond thankful for...I don't even have the words. Everything that is salvageable was covered in soot and saturated in smoke but they have been going through it all meticulously with such diligence and excellence.
Throughout the day, but mainly once we settled into a hotel that night, we began to realize how much trauma we walked through (thanks, Dexter and Nicole!). Our bodies occasionally went in and out of shock. We noticed the things that gave us extreme anxiety. We acknowledged our fear and the proximity to physical death we came. Hallelujah, Jesus conquered death and resurrected our souls.
The president of our campus has been so kind to let us stay in his home for a few days. It has been refreshing to be at least two minutes away from it all so we can breathe.
We have been floored by everyone's desire to meet our needs. We now see that prayer, emotional support (we like words of affirmation or notes!!) and this page are the best ways to bless us in this time.
Also- Our dearest friends got married today (4/14). It was such an honor to celebrate their marriage in the midst of a SNOWSTORM!!!! And to have a distraction like laughter and love! I have seen God's holy and immaculate beauty in the midst of brokenness due to the testimony of their relationship. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Vik!!!
Thank you to all of you in our lives. We praise God for this life we get to continue living and want to give him the utmost glory. The "items" we care about the most are each other - we couldn't care less about anything else. We are thankful for this child God has given us and are already thinking of the day we get to share with him/her - "You saved our lives. God is so so good in every circumstance." Romans 12:12
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