Support for Leah Slack Stirewalt

$10,850 of $15k goal

Raised by 108 people in 2 months
Cindy Batson Barker
on behalf of Leah Stirewalt
 FRANKLIN, TN
Many of us are trying to wrap our heads around some tragic news.

On Friday (02/10/2017), Joel Stirewalt,  underwent an unplanned, yet successful surgical procedure.  At some point, he suffered some grave complications post surgery.

Although I have never personally met Joel, his wife Leah and I are friends and business partners.  Leah married Joel several years ago.....and I could hear and feel her love for him on our phone calls. They combined families, and since they both had adult children, they honored God's calling to expand their family.

A little over a year ago, Joel and Leah completed a lengthy process and adopted a sibling group from Bulgaria, two boys and a girl, two of which have special needs. #3lessorphans

They also opened their home as foster parents and recently adopted that little boy who will soon celebrate his third birthday.

Early Sunday  morning, only two days post surgery, Joel went to his eternal home and is now in the arms of our Lord and Savior.

Leah is now a widow for the second time in less than six years. She is such a Godly woman, and has been left with a combined family of nine children, four of which are still living at home. 

We are not called to question or understand God's purpose in all of this.....but to love on and support those in need in times like this.  To be the hands and feet of Christ.  Leah and their children will need a great deal of financial, emtional and spiritual support. 

Please help in any way that you feel led to, and cover this family in your prayers. Thank you.

We wait in HOPE for the Lord; HE is our HELP and our SHIELD. In HIM our hearts REJOICE, for we TRUST in HIS HOLY NAME. May your unfailing LOVE rest upon us, O Lord,  as we put our hope in YOU.
Psalm 33: 20-22
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Update 4
Posted by Cindy Batson Barker
10 days ago
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An update! For those of you who haven't heard, sweet Leah was involved in an auto accident this morning. Here is an update below that she posted on Facebook a short time ago.
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I haven't been able to go through all your messages yet, but I will! I have an amazing extended "family" here on FB, and I am very grateful for.

As for the accident this morning...I will be okay. I am VERY sore and was beat up pretty badly, but nothing is broken, torn, etc. I was protected from something that should have been significantly more disastrous, as it was virtually a head on collision. Praise God for His protection!

The car...may or may not be totaled. I was in the Civic. That's yet to be determined. The people driving the other car were not hurt (praise God). They were in an SUV that flipped! I was charged with the accident. I was in a part of town I wasn't as familiar with, headed to a doctor's appointment and missed seeing a yield sign.

I am emotionally hurting much more. The continued trials I've been asked to endure since February 12 have taken their toll. Today's accident was the "straw that broke the camel's back", so to speak. I need continued prayer, as the Lord directs you. Specifically...prayers for encouragement, peace, provision (as this is putting another financial hardship on our family in multiple ways), renewed hope, return of joy, patience, and purpose and anything else you feel led to pray.

Thank you all! #HeIsStillGood
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Update 3
Posted by Leah Stirewalt
16 days ago
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Old friends, new friends, and amazing supporters...

I just wanted to briefly update you on our family as we continue to navigate these new waters without our "captain" daddy/husband. Joel has now been in Heaven 52 days today. In many ways, it feels like he just left us. The kids are adjusting as well as they know how, but a couple of them need some counseling, and I'm working on finding just the right match for them and for me, as well.

Last Friday, I had my THIRD foot surgery for the month of March. I received the tragic news just two days prior that my wound (from the previous two surgeries this month) continues to fail to heal and came completely open! However, this last operation was a success, and I expect to find complete healing this time! I have a wound vac attached this time, which works to promote healing and keep the wound area bacteria free. It will be changed three times/week by a home health professional. I also have a handy-dandy new ride...a wheelchair, to assist with getting around better while the healing takes place.

Needless to say, these back-to-back tragedies and setbacks have put a continued, significant, short-term financial strain on our family, as I've been unable to return to work, and we lost our primary wage earner in February. God continues to bless us through many, many generous people - such as yourselves, so I try not to let worry invade any area of my mind, knowing God will meet our needs. I only share the view of our situation, as many continue to ask about our financial needs, and we do have some, especially in this first season following Joel's passing. It's not an area I'm comfortable sharing so publicly, but I also know people are desperately willing to help our family but don't know the need.

In general, many needs are still there, please do as God directs you.

Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers. We would be in a much darker place without the love of so many! We cherish each of you!

~Leah Stirewaltl
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Update 2
Posted by Cindy Batson Barker
28 days ago
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Update from Leah:

I can't begin to express the gratitude we feel for each of you who have prayed and/or donated a monetary gift to our family. We feel the immense love being poured out upon us as we continue to grieve the loss of our precious husband and daddy. His absence is very much evident, but your love and support helps to make that deep hole just a bit narrower. Joel would be so proud to see such a large outpouring of love being shown to his family in this very difficult new season of life we're learning to navigate. Thank you again!

If grieving Joel's passing wasn't tragic enough, many of you have heard that I (Leah) had a foot surgery on March 10 that should have been very easy with a couple day recovery. Instead, it turned into a second emergency surgery on March 17 that was potentially life-threatening, and I'm still healing from that. I'm still unable to return to work, and I'm directed to sit with my leg elevated for most of the day with little ambulation. The timing of this physical tragedy couldn't have come at a worse time.

We certainly don't understand why we're being asked to travel the road we're on, but we trust the God we serve who sees the bigger picture. His plan is always better, and one day (maybe in this lifetime) we'll get a glimpse of that plan. Until then...I still stay with full conviction...God. Is. Still. Good.
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Update 1
Posted by Leah Stirewalt
1 month ago
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Friends, new friends, family, and supporters...I truly am without adequate words right now. How do you begin to thank a group of people (many whom I have never even met) for helping to raise nearly $10K to help support our family following the recent sudden and tragic death of my precious Joel?! I am utterly amazed at how God has been taking care of us and doing so through each of you! Please know none of this goes unnoticed, as He commands His children to care for widows and orphans and you are doing just that...caring for a woman twice-widowed with four former orphans!

There are many unknowns in our future, which often leaves one subject to fear, but God has not given me a spirit of fear, and it's on His promises I still stand!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your obedience to Him and for loving our family in such a tangible way! I thank my God for each of you!
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$10,850 of $15k goal

Raised by 108 people in 2 months
Created February 13, 2017
Cindy Batson Barker  
on behalf of Leah Stirewalt
$100
Anonymous
2 days ago
$150
Anonymous
9 days ago
$300
Anonymous
10 days ago
JA
$250
Jelaine Aprile
14 days ago

May the Lord carry you through this victoriously!

$50
Anonymous
17 days ago
SW
$60
Sue Wilson
19 days ago

Love you Leah, praying for you and your family continuously.

$100
Anonymous
20 days ago
$100
Anonymous
22 days ago
$100
Anonymous
22 days ago
RK
$250
Robin Kennedy
22 days ago
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