We interrupt your regular post to ask for a Xmas miracle.

So, if you follow my Twitter, you know that this has been a pretty awful day for my big brother.

He and his new wife, Gretchen, recently moved 8 hours from the rest of our family so he can attend Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in South Bend. This weekend, we all came out to my grandparents’ house near Milan, Indiana to celebrate Christmas. Like we have every year since… well, before I existed.

This morning is when they got the call. Just in time for Christmas, they’ve lost pretty much everything. Their apartment building has burned. Since the fire was on the lower level and they live upstairs, their stuff is *technically* intact. But the firefighters consider it a total loss anyway, as the structural integrity of the building is gone. They probably won’t be able to safely get up there to salvage anything.

Their two cats were visiting at Mom’s house in Petersburg, so they’re safe. The downstairs neighbor’s bulldog was not so lucky. He didn’t get out of the building.

Jason stands to lose thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments and books. More importantly, they need some temporary lodging for themselves and the cats. It looks like some friends they’ve made up there are going to step in to help out in the housing department.

The only clothes, shoes, etc. they have are what they brought with them to Milan. If you or someone you know lives in the South Bend area and have something to give, Jason wears men’s 40-inch jeans and XL shirts. Gretchen’s a 14/16, L shirt size.

I was thinking more in terms of covering their material needs i.e. clothing, food, etc. but people have expressed interest in giving money. We’re still looking into options as far as monetary donations. He doesn’t prefer to go with Paypal, so I’ll take alternate suggestions. I will update with a link for donation once that’s squared away.

I believe in the good of people, even total strangers, especially around this time of year. Obviously, I really care a lot about my brother and his wife and I’d love nothing more than for some stability to be returned to them. We’ll do as much as we can for them, but my parents live as far south as you can be and still live in Indiana, and Jason and Gretchen are way up in South Bend. I’m in the middle, and I can give a little, but I’m still recovering from my own financial hardships myself. Though I’d love to give him the world, I’m not able right now.

Please lend your support in this time, even if all you can provide is well-wishing. If you’d like to give money or materials, I can hook you up with the info you’ll need for that.

Sorry this isn’t particularly articulate. We’re still pretty much in shock. I know it’ll be OK, but we just… aren’t there yet.

Update: Here’s my brother’s post on the subject.

(crossposted to my personal and professional blogs.)