Dave Meigs

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington, where he serves his church as youth pastor.

Home At Last

As I write this, I am tapping away on my laptop upon a makeshift desk crowded in the corner of the dining room between several stacks of boxes. Usually I hate moving, but not this time. After camping out for over a year and a half on a corner of our property in our small motorhome, you couldn’t slap the smile off my face. We finally finished building our new home. Praise God!

For the sake of those who are new to my column, turn back your clocks to the early morning of December 21, 2008. My youngest son, then sixteen, burned down our home. To make a long story short, Johnny is severely autistic and did not understand the danger of playing with matches. Within two or three minutes, the entire house was engulfed in flames, and we barely made it out with our lives. Making things even worse, we didn’t have insurance (another very long story).

What followed has proven to be nothing less than a long parade of blessings and God’s miraculous provision for our family. Before the fire was even extinguished, the Red Cross arrived, providing us with temporary shelter, a set of clothes for each of us, and enough food to last for a couple of weeks. After a short visit to the hospital for smoke inhalation, I was released and allowed to join my family at the motel. What followed was a blur of interviews by the fire marshal and the Red Cross representatives.

When the whirlwind of the day’s events had finally come to an end, our family huddled together in prayer and thanksgiving to God for sparing our lives and protecting us from serious injury. Late that night, I sat down at a borrowed laptop and typed out a short note explaining what we went through to a few special friends, including our own Bonnie Calhoun, Annie McDonald (our ACFW NW Area Zone Director), and my Kiwi editor and longtime friend, Rulan Capper-Starr.

That night while I slept, each one of my dear friends went straight to work getting the word out, and even set up a special fire fund for our family. That very next day, Annie called me to tell me that a few hundred dollars had already come in. For the next few weeks, I was blown away by the love and support that flooded in from fellow writers from every corner of our country, and even a few from the other side of our planet.

It seemed like everywhere we turned, we encountered the blessings of God. For instance, the next day after the fire, I went to Best Buy to see if the accidental damage insurance plan I had purchased on my new laptop included house fires. As I expected, the store supervisor shook his head, but then to my surprise, he offered to refund the cost of my extended warranty; and if I wanted to, the store was willing to replace my laptop for whatever the warranty refund came to. Without my paying a single dime, Best Buy gave me a top of the line Sony laptop identical to the one I lost. They even threw in a printer.

I had barely made it back to the computer department to pick out my laptop when the manager found me. I could tell by the flood of emotion on his face that something had happened. He handed me an envelope. Inside it was a five-hundred dollar gift card and a few others for ten to fifty dollars each. It seems that 

a few of the customers who had been in line behind me had overheard me as I explained to the manager about our ordeal. As soon as I left to get my new laptop off the shelf, they came forward wishing to donate money to help replace our children’s Christmas presents that were lost in the fire.

By the time I walked out of the store, not only did I have a new laptop and all-in-one printer for myself, but I also had a shopping cart full of Christmas presents for my children. The Best Buy employees all pitched together and adopted our family, buying even more presents for our kids. Somehow Old Navy got word and they too adopted our family for Christmas.

Our church, where I serve as youth pastor, quickly rallied to our aid and organized a community-wide auction/spaghetti feed fund-raiser to help us replace our belongings. Soon there were several churches also coming to our aid. Within a few days after the fire, we already had a houseful of furniture collected and stored at the church, awaiting the replacement of our home. Moreover, without exception, every item we received was far better than what we had lost in the fire.

The same amazing outpouring of love and support came through the hospital where my wife works. The hospital, the union, doctors, nurses, and employees from every department started bringing in blankets, new clothes, housewares, furniture, and even financial aid to help us get through our tragedy.

An old friend and former board member from my years with Youth for Christ, Mark Plumber, called and offered his expertise and the use of his excavation equipment, free of charge, to help us prepare a site to put the new house. A few days later, a nearby neighbor whom I hardly knew came forward offering to demolish and haul away the wreckage of our old home—also, free of charge.

I still get choked-up thinking about how the Lord has taken care of us through the love and sacrifice of His people both near and far. And the list of miracles and blessings is far too long to tally in just one article. I’m not saying that there have not been trials along the way. I had another minor heart attack and various other trials that we have had to contend with. Perhaps the hardest of which has been the long wait to get into the new house. But that too is now behind us.

We have much yet to do around the old homestead, such as planting grass, flowers, etc. It might take another year to make things look the way it should, but if any of you who read this ever make it to the Puget Sound area of Washington State, I’d love to invite you over for a visit. We can sit upon rocking chairs on our covered porch and watch the eagles soar against the backdrop of the nearby Olympic Mountains. The coffee is always on.