My Heart is heavy after multiple dams fail and flood my hometown. Several loved ones have lost homes and lost small businesses that were already under immense stress during this pandemic. I can’t pull myself away from the devastating photos of flooding and loss all over social media. I admit, when you are not personally affected or don’t know anyone involved in a disaster it is easy to scroll by, to pause for a moment then forget about it. We are over stimulated with news and unfortunately at times emotionally desensitized from tragic events. However, this event hits home for our family.
I believe you can connect with the story of our hometown as well. Have you ever dreamed about opening a business or took that big scary leap and started one? Do you remember that first time you got the keys to your first place after moving out on your own or buying that first house? This could have easily been you or a loved one. Take a moment to see what is not on the news all over the country. This devastation could be you, your family or loved one.
Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34)
This is our hometown in Midland/Sanford, Michigan. It has been home to our families for generations. Being across country in California leaves us feeling helpless, so I write this to stand in the gap for those in need. I stand in the gap for those that lost small businesses, and are trying to figure out how to move forward with the dreams they have spent years to build. I stand in the gap for those that have lost their homes and are forced to go to shelters during a pandemic. I stand in the gap where insurance has failed them, because you can’t get flood insurance if you are not in a flood zone. A majority of these people will not be getting financial help to cover the damage that has taken place. What does it mean to “stand in the gap”? In the Bible, cities had walls surrounding them to provide protection from enemies. When the wall was breached, the city was vulnerable to destruction; the only way to secure it was for people to risk their lives by literally standing in the gap in the wall and fighting the enemy. I stand in the gap (to fight for these families and their businesses) and ask you to join me.
Photos of Sanford Hardware by Christine Duhaime & Kayla Sian in Sanford, Michigan
I could highlight many of the families and businesses that have been affected by this heartbreaking disaster; however the one that is the most personal is The Sanford Hardware. This is our family, they are the kindest, hardest working family and small business owners that truly would give the shirt off their back and not think twice about it. Denny and Kathy Sian have owned the Sanford Hardware for the past 20 years. They are well known for their generosity and involvement in both Sanford and Clare communities, where they own the Do it Best Hardware Stores. When the pandemic was spreading throughout Michigan, Sanford Hardware held a very successful donation drive that provided thousands of dollars to the local food bank.
The flooding has completely destroyed the Sanford Hardware and is a total loss. Like many area businesses, Sanford Hardware’s damage is not going to be covered by insurance. This small business is family run, the livelihood of the four Sian Families are affected by this devastation. Denny and Kathy’s sons Adam and Denny, as well as daughter Christine all help run the stores. They have dedicated their entire lives on building this local small business as a family over the past 20 years. It is more than just a place to get your hardware supplies. When you own a business for 20 years your customers become part of your family, and are your friends. It is a place of fellowship, the Sanford Hardware is heart of this small downtown in Sanford, Michigan.
We know there will be many blessings after this storm because this has been a storm of all storms. We thank you for your support and please be praying for this community. We are learning to lean in, trust God during the unimaginable. He is still in control when things seem out of control. This community is already coming together helping with the clean up and donations to those in need. They will come out of this with a new hope showing how they are better together in community. Thank you, for your support during this time.
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