4 of our 8 children were tragically shot in our home while we were gone in town with one of our children. The other 3 (ages 1, 2, and 4) were sleeping upstairs when the shooting occurred, and the 2 and 4yr old came down to find their sister 17yr, brother 15, brother 8, and sister 5 all dead. They tried to wake up their oldest sister before the neighbors arrived, this has had a very lasting effect on them! Shortly after the shooting, we arrived home and found our neighbor on the phone to the police, I went into the home while my wife stayed outside with the children. Going into the home was extremely hard, but I needed to see what our 2 children had seen. We can't give any more information than this because the media has tried to turn this into something it is not. There was an accident, followed by overwhelming shock and grief, and feeling no options in this extreme moment, mercy and suicide quickly followed. Anger, mental illness, etc, were not part of this tragedy.
Because of what happened in our home and of what 2 of our children and myself saw, we were unable to go back to living in our home. Our home is still sitting there filled with our old memories and things, many of which have been too hard to deal with as of yet. Our children haven't wanted to wear their old clothes as many of them were hand me downs by their deceased siblings and this caused more trauma. Old toys have been a problem too. So, we have had to buy many replacements for these things. Many have helped us with the money to get into a new home, etc. But we also have our old home to pay for every month until we can get everything gone through and removed, which has not been an easy task so far. We built our old home as a family on bare land and losing this has been a very difficult thing for us and the children as it was home.
Our greatest mission is to restore our children to the fullest they can be for the Lord. This time is so critical to the foundation of healing they will have to walk through in their lives. This is beyond their understanding right now and they doubt Him. Way heavier are the days ahead. When understanding sets in and mourning on a whole new level begins. Please help us have this time to set a firm foundation for their little houses to set on.
The trauma our children have endured has made it impossible to work because of the care they need. They are suffering from separation anxiety, survivors' guilt, depression, and nightmares, to name a few. It is a daily struggle for all of us, but we keep our hope in the Lord for He is everything to us.
It is very hard for us to ask for financial help from others, but we have not covered most of this months bills and have no idea how we will pay for the months to come. We are worried we will lose our old home before we can even get our families' things put in order and removed!
Thank you for helping us with your prayers and financially. You are helping in ways you cannot imagine!