Monday, July 21st of 2008 was a very sad day for a family who we are close friends with. That day while camping at a resort in Colona Illinois their live were changed forever. They woke that morning to a storm unlike any they had ever been in before. It was a rare type of storm that blew straight line winds of up to 94 miles an hour into their campsite. Just after sunrise that morning, becoming aware of the danger they were in Jason, the father, scrambled to get his family to safety. Unfortunately they did not have enough time. A large oak tree near their camp snapped and fell onto the family tent. The tree pinned their four year old son Dustin beneath it's massive 18 inch in diameter trunk. The families 9 month old daughter Savannah was struck in the head. All the Stuebs' 7 children were hurt in some way. Dustin and Savannah did not survive their injuries though.
I can't imagine the pain our friends are going through, I don't even pretend to know what it would be like to lose two children so tragically. My faith in Christ, and in what he tells us in his word assures me that those two children who we mourn woke up in the arms of Christ. They went from pain and sorrow, to playing in streets of gold before a loving Father. I pray sincerely for those childrens' loved ones, and would ask all to do the same.
The family is in need now, they haven't asked for anything but those who love them are seeking help for them. They operate a non for profit thrift store and have no insurance. The last thing that grieving family needs to worry about is whether they will be able to pay their bills. There are several benefits being planned, we just finished one at a restaurant in Springfield Illinois called Mariah's. We thank the owner, Sam, for all his help and thoughfulness in doing this for the Stuebs. There is another planned for August 17th at the Fieldhouse Pizza & Pub from noon to 6 p.m. There will be a live auction and games for kids. Those who are interested can also send donations to any Marine Bank in Springfield Illinois, or mail them to 3120 Robbins RdSpringfield, IL 62704. Checks can be made out to The Stuebs Family Benefit.