Eric and June Simsons lost everything when an F5 tornado demolished their home in Oklahoma. The couple left to go to work like any normal morning, when later in the day the tornado ripped through their town. By the time Eric got home from work, everything was gone.
Eric Simsons said they “spent a week going through the rubble, finding what little was salvageable, and moving the debris to the curb for removal. We were blessed at being able to find our cat and dog in the home (trapped) the next day… God was with us and blessed us with an awesome veterinarian… Both are doing well now.”
Soon after the tornado devastated their community, the Simsons called Food for the Hungry (FH) about their child sponsorship. They requested a new Welcome Kit to stay in touch with Lovenie, their sponsored child. In the midst of such loss and uncertainty, the Simsons didn’t want to abandon Lovenie.
Lovenie lives in Haiti, a country that has survived mass destruction from hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Now, more than ever, the Simsons felt compassion for the experiences Lovenie and her community had gone through.
During the time of the tornado, the Simsons were studying the book of Job. Considering the losses Job faced is not unlike what the Simsons and communities in Haiti have gone through. For them, “living through this helped us to understand how he [Job] felt and to believe that God was not punishing us but was allowing us to be tested, like Job. He knew there were faithful people that would allow Him to be glorified through their actions,” said June.
Eric and June exemplify this in their relationship with Lovenie. While frequent natural disasters and political and economic tensions make it difficult to have regular contact with their sponsored child, the Simsons view their “part as more of an encourager for Christ in her life.”
As the lives of the Simsons, Job, and Lovenie confirm, life is not always easy. Things get hard, there are seasons when everything is lost, and we only have each other. It is beautiful to see sponsors who know too well the truth of these words but choose to be present, to encourage, and to have faith that life can improve from such loss.
If we partner together, we can walk through our losses and rebuild lives in our communities and in communities of people we love across the world. Join the Simsons and Food for the Hungry (FH) as we seek to encourage one another and walk through loss and darkness to rebuild a brighter future for children.