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August-September 2016


Relentless Parenting


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Illinois Master's Men helps one family rebuild after a fire destroys their home.

Out of the Ashes

By Tim Hayes


The long-vacant Brown Shoe Company factory building in Salem, Illinois, burned September 22, 2015. According to local news outlets, the fire was so intense that when firefighters arrived on the scene, little could be done to save it. Ten surrounding fire departments were summoned to battle the out-of-control blaze as it began to spread to nearby structures.

Before the fire could be contained, it severely damaged the nearby home of George and Crystal Shoat (pictured below). The couple lost most of their possessions, and they had no insurance. That’s when Free Will Baptists stepped in to help.


Michele Donoho recalls the Lord leading her to assist this family. His guidance was so strong, she was unable to rest, and she asked her friend Tina Stajduhar to pray with her about a solution. As they prayed together, God’s leading became obvious to both of them: “Tear down the burned out shell, and build the Shoats a new home.”

It was a tall order. Before long, however, funds began pouring in from churches, businesses, and the community, along with materials and offers of volunteer labor. By the end of November, with the help of Illinois Master’s Men, a construction plan was in place. Tina’s husband Chris, off from work after recent back surgery, would serve as general contractor.

Demolition began December 3, and was completed in three days. Rebuilding began December 7, and the entire project (pictured below) was finished in two months. It was nothing short of a miracle. Twenty-five volunteers provided the labor while lumberyards, supply houses, and contractors were unbelievably generous.


A number of churches and church organizations partnered with the group on this project: Calvary FWB Church, Pleasant View FWB Church, the Illinois FWB Disaster Response Team, First Christian Church, Grace Methodist, and the Nazarene Church of Salem.

The entire experience has been a good reminder: if the Lord tells you to do the impossible, just step out in faith, be ready for hard work, and trust God to provide.

About the Writer: Tim Hayes is Disaster Relief Coordinator for Illinois Master’s Men. To learn how you can get involved in Free Will Baptist disaster response, visit



©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists