Members helping members

Community joins together to build new home for fire victims

When lightning strikes your home, it’s bad — but when it causes your house to burn down, it’s utterly devastating. However, in July 2016, the Rev. Jim Wright and his wife, Tammy, knew that God had to have a plan for it to happen. With Jim already facing cancer, it was hard for them to know what to do next.

It wasn’t long before friends started showing support. Jim knew he wanted a good home for his wife and knew God would provide. Once word got out that the Wrights wanted a log home, PPEC member Scott Manson jumped at the idea of building it.

“I built my brother’s and my own log home, so I felt called to build the Wrights’ new house,” Manson said. “I knew my brother, Dan, would be willing to build alongside me.”

Fred Shepard, a good friend of the Mansons, had never built a house before but wanted to learn, so he took the opportunity. After the house shipment came in April, the Manson brothers and Fred spent every free moment they had working on the house until it was finished in September 2017.

As community members and others found out what was going on, they stopped and helped for a few hours at a time. Dan was amazed at the amount of support that came from so many people — even those who had never known the Wrights personally.

“To have individuals just stop by to keep us company while we worked or surprise us with dinner was truly amazing and something I never expected to happen,” Dan said.

Though there were days Jim was so weak he couldn’t come outside, he knew God was providing him and his wife with the home they had always wanted.

“I thank the Lord for all those who participated in building this,” Jim said. “They heard the call from their hearts and did what they knew was best. The skills put together led to a beautiful home.”

Tammy also felt blessed by the neighbors who saved their dogs during the fire. Though they lost everything else, what was most important to the Wrights was saved.

“Even when everything feels lost, there is still hope and reason to be thankful,” Jim said. “Lightning can only do so much damage, but with hope, everything can be provided again.”