We learned late last Thursday evening that something terrible had happened in our community. A family in our congregation had lost a child. Their 18-month-old son, Obadiah Dillard, had died due to an accidental drowning. Obadiah was the fifth of six children born in the Dillard house.
As I lay down Thursday night, I wondered what could be done to help. It dawned on me that easy meals would feed the kids and take a load off the parent’s shoulders.
So in the morning, off to Sam’s we went.
As we headed to the family property, I was nervous; I don’t know how to handle death very well, especially not one like this. As I pulled into the driveway, I just prayed that Yahweh would guide me on how to act.
As my truck came to a stop, the kids ran out, excited to see someone. From the dazed look in Mom, Dad, and Grandma’s eyes, however, you could tell they hadn’t slept a wink, and it was about 1 p.m at this point.
As I brought in the huge pot of spaghetti Ashley had made, you could almost see the realization on their faces that they hadn’t eaten. My guess is it hadn’t occurred to anyone until that moment.
We brought in the rest of the stuff and visited for a bit. Our congregation was able to supply them with enough “easy meals” to last them a week.
As we got ready to go, the eldest boy Yohanan, who is five, reached out his little hand and gave me a dime and a penny. With 11 cents, he thanked me for the food for his family.
Later I found out that was all the money he had.
The whole thing reminded me of a biblical story called the widows mite. It goes like this:
“And looking up He (Yahshua Messiah) saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw a certain poor widow putting in two mites. And He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all. “For all these out of their excess have put in offerings for Elohim, but she out of her poverty has put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21.1-4)
I see a parallel in the fact Yohanan gave me two coins. In all the adversity he was facing, he took all that he had and gave it on behalf of his family as if to say, “Thank you Yahweh for taking care of us.”
And to think, I felt I was sent there to minister to him.
That night I held my babies close and cried over them as we said prayers. I repented of taking my time with them for granted and resolved to be grateful for every moment I’m privileged to spend with them. I lamented getting upset in the past when they’ve wanted to spend time with me while I was trying to get work done. I felt ashamed it took a tragedy for me to realize this.
What does this have to do with real estate investing? It’s simple; I’m the only one at my congregation who doesn’t have a “regular” job. Instead, I have rental property, and it gives me the freedom to volunteer at the drop of a hat. More importantly, it allowed me to learn from Yohanan’s might- that you gladly give everything you have for the good of your family.
Yohanan’s mighty action speaks volumes as to the kind of family he comes from. His parents, April and Bryan, are good, hardworking people who instill righteous qualities in their children. Bryan and April need our prayers and our help.
A Go Fund me account has been set up at www.gofundme.com/2ph6adqc to help with the funeral expenses. Please pray for the Dillard family and donate if you can. No one thinks to set aside anything to bury their baby. No one should have to.
Joe and Ashley English invest in real estate in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com