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Out of the Ashes

By Analiz González Schremmer

(SAN CARLOS, Texas) — Everything was gone. When the Longoria family came home from the flea market on January 18, all that was left of their trailer home was a pile of ashes.

“The good thing was that everything we lost was material,” said Maria Longoria, a mother of five girls with another on the way. “All of us were fine and God gave us the strength we needed. But it was still sad because we had just bought a new crib for the baby and my 18-year-old daughter became depressed and started crying for her home.”

After the fire swallowed everything the Longoria’s owned, they had no food or clothing. The family received $100 in food donations from the Department of Humane Services, but the girls had nothing to wear to school and they were all absent the day after the fire.

Juan Longoria, who dedicates his life’s work to buying and selling horses, said that 13-years worth of work was destroyed in 25 minutes.

“We had lost hope,” one of the Longoria girls said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I thought I would not be able to come back to school.”

Ricardo Brambila, Buckner missions coordinator in the Rio Grande Valley, said he learned about the Longoria family from a community center in San Carlos. The Longorias had gone to the center for help, but they didn’t have the resources they needed.

Buckner was able to supply the family with food and four sets of clothing for each family member.

“I saw their smiles as they looked for their new clothes,” Maria said about her daughters. “It was like hope beginning to fill their hearts. … God did not forget about us.”

And almost immediately after that, the school gave the family new school supplies and backpacks.

“Praise the Lord,” Brambila said, “for again, I saw his hands.”

To learn more about Buckner’s work in the Rio Grande Valley, click here.

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