October 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

We had planned to send a “regular” update for this month, but what we had planned to report seems to matter very little right now. Our hearts are broken. Yesterday, three members of one of our church families were involved in a tragic car accident. The 10-year old son, William, died of his injuries a few hours after the accident. The mother, Charmaine, has severe injuries but is expected to make a full recovery in due course. The 8-year old daughter, Hailey, was uninjured. The dad, Bevan, was not with them, as he was a few hours away, waiting to receive his family into their new home, in a new town, with new jobs and a new school for the children in view.

Yesterday was supposed to be an exciting “restart” for this dear family. They had been through so much. They survived the Knysna Fire of 2017, but lost everything other than what they could fit into their car while evacuating. They had slowly rebuilt their lives over the past three years, battling one setback after another, facing extended unemployment, huge financial pressure, and loads of uncertainty. Through it all they faithfully followed Jesus and testified to how grateful they were to know God was with them. And then, just two months back, God provided Bevan a new job, perfectly aligned with his abilities and training. This required the family to begin the process of moving to a town four hours away from Knysna. We were sad at the prospect of losing them from our church and having the distance between us, but we were happy that things seemed to be turning in such a positive direction for them.

And then . . . yesterday. We really have no adequate words. There is still much we don’t know. We just ask you to pray for the Ellman family. We love them dearly, and we are grieving heavily. They are clinging to God, and so are we. But as you know, there are no easy answers in times like this. We know God is good, and we know His ways are perfect, even though they are not our ways or within our ability to understand in the moment. We know we can grieve with hope, because William knew his Saviour and is with Him now! And yet, even with all these good things we know, the suffering is real for the Ellman’s, and it will be for a long time to come. We need you to pray that God overwhelms them with His love and grace, that the physical and emotional healing would happen in God’s timing, and that we and so many others would minister to them with wisdom and compassion.

In Christ’s Love,
The Coon Family