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Van Dijk Family Receives Support from Community

A fire in Lander left two young children dead and a family without a home in mid-July, but thanks to the community, the family will be able to return to a furnished home and tons of support.

"And then when something so difficult and emotionally moving happens something that you just can't do anything about, I think it just triggers something inside a person that says I want to try to help redeem this in any way I can," says Matt Whitman, friend of the family.

For the Van Dijk family, that moment was when their home caught on fire.

"When something bad happens to someone everyone tends to care because you can empathize and when you hear about bad things on the news you think, well what if it was me, what would it be like if that were people I love," says Whitman.

The support has been immense.

"It's hard to tell you a little bit about it because it's been shocking. There is a strong ethic of compassion I think when you live in a town this size in such a remote part of the world, where there is an impulse to look out for each other," says Whitman.

Lander residents and even people from all over the world donated money, furniture, and various items the family would need to move forward.

Whitman says the community easily shared their support with the family.

"Especially just because these are people who are so generous and so plugged into the community, I mean, they are just affable, they're fun to be around," says Whitman.

The family wanted to make sure one message was relayed.

"A lot of redemptive stuff happened because God redeemed people and you know, Feike told me, when I asked him if it was okay if I talked with you, you know make sure to point that out," says Whitman.


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