I know it sounds cliche’ but I just have to say it: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
Two weeks ago (tomorrow) I got a call from DHS. They had gotten a call from a neighboring county’s 911 office saying they had found our Heart Gallery trailer. DHS wanted to know if ours had been stolen. What? The day before I had picked up the Heart Gallery at a church, tucked it away inside the trailer, and returned the trailer to my church (The Summit Church) parking lot where it ‘lives’ when it is not in use. Back in December our church had been broken into and the lock on our trailer cut. When the thieves realized it was ONLY pictures of kids and about 70 easels in the back, they left it in tact except for some gift bags we had stored for teens. (How nice.) Anyway, I never worried about anyone stealing the whole trailer because it was locked, but mainly because it had a huge beautiful logo on both sides and the back that featured two hands holding a bright red heart with the words ” The Pulaski County Heart Gallery…presented by the Pulaski County Adoption Coalition” on it. No one in there right mind would steal it.
Well, two weeks ago, someone not in there right mind, did steal it. I called the church, asked the receptionist to look out onto the parking lot and sure enough it was gone! We found out later that someone had taken it between 9:30 the night before and 8:00 that morning. They had driven it to Saline County and left it parked in the wooded area (where the Sheriff’s office said they planned to come back to paint and strip it.) Two men noticed it and called the authorities-praise the LORD!
I went out to the church and met the police to file the report. Basically, they said nothing would be done since it had been recovered. Then the interesting part began. I called the Saline County Sheriff’s office to find out how to go about getting the trailer back. I learned it had been towed for storage. They gave me the name of the towing company and told me to call them. When I called, I was blown away. We would have to pay to get our “non-profit-finding-deserving-kids-forever-families” STOLEN trailer back. And not just $50, but $278. I could not believe it. I told the man our story and that we didn’t have much money in our account and ask if I could have a couple of days to talk with our treasurer etc. He said “yes, for $45 plus tax per day”! Long story short, I called our treasurer, Jennifer Wilcox, who told me to let her handle it. And handle it she did. She went out to the towing company, our bank statement in hand and tried to reason with the guy. It was futile and time consuming. He acted as if he’d give us a break and then said the best he could do was $223. So, for a mere $223, we got our stolen trailer back.
When I picked up the trailer to deliver the gallery this week, it broke my heart…there in the back were the pictures of the children in our county that I am responsible for: scattered, broken, seemingly worthless. There’s got to be an object lesson in there somewhere. Praise the Lord the value of these children is not measured by a picture or by a thief, but by a heavenly Father who made them and is willing to give it all to insure they have the life He intended them to have.
Just a warning for the criminals who stole the trailer….you don’t want to meet Jennifer Wilcox on a dark alley! (Or anywhere else for that matter!) What were they thinking??