Day 2…
February 28th, 2017 News No Comments

Today was spent running back and forth to various offices in both the municipal government and the regional government to find out what kind of compensation for which we are eligible. Our former neighbors who lived across the hall from us picked us up around 9am and we spent the entire day working through everything together.

At 2pm all of those who lived in our building met with the municipal administration of Vanavara where it was explained to us who was eligible for what compensation and how to obtain it. It was a very emotional meeting for all and it did get very heated as almost everyone in the building is placing the blame for the fire on one family since it started in their apartment – albeit they were not home at the time. Thankfully, after the meeting broke up, Katie was able to catch up with them and found out where they were now living and later was able to take over a couple of bags of clothes that Kara had outgrown for their daughters. They were truly grateful since they had no chance to save anything and lost everything in the fire.

At the end of the day, we had learned that we are eligible for compensation for our possessions up to a sum of 50,000 rubles or about $860, and that we are eligible for monetary help from the social services up to a predetermined amount per person in the family (total amount less than $1000). However, because we owned our apartment, there is no compensation available for replacing our dwelling (we also didn’t have any homeowners insurance). Those who rented apartments in the building from the municipality will be relocated at the municipality’s expense, but those of us who owned apartments are on our own to replace our dwelling. With all of that said, the municipality is bending over backwards to make sure that everyone who lived in the building has a place to live temporarily, but the responsibility of relocating to a permanent dwelling is solely on us.

Our neighbors were not happy about these findings in the least because they too owned their apartment and had lived there for more than 13 years. After discussing with them some options for future dwellings, we were humbled and yet overjoyed at the same time when they stated that they didn’t want anyone else for neighbors except us. Their exact words were “We planned to live next to you for all of eternity.” The full weight of what they just said didn’t sink in until after we were home. We would love nothing more than to see God turn that statement into a reality with mansions in an eternal city that will never burn or perish. Please join us in earnest prayer for this great door of opportunity to minister to this family.

In summary:
1) We found out that we are eligible for material compensation for our possessions and for monetary assistance from the social services – a total of less than $2000.
2) We cannot obtain any assistance in procuring a new permanent dwelling. That responsibility lies with us.

So needless to say, after all that we put into the old apartment, we will now have to come up with the money to not only buy another place, but also remodel it. We have not even begun to consider options for a permanent dwelling yet. Our first priority is to get settled somewhere temporarily and replace all of the items necessary to live our daily lives. We do have an apartment that was offered to us to rent, just one building down from our previous one, and we have agreed to stay there for the month of March, paying only utilities, and we will reevaluate our options at that time.

More to follow in future updates.

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