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Texas minister heads effort to replace house of family who lost daughter to fire


Steve Bonner, right, leads a prayer alongside Syliva, Mike, Charlie and Luis Duran during a gathering to mark the completion of a home for the Duran family in Tahoka, Texas. The Durans lost their daughter and sister Laela Duran to a fire in November 2011. (Photo by Zach Long, via lubbockonline.com)

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Texas reports:

About 75 people gathered on Mother’s Day for a multidenominational blessing of a Tahoka, (Texas,) home built in honor of Laela Marie Duran, an 8-year-old who died in a house fire Nov. 18.
Her family — parents Luis and Sylvia Duran, 15-year-old sister Charlie and 3-year-old brother Mikey — moved in Thursday to the home provided to them in a remarkable community success story of cooperation.
“We have been really blessed with community members who helped us so much,” Sylvia Duran said.

Steve Bonner, the minister of Tahoka Church of Christ and the organizer of the project, said the house was intended to be a blessing but could never replace what the family lost.

Bonner, who said his organizational skills were developed as a youth minister, said the house project brought Tahoka together in many ways.
“The project knocked down walls that existed in the community and blurred dividing lines, such as denominational, socio-economic and ethnic lines,” he said.
“My prayer is that we don’t go back to the way it was,” he said.
A month ago, a community worship service in the front yard of the Duran house under construction drew 500 people for prayers and scriptures in Spanish and English from Church of Christ, Methodist, Baptist and Catholic clergy, Bonner said.

Read the full story.

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