Rising From the Ashes – A Response to Burglary and Arson

Destruction happens so fast; building takes a long time. In our work with students across America, I’m reminded of this truth. In just a few minutes, our office building for Never The Same was burned and destroyed by arson. This building took much, much longer to build than it did when it was destroyed through the damage of fire, water and smoke damage. But the foundation and the building structure remains. And it will be rebuilt.

Never The Same is building the foundation of faith in students’ lives. Through our initiatives: NTS Camps, Claim Your Campus, Don’t Climb Alone and other ways, we build and do our best to create support systems around them to enable them to one day become strong, sturdy adults. Sometimes in their lives and in ours, destruction happens. But our focus is always on Christ and His healing power to rebuild. And in times of uncertainty due to unexpected circumstances, His hope becomes even more real.

Many around the country and world has asked just exactly what happened, how we are doing, what next steps are, how we plan to move forward, and what they can do to help. The information and answers are pretty new of course, but we are wading through all of these questions day by day.

What happened?

As best we know, in the early morning hours of June 11th, 2015 someone broke into our building and set fire to one of our spaces in the building. We are a tenant occupying 2/3 of this building. Our space for our ministry was the entry point of the break in and the place that the fire was set. We do not know many details about the investigation, but do know that it was arson. We are not aware that we were intentional targets, but are not sure. We are awaiting updates as the investigation continues.

How are we doing?

If nothing else in this situation with ever more attention focused on our work, we want to point people to the goodness and glory of God and His amazing love. He is so good and we are learning to trust in new ways as we work, watch and wait for what He wants to do. And because of this trust that we have, we are doing great! Of course there are challenges, and we are tired. Sometimes our team is overwhelmed with that to do, with what we have lost, with not knowing the timing of how this is all going to come back together. But all in all, this has made us stronger. (I hope the same for you that are facing situations in your life that have brought unexpected challenges)

What are next steps and how do we plan to move forward?

Our initial actions are centered around saving and inventorying all that we can. We are insured, however as you can imagine in any situation like this there will be things lost that cannot be replaced. We are working quickly to figure all of this out as best we can. There is still much work ahead to get all of our things out of the building.

Every part of our office spaces was affected including our employee area with furniture, printed materials, and inventory. As you may know, this year our team packed our box truck a day early for our first NTS Camp. All of our relevant camp gear for this summer was transferred into this truck, which sat safely in the parking lot protected from the building fire. This happened 3 days before our first camp and we are obviously grateful to God for keeping our immediate needs safe from harm.

We are slowly beginning to plan for the future. As you may know, our organization is growing and we are looking for opportunities as we consider future possibilities of what to do next. We know that whatever it is that God will make it clear and we will see Him glorified.

What can you do? Honestly, pray that we would have wisdom in how to best bring God glory in this. One of our mantras is “prayer equals change” and we invite you to pray with us in asking God to show us how to point the focus on Him.

Please pray with us.

We are asking God to show us how you might be able to help in other ways as well. As that becomes clear, we will be letting you know. So many of you have asked and offered, and we have not forgotten that.

Thank you for your support through encouraging thoughts, notes, posts and most of all prayers. We are grateful!

Jeff Eckart, CEO
Never The Same


© 2015, Never The Same