At 10:30am my SIL 'D' called to let me know that a Toronto church family had suffered a huge loss. Marc Woerlen has lost his wife and seven children...11yo to 18mos (Monika was pg with #8) in a house fire. They'd just sold the house and were planning to move to the church in Ottawa. He was gone on business when the fire occurred. My thoughts and prayers go out to Brother and Sister Woerlen, Van Stralen (Monika's parents) and Marc.
Monika and the kids
Our church is unique in that we frequently have huge weekend feasts and conferences through out the year. This enables the northeast churches to come together and get to know each other. I'm blessed that the main gathering place is 2miles down the road from me. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to attend things. (Tom doesn't go to church with me...so couldn't travel very well).
I'd like to share the public statement the Woerlen's made about Monika. It is a true testament to her faith and devotion....
“We are deeply shocked by the untimely and tragic death of our beloved wife, daughter and friend, Monika Rachel Woerlen, and her seven beautiful children. There are no words to describe our feelings other than that we are devastated by the loss. We will sorely miss them all.
Monika displayed a cheerful and joyful attitude towards life. She was a true helper, one who often did all she could to lighten the load of those who she noticed seemed burdened down by the cares of life.
From a young age of 12, she prayed to her Lord that she could receive the eyes to see what she could do to help and bless others. In that mind and spirit, she truly became the Lord’s example for her 14 siblings, mother, family and a light in her community.
We love her husband Marc, who must now carry on and live to honour her memory.
May God bless him to be strong in spirit, to obtain grace and courage to continue in this time of great loss of his dear wife and children.
How blessed then to have such good memories of Monika and the children, who were all so very special to us, their family and friends.
We thank you, the media and the public, for your concern in this tragedy, but request that you keep our privacy during our time of mourning.”
Marc Woerlen and Family