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Jimmy Fallon Gets in on the Blessings!

Field Report by Dina Sleiman

NORTH CAROLINA, USA – This week on The Tonight Show, a family from Lumberton, North Carolina received the surprise of a lifetime. Divya, Terry, and their twelve-year-old son Lucas lived through the heartache of seeing their precious, inherited home destroyed not once, but twice by hurricane flooding. But thanks to Jimmy Fallon, The Home Depot Foundation, and Operation Blessing supporters like you, their tragedy is turning to triumph.

Divya grew up in Lumberton, and she received her grandmother’s house when she passed away. That place is very special to her and always takes her back to her childhood. She said simply, “It’s home.” So when Hurricane Matthew struck in 2016, the family decided to repair their home and stay put.

Divya was left this home by her grandmother.

They felt certain that Matthew had been a once in a hundred years’ storm, and they worked hard to get their home back into shape. Meanwhile, Divya continued working at her small salon in town, and Terry as a corrections officer.

When Hurricane Florence headed their way this year, they thought their house would be fine. Still, they heeded the warnings to get to higher ground just to make sure they didn’t get trapped, and they took all the precautions they could to protect their house.

Hurricane Florence Destruction

It wasn’t until after the worst of the storm, when a nearby river crested later that week, that tragedy struck for a second time. Divya experienced the heartache of seeing her home destroyed with contaminated water and mold once again. She said, “For lack of a better word, it’s a disaster…. I was kind of numb. You don’t want it to be true.”

Facing the flooding with no flood insurance for the second time proved truly challenging for the family. But they managed to maintain their faith. In the midst of it all Divya quoted Romans 8:28, saying, “’All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord.’ So that’s where I’m finding peace.”

Divya greeting the Operation Blessing volunteers.

Some of their friends encouraged them to abandon the home, but it means too much to them, and Divya kept thinking of what her grandmother would want.

Hurricane Relief Blessings

As Operation Blessing volunteers showed up on the scene to help remove flooring, sheet rock, and damaged items from the home, matters begin to look up for the family. At the time, Divya said, “Thank you to those who give…. I’m grateful and my heart is leaping. I have some hope now.”

Little did they suspect the relief they received at that time was just the beginning of the blessings in store! On November 27th the couple had a chance to attend The Tonight Show. But they had no idea the surprise waiting for them.

Repairing Divya's home.

Jimmy Fallon asked them to stand and share a little about their story. Then, to their shock, he announced that The Home Depot Foundation and Operation Blessing would be completely restoring their home. Divya cried as he explained they would receive a new roof, insulation, furnace, flooring, appliances, landscaping, furniture, and more! Then Lucas surprised them to join in for a big hug. Check out the heartwarming video.

As Divya predicted, it’s clear that God is working things together for her family’s good, and turning their tragedy into triumph. This kind of amazing blessing is only possible because of generous supporters like you! Thank you for making this story possible.

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