Back in January 2019 when Stacy and Joshua Lemonds from Oklahoma City discovered that their heater was not functional, they felt immediately hopeless.
They were in between jobs and could not afford to pay to get fixing done in their home. They approached their fellow church members for prayers and then Joshua Matthews came along.
Sometimes, a hero comes in the form of an electrician to fix the electricity in your home
Oklahoma City winters can be brutally cold, and many local residents rely heavily on their heaters as a source of essential warmth.
Unfortunately, heaters can and do stop working from time to time, and this can create a stressful, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous situation.
Stacy and Joshua Lemonds live in a 1945 home where the wiring, which has not been changed since it was built, was faulty. This couple was barely making ends meet when this event unfolded. They discovered that their heater was actually working just fine, but the electric company had recently removed their meter because of a fire hazard concern. “We came home and was like, ‘Why is the heat not running?’ We looked at it and it was a blank screen,” Stacy recalled.
Their home had corroded wires, and their electricity would not be turned on again until the wires had been replaced and the home had passed an inspection.
Joshua and Stacy were both between jobs at the time this happened. With both Stacy and Joshua out of work, they had nowhere else to live. They could not afford to pay for new wiring for their home, so they did the only thing they could do.
They prayed, and they asked for prayers from their church marriage group. Little did they know that their prayers would soon be answered.
Not long before this event happened, Joshua and Stacy had prepared a few meals for another man in their church group and his sick wife. This man was Joshua Matthews. He was a military veteran who had served two tours in Afghanistan with the 45th Infantry Division, and he also was apprenticing for a local electric company.
Even though both sides barely knew each other, Matthews told Stacy that he was an electrician and that he was more than happy to come over to check out their situation at home. He lived just 10 minutes away from the Lemonds.
After inspecting the Lemonds’ house, Matthews deemed that “there are some big problems here.” So Matthews went to get the help of his co-workers.
With some assistance from others who worked for his employer, Matthews and his crew were able to get the work completed. But this was no easy feat. They had to work in dark, cold, and damp conditions for several days and even nights, going well past midnight. Their ladder was slippery, and conditions were dangerous.
“We sat out in the car, in the rain, watching them,” Stacy shared with KFOR Oklahoma’s News 4. While she was in the car, she worried about the safety of Matthews and his team. “It was cold and I just didn’t want him to hurt himself because he was going up those aluminum ladders, and I didn’t want him to slip and fall in the dark,” she said.
Then, some kind-hearted church members put Stacy and Joshua in a hotel so they would not have to camp out in their car any longer.
Nonetheless, the crew prevailed, and the Lemonds’ home passed inspection. Their electricity was restored, and they once again could enjoy much-needed heat in their home. “He is just an amazing friend and a servant of God. He is really a servant,” Stacy says of Matthews. The electric company that Matthews worked for, Dane Electric, did not charge Stacy and Josh a single cent and decided that it was taken on as a charity case.
A few days later, Matthews was summoned out to the home for a re-inspection of the wiring. However, there was no re-inspection. Waiting for him inside the house was a news crew from KFOR Oklahoma’s News 4 and Tammy Brakebill, a branch manager at a First Fidelity Bank branch in Oklahoma City. Brakebill presented Stacy with $400 as part of the bank’s ‘Pay It 4Ward’ program. According to First Fidelity Bank’s website, the Pay It 4Ward program allows KFOR-TV viewers to nominate the deserving people in their lives who have made a positive impact in the community for a chance to award them with $400 in cash.
When Matthews arrived, he was met with a huge surprise as a token of gratitude from the thrilled couple. As the reporter approached Matthews, a couple of his co-workers are seen smiling and laughing in the background. They were in on the surprise and had to keep it a secret from Matthews. Matthews looked confused “What’s going on?” he asks.
“Thank you so much for taking care of our electric,” Stacy says to Matthews, crying. “And so we have $400 to pay forward for you.” Matthews tells Stacy that they do not have to do this, but Stacy insists: “No, we do. We wanted to give you back something.”
Matthews admitted that he had no idea what was going on. He really thought that he was coming over to the Lemonds’ to fix something or do a follow-up inspection! Matthews has a kind heart, but he says that it was the right thing that anyone should do if they ever come across a situation like that. “They needed help, it is just what anyone should do,” he tells the news station. Just like he served the nation, he chooses to also serve his friends.
“It has been humbling,” Stacy says. “But it has also been an amazing experience to see people that love, and just love because they love. And just give.”
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