Chris Banks says he had a bad feeling when he and his wife Katy returned to their south Wichita home after the Thanksgiving holiday. A cabinet in their garage was ajar.
After walking in and seeing DVDs, broken glass and water on the floor, Chris returned to the car to warn Katie.
“You have to brace yourself, chances are everything is probably gone,” Chris said.
Both Chris and Katy serve as youth pastors at River Church in Haysville. Chris says he is from inner-city Chicago and has experienced burglaries before. Katy comes from the much smaller town of Stockton. Neither of them were fully prepared for the damage left by burglars: nearly everything besides their bed and their furniture, gone.
Katy’s Christmas gift to Chris, a customized new wedding ring, gone.
“My wife was very upset about it, and I said, I’m just glad that you weren’t here,” Chris said.
After assessing some of the damage, the couple called their lead pastor, whose family came over and began to help clean up.
“I felt the love in that moment, the love. My wife definitely felt it as well,” Chris said.
In their job as pastors, the couple is used to being on the other side of a helping hand. On Sunday at church, the congregation was told about the couple’s home being burglarized. Chris says their youth group kids got up to put Katy in an embrace.
“That put everything back into perspective. You tend to forget about what’s really important,” Chris said.
Despite the thousands of dollars in possessions lost, the couple is choosing to enter the holiday season with an attitude of gratitude. Friends and church members have organized an online fundraiser to help the couple restore their losses.
“Even though there was a financial loss, it still felt like a blessing to me,” Chris said.