":They told us to just make this our home, and we truly did, for the minute we were in here it was just, it was home, it really truly was home to us.":
As Dennis Brodeur awoke one cold December morning, he recalled a dream he had.
":This particular night I was sleeping and deeply feel that I got a message from God saying, somebody in Millinocket is going to get burnt out and you’re gonna offer the house.":
A few days later, Robin Portwine and her family lost their home to an electrical fire.
":As we stood there and watched the house burning everyone kept saying, you’re so calm, you’re so calm, and I don’t even know where it came from but there was always from the minute it happened, there was always this feeling like we’re gonna be ok.":
But as the reality of the situation hit the family, questions began to arise – How would they handle this Where would they stay They went to a local diner to collect their thoughts and make a plan.
":It was just a couple days later I’d gone into the restaurant to purchase a book, and Robin and Mike were sitting there, and I knew she was the secretary of the guidance office and I said Robin, aren’t you supposed to be in school today, and she said yeah, but we got burnt out this morning, and we don’t know what we’re gonna do. I got cold hands, just like I do now, and I said, ok I got the message… I said, the house is yours, we’ll be leaving in a week.":
The Brodeurs were getting ready to make their annual trip down south to their home in North Carolina.
":I said, Dennis you need to go home and you need to talk to your wife. I mean this isn’t an offer you just make to someone without discussing it, and he said, didn’t even hesitate, he said, I know Donna Lee won’t have a problem with it, so I would really like you to seriously consider it.":
":Didn’t take but two seconds and I was like hey, that’s what we’re here on this earth for… The Lord expects this of us, why should this home sit here, if they might have to live in a motel or something, I’m just doing the Lord’s part.":
":Her biggest concern was, can we get everything done the way we’d want it done for them. And we worked together and got everything accomplished.":
":We washed every towel, every face cloth, every dish cloth, all the bedding, wanted everything to be absolutely perfect so they would walk in and say, everything is gonna be ok.":
":There are so many good people in this world, like the Brodeurs, it amazes me everyday to think that they would just open their home to us like they did.":
The Portwines stayed in the Brodeurs home for about five months. During that time, the two families grew close.
":They’re our family, ya know.":
Robin and her family were able to move into their new house in early May, but they were sad to leave the home the Brodeurs had so generously given them.
":It was sad when we had to leave to go back home!":
To some, their gesture may seem grand, but to the Brodeurs, it’s just what you do.
":Whenever you get the chance to help somebody, you will get the blessing in return.":
":Never be afraid to give and to reach out, because there’s so many wonderful people out here, that each one of us needs help at some point in life and that’s what we need to do, just give back and it’ll come back to you more than you ever expected… We got back more than what we gave.":