A family forced out of their home when lightning struck their house is getting a helping hand from the performing arts. Their children are starring in a production of Annie, with part of the proceeds going toward the family's many expenses.
"The sun'll come out tomorrow."
Those lyrics have never sounded more true to Jeff and Kathy Sayle of Clarksville and their children, 9-year-old Faith and 7-year-old Luke.
Thursday, Faith and Luke were at rehearsals for the Gateway Cast and Crowns production of Annie, sitting on stage and smiling despite everything their family has faced.
July 19, the family was at their Ellsworth Court home, celebrating Faith's ninth birthday with friends. Suddenly feeling something was very wrong, Kathy Sayle went up to the attic.
"It was obvious we'd been hit by lightning, and the house was on fire," said Jeff Sayle.
"God was speaking to me," said Kathy Sayle. "He said, 'Get out! Get those kids out of here while it's still safe cause the house doesn't matter, but the family does.'"
Despite losing the house, the Sayle family stayed strong, with their neighbors and church community rushing to their aid. Meanwhile, a surprise arrived for Faith, who lost five collectible American Girl dolls to the fire.
"They all got them replaced," said Faith. "The American Girl Company replaced them all. There was this one American Girl who couldn't be replaced, but they made it just for me."
With Gateway Cast and Crowns donating part of the Annie proceeds to the family, the Sayles said they're feeling very blessed.
"They love our family," said Faith.
"It's something that the kids could be involved in and feel a part of for the first time," said Christy Corley-Sanders of Gateway Cast and Crowns. "They're doing something they feel good about, but at the same time, they're getting to see a blessing come to a family too."
The Gateway Cast and Crowns production of Annie is being performed at Kenwood High School in Clarksville Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. You can get tickets at the door. You can also make donations to the Sayle family through the Fort Campbell Federal Credit Union under the names Jeff and Kathy Sayle.
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