"We will not be victims any longer"

"We will not be victims any longer"

FINLEY, Wash. -- KEPR is continuing to cover the story of a Finley church that was broken into and vandalized.

Doors kicked in, windows were shattered, and fire extinguishers sprayed everywhere. Thieves even stole instruments used for Sunday worship.  Cleaning the church wasn't just a task for its congregation.  The incident brought a community together.

"It feels a lot like persecution. Feels like there are people out there that don't want us to do what we do," says Pastor Ron Curbow.

"This is kicked in, and this is about a quarter of the mess they left," he continued, motioning to pulverized door jam.

Wendy Harding expressed her discontent:

"We don't have any idea who did it," she says

Ron was happy to get help from the community.

"We have quite a bit of help coming. We've been victimized but we're gonna take back the power and not be victims and longer."

Tyler Hogg and Isaac Cleveland are from Crossview Church in Kennewick came to help.

"We're not even from this church. We're from a different church. But we got the call and wanted to be a part of this to help out. We love this community and we're really excited about all the people coming in and helping clean up," Tyler says.

Isaac Cleveland continued:

"It's just really uplifting to see a church that's been his so hard, come together like this and just join in numbers and help clean it up. It's awesome," he says.

"The guitars, the bass that were taken, it's not an item. It's not a computer, it's not something that we can replace," Wendy says.

Isaac Cleveland was amazed at how positive the group was, despite the break in.

"I know it's bad as it sounds, people vandalizing bringing people together--but it's what it took! So it's kinda cool," he says.

"Anywhere in the world where the church has been persecuted the hardest--is where the church has grown the most," Pastor Ron says.

Wendy is hopeful that this event will help grow the church.

"From here on out, if we 1,2,3,4,5,6 people that learn to love Jesus--then it's all been worth it. It's been worth every minute," she says.

Ron shares her optimism.

"We're gonna get up, dust ourselves off. Literally and get right back to business," he says.

Damage was in the thousands.

The Benton County Sheriff's Department says no arrests have been made, but they are following several leads.