LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) - The church attended by a woman whose husband was kidnapped in Iraq in 2005 has created a fund to help her pay bills so she can remain in the family's home.
Carl Galloway, pastor of LaPorte Missionary Church, said the congregation ramped up its fundraising efforts after learning Liliana Ake had put the lakeside home she shares with the couple's four children on the market.
Her husband, Jeffrey, has been missing in Iraq since April 2005, when he was abducted by gunmen near Baghdad. He was last seen in an April 13, 2005, video that showed him being held at gunpoint by at least three people.
"We have been supporting Lilly since Jeff was kidnapped," Galloway said. "It's a strange situation, because Lilly can't draw any of Jeff's benefits since nobody knows what has happened to him."
Liliana Ake recently began bankruptcy proceedings for Equipment Express, the Rolling Prairie water bottling company her husband founded and ran until he was abducted near a water treatment plant where he was working outside Baghdad.
She also put her LaPorte home on the market, saying she could not afford to stay there.
Galloway said Liliana Ake also recently earned her Realtor's license and got a job.
"The objective isn't to get her rich," Galloway said. "The goal is to get Lilly through the next few months, get her on her feet, until some money starts coming in.
"If Lilly wants to sell the house down the road, so be it. We don't want her to lose the house because she can't make payments."
Editor's note: Tax-deductible contributions to assist the Ake family can be made to LaPorte Missionary Church, 104 E. 18th St., LaPorte, IN 46350.
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