"Heartbreaking:" Parents speak publicly for first time after losing 3 of 4 children in house fire

SHEBOYGAN -- They experienced the unimaginable. Just over a year ago, on January 26th, 2016, Chris and Kristie Maki lost three of their four children after a fire in their home in Sheboygan Falls. They shared their grief Sunday, January 29th at their church in Sheboygan.

Eleven-year-old Natalie Martin and her two brothers, 10-year-old Benjamin Martin and seven-year-old Carter Maki died as a result of the fire that happened at their family home near 5th and Western in Sheboygan Falls on January 26th, 2016.

Their nine-year-old sister survived.

The children were home alone on the night of the fire -- their parents at Bible study.

Sheboygan Falls fatal fire

Sheboygan Falls fatal fire

Three children died in Sheboygan Falls house fire, home being boarded up

Fatal house fire in Sheboygan Falls

"There are days where it is really hard to get out of bed -- where I would rather just hide," Kristi Maki said.

For the first time, Kristine and Christopher Maki shared their pain publicly -- speaking to their pastor at Crossroads Community Church.

"I wake up and I feel like everything is 50 pounds heavier," Chris Maki said.

Kristi and Chris Maki

The family of six is now a family of three.

Kristi Maki said the nine-month mark was especially tough.

"I had this awful realization that my kids were gone for the same amount of time that I had carried them, that I was pregnant with them. It was heartbreaking," Kristi Maki said.

Chris and Kristi Maki on Sunday thanked all of those who have shown support -- from strangers at vigils to those who prayed over their children's bedside.

Kristi and Chris Maki

"They prayed for God to do a huge crazy miracle and bring him back," Kristi Maki said.

Their pastor said their strength is an inspiration.

"In the midst of that pain, in the midst of that suffering, in the midst of that struggle, there can be hope. There can be encouragement," Jeff Jager, senior pastor at Crossroads Community Church said.

"God kept us here for a reason. He has got something big planned for us -- something big planned for Jenna," Chris Maki said.

The Maki family has moved since the fire -- donating the land where their house once sat to Habitat for Humanity.

Investigators learned the fire began in a corner of a basement playroom near a light fixture.