Unbeknown to me, while in Haiti my Son Chris had rallied a battalion of prayer warriors that kept our group, and the Haitian people in their prayers. He sent out regular emails to update the group on what was happening. One of his emails, a summary of the daily text messages I sent my family, helped to remind me of the things we saw and helped to take care of while there. As a cheap blog post I'm going to copy that email, but can now attach photos to most of the messages to give you a glimpse of what we were dealing with and helping care for...
"I wanted to send you this email because you have been interested in what my father is doing down in Haiti or you have been praying for him and my family. I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. God has truly been doing some amazing things in my father's life while he has been there. From what I have heard from him so far just floors me. I write this email not to show you how great my father is or how great we are as people, that would be selfish of me. I write this email to show you how great God is!
I love the moments that God gives us where we can sort of get a glimpse of heaven here on earth. One thing I have learned through my dad's text messages is that God is SO present in Haiti right now. I believe He is with His children in their despair. Maybe it is because they have eyes to see... but that is a different story in itself. I have just been trying to wrap my mind around that.
Dad is still in Haiti. What was supposed to be a week long trip, has now turned into a two-and-a-half week long trip. This is what God wants, I believe that. With my older sister pregnant and ready to have Lyla at any time now, dad wants to be in Atlanta but God is not finished with him yet.
I would like to share with you a few of the text messages that my father has sent me. Some are lengthy and some are not really glamorous to read. However, the raw power of God can be seen. Please pray for the things that may touch your heart throughout these text messages.
Wednesday - January 27, 2010 7:54 PM
"Hi family! Wrapping up the day. It has been a pretty long one, but really good. My last patient of the day was a six year old little boy that was pulled from the rubble after being trapped for four days. His mother was killed in the quake, he was trapped with her. His father and younger brother were rescued the first day. I spent a lot of time with them. I love y'all."
Friday - January 29, 2010
"Family... I am sitting in the emergency room at the hospital in Cap-Haitian taking care of a 1 year old with meningitis. I'm one of the few people here that knows how to care for this child...they brought me over here from where I was working. I can't come home tomorrow. I will call when I get back to the hotel. I love y'all. Say a prayer for John Phillipe."
Saturday - January 30, 2010
"Good morning family. Getting started for the day, just writing to say I miss and love you all. I am really looking forward to coming home - but feel guilty for leaving. So many hurting people. None of us could dream of a people broken like Haiti is right now. It really makes you rethink life."
Saturday - January, 30 2010
"I am ready to be home. I feel really guilty about leaving. Still have the touch with starting IV's. Saving more lives each day than I have in all of my years as a nurse combined. We leave each day with 1000's waiting to be seen. Most intense service of my life. Do they show much on the news? Had a news guy filming me the other day in the room I have my little clinic in."
Me.... "Not showing as much as they were. Found another survivor yesterday. Amazing."
Saturday - January, 30 2010
"Yeah the UN guys were talking about that. Apparently she had access to coke and water. We've had several tiny ones found after 4 and 5 days. One little 6 year old guy found at 6 days. Says Jesus talked to him the whole time, so he wasn't scared. He knew he was going to get found because Jesus told him. Sat in my lap and told me the story. Mom and Dad killed."
Its amazing the number of people trapped for days that tell stories of people dressed in white that helped them. Coolest is the children that tell you about little ones in white coming to play with them while they were waiting.
Monday - February 1, 2010 7:02 PM
"Hey Family. We just finished for the day. It was a very busy, but very rewarding day. I still just can't even describe to you the number of new orphans we see daily. Many of them have injuries, so they come in daily for me to treat their wounds. It is really hard not to get attached to them. They are such lovable kids, but the pain in their eyes is tough.I can't wait to show you all the pictures. I love you all very much. Please pray for more nurses. If I left now there would only be Angie and an army medic. That would be hard to do knowing the numbers that would die for lack of care. I love you all and miss you."
Tuesday - February 2, 2010 6:25 PM
"Hey all. Another really busy day. We are still waiting to hear from the travel agent. When Angie last talked to her, the flight from Provodincial had been cancelled tomorrow. She was trying to get me out through the DR. She still hasn't called, and our phones wont call out this evening. I've been trying to call Katie and mom for an hour but cell service is out. The army guys say they maybe can get us to Miami through Port A Prince on Thursday or Friday, Angie's travel agent can then get us home on our Delta ticket from there. I am sorry for the delay. I will keep you posted as I know something. Please try calling me, not sure what's going on with cells. Looks like Friday, worst case scenario. I love y'all and am ready to be home. Please wait Katie."
Wednesday - February 3, 2010 11:50 PM
"A very long and difficult day. God did send us more medical help... which we really needed as we had the largest number of patients yet. First patient was trapped under the rubble for 8 days. She was up to knees in water/chemicals the whole time. Had to cut her socks off as they were melted into her skin. Really bad burns and wounds. Spent an hour just washing her feet and legs. Next patient was a little 9 year old who's eye was poked out with metal from falling ceiling. Really sweet little boy. Bad face wounds. I cried most of the time I was taking care of him. It was so sad. We are so blessed. I can't believe we are still seeing so many patients who haven't had any care yet. I love you all so very much. Good night. I hear from a lot of people that Port Au Prince still has thousands of untreated injured people."
Thursday - February 4, 2010 9:07 PM
"Good evening family. Today was a much better day. Saw my tough patients from yesterday, but they were easier. I'm pretty popular with a lot of the orphans. Several little ones come hang out and "help" me all day. I am flying out of Provo. The plane has not arrived yet tonight. It would fly me back at 8 in the morning. If it doesn't come tonight, I'll have to fly the afternoon to Provo, then to Atlanta Saturday. I will send message as soon as I know. I love you all and cannot wait to be home. I am ready! Very worn out."
Friday - February 5, 2010 8:22 AM
Good morning family. Still in Cap-Haitian. I'm not sure if God is keeping me here for some purpose of if it is just messed up flights due to earthquake. Will know soon as I'm doing everything I can to get home by Saturday afternoon. I am so ready to see my family and get a little rest. I will let you know as soon as I'm on my way to Provo. I love you."
Saturday - February 6, 2010 7:27 AM
"Good Morning family. Mom and I discussed this yesterday. As you know, God was in control of me coming to Haiti. After strange things happening each time I try to come home, I realized He is still in control of me being here. Thursday night I prayed for Him to show me His will. Friday morning my 1st patient was a student who's left arm had been cut off 3 days ago. Within minutes of starting to care for him he told me "Jesus saved my life, and has now sent me to you to care for me." I trembled like the day I was sent here. I am obviously not supposed to leave yet. Mom had a great idea for me to train some of the Haitian nurses or doctors how to care for wounds. That will be my focus today and Monday. Hopefully that will open the door for me to come home. I am so tired and miss you all so bad. But I have seen the power of God, and when I do get back I will be able to share a living testimony that will continue to be life changing. I love each of you so much."
Sunday - February 7, 2010 8:23 AM
"Good morning. Finally a sleep in morning - but the power is out again and the streets and roosters are too loud to sleep. Was up late. Soldiers saw a man choking a 12 year old orphan on the street for his food. I sat with him while the others went to check on 9 more living on the street in the same place. Pray for Chellson. His Mother dumped him on the streets after quake. I love you."
I came back to Atlanta last Thursday after waking up that morning with a "feeling" that I needed to go home for a little while. Within thirty minutes I was at the airport, cleared customs, and had a flight out. Within 18 hours of returning to Atlanta I was the proud Grandfather of a a stunningly beautiful little girl who arrived over a week late, but just in time for Big Pappy to be there for her arrival.
As I pray and meditate on the next steps, I know that my future will involve Haiti in a huge way.
I have come through the past three weeks with a new awareness of how incredibly strong our God is. My Son says it must be "awesome" to be led by God in such powerful ways. I told him it is really very scary. I have learned that when God speaks I tremble. Learning what it means to "Fear The Lord" is powerful beyond all comprehension.
I cherish your prayers as I listen to God and His plans for me. I pray that you will listen to His plans for you. He really is there; you just have to say YES.