It is difficult to believe what we have experienced during the last 24 hours.
Saturday night at 9 pm Katie got a call to let us know that her brother and mom were at crooked creek and nearly drowned. After both were pulled from the water unconscious by 2 strangers they were awakened by CPR and rushed to the ER in Mountain Home. Sara is doing better but apparently had a heart attack during the event and Brad (the coolest bro n law you could have) is in critical condition and remains in intensive care but seems to be slowly improving. Katie is in Yellville now helping all she can while her mom will be in the hospital for at least 3 more days and Brad likely longer.
Jesse, Brandon and I left @ 3:30 Sunday am for Port au Prince. While on the loading ramp to our 6:00 am flight we overheard the maintenance crew saying the plane would not likely depart due to problems. We snuck out and quickly rebooked for the 7:00 flight to Dallas we had noticed and would still allow us to make all connections. It ended up leaving 50 minutes late and we missed our Dallas flight to Miami after sprinting through the airport from gate E to gate C. The attendant told us of another Miami flight that would miss our connection to PaP that but would at least get us to Miami where we could hope to get on the next flight our which would leave Monday am. We would need to got to gate A to book it. Once we Made it to gate A a very helpful attendant helped us determine we could change to Ft Lauderdale and arrive minutes before a flight departs for PaP and we said, “Let’s try it,” so she booked us tickets as close to the front of the plane as possible, this would take is to gate B for our departure.
Miraculously we arrived at Ft Lauderdale literally right next to the gate of the departing gate and walked right off of our plane and onto the departing plane in Ft Lauderdale. An hour and a half later we arrived in PaP where our luggage was actually waiting on us as well as JL and Sam. Customs was not problem and we loaded up in the back of JL’s car to head to the Church we will be spending most of the week at to visit with the Pastor.
Literally, 2 minutes after leaving the airport Jesse gets a text that is youngest child, Maddie, had fallen off of the top of a ladder on a water slide and landed on her head onto concrete 8′ below. Kristin was at home when it happened and began trying to get someone to watch the boys so she could ride with Maddie on the ambulance. After fear of a fractured skull, or concussion, she ended up being treated by Rick Tutt at the ER (another miraculous event), and released with the docs not able to understand why there is not even a bump on her head. They made it home after experiencing the 1st ambulance ride to the ER that their family has ever had with any of their children during the past 10 years of having kids. It just happened to occur 2 minutes after Jesse landed in a foreign country.
We made it to Pastor Andre’s Church and found a very stressed out Pastor that seems to be on a wild goose chase with the people he has been working with to purchase the land for his new Church. After a couple of hours with him it was obvious that The burden he as feeling for the needs of the families and children in the Church was taking a tremendous toll on him. We agreed to help him try to figure it out and assured him we were sent to help encourage and support the Gospel going out to his community through the vision God has given him. After praying with him, we agreed to go with him to meet the seller of the land and try to work out the problems this am if the seller would agree and he plans to call us by 9:00, apparently this will take us on a “trip to the mountain” to meet him. I am not sure what that means, but we will soon find out. It is obvious after talking to him that we have no idea what any part of the time with them will end up looking like. It was obvious that the people were glad to see us and that Pastor Andre needs prayer and support so we left overwhelmed but excited to see what God’s plan will hold this week.
It was after dark and we were hungry so we stopped at a local hamburger joint and ate a burger, fries and cokes and got to know JL and Sam a littler better. We made it to JL’s house well after dark and are sleeping on blow up mattresses with sheets and no electricity. The road trip was as adventurous as we thought, we stalled out on a creek bed and were honked at scores of times as we maneuvered our way through the city.
I am excited to see what today will hold as we go visit the orphanage we hope to be at on Friday, take some medicine to a lady with high blood pressure at the world orphan house, try to figure out the construction project with Pastor Andre and love and encourage those around us for the glory of the God who sent us, protects us and will lead us.
The schemes of the devil are great and he has obviously been attacking our families and challenging our faith. My prayer and focus is that everyone on this trip will be aware that God provides all we need and comes suited up as described in Ephesians 6:10-20. As we have been praying for wisdom constantly during the trials of the past 24 hours I am reminded of James 1:2-8 and hope that our entire team will grow in steadfastness this week.
If you have time, please read the verses above and keep praying as it is obvious that we are supposed to be here and Satan doesn’t like it!
See you soon!