“Statements are about getting you from one state to another state.
Today, while working in the ED, I received a burn patient from Haiti. He was in his late thirties, and spoke no English. He was in a car accident as a result of the earthquake two weeks ago. The car burst into flames, incinerating the other three passengers (his family). Some bystanders were able to get him out of the car. He sustained full-thickness burns to his entire face, both arms, his abdomen, and both his legs. He was taken to a field hospital, where he sat for ten days before being flown to the , a Naval hospital ship. He arrived today, after being flown in a C-130 with several other critical patients. He came without any belongings at all, save for a scrap of paper clutched in his burned fingers. Written on it was a phone number for his only remaining family in Miami. He will survive, but will always bear the scars from this awful tragedy, both physical and emotional. My heart went out to this man, no family, no home, not even a shirt on his back. I have seen death and tragedy in many forms, but nothing on such a scale as this. Over 200,000 dead, millions homeless and destitute, an entire nation it seems, buried in rubble. I had not really thought much about donating to the relief effort. Now, I see we need to be doing all we can. Sure, it isn’t part of the US, and the UN can send supplies, but we are members of the human race first, and Americans second. I intend on doing more to help. I ask for you all to pray fervently for the people of Haiti, and for the relief workers. God bless you all.
Today Pastor Rich Collingridge & I had the privilege of baptizing 6 people during our services. What a beautiful experience to share with our church family. Among those baptized was one of my students, Anthony, and his mom Angela. I was so proud of them, and I am excited to see all that their futures hold as they follow Jesus!
Please tune in tonight to CNN at 10:25 pm when I’ll be speaking to Don Lemon about our upcoming response to the earthquake in Haiti.
When a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti just 4 days ago, the First Response Team of America watched in awe as tens of thousands of people were killed and so many more displaced. The pain, confusion, sadness and despair are beyond what words can explain. Due to the country’s existing oppressed state helping themselves was not an option.
In the days immediately after the quake, I struggled with deciding whether or not responding to the needs of Haiti would jeopardize our commitment to respond to disasters in the United States with the imminent 2010 storm season starting next month. We are a young organization and want to grow at a controlled pace. But at the end of the day, our focus is on humanity. International service was always a part of our long range plan; we just didn’t expect it so soon. And how could we turn our backs on such an epic disaster, so close to home, that has left a large portion of Haiti wondering if there will ever be another tomorrow.
Within a few short days we have commissioned a new fleet of equipment that is specifically designed for the needs of Haiti. So many of you know our resources are extremely unique and task specific for storms that leave cities beyond repair. In the last two years of responding to 26 of the largest disasters to strike the states, we have learned what is needed. We must and will respond to the needs of our fellow man.
Presently, we are working around the clock to get the fleet ready as well as secure the necessary shipping. At this point we will have the fleet ready in the coming days, but securing a spot for such massive equipment with each rig weighing over 100,000 pounds has not been easy. However, we are confident that when a spot opens our gear will be on board and ready to make a significant contribution to Haiti in a time when all seems lost.
Our goal is to use our gear to open up roads so that food, water, and medical supplies can reach those who need them regardless of what obstacle may be in the way. We will also use our specialized equipment to dig graves and clear sites for hospitals, schools, and orphanages.
We can help, therefore we must. Please support our efforts as moving and running equipment of this magnitude is not inexpensive to say the least. We need your help to help Haiti. We encourage you to forward this and our website on to as many people as you can.
Thank you for your financial and moral support. We will need it. Please join the Team’s page in order to stay up-to-date on the Team’s activity while in Haiti.
Well, another winter retreat is in the bag, and I finally have a moment to sit down and blog. This year we saw over 500 people at our retreat, and once again, God was so good to us. Jack Crabtree was our speaker, and he was outstanding, telling stories and teaching the Word of God that really drove home our theme of Upside Down (Pic above shows our stage design … built an entire house upside down. Have such an amazing, incredible team!). He talked about how Jesus turned the worlds of the disciples upside down, and how they then went out and turned their worlds upside down with the love of God. After Edmund was our worship band again this year, and once again they were outstanding. Their love for the students shown by hanging out with them all weekend was really great. And Nubian Gents & Feminine Fire brought the house down. Or should I say, turned it upside down. (Sorry, couldn’t help it. lol!) They were so anointed, and really blew us away.
Today I tried to take a day off and rest, but unfortunately found myself dealing with a few problems – most certainly an attack of the enemy, trying to undermine all the great things that God did in the hearts of our students. I will seek to deal with the issues in grace, try to take it all in and ask what I can do better on my end as a leader, and can do my best to learn, grow, and improve.
God, I ask for Your eyes, Your ears, Your words, and Your heart to respond in Your ways. I thank You for the work that You did this weekend, and I praise You for Your goodness and Your faithfulness. I also thank You for Your Holy Spirit that will be my Helper in dealing with what I need to deal with, and in moving forward. Amen.
Twelve years ago today we welcomed our first daughter, Claudia into the world. She has developed into a beautiful, kind, intelligent, caring, loving young lady, and she makes us so proud! Last night she had a bunch of her nutty friends over to the house for a sleepover, and today we went out for lunch with our family, Tia Gaby and her kids, “Uncle” Stan/Mr. K, and our good friends from London. We have had a wonderful weekend celebrating her birthday – a perfect ending to a great holiday break from school. May the Lord bless Claudia with a tremendous year of growth not only physically, but emotionally, socially, and spiritually as well.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Check out this great 10-minute interview with Mark Yaconelli addressing the issue of discouragement in youth ministry. Would be a great primer for a discussion on the topic with your team or a youth ministry network. Click HERE to watch.
God of the seasons, Lover of the ages,
Master of every moment:
You who are beyond time yet within all time.
We return to you what you have given to us —
the moments, the minutes, the hours, the days,
the weeks, the months, and the year of 2009.
Time has been gracious to us again,
and we thank you for freely giving us these human bodies,
these events, and these relationships.
We have lived another year and we have died another year,
and now you are granting us the beginnings of another.
We now hand over to you the blessed year, 2009,
with all that it gave us and all that it took from us,
knowing that both are necessary, just like our breath.
We trust you in both the givings and the takings,
the inhalings and the exhalings.
May every breath of 2010 be a breath of the Holy Spirit,
joyfully received and joyfully returned,
beginning with this one right now.
– Richard Rohr