Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti, Wells, and Passports

My cousin Arron, (yes, that's how his name is spelled), is married to Lisa, whose parents were missionaries in Haiti. 

If I remember right, Arron met her when he was down there doing some kind of mission work.  Fixing things, probably.  He's a handy kind of guy.  And he's a pastor.  Lives in Oregon with his wife and three kids.

Arron goes down to Haiti periodically and does this:

That's him, on the left, drilling a well.  Clean water.

Arron and a couple of other guys headed down to Haiti a week before the earthquake to spend a month drilling wells.  Fortunately they were out in the open, about an hour out of PAP, when the quake hit.  Said the ground was rolling like the ocean, in four-foot swells.  People would go clear out of sight as the ground rolled.  They drove back in to the mission guest-house, (on the outskirts of PAP), formerly a three-story building with a basement, which had collapsed into one floor and was burning from the basement.  They helped (led the effort) to extract two survivors and got them to the US Embassy and evacuated to Florida for medical care, but three others are unaccounted for and a fourth they found and buried.

All their belongings (clothes, cameras, Bibles, etc.) were in the guest-house, except that Arron apparently insists that anyone in his group keep their passport on their person at all times.  Providential, yah?

Arron got his teammates to the embassy and evacuated out to the Dominican Republic on Thursday, while he stayed behind to stow the drilling rig somewhere safe and help the doctor from the mission... digging through rubble, recovering the injured, and - undoubtedly - the dead.

Friday he, the doctor, and another friend drove to the Dominican Republic.  I understand that getting through the border was a bit.... unconventional, but they made it, and managed to meet up with Arron's teammates and fly home together.

Ironically, they got hassled a bit at customs because they had nothing to declare... no baggage, no carry-ons, nothing.  I suppose that's a terrorist red-flag.  But the point-of-origin on their tickets cleared that right up.

So they are home safe, hallelujah, though grieving for others who didn't make it.


Ritsumei said...

Wow. Very Providential, I'd say. Did their wells survive? What a blessing that would be, to still have some of the water they'd been working so hard to provide.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they made it home safely! Praise the Lord!

leah said...

I can't imagine what he's been through. What they've all been through. Praise God he is alive and safe at home!

Ann said...

Praise the Lord that they made it home safely! Thank you for sharing his story.

Tina Marie said...

Oh man! I honestly can't find words to express what is in my head right now. I am trying to grasp the image of 4-foot swells of earth. and I can't.

Deborah said...

Incredible! Thanking God that they made it home safely!