It has been a little while since our last post, but we are back from vacation and ready to get back to work! Over the next couple of weeks be on the look out for a few new blog posts and some other information regarding All Things New and what the future holds for this ministry. Our plan is to return to Haiti on August 24 to finish getting the kids ready for school and to send them off on their first day (September 12 officially, but if you know much about Haiti, there is a good chance it will be much later in September that the school year actually begins). I wanted to take some time to update you on Woodly and describe his accident and what could of happened if it were not for All Things New, our supporters, and our staff in Haiti.
As many of you already know, one of our older boys, Woodly, was in a very dangerous accident just a couple of weeks ago. He fell from a fruit tree that he and his brother Woodlerxe had climbed and he hit his head on the cement below. He was rushed to the Haiti Health Ministries clinic that is right next to All Things New because he was bleeding severely and was in and out of consciousness. The doctor there, an American missionary named Jim Wilkins, checked him out, was worried it was a skull fracture, and had him airlifted (yes, he was taken by helicopter) to a hospital in Port that specializes in head trauma. He spent 2 nights at the hospital, was given the “all-clear” and sent home with specific instructions to make sure that he got back to 100% health. It is a really scary story because you just never know what is going to happen. In fact, Jess and I were just getting ready to go on our family vacation when we heard the news and we had no idea what to do. Here are some things we learned during this crazy episode:
- We have an incredible staff in Haiti.
- You just never know what is going to happen.
- If Woodly were not a part of All Things New, he easily could have died.
The first thing is very obvious even if you come to visit us for a single day…Our Haitian staff is wonderful. From our House Moms, to our cook, to our House Mom Manager, to our security staff, and everyone in between, the employees of All Things New do a wonderful job for our kids. It was the quick thinking of the House Moms and Jeff to rush Woodly over to the clinic as soon as possible, and if they had not done that who knows what would have happened. After that, Gina (our house mom manager) stepped in and took control of the situation. She handled everything including communication with us, making payments to the hospital, communicating with everyone who needed to know, setting up transportation, etc. Lener and Jeff then came into the picture and worked long hours driving back and forth to Port to make sure everything was ok. Jess and I were freaking out and terrified about what might happen, but our staff in Haiti had it all under control and handled it just as well as we would have had we been there. GOD has blessed us mightily in this way and we are so appreciative of all of our supporters for this!
The second point is just a truth that we all realize and we could all verbalize if given the opportunity, “You just never know what is going to happen.” The funny thing about this is that, even though we all know it in theory, it takes an event like this to help us remember how true it really is. Almost all of us live like we are in control of our own lives, and I know I do this as much or more than anyone. We schedule and plan our lives down to the last detail and then we are surprised, confused, or even hurt when things do not go like they should or when things happened that we didn’t expect. First of all, I am in no way suggesting that we should not plan and set goals because I believe that is the way we accomplish things. But what I am saying is that you just never know, and we would be remiss if we did not live our lives with that truth in mind. The first thing that went through my head when I heard about Woodly is that I may never be able to talk to him again, to tell him how good and special he is, and to tell him how much I love and care about him. I hope that it will not take another event like this one to remind me that sometimes things just happen and I need to live my life like every day could be my last.
The last point is that if Woodly had not been a part of All Things New, he very easily could have died. If the house moms had not been there, if the clinic was not right next door, if Jim were not such an incredible doctor, if the helicopter was not available, or if the team of neurological specialists had not been in country and in that hospital on the same day who knows what would have happened. If Woodly had fallen out of that tree and he did not have sponsors who would take care of every medical cost he incurred then he may not have ever been able to afford the care he got. I say all of this to say that each of the supporters, prayer warriors, and encouragers of All Things New saved Woodly’s life. It is that simple. The great thing about this is that every other child, employee, and employee’s family under the All Things New umbrella has that same care and that same protection, and that means a lot. Thank you for taking care of us, our kids, and our employees and for partnering with us in ministry. I wish it would not have happened this way, but this is a concrete example of how you are changing lives and partnering in ministry.