The Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti sent shockwaves across the world and has rocked homes in southern Idaho. Including ours.
As many of you know, our 24-year-old daughter Charisa was among the 10 Americans who detained and held in a Haitian jail on Jan. 30. Eight were released Wednesday and have returned to Idaho, Texas and Kansas. Our daughter and one other member of the group remain in jail for further testimony.
The volunteers, affiliated with churches in Meridian and Twin Falls, traveled to the Haitian capital of Port au Prince to provide relief and hope for Haiti children. Their intent was to establish an orphanage in the Dominican Republic for some of the earthquake’s youngest survivors.
None of the 10 could have predicted, in their wildest imagination, the events that have transpired over the past three weeks. Surreal may describe it best. It seemed as if family members and friends were on the set of a Hollywood movie, with Stephen King writing the script as we watched.
We will emerge from the ordeal, just as the resilient Haitian people are emerging from the earthquake – with hope renewed daily, and with promises of a brighter tomorrow. My wife Brenda and I, along with the rest of our family, remain faithful, trusting the outcome to divine intervention. At the same time, we are forever grateful for the support of our colleagues and friends. It would have been a long, lonely journey without so many people walking beside us.
I want to thank all of you who expressed concerns and offered encouragement the past three weeks. You’ll never know how much that has meant. I also want to thank my colleagues for stepping to the forefront while I focused on freedom. I guess that’s how you define friends.
I am proud to work with people who are so compassionate and understanding. ITD is a very special place and you are very special people. Thank you.