It was a little over a week ago on January 4th when a good friend and sister to one of my best friends boarded a plane for a 7 month missionary trip to Carrefour, Haiti. Katie Erie was submitting to God's call and going to work at an orphange there where some friends, Mike and Missy Wilson, are also adopting a precious little girl named Tia.
Little did anyone know what the Man with the Master Plan had in store! She arrived January 4th, and unless you've been under a rock this past week you know that small little country was rocked by a tremendous 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday the 12th...right in the heart of Carrefour! It was hard to breathe even for me, and to imagine not only what her family was going through, but that whole country as well just rocked me to the core. Never have I been so close to someone who was in a foreign land and no one could find out anything!
I, like I know hundreds of others did as well, stayed glued to the TV, Facebook, anything for an update! What a terrifyingly long wait until that wonderful text alert from her sister Ashlie's FB status update at 6:36am Wednesday saying "JUST GOT AHOLD OF KATIE!!! SHE IS FINE AND SO IS TIA!!!!" I then watched the Fox 17 News interview and bawled like a baby at the site of Mike and Missy speaking to her on the phone! She was ok, she was better than ok, she was alive...completely unharmed, just like the 48 little babies in the orphanage! Now somebody tell me that wasn't God! Their buidling was standing but too badly damaged to stay in, but they were all unharmed! A miracle I deemed it after seeing the images of total destruction of mainly every thing in the city!
The past 3 days were filled with news reports on the efforts of trying to get Tia and Katie home. Thankfully Mike, along with Brent Gambrell of Brent Gambrell Ministries (BGM), who Katie went to Haiti through, were able to get a flight into Haiti and landed Wedensday night... the same day news was received that they were alive! The men found the girls Thursday, and started trying to get them home! Then last night at 7:09pm another update saying that Katie and Brent were landing around 8:50pm here in Nashville, and for everyone to meet at the airport to welcome them home!
I became a photographer because it's something I have always LOVED to do. It brings me joy taking part in peoples lives and capturing the moments that they will remember forever! Last night was no exception, honestly I don't think it's something I could ever forget! I wasn't just a friend there to welcome back a daughter, sister, missionary, friend; I was a photographer there to capture the emotion of the moment, and WOW even writing this now I can't help but cry! Through the camera lens I saw a young woman walking down the concourse laughing, smiling, seeming to be joking with Brent, and then in a matter of seconds, one camera snap to be exact, the smile faded and was replaced by tears of joy at the embrace of her mother! What followed was a deluge of hugs, kisses, and of course tears for the girl who about 72 hours prior no one even knew if she was alive! Praise be to Jesus, He made a way through!
Let us continue to remember those who were not so lucky, and their friends and loved ones! Let us pray for the safe return of Mike who stayed behind with his newest baby girl Tia to try and get her home ASAP too, and all of the other people trying to get back home to their families! According to Brent's latest update last night "... The orphanage is running out of food. When you wake up for church tomorrow morning, New Life Link orphans will wake up to no food to eat. Call your congressmen, senators, and governors and tell them this is not acceptable!" I believe if 2 lone men can get over there and one of them come back with Katie in less than 48 hours, surely the government can get shipments of food and water over there in less!
I composed a slideshow of some photos I took last night. The song is "If You Say Go" by Rita Springer, and it's AMAZING! If He says "Go", will YOU go? He called...Katie Answered!