One of you sent me a verse today that was not only very fitting to what we are experiencing, but very encouraging as well...Ps. 46, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed...Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."
This morning we spent an hour just sitting with our neighbors who have lost their children in the earthquake. Tonight I can say their names, for those of you who know the people here. Emmanuel Francius is the director of our kid's High School. He and his wife lost their daughter and granddaughter. And Dr. Sider and his wife lost a daughter and a son. It was heart wrenching to sit with them, and we all wept as we mourned with them. The are two incredibly strong Christian families, and while they grieved painfully, they made it clear they still trusted God. At one point, one of the grieving parents cried out, "Help me praise Him! I can't do it on my own, pray with me, sing with me. Help me praise Him!"
As I read this verse later this morning that phrase "I will be exalted in the earth" really struck me. If you don't read the first part of the Psalm, it would be difficult to imagine how God could be exalted in the midst of such great tragedy, pain and suffering. But when you stop for a bit, remembering He is God, He is our refuge, and our strength...somehow it becomes possible. It was as Linda sat there and reminded our friend that He is her strength and refuge that she cried out with her request to help her praise Him. I know they have many dark days ahead of them as they grieve their loss, but what a blessing that they have a Heavenly Father who is there with them to be their very "present help in trouble".
Please continue to pray for these two families, and add to them the many others who are finding out little by little which ones of their family members are alive and which ones have passed away. One of our nurses lost a brother, another doctor lost her mother, still others have not yet heard any news of their loved ones.
We heard from Dr. Boucher very late last night. We only got to speak to him for a few seconds. He sounded exhausted from trying to run his hospital with the hundreds of sick piling in. He confirmed that they did lose their house and pretty much everything they owned. We encouraged him to send his wife and kids to the HOH so they could stay here until things clear up. Unfortunately, there just aren't a lot of options to get them out of the neighborhood where they are and up here. We continue to pray that we'd be able to work that out though.
We have not been able to have any contact with them whatsoever today. Different men from La Pointe are talking of trying to get to PAP and find those they can and bring them back here, so we'll see if they are successful or not. From what we see on the news it seems like that might be an impossible task.
One piece of good news we got today was that someone has spoken with Miss Marie Ange, so she was our last young adult in PAP that we hadn't heard from. So all of our kids who live there are alive and accounted for...what a blessing and reason to do some serious praising!!!
So with that thought I leave you all tonight....Help us Praise Him!