Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reflections from January 12

I won't even pretend like I understand what everyone experienced 1 year ago today. The earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan 12 changed everyone's life here in some way. It is estimated that a quarter million people died. Many people lost thier families and friends. Everyone suffered loss in some way. I simply can't comprehend the terror and emotional pain that people experienced and are still experiencing. Life goes on but there are scars. Visible scars on people from where rubble fell on them, scars on the land where there is demolished homes...and then the invisible scars on people's hearts where they carry the pain of lost loved ones, lost homes, lost security.

Thinking back to that fatal day, I want to share a story of about how the earthquake affected one of my freinds here. It is what I shared in November at the Loma Linda University chapel that featured Haiti. This story is about Mackenson, one of the translators that works tirelessly at the hospital. He is dedicated to his work and is always happy to help out wherever he can.  I hadn’t ever talked with him about his experience during the earthquake until just a little while ago. His story explains why he is so dedicated and serves his community so unselfishly. 

 On Jan 12 Mackenson was at his university. The university he attended was the oldest university in PAP and on that day it was a special celebration for the school. It was the anniversary of its opening over 100 years ago and so there were lots of programs and special events planned for the day.  He was in the auditorium with 500 other students right before the earthquake hit. Then someone called him out to help them with some homework. He decided to go and help the person.  Only one hour after he left the auditorium the earthquake hit and the walls of the auditorium collapsed. Of those 500 students only 8 made it out.

When Mack told this story there was a fervent look in his eyes with deep emotion. He stated over and over again. “I was in that auditorium and I should have died.  But for some reason I am here and I owe my life to God. I have a second chance at life and so everything I do I want to give it back to God.” He said he wants to prove his devotion for God, not because he is trying to work his way to heaven or anything, but he says words can only say so much and states, “I want to show the world that I love God because He has given me a new life.”

Mackenson’s story is an example to me of how I should live my life-how I want to live my life.  Just as Mackenson knows without a shadow of a doubt that every breath he takes is a gift, we too have been given a gift of a new life but it is our choice of how we are going to live it. We are all destined to die at some point—this world is going to cave in just like those wall in the auditorium did, but through Jesus we can have a second chance at life. I think one of the ways I see Mack living his life is instead of seeing how he can fit God into his own plans, I see him living for God in everything he does by adjusting his life to God.  It is a beautiful testament to me about how a person can take a bad situation and turn it into something good.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this story and also how it has affected you as well. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers always - Thank you for everything you "all" are doing! We love you dearly!