January 15, 2010

in a fog

The last few days I have been in a fog.

On tuesday, I heard that my friend Dan Woolley was in Port-au-Prince the day of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. John and I knew Dan and his wife Christy from college, and we also attended the same church while we were there. They were sparkly and friendly and warm and Christy had the smile of an angel. And her skin was beautiful and she had gorgeous naturally curly hair.

We both moved our separate ways but kept in touch via Christmas card and good old facebook.

They have 2 small DARLING bouncy boys. You just want to squeeze their cherubic cheeks.

Dan was in Haiti doing some work for Compassion Internatinal, while Christy and the boys remained in the states.

On tuesday, Dan was not feeling well and decided to head back to his hotel, Hotel Montana. Yah, the one that was completely leveled to the ground.

He spoke briefly with Christy just 15 minutes before the big quake hit, which would change their lives forever.

On both ABC news and Good Morning America, Christy told us that Tuesday was the worst day of her life. She was hopeful because he was not found dead, but in despair at the thought of not living with him anymore.

Nobody knew where Dan was. He was missing. Hour after agonizing hour and no word from Dan.

Hours turned into days.

I basically became a facebook addict overnight, stalking Christy and Dan's pages for any news. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...and still not one single word on Dan.

My sister Jessica was checking the Hotel Montana facebook around the clock for status updates. Bless her heart, she did not even know Dan, but was worried and praying for him.

Thursday night before turning off my computer, I checked in on Dan one more time.


I had a fitful night of sleep, tossing and turning. I just could not sleep. Was Dan flying with Jesus, I wondered? Or was he stuck somewhere? I figured I must be awake for reason...and that reason was to pray. So I prayed and prayed for Dan and Christy. I was exhausted and had lots of packing to do for a weekend get-away with my family.

Friday morning.

Turn on computer.

Tune in to facebook.

To my shock, I read this message that Christy posted:

The US State Department in Port-au-Prince just called and informed us that they have found Dan in the elevator shaft at the Hotel Montana. HE is Alive!!!!!

WOW, WOW, WOW. I had chills hearing of how the Lord spared him.

Apparently, Dan was on his way to his room when the quake hit. He was with his friend Dave, and a wall was falling on them. Dan jumped into the elevator/shaft and when he looked back, Dave was gone.

Dan was stuck in the elevator for over 55 hours before he was rescued. He was kept going by a Haitian man trapped nearby. Amazing.

Here is some footage of his wife Christy on the news, after hearing the news about her husband. It still makes me want to cry. You gotta watch it.

Dan has some injuries to work through, but he will be ok. He had surgery on his calf and will need physical therapy. He will be in a wheel chair for a while. He had head injuries, but no brain injuries.

Still no word on his friend David. David was with Dan to video the plight of moms and babies in Haiti, the poorest of the poor. David has a wife and 2 small sons. Dan has requested all prayers to be forwarded to his friend David and all the poor souls in Haiti.

And I just read the following:
Please keep praying. "The Miami-Dade rescue team has heard tapping today at the hotel and their dogs have picked up scents of human life.

Will you join me in praying for them? Also, Compassion is an AWESOME organization that has been supporting the Haitian children even before the earthquake hit and so they will not be stopped by as much red tape.


  1. ohhh, wow. Wow! What a story of God's amazing goodness. I have so many chills after reading your story of it and watching that news clip. I am SO so glad and thankful they found him and he's ok, and YES I will be praying for the other missing man! We've seen God can do amazing things! please keep us posted, dear heart.

    Even though my heart has been breaking for all those in Haiti, it still feels a little "remote" sometimes... if that makes sense. Here I am in my sheltered little life with so much blessing surrounding me, and there is so much suffering there. Reading this made it so much closer to home. I will pray for everyone there with renewed fervor tonight. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. This is amazing! I'm so glad he was found and is o.k. I'll be saying prayers for the other family who is still waiting for news.

  3. The stories coming out of Haiti are just amazing. I'm so glad your friend was found alive -- God is good!! I just wish that all these countries down there helping with relief right now could find SOME way to work this well together when it's not a disaster relief.

    We are praying every day for everyone in Haiti -- residents, relief workers, families back at home.

  4. Thanks for sharing their story. I remember the Woolley's from Cornerstone. I have been praying every day for Haiti and the missionaries there. I didn't realize I was praying for anyone I knew.

  5. You had my husband and I both stunned as we read it. Before bed we prayed together for both families. Please let us know if you hear any updates on the camera man. We will continue to lift these families up in prayer.

  6. I should have also said before that my limited contact with the Woolleys did leave a lasting impression of two of the nicest, friendliest, smilingest people ever.

    I have been following the blogs of some other missionary families in Haiti like this one http://www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/ I don't know these people, but have found that I need to read what they have to say.

  7. crying crying. omigosh. God is good. And now, praying for David as well...

  8. that is amazing! I cant even think of going thru something like that! wow.

  9. Wow, this story really helped to make the Haiti disaster more real to me. Not that each and every life over there isn't important, it's just that as I'm figuring out the changes in my own life, it's hard to really focus on the heartbreak that is occuring in Haiti. Praise God for this story of rescue! I'm so so happy that your friend was found alive, but I'm so sad for the others who may not be rescued. Praying for all the families involved in this disaster. Thank you for sharing this story.

  10. Oh wow, what a story! I'll be praying for your friends and for everyone affected by the earthquake.