Thursday, January 28, 2010

Update on David Hames in Haiti

A few days ago, I posted about David Hames and how he was at the Hotel Montana when the earthquake happened in Haiti 16 days ago. On Monday, David’s camera tripod was found in a lobby area of the hotel as the search for David and others continued.

Yesterday, David’s wife, Renee, sent out a statement for friends and the media saying:

More than two weeks ago my husband (David Hames) was trapped in the lobby at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. My heart aches terribly as the days go by, but my faith tells me anything is possible—including that David is alive.

David was last seen about twenty feet from the elevator shaft where Dan Woolley was rescued, and two days ago they recovered the tripod he had been carrying when the earthquake began. The tripod is dusty but not broken.

Along with his tripod, we know David was carrying his backpack, and his pack probably had water and granola bars inside. We also know the rescue teams are still finding voids in the hotel. The ground opened up around Dan and David at the time of the quake, but even though they’ve rescued Dan and found David’s tripod, we still don’t know where my husband is. My hope and prayer is that he is in one of these pockets in the basement, using his resources to survive.

David Hames is my soul mate. He is kind and funny and his love for his family is unstoppable. David’s heart is filled with joy for our two young boys, and they think the world of the man who gets down on the floor with them to wrestle, play tag, and play Star Wars. Our boys and I can’t fathom life without David in it, and the other families waiting for word on their loved ones at the Hotel Montana can’t fathom life either without their husband, wife, or child.

The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” He is our God who provides beauty and joy even in the midst of devastation, and no matter what happens, my faith in Him will not be shaken. Still I am asking government officials to continue searching the area where my husband’s tripod was found to be certain that he is not trapped alive in a void. And I beg these officials to continue the rescue at the Hotel Montana until every missing person has been found.

Our hearts ache for Renee and all the family and friends of David and of all the others who are yet to be found in Haiti. David’s situation is especially near and dear to our hearts since the Hames family lives in our city, we have friends who are very close with them, and we have had the pleasure meeting them once through those friends. We can easily imagine ourselves in their situation, and our hearts are deeply touched.

God Almighty, what can we do in such difficult times as these but look to You and trust in You? We cry out to You and beg You to help those who are digging in the rubble in Haiti and please lead them to those who are yet to be found. You are the One who can make their discovery possible. Do not allow the rescuers to give up! Give them an extra measure of determination and perseverance. And I ask the same for all those that are buried under the rubble and still awaiting rescue. God, have Your perfect will and way in Haiti.

We were so excited yesterday to hear the news of the 17 year old girl that was found alive yesterday. It strengthens our hope that there can certainly be others very much alive and still waiting to be found. May the people who are there to search and rescue not give up!! May that rescue remind them that there can surely be more like that girl, alive and waiting to be found.

Hoping for news today that David has been found…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Miraculous Change of Heart

I have been so joyfully excited to see Abby Johnson speak out boldly regarding the truth of abortion. Abby Johnson was the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Texas. Last year, Abby was assisting in an abortion procedure when God suddenly opened her eyes to see the reality of what was truly taking place.

Here is a video from YouTube where Abby is speaking to a group of people telling her story. This video is part 1 out of 4.

Oh, it is grieving to hear from her own lips that Planned Parenthood does not care about women and reducing repeat abortions or about women taking their birth control properly—that what they really care about is the $$$ bottom line and $$$ profits.

Since the moment that her eyes were opened, Abby has walked out of her job and association with Planned Parenthood, is now speaking to the public about what abortion really is, and reaching out to educate and help those facing unplanned pregnancies. It is an amazing story.

You can listen to Abby’s story in a special audio program hosted by Life Issues Institute with Brad Mattes.

“A Change of Heart – One Woman’s Journey from Planned Parenthood to Pro-Life”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Personal Update

My life has been full and busy. I’ve added more things to my schedule and wonder how many more plates I can keep spinning without them all coming crashing down. Ha ha! I continue to be Mom to my 14, 16, and 20 year-old children and the four doggie children, to home educate the younger two teens, to be a wife to my husband of 23 years, to be the household manager of our home, and part-time writer of my various blogs.

God has brought me the awesome joy and surprise of some new friendships along with growing older ones and having the opportunity to share wonderful, deep, spiritual conversations about God and His powerful, ALL mighty character with these friends—which brings me great pleasure and fulfillment!

I am also volunteering as a lay counselor at a crisis pregnancy center once a week. That volunteer work is amazingly fulfilling for me. I thoroughly enjoy my time at the center and working there and wish I could do it more often. This past week, I did get to spend two afternoons at the center. It was a special week with it being of Sanctity of Life week. One of Colorado’s Christian radio stations, WAY FM, was celebrating Colorado’s Biggest Baby Shower. The radio station encouraged Coloradans to donate many needed maternity and baby items to the crisis pregnancy centers. During this “Baby Shower”, the radio station was taking turns promoting different pregnancy centers each day of the week, one of which was the one where I volunteer. So, this past week, I volunteered during my regular afternoon shift and went in again the following afternoon when WAY FM was promoting our center. People dropped by to bring their much appreciated donations, and we had cake and punch along with doing our share of counseling for the women that came in for pregnancy testing. By the way, we accept donations 365 days a year! Your donations are VERY important to our centers.

I had another special treat after spending the second afternoon at the pregnancy center. Our family drove to a church in our city where Life Network was hosting Gianna Jessen, and she spoke to an audience of about 300 people. I have previously posted about Gianna in this blog on a post titled “Gianna—Abortion Survivor”. Amazing testimony, amazing lady.

I’ve had some ongoing physical health issues, but through them I am able to encourage or minister to others which helps me to endure. I know God is teaching me the powerful lesson of His grace being sufficient for me in spite of physical pain or suffering. It’s a lesson that seems quite hard to learn, but one moment and day at a time there is progress made. There is much life to be lived and learned by one moment at a time.

The challenges of life seem to be greater with each passing year. And yet, I know God is doing an amazing work in the midst of it all.

I hope to be able to get back to posting more regularly. Only God can grant me the time, energy, and right words to do so.

On that note...

Well there's a bridge and there's a river that I still must cross
As I'm going on my journey
Oh, I might be lost

And there's a road I have to follow, a place I have to go
Well no-one told me just how to get there
But when I get there I'll know
Cuz I'm taking it

Step By Step, Bit by Bit,
Stone By Stone (Yeah), Brick by Brick (Oh, yeah)
Step By Step, Day By Day, Mile by mile (ooh, ooh, ooh)

And this old road is rough and ruined
So many dangers along the way
So many burdens might fall upon me
So many troubles that I have to face

Oh, but I won't let my spirit fail me
Oh, I won't let my spirit go
Until I get to my destination
I'm gonna take it slowly cuz I'm making it mine

Step By Step (you know I'm taking it), bit by bit (bit by bit, come move),
stone by stone (yeah), brick by brick (brick by brick by brick by brick mmm...)
Step by step (step by step uh-huh), day by day (day by day-ee),
mile by mile (ooh), go your own way.

Say it, baby, don't give up
You got to hold on to what you got,
Oh, baby, don't give up,
You got to keep on moving on don't stop (yeah yeah).
I know you're hurting, and i know you're blue,
I know you're hurting but don't let the bad things get to you.

I'm taking it step by step (ohohoh), bit by bit (bit by bit come move),
stone by stone (stone by stone yeah), brick by brick (brick by brick by brick by brick),
Step by step (i'm gonna take it now),day by day (day by day-ee),
mile by mile (ooh), go your own way!

(c'mon baby got to keep moving),
I'm taking it step by step), bit by bit,
Stone by stone (yeah, stone by stone), brick by brick
C'mon baby,
Step by step keep on moving, day by day (day by day-ee),
Mile by mile by mile by mile, go your own way,
C'mon baby got to keep moving, bit by bit (bit by bit, bit by bit)....

Haiti and David Hames

In other matters, there is the devastating situation in Haiti. Plenty of news, stories, video, and audio clips can be found all over the internet. The earthquake disaster is grieving and heart wrenching to us.

As I find myself here safe and sound in my comfortable United States life, in my comfortable home far from Haiti, I feel helpless in my ability to reach out to touch and help so many that are hurting and needing so much. If I could, I would take a plane out there with tons of supplies and love and work to help and reach the hurting and needy.

Right now, my husband and I and many others in our city anxiously await news regarding the search and rescue of a friend, David Hames.

David was in Haiti along with Dan Woolley working on a filming project for Compassion International. They were standing in the lobby of the Hotel Montana when the earthquake happened. Dan was found and rescued after 60 hours in an elevator shaft, and the search for David still goes on almost two weeks after the earthquake. There are teams currently peeling off layers of walls, roof, etc. and getting underneath the rubble to explore the hotel lobby area where they hope to find David. We hang on to all the daily Facebook updates that happen periodically throughout the day. David has a wife and two little boys waiting for him here. His wife stands strong and firm in her faith, hope, and trust in God.

God Almighty, would you please hold them close to you, let them feel your presence over them, and please comfort, comfort, comfort with your graceful peace that passes all our human understanding.

One of David’s relatives created a precious and touching YouTube video about David.

David Hames is the creator of the amazing Cranium’s Ark children’s series. Go to the Cranium’s Ark website to find out more. You can also go to YouTube and search Cranium’s Ark for a bunch of sample videos. Here is a clip of David and his family as he gets the series out this past July 2009.

Lord, our hearts ache to receive word that David has been found. Please be the Wisdom, the Guide, the Eyes, and the Ears of those searching for David and for others at the Hotel Montana. Lord, have Your perfect way and will with David and his family.

Lord, cover Haiti with Yourself. Be The Hope for the people there. Let them know You love them so very much and have not forsaken them. And touch our hearts with their pain.

I encourage everyone to find some way, there is no way too small or insignificant, to reach out and help the people in Haiti.

There is an online petition at the Petition2Congress website that you can sign encouraging Congress to continue the search and rescue efforts in Haiti and not give up searching for survivors.

An Update on Gao Zhisheng

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to post, and I feel like a few updates are somewhat overdue on various topics. Here’s the first one.

The latest news regarding Gao Zhisheng are not very good. The last email I received from China Aid on January 15th said the following:

Chinese Official Says Gao Zhisheng “Went Missing”

Act Now to Help Gao's Family Learn the Truth!

Since mid-December, 2009, ominous rumors have circulated about Gao Zhisheng, hinting that he has died after brutal torture in prison. However, no reports have been confirmed, and the Chinese government continues to refuse comment on his condition and whereabouts.

Gege, Gao's daughter, had been reportedly "pale and tired-looking" with worry for months. After hearing a rumor of Gao's death just before Christmas, Gege became so emotionally distraught, she was forced to be hospitalized. She remains fragile and under medical watch in a New York hospital.

This week, after searching out the policeman who originally detained Gao Zhisheng back in February, 2009, Gao's brother Zhiyi was told that Attorney Gao allegedly "went missing while out on a walk" on September 25, 2009. Gao's wife refused to comment, but was reported to be extremely upset after hearing the news.

This is the first time a Chinese government official has hinted that they no longer have Gao Zhisheng in their custody, leading ChinaAid to believe Gao's condition has taken a turn for the worse.

"It is totally unacceptable for the Chinese government to lose track of their own prisoner," said President of ChinaAid Bob Fu. "It is absolutely clear that he was forcibly taken from his home in February 2009. Nearly a year later, the Chinese government now says they do not have him."

Though the rumors of death cannot be confirmed, Bob Fu remains extremely concerned for this new development.

"We have every reason to suspect that the Chinese government has something very serious to hide. Gao's family has every right to know what happened to him. It is unbelievable that a high security prisoner would go missing while "out on a walk," without suspecting that there is a major cover up of his condition."

The Chinese government can no longer hide their actions from the world and must be held accountable for their treatment of Gao Zhisheng. Now is the time to act!

Sign the Petition to Free Gao Zhisheng, and encourage your friends and family to join the effort.

Contact your U.S. Representative and call for them to pressure the Chinese government to disclose the true condition and whereabouts of prominent human rights Attorney Gao Zhisheng. Even if you have sent a letter in the past, this new development calls for renewed action.

Gao's family deserves to know the truth, and so does the world! For more ways to help Free Gao, visit

This past week’s latest news from an AP article linked on the China Aid website states that a Foreign Ministry official said that Gao “is where he should be”. Not a very uplifting or promising statement regarding Gao’s welfare.

I am appalled by what I have observed over the last year with Gao Zhisheng’s situation in China. I shouldn’t be appalled because I have read plenty about the unwarranted persecution, torture, and killing of Christians (or anyone associated with them) in China, but I am anyway. Gao Zhisheng’s case has touched my heart. I’ll continue posting updates as I receive them.