We have good friends who, after they “retired”, moved on to the really challenging projects, like spending 2003 building a nursing school in Leogane, Haiti. They were called back again in 2009 to help in the effort to re-open a hospital that had died for lack of vision and attention and money, so in August they said ‘farewell’ to the generation older and the generation younger here in the U.S., and headed back to Haiti. Which is where they were when the earth shook. And shook. And shook some more. We had bits of communication from Suzi. They found a computer in the rubble and hooked it up to a generator out in the hospital yard, under a tree. She told of how John was trapped for four hours after the floor above fell. She told of using righteous indignation and a little pushing to run 20 looters out of the hospital guesthouse, which was now open to the street. She said she would gladly sell her soul for a bar of soap. And, she would have happily sold John’s for him to have a razor.
They spent their nights sleeping out in the hospital yard with several hundred other people. Suzi says that never before had she understood joy in the midst of suffering, but now she does. The people in the yard have lost family members to the quake and may be injured themselves, but they sing hymns until midnight, and wake up to a worship service with more singing and praying. In their own business-like style, John and Suzi have been shining God’s light of the world into dark corners.