Saving lives in Haiti

I just heard from my husband, missionary pilot Zach Keller. He assures me he is doing well. He is always exhausted at the end of the day and sometimes it takes more energy than he has left to e-mail a note and upload pictures. Throughout the day I’m always wondering what he is doing and what he is seeing, and the pictures really help satisfy my curiosity.

Zach’s original return flight from Florida was scheduled for this Saturday, but we just changed it to February 16. He will return home sooner if it happens to work out that way. He’ll need to get back to McNeal, Arizona, to do his advanced training in February while John Mark -- his flight instructor -- is available. Because he may stay a few weeks longer, the kids and I have put together a package of goodies and other specified necessities.

Our NTM Aviation co-worker and close friend, Clif Huntting, is also helping out with the relief work in Haiti and is copiloting a caravan back and forth from Haiti nearly every day for Missionary Flight International. Because of this valuable connection I am able to mail a package directly to the hotel where he is staying and he’ll then be able to deliver it to … my Zachy. I’m not sure how he is able to keep going without a ready supply of red vines, Planters Peanuts and chocolate chip cookies (as he is so used to).

I am including notes from Zach’s e-mails.

Day 6

Had another good day. We took a team out to a couple different villages to assess the needs. It’s expensive but there is no other way to figure out who needs the most help. We landed at two coastal villages that were really pretty. If I had more time we would stop and swim several times a day. I only fly two to three hours a day (if that) but I don’t know how much more I would want to fly. The heat and continuous stress takes it out of you.

Today we got kicked out of our little landing site at the airport. It was commandeered by mortuary affairs; they are the people that deal with the dead bodies being shipped to the USA. They had hundreds of caskets stacked in my landing site when I got back from one of the flights -- kinda grim.

Day 7

We did medical flights today and got done early so I tried to help out in the hospital a little bit, definitely not what I am cut out for. It doesn’t bother me in passing but I don’t know how the doctors work on these patients all day long.

Today we brought a 2 to 5 year old boy out. His parents were killed in the earthquake and the poor little guy was dehydrated and starving. We don’t know his age because he is so stunted in his growth. He is here at the orphanage now and his life should improve drastically. It is emotionally draining. I just hope we can continue to help the people that need it the most.

Day 9

I can’t even begin to describe what all happened yesterday, but it was long, sad, happy, hard and dirty. I need to write something down about each day because they are all beginning to blur together.

With the help of God we were able to help save the lives of a little baby and a 7-year-old boy yesterday.

I had a guy ask me yesterday when I have to get back to the USA and get back to work. My immediate response was, "This is my job." And suddenly I was filled with gratitude for our supporters who make it possible for me to be here working.