Dear Staff at Mission of Hope,  

     My name is Shaina Ascone, and I was one of the many Americans who showed up at your doorstep last Sunday, May 16th, after our team was in a horrible truck accident.  A few of us would not be alive today if it were not for your help, triaging, and swift response.  Thank you so, so much for the part you had in stabilizing and aiding all members of our team.  Everyone is doing great...four of the ten Haitians are still in the field hospital in Port-au-Prince, but they are better.  One is going to to be military evacuated to the States for better care.  One of the seventeen Americans is still in the hospital in Miami, but is doing exceedingly better as well.  Everyone else is home, resting and recovering. 

     That first paragraph is a miracle in words, because none of us should be here to tell you this.  God showed up on that mountain last Sunday, and He has been with us every step of the way since, including guiding us to your mission, which is located less than ten minutes from the site of the accident.  That was no coinidence.  Thank you for being His hands and feet.

With Love in Christ,

Shaina Ascone
Today started off as a regular Sunday.

Church began at 9:30am, instruments riding that Caribbean sound wave and then, without fail, a team member walks up to me in the middle of my jam session to ask me a question that apparently couldn't have waited until after church. Then we head to “Gwopapa Poul” or “Big Daddy Chicken” for our Sunday lunch. We return to MOH with the Hope House kids awaiting in the shadows of the playground with the gleam of “playtime” in their eyes. So I, of course, continued my quest to show all kids how much stronger I am than them by doing pull ups with kids hanging around my torso. Then the security guard yells my name...

He had his walkie talkie covering his mouth with an urgent look on his face. He told me there has been an accident with missions people and that I need to drive to a local town to help them. Kind of confused, I walked to my apartment to get Jay and the keys to a MOH pick up truck. Some translators hop in the bed of the truck and we headed down to the clinic to try and figure out what was going on. I exited the truck hoping to find someone to tell me something. I look over my shoulder as I hear a car approaching. It is a tap tap- which is basically a truck with a colorfully cage on the back and benches to sit people to taxi them around.

It U-turns and backs into the entrance of the MOH clinic. As it rolls closer, time slows down. I notice a white girl through the dust lifelessly turn her head towards me, face and arm covered in dried blood. Her head droops and I begin to survey the rest of the passengers who are slowly becoming visible. Everyone is covered in blood. The tap tap stops 5 feet from me. I glance down to see 3 Haitians laying in between the seated white people in the bed of the taptap. One has a mangled foot. Another has his tibia and fibula bones broken and completely exposed laying on top of shredded flesh. The last Haitian is face down and motionless.

Someone yells my name which snaps me out of my surreal state. We have to unload them onto stretchers immediately and place them in triage for assessment. Our initial team: ER doctor, Orthopedic PA, EMT, nurse, chiropractor, ex-police officer and me. So I listen and do whatever the doctors tell me. Get gloves. Check. Get in the taptap and lift these people out onto a stretcher. I lift and place. Lift and place. Lift and place. When the third person gets unloaded onto a stretcher, two more cars pull up with more injured people. More dust, more blood.

The Numbers:

27 people injured
15 people from a missions team out of Missouri
2 MOH ambulances to transport patients to University of Miami Hospital in PAP

The Story:

A missions team, having finished helping a remote school in the mountains for the day, gathers in a tap tap, larger than a pick up and smaller than a dump truck. They have Haitians jump on with them thus allowing a few brave souls to sit on the roof (there are benches for seating up there too). As they progress down a steep sided mountain road, the brakes give out. The road turns, the driver follows suit with too much speed sending the taptap rolling and throwing people out (no seat belts provided).

Back to the triage. Madness. We unload everyone. Head injuries and concussions. Lacerations abound. Blood all over the ground. People running around everywhere. I was running around everywhere.

Lifting, placing, finding.
Saline, morphine, needles and syringes.

I felt like I went patient to patient.

41 year old American woman. Help change her IV. She grabs my arm and looks at me with a similar blank look as a newborn baby. Somethings wrong. Grant, EMT, repeatedly asks her where she is to which she finally replies with a slight and soft “walmart”. We grab her IV and push her in an ambulance, shut the doors, gone.

18 year old American girl. Diabetic. Just recently involved in an accident and had her spine fused. Now complains of tingly fingers. I am told to find something with sugar in it that she can quickly digest. Run into the pharmacy. Needle in a haystack becomes relevant. My hand is placed on the top of my head as I let out an overwhelmed sigh. Instantly the visiting pharmacist walks in having just arrived to the scene. 30 seconds later I walk out with quick dissolve sugar tablets and then place them in girls mouth.

21 year old American male. Holding two gauze pads over his forehead and eyes. Bottom of his face covered in blood. I went with the ER doctor into, where else, the ER. The male removed his pads to reveal huge cuts with equally huge flaps of skin. The doctor asks me to be her ER Tech. I gather and hand her things she needs to perform. I watch as she slowly crafts his face back together. Through stitching and staples and an hour and a half of remolding, his face looks like a face again.

The whole ordeal, from the abrupt arrival to last patient transferred, was about 4 hours. When it was over and I began walking up to the guesthouse, I thought about the phone calls being made to the students parents. “There's been an accident, pray.” That's about one of the worse things you can hear. Four months ago, it was, “There's been an earthquake, pray.” Today was an instant reminder of the horrific tragedy that crippled Haiti. Instead of 27 people, there were millions.

For me personally, there is one main difference between today and mid January. Today, I felt better prepared. Everyone and everything felt better equipped. Progress is being made here. Slowly but surely. Today provided a glimpse of hope for Haiti's future. I hope that you continue to pray for Haiti and for the health of the injured and their families.
A guy came into the hospital the other day with his infant daughter, sat down and then asked a woman to watch his daughter while he used the restroom. He never returned. No one knows who he was. So now we have an abandoned baby girl we are keeping at the patient dome until we can figure out what exactly to do next because we have no records of anything in regards to this baby girl.

Pray for her. Shes not eating much.

One of the biggest blessings God's bestows upon me is a heart broken for His people. It ignites compassion which drives action. Without a broken spirit, my life revolves around me. I always hear, “Be careful, it's a dangerous thing to ask God to break you.” I feel it is absolutely the most important thing to ask. Brokenness leads to God's wholeness. Break me, shatter me, give me strength to do whatever it takes to rid me of me. I'll be careful when I am uncertain about the future. But when I know God is for me and loves me and wants the absolute best for me, I'll throw my cares and hesitations to the wind and hope to never see them again. I boldly ask God to penetrate me to my core, break my shackles of uncertainty and free me from the death grip I have on myself. I need to be broken every minute of every hour of every day. I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. And in this brokenness, I want to love people with no filters or end game. I want to love them just for the sake of loving them empowered by God's love for me. It just makes sense. I am loved to love. The perfect harmonious love of the Trinity showering us with love from Heaven. Today, more than any other day in my life, I want to explore this life God has set out for me.

Why do I ever settle for anything less?!

What happens if I stake my whole life around what God has promised for me?!

What does God, the creator of creativity, have in store for me?!

Sometimes the Gospel makes perfect sense which is a clear reminder that the Spirit is alive and actively pouring through me.

It's good to be alive.