Friday, February 26, 2010

A Friend's Haiti Update

1 KINGS 19:11-13
Scripture used by Haitian pastor in Port-au-Prince Church on Sunday February 7, 2010
Week 1: PORT-AU-PRINCE JAN 19, 2010
I leave for Haiti on a small jet with a team from Medical Teams International. The transportation and fuel is generously provided by a private company. We fly high above the other air traffic at 44,000 ft. and descend upon Port-au-Prince.
We are given only a few short minutes to land and de-board. Each ‘slot’ on the tarmac is timed and accounted for. Aircraft quickly land and take off making room for the next arrival. The roar of helicopters, jets and massive Air Force cargo planes is deafening. UN vehicles and armed soldiers are everywhere. I see the American flag on a military ATV and am thankful that my country is already on the ground, responding to this disaster. I can’t help but notice all the Hearts for Hope HAITI wounded Haitians sitting under a tarp, lined up in chairs with casts and crutches, as though curiously watching this theatrical buzz of activity at the airport to pass away the time. Later I learn that these are only a few of the thousands of hopefuls…trying
to leave the country. I leave the airport, my pocket full of torn papers with names and addresses scribbled on them…given to me by desperate people in the mob that presses in on us while we wait for transportation to headquarters.
King’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince has about 25 beds…and new cracks in the walls that are being checked frequently by engineers.
The building is yet unfinished. It wasn’t scheduled to open quite yet, but the earthquake changed that plan. Patients with broken bones, burns and unseen emotional trauma arrive in a constant stream. Many post-ops have their ‘bed’ outdoors in the dirt under the trees. Because of fear, many others would prefer to be outdoors. When the aftershocks come, they find their way
outside… quickly. A young man in his 20’s is admitted, screaming in anguish and pain over his crushed great toe. The wound is infected. He will have to have an amputation. As I care for him, he breaks out in a familiar song, “This is the day. This is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice. I will rejoice and be glad in it”…He moans intermittently through the verses. This is the strength only God can give. I am amazed. In the operating room, the surgeons are completing their 4th amputation for the week. Then his case will begin.
I scrub into surgery with Dr.Lou Zirkle and his team. There is no electricity, no suction, and no X-Ray. The operating room is hot and humid. None of these obstacles seem to matter. Dr. Zirkle is gaining world renown for his SIGN method of internally fixating femur fractures in developing nations…and this disaster has provided hundreds of cases for his marvelous method to be
put to use. At the end of the long day and only 2 cases, I am sopping wet and exhausted. Placing all my weight on the broken legs to give traction for several hours while the surgeons worked is quite a workout.
One little girl particularly moves our staff to action. She comes in with serious burns to her face and neck. She had felt the initial shaking of the quake and ran out of her house, only to be run over by a car, the hot exhaust pipe severely burning her fragile body. Miraculously, she got up and ran back into the house to save her mother just before the house collapsed. MTI is able to
get her on a flight to Florida for follow-up burn care and grafting.

Dr. Steve, Carol, RN, and I are assigned to Baloose. The sight is the private grounds of the Haitian Baptist Seminary in a hilly suburb of Port-au-Prince. It is estimated that anywhere from 2,500-4000 people are camping on the grass here at night. We have come to provide medical care. It is just one of literally thousands of IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps in and outside of the city. Sheets, tarps…and star-studded sky providing the shelter for these wounded people. The night I arrive, I hear singing outside my window; I decide to go see where this ‘choir’ is practicing. As I walk down the hill, hundreds of people crowd the grounds. Standing and singings praises, their hands are lifted high in the warm night air. They are dancing and swaying to the worship music flowing out of an outdoor PA system. I join them. There is little room to move. I will never forget the feeling of this night’s experience. It is a taste of heaven in the midst of a hellish nightmare. Only the touch of God can bring such a sweet melody to a thousand broken hearts. Patients sit in chairs waiting all day to be seen by our little team. This is when I am reminded of the prayers being said on my behalf. Where does my strength come from? Where does this love come from that flows from the depth of my being? His presence is felt. I listen to countless heartbreaking stories. A 24 yo woman complains of a head wound. “A building collapsed and hit me in the head.” I remove the dressing from 42yo Sergo’s arm wound to find bone exposed and huge chunks of muscle cut away…an incredibly complicated injury. Amazingly, he has full use of his hand. We refer him to another facility where he can receive the care he needs. An 11yo girl sits on a chair in front of me, trying to hold on to the squirming 1 month old baby in her skinny arms. She is obviously ill at ease with the infant. She tells me that she is the only person able to care for the baby whose family perished. Her complaint, “The baby is not eating”. Loveson, 28y, a handsome young man, winces as I remove the poorly placed stitches from his crushed nose. His wound is infected. His face is seriously disfigured. I talk to him about the love of the Lord. He looks at me and says, “I am a Christian. I know God allowed this to happen to me because he knew I would be able to handle it.” Another young girl holds her little waif of a sister, Coraly, in her lap. I have to give Coraly painful wound care. It is so hard to inflict more pain on this precious little one…but I know it is for her good. She is one of 5 sisters
left to fend for themselves after losing their mom and 15 other family members. No dad is in the picture. Little Coraly, may Jesus help you and be your Mommy and Daddy. Francise and Tranquile are 2 elderly women in their ~80’s that Carol and I find on the grass in the heat of the midday sun. They seem so helpless just sitting in the midst of the crowd, baking to death.
They are both suffering from mild dehydration. We hang a couple IV’s on them and get them to a cooler spot. Jean, 25y, tells me how he crushed his finger while digging through the rubble of his home. I can smell alcohol on his breath and sense a profound despondency in his demeanor. As I suture his finger, I share the hope of Christ with him. I feel a deep love and compassion
for him, knowing that I, too, once turned to alcohol to deal with pain. It is so natural to talk with him in a nonjudgmental way. But for the grace of God I go. He returns for wound care several days later with a huge smile on his face sharing that he surrendered his life to Christ. Tears of joy flow from my eyes. In one day, we admit 7 patients to the Israeli hospital. Two are woman with broken pelvises who somehow find their way to our station. They have been untreated since the quake…2 weeks of living with an untreated broken pelvis. We return to headquarters in Port-au-Prince. I join a team with the 82nd Airborne Unit that has made field assessments and is accompanying our medical volunteers to IDP camps where people have not received medical attention. Several of the clinics we hold in the next few days have tense moments when we are grateful for what seems to be overkill at first: a group of fully armed soldiers in combat attire fending off the desperate crowd.

I guess Laogane is pretty close to the epicenter. Getting there is a sport: trying to get through mobs of people, traffic and cracks in the pavement. Our team spends several days at a time there. Some days the trip between camp and Port-au-Prince takes an hour. Some days it takes over 2 hours. We sleep in tents on the grounds of the Ayuda à Haiti (Help Haiti) headquarters:
a Non-profit organization from the Dominican Republic. We are joined by humanitarian aid workers from around the world. The make-shift mobile hospital is just a big circle of open tents. Examiners take their places and the hundreds of patients who are checked in early in the morning wait under tarps for their turn to be seen…sometimes all day. I seize the few
minutes I have in the morning before heading to my examining tent to sit on a broken block, and sing songs and witness to the hundreds of people gathered there. Their laughter and smiles fuel me for the long day of work ahead. It is in Laogane where I learn about the MRE: meals ready to eat (the soldiers clue me in on the best ones) and also that SOS means “Save our Ship”. In Haiti, it is a cry for food and water…or any attention at all. Handmade signs are everywhere.
At the mobile hospital it becomes clear that my dental tools might come in handy. Dr. Steve encouraged me to bring a small set. “Bring them just in case…you never know!” he said wisely before we left the US. So, in the midst of disaster relief, I find myself extracting teeth, with my audience of wishful patients growing each day. To prevent a riot, I develop my own system
of turning patients away. I draw numbers out of the hat at the end of the day, reminding my patients, “I am not God!” I guess the hardest part is knowing the disappointment of those I can’t treat. I am reminded that these people, in the midst of all their other suffering, are victims of chronic abscesses and tooth pain. Few of them have had any dental care at all before
the earthquake. Charles, 6y, comes with half of his face twice normal size as well as his eye nearly swollen shut. He has a fever of almost 103 degrees. I have a special drug that I am able to give him to sedate him and make the extraction extremely easy. Pus flows from the wound. His mother is so sweet and caring, so attentive to him. After he gets his antibiotics and medical
intervention for the fever and abscess, they are on their way. Once again, I am grateful I have something to offer these people that blesses them. We go even deeper into the rural areas to hold several mobile clinics. On 2 occasions, we actually hold clinic at the sight of voodoo temples. Apparently this area is known for its heavy concentration of voodoo practice. While we are treating the witchdoctor as a patient, our souls are being bathed with the sounds of worship from the tiny Christian church on the other side of the hedge. It is such an obvious example of the light dispelling the darkness. I only get ‘violently’ sick once…and just ‘regular’ sick another time. It is a small price to pay. At the headquarters in Portau-Prince, I have made some very special Haitian friends. It is the group of people who live and sleep outdoors on the grounds of the mission. The kids are particularly fun. When I get home at the end of the long hard day, or have been gone for several days and return, they all run up to me, take my bags and guitar…and are ready to ‘play’. I fight the urge to crash out and go outside to join them. We dance. We sing. We color and make crafts. I am so glad I don’t give in to my physical exhaustion…just yet…this is too precious of a moment to pass up. Commercial flights to Haiti are supposed to begin again on the 19th of February…just in time to take me back. It was just too perfect a ‘fit’. As I return to the devastated nation I left behind, I am reminded of a Scripture:

PSALMS 18:29

It seems so a propos in the lives of those Haitians in whom I saw such tremendous inner strength, strength that came from their unwavering faith in a God that has helped them “leap over a wall”…the wall that came crashing down upon them.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support.
All His in 2010 –Kris

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When I originally signed up to be apart of the 40 day challenge I didn’t write a lot. I honestly thought I would never get in and be selected. I wrote the bare minimum as I was also afraid to really live out loud and let others know what was really going on. How do you admit you’re not healthy and that the lifestyle you are living isn’t the best? During that time I had been praying to God to help me with the family weight and health issues. 4 out of 6 of us in our house are overweight and not active. I knew it wasn’t something I could change on my own so I kept praying. Right about that time I had also been telling my husband I really needed new tennis shoes. Then the phone call came, I was one of the 8 qualifiers for the 40 day. It started becoming real but so did all the lies, “why would you be picked, you aren’t anyone they would be interested in, you can’t do this, others deserve this more then you, you really don’t want everyone to know how overweight you are, you are going to make yourself an outcast.” But I pushed through it with strength from God. I pushed and I put myself out there, I asked friends and family for support and votes. They answered and so did the listeners and others following along. I was chosen to be one of the final 4.
The journey began- God answered those prayers and cries for help. I got my new shoes. My 2 older daughters are very interested in the bootcamp and what I am doing and want to do it with me. My husband has been very supportive. The challenges and tests came along with this process. Sickness, kids, life, it was all very real. About 4 weeks in I did want to quit. Just like I normally would with anything. It starts to feel as no one is really watching or cares and it would be so easy just to stop and not do this anymore. I’m still here still leaning on Our Father and seeking his strength.

What I realized during this 40 day challenge is it’s not about the workout, shoes, spa the radio station, listeners, it’s all about God. From a Beth Moore study the 5 Faith Statements:
1.God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in me.

It is all so very true, as long as I keep my focus on God and not the failures my weight, inches, struggles it becomes easier. It’s not without pain but the freedom is amazing.
I want to win this challenge and be the grand prize winner because I want to use this to Glorify God and further his Kingdom here on Earth. I want to be his light and help others succeed.
So Many people are alone out there in the darkness like I was seeking and grasping for anything- I want to be the hand that reaches out and offers them something that they need…Love, Support, Life!
There is a song currently playing on Spirit that truly has been my anthem song during this challenge:
Before the Morning- Josh Wilson
Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you I
f there’s a God who loves you where is He now
Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending S
omeday somehow you’ll see you’ll see
Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning
My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer
And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture
Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

I love the part-it can’t compare to the Joy that’s coming. So much truth in that line. This challenge hasn’t been about just losing a few lbs or inches it’s been about battling my way out of the darkness to walk and live out loud in the light. I want to continue that. I don’t want it to end here. I am coming out of the valley through the desert. In the end it’s not about my looks, my hair, my clothing it’s about how I lived my life and did I live it from my heart and allow the spirit to work within me to Glorify God.

I turn 40 in a few weeks the past 40 years have been amazing. I pray my 4 kids (15, 13, 5, and 1) don’t have the challenges and struggles I did growing up. I pray that this challenge was a spring board for our lives to change so we can continue to live healthy lifestyles and be more active. We have been watching the Olympics and one thing I have been learning during that is sometimes it’s not the most popular, or the favorite sometimes it’s the under dog, the quietest one that has the most amazing story and gift to offer.

Praising God for everything he has given me!!! To him all the Glory
Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters during this- truly amazing challenge and I so much appreciate the time, effort, money and prizes we have been given during this challenge.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Voting- final week

The voting has started- its the final week of this journey.
As I reflect back over this challenge I am so amazed by the blessings. A Week ago I was ready to call it quits but right now I feel so full of life and joy i can't describe it. I have enjoyed working out in the morning and getting healthy and creating new habits. Mark with Aim To Be Fit has been wonderful. He has been working closely with my PT Kathleen Young at PT Pro to make sure I am not doing anymore damage to my neck/shoulders but still getting the top benefit from the workout. He is constantly coming by and checking on positioning and making sure I am working the muscles correctly to benefit me. My kids and I have enjoyed going to Taco Time. We were just there yesterday.It's been a nice benefit.

I love how the 40 Day challenge ended right as we moved into Lent. Another 40 days and an awesome reminder in our lives of how to give things up and sacrifice. I've learned alot about sacrifice and giving things up over this challenge.

I wasn't sure if I truly wanted a lifetime membership but sitting here today and looking back I can see how much I have changed and how much my family and I would benfit from a lifetime membership and I want to be selected as the grand prize winner.

Each of us ladies are already winners. They have been a huge blessing during this challenge. Each of us with our own stories and different lifestyles but all loving God and giving him all the Glory.

I was able to work out once with each of the Ladies - I loved it. Kat came to one of my bootcamps at shorelines and I went to Everett to Ginny & Katie's bootcamp. I got to see each one of the ladies in motion and enjoyed the companionship.

Good luck to all you listeners- you can continue to follow me and my journey on twitter at Tammiego or on my blog:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


God wants us to boast in our weakness so he gets all the glory, and to show us, we have done these things by the power of God, not human power but God power...Turning is not all we have to do, we need to sweep our mind clean of all the lies we have believed, and believe God instead...filling our minds with truth... Rewallpapering our minds with that which is in the word of God... Then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free....

That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven,
Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting
him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he
faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let
us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will
receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need
it. (Heb 4:14-16 NLT)

Prayer: LORD, it is difficult to comprehend that You really
understand the pain, frustration, discouragement, and so many other
things that I feel. Yet, You do. Help me understand this and see You
not just as God and Lord, but also as my friend, companion, helper,
encourager, and One who really understands and cares about the bad
days as well as the good. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Day 38

Day 38- 2 more days until this 40 day ends. and everything goes back to voting. I had an amazing workout today- I feel really good and charged. its early in the AM and I already have 1/2 my water intake for the day done. I have come to realize that drinking all of my water for the day is so extremely important. When I don't drink all my water I tend to snack and not feel full. It's been amazing to me how much of a difference 1 glass of water can make.

GREAT NEWS- I am down 12 lbs and 10". I can see it in my clothes and my face, body. I can also certainly feel it. Even though there have been alot of challenges these last 2 weeks I see the light I certainly want to continue this journey. I

T is really important i remain focused and on track. My 2 older daughters have been begging if they could come to bootcamp with me- I think they might join us ladies on Friday.

I would really encourage everyone to try the 2 free weeks.If you can FIT it into your schedule do not force it, but if it works try it. I am thankful i had this opportunity it truly has changed my life and I am motivated to finish and to keep going STRONG!!!!

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by the grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. AMEN!!!


I loved that devotion below that i received today- what a total gift. I love Our Father and how is works and uses everything around us to let u sknow he is there even in the darkest hours. I have 2 sick little ones at home. Had my 1 yr old at ER sunday night- I was worried about his breathing. Turned out no pneumonia just upper respiratory infection. All the kids are home this week. My 2 oldest really want to come to bootcamp with me this week- they have been dying to come and do one class since i started this journey. It's a beutiful day today and even though the 2 little ones are sick i think we may go out for a walk.
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- February 16, 2010:
Take courage and lean on My strength to keep moving through the difficulties that you face. You need to be patient and trust Me to lead, guide, direct and protect you at this time. Do not despair when you do not seem to have what it takes to deal with current issues. Ask, and I will give you wisdom. This too shall pass, and new focus and clarity will come forth like the first rays of sunshine of a new day. Keep looking up, says the Lord.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


I'm lost and hurting deeply todau- my 15 yr old ran away. my 13 yr old when weighed at the dr office before surgery she weighed in at over 200 lbs. my 2 little ones are really sick. and this is final week of bootcamp. in my first video i said one goal was to finish- right now i don't feel like finishing. I feel like this is all too much - see i focused too much on me and look what happened. my kids need me- their life depends on it- there's all the proof right there smacking me in the face. yet here is this challenge- no one truly cares- no one is commenting- or suporting- is a lifetime to this bootcamp worth this sacrifice? this is me being real and being hurt and talking from my heart that really aches right now.


Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.


It's week 5- wow this time has flown by. Celebrated my son's 1st birthday on saturday. my mother in law was in town for the weekend. Oldest daughter was at church camp. Kids are all out of school next week- mid winter break. my 1 yr old finally feels better- he was really sick last week. Praying this week the pain in my arms/neck goes away or eases up a little. that my husband and I get a super good awesome nights sleep with no kids or dog waking up in the middle of the night. Pryaing for the other ladies- remain strong and healthy. Hope folks are enjoying this weather it was a tad bit cold this morning but now the sun is out and it appears to be warming up. Remember- it's not about US- it's about HIM! How do you show his Glory/Light through you!

Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 (The Message) Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, Remembering that there will also be many dark days and that most of what comes your way is smoke.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I shall not want

Anyone out there?
I feel like I am talking to myself when I come here and there are no comments.

I haven't done my video for Week 5 yet. Maybe on Friday. Monday I needed to leave the second class was over and didn't have time to wait to do the video. Today well I overslept. I woke up and my clock said 6:14. Because Boot camp is about 30-45 minutes away I knew I wouldn't make it to the workout. Which i was bummed- disappointed- depressed. That upon the injuries. My left calf is still bothering me. My neck and nerves are reeking havoc on my arms and hands(numbness, tingling) so I have to be careful. No weights and limit my exercises.

Good news though I weighted myself and I am down 10 lbs and down 8" I can feel it in my clothes and the way i walk and stand. I am feeling lighter. it's great.

My son is feeling better but still waking up coughing and hacking at night so my husband and I was still not getting sleep- I think the most we get is 3-4 hours. We are exhausted. drained. It's hard to be motivated to workout when you can't even function to do daily living things.

4 more bootcamps to go then we go to voting.
Have a great day everyone

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [

I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week 5 Force and Fit

We started Week 5 of the 40 day Health and Fitness challenge. I am almost looking forward to it being over.
What I have been discovering is I am trying way to hard to "force"things into my schedule and family life, what God is showing me is to stop forcing and only allow those things in that "fit"

What a concept huh? It's hard though. I don't want to let others down, I don't want to fail, if others can do all this why can't I. The truth for me is I don't think others do it successfully or without sacrifice. I know alot has to be given up.

The workouts 3 days a week leaving the house at 5:45/6am to get to Shoreline by 6:30am and then made dash out of there at 7am to make it home by 7:30/7:45am. Trying to fit in Olympus Spa, Body by God (Puyallup) and more exercise. I think there just has to be an easier and more simplier way to do this.

Once the challenge ends I think I will do my workouts at home- get up at 6am and workout for 30 minutes. There would be alot less stress and pressure.

God certainly has shown me alot during this challenge and alot of things have changed. I am looking forward to having peace back in our lives.

Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 (The Message) Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, Remembering that there will also be many dark days and that most of what comes your way is smoke.