Hendrix, a Fresno resident, left for Haiti last Thursday. 12 hours later at midnight he was hitching a ride at the Dominican Republic border to port au prince - Haiti where his sisters and family live. What he saw along the way was a harrowing. It was his faith he says that kept him going, "There were bodies all over and i just kept praying that none of those were my sisters."
Miraculously, with the help of a missionary friend from northern Haiti he found them alive, "They are ok and they made it out before the house came down."
As we were talking in a friend's home in Northeast Fresno, three Fresno firefighters in downtown Fresno. 2 current and 1 retired, were announcing their mission to Haiti as "Firefighters for Christ". Captain Brain Price did the same in aftermath of Katrina, "And the real success I think comes is what really happens when you actually make a connection and you touch someone."
No public money is involved just vacation and furlough time off. Their organization covers the expense of the trip and ways to help keep them safe, "They have an established network of connections."
These men carry with them professional skills and those found in their hearts. And Roland Hendrix is grateful for their willingness to help the Haitian people. When the chaos and shooting broke out within hours of finding his family he sent them north with his friend, "You have to a take them away from here" he said, "and I have to get back on that airplane."
Hendrix was airlifted from Haiti with other Americans to Florida and then made his way back to Fresno arriving at the Fresno International Airport too emotional to share his story until now. His family is alive and safe thanks to people willing to help like these Fresno firefighters. He asks all of us to, "At least, keep Haiti in your prayers. Please don't forget Haiti."
For more information, visit: www.firefightersforchrist.org/ert.htm
For more information on Youth With A Mission Haiti, visit: www.ywamhaiti.org