Sunday, January 31, 2010


This morning we drove to the grocery store. As you can imagine, it is not a good idea for us to walk, since that would mean walking back carrying groceries in a nation of hunger. Denny, amazing Denny, offered to drive us to Eagle, which just re-opened. The store already smelled usually, most strongly in the fish section. Today, there was no fish (or any meat outside of cans), but the whole store smelled very strongly, suggesting that things are going bad, quickly. There were a lot of empty spaces on the shelves. Not sure what the re-supply situation is.

Ben and I have this recurring conversation in grocery stores because I am, unfortunately, extremely cheap. I say obnoxious things like "is that the best use of money?" (unless, let's be honest, it's something I really want, like Toblerone). Poor guy. We got to the wine aisle this morning in Eagle and Ben asked if I wanted a bottle. I have a very limited taste for wine (much to the disappointment of our more vine-wise dear friends), so I only buy things I've had before and liked. Ben pointed out a few things while I scanned, looking for a label I recognized. I finally did see one I love, and Ben grabbed it. Then I saw the sticker- this bottle is usually about $7 US, but my quick Gourde-math told me it was $10 or $11 here. I protested to Ben, but he turned his full face toward me and said with complete earnestness and kindness:

"Katie, we are still alive. Buy the bottle."

It stopped me in my tracks. He was right.

I think B and I have skipped that whole discussion. We. are. alive. It wasn't a foregone conclusion. Buildings collapsed all over, pancaking people of every color and nation and age. We could have died. I don't think I've really absorbed that fact. Or adequately thanked God. The other night Jamie and Bearded Tony and I went to dinner at Corrigan's (other young teachers here) house, and he was telling me that the night of the quake some Haitians slept in his living room because their house fell. He heard the father praying out loud for two hours: Thank you that my wife is safe, thank you that my kids are safe, thank you for giving us that house to begin with. Two hours of thank yous, on the night of the quake.

But that's the way every day is, really. We're always dancing on the edge of a razor, a second from death, whether we're in Haiti or perusing the aisles of Target in Dallas. Car accident, freak heart attack... it could always be next hour. So. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Jesus, that we are alive. Thank you for sparing my husband. Thank you for keeping us alive, and with these extra days you've given, us, let us do nothing but bring you glory.


So, while listening to a John Mayer song that begins with the lyric "who says I can't get stoned", B and I have now blogged today about beer-bottling factories, wine, and Cuban cigars. Ha! What kind of missionaries are we? :) Jesus-needing ones, that's all I know.



  1. Katie, yes. We are still alive. I am having that thought all the time. I thought I knew before the quake about tomorrow not being guaranteed, but now I really know it. It could so easily have been otherwise.

  2. Just want you to know that my husband & I are praying for you! My husband & I both lived in Waco and I went to Baylor - I'm not sure how I stumbled across your blog but I wanted you to know that we are praying for you and for what you are doing there....

    The Lord is good always and is with you!


  3. Hey, Ben and Katie!
    I have been following your blog and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this. It is so helpful to hear personal stories about very real people, and to see the pictures. I know God is using you and will continue to do so.
    We love you guys,
    Jon, Vicki, Brian, Kristen and Gina Schmidt

  4. Ben and Katie - I just wanted to say that so many folks you don't know are rooting for you both AND for the people of Haiti, Haitian or non-Haitian, who are surviving this tragedy and seeing the life that remains. Please stay as positive as you have been - you are strength for others. Warmly, Karen

  5. A great reminder to all of us to be thankful everyday for our lives!

    Beer, wine and cigars... my guess is even Jesus occasionally enjoyed the like while here on earth. God gives us simple pleasures and really does want us to enjoy life. It's like one time when someone laughed when I thanked God for hot showers and frozen veggies... it's the little pleasures that can mean the most sometimes. :)

    Praying for your safety and for the bug that's going around to cease! Praying that the coming rains do not create more destruction... I know it's not likely, but I'm praying for that miracle!

    Love you guys!

    Just an FYI: I'll be away from internet this week, so my seemingly daily comments :) will stop. But I'll most certainly be praying, and will catch up when I get back!

  6. Hi Ben and Katie, THis is Shane Krotz. Erik and I met you briefly at a Buckner/Dillon seminar and I wanted to let you know we are reading your blog here at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco and praying for you all daily! We will be sending some Valentine's cards for the kids and doctors. I'll be sending the package down with Buckner's shipments! Please let me know if we can send anything else that would help you all out at school! Love Shane

  7. This is a great post. I was thinking about you guys this week/weekend, and I prayed that you would somehow find time for one another, as you have undoubtedly been wholly focused on those around you.
    I have also had the thoughts lately, it doesn't matter who you are or where you are (and I happened to be in the Target in Dallas today) something weird, unexpected, or tragic can happen. My mom's best friend just lost her husband of a few years; he had a heart attack. It's so sad (she's had a lot of losses in her life) and can only make us cling to the Lord more strongly. And realize how fragile life is. Thank you for continuing to share your experiences.

  8. One thing about the wine in face of cholera: you know it's safe to drink!

  9. Katie, Thank you for your work in the Kingdom! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us!
    Please, write a book about it all . . . so many need to hear this story . . . especially those not in the Kingdom, yet . . .

  10. I am so grateful that you guys are alive. I am so grateful that you blog faithfully every day so I get to catch a fraction of a glimpse into the world you are dwelling. Bless you guys for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

  11. What a huge amount of life the two of you have experienced in the past month! I thank God for you, for using you to further His kingdom, for keeping you safe and alive! I believe He wants you to enjoy every drip of that wine!!! Know that our thoughts and prayers continue to be lifted for you and your work. (BTW, I got to give Matt a big hug yesterday, and look forward to the day I can give you one in person!) For now... (((Katie)))), (((Ben))) Much love!!! karen gillum

  12. Glad you bouth the wine -- life is short.



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