Monday, August 9, 2010
June/July Plattner Family Update
Just today, Drew was “reading” to his brother from a book that was recounting the “itsy bitsy spider.” Drew broke into song, “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout,” but then he followed that up with, “and the rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up.” I think that is when he stopped wanting to say “and the house on the sand stood fast,” but he couldn’t figure out how that applied to “the sun coming up and drying up all of the rain.” I know, that is a pretty random story, but welcome to our months of June and July. Our June and July started with work teams and ended in a van full of our friends getting into a serious accident. In the middle was life as normal as well as a critical day of outreach to the deaf in an unchurched area of Jamaica. So, coming up with one thing that would be a sufficient introduction for this update felt impossible, until Drew summed it up perfectly. “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout and the rains came down and the floods came up.” And, we are left processing what it all means alongside our firm belief in the assurance that God is faithful. We know He is faithful, but there are times it just feels like we could make it easier on Him and easier on us if we were simply able to pack it up and go home. How is that for an introductory paragraph?
Our June did start out with work teams. We were blessed by some wonderful relationships and a very busy time of work and play. Our teams were one week on and one week off and so that took out some of the grind and allowed us to “gear up” for each week. The school year finished at the end of June. This involved classes wrapping up as well as graduation day. The following week was deaf camp that was directed by a team from the states. We also had a work team present and that raced us right into July. We hosted one more team, and then the brakes came on. July and August around the school are dead, very dead. It feels like a ghost town. The ministry is here for the kids and when there are no kids, the life is out of the campus. So, we will be anxiously awaiting the kids coming back in September.
Our deaf community has been praying for a long time for the startup of a deaf ministry in western Jamaica. Deaf churches in most parts of the world are scarce. In Jamaica, where travel is difficult, this makes regular Christian fellowship not even an option for the majority of the deaf population. So, a date was finally set for the first ministry activity in western Jamaica. On July 31st, two van loads of people traveled to a town named Savanna-La-Mar for an “open day.” This was simply a day of food and fellowship followed by a short program of testimonies and a message. There was a good turnout and everyone was excited. This is where the confusion comes into the story. On the way home, the front van got into a serious accident. Kirk was driving the second van and about 15 minutes of chaos ensued. The emergency vehicles were not coming and so we loaded up the most seriously injured into our van and headed for the hospital, which was probably a 30 minute drive. Upon reaching the hospital, things didn’t slow down as the van was full of deaf people and the medical staff needed help with interpreting. The chaos continued, but a miracle emerged. Slowly, more positive than expected reports kept coming from the doctors. By the middle of the next morning, all but three people were out of the hospital and we were rejoicing. Rejoicing but still confused and recovering from the shock of it all. The questions of why, why them, why not me, how, what if, etc. etc. continued. The day that started with such excitement with the outreach to a new area of Jamaica ended in a tragedy that really could have been a serious tragedy. But, it wasn’t and so we were also rejoicing. Similar to that itsy bitsy spider that almost got its house washed away on the sand but didn’t. We believe we witnessed a miracle and pray for continued healing for all involved as well as grace unto understanding His ways.
That will have to do it for June and July. I feel like we could have used a million different stories. It’s a shame that the slow months have updates of too much detail and in the busy months I try cramming two months into one update. Our family continues to experience abundant, abundant blessing. The kids have all be relatively healthy and enjoyed a summer of people and play. We continue to rejoice in the gift of our marriage and common calling and pray that our family can be used for His glory. We lose sight of the way in our confusion, but His grace has been consistent in calling us back to Himself. And, as I am sure the itsy-bitsy spider did, lets build our house on the Rock.