Sending Cards to Hannah
Hannah has been so encouraged by all of the letters and cards she’s received from individuals over the past three weeks. Now that she’s moved to a rehab/hospital in Dallas, I’d like to share the address with you if you would like to send a letter of encouragement or card to her there. It makes a big difference for her, and we all appreciate it so very much!
Zale Lipshy Hospital
5151 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75390
Today Show Feature on Hannah’s Recovery
Hannah was featured in this story on the Today Show (NBC) yesterday. We are so grateful to the Lord for her recovery, and even more so for the lives of Austin, Garrett, Stephen and Luke so passionately committed to cause of Christ!
Sole plane crash survivor leaving hospital
Ron Luce, father of Hannah Luce, the sole survivor of a May 11 plane crash in Kansas, says Hannah’s pain is getting “more tolerable.” She will be heading home to Texas to continue recovering at a Dallas rehab center. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.
Memorializing a Meeting and a Miracle
This is a picture of what we found in the middle the middle-of-nowhere, Kansas, a few miles outside of the small town of Chanute. This is what you would personally see, were you to make the drive to this lonely little place in the heartland of America – the scarred field that is the site of the plane crash that ended the lives of four young men who were passionately committed to the gospel, and the site of the very miraculous of saving of my daughter Hannah’s life.
A few days ago, my son and I traveled to Chanute on a quest to discover more of what took place on May 11, 2012. We were met in town by one of the two young ladies who first found Hannah and Austin as they stumbled out of the wreckage and made their way onto the gravel road that runs near the field. She was going to take my son and me out to the site of the crash.
We were already 10 miles out of town on a small country road when we turned off onto an even more inconspicuous road. She told us how she and her friend were traveling along the little country road that afternoon and thought they saw some smoke. They began to question what it could possibly be — a farmer burning his field? Someone burning an old rubbish pile? One of the women reasoned that, with the size of the plume of smoke, it must be some sort of gasoline that ignited. This prompted them to turn down the gravel road that we were now driving on to investigate. After about a mile, they found Hannah and Austin wandering in the roadway, looking for help.
The woman took us to the place where Hannah and Austin must have come on to the road. We got out of our car and started to trek off into the adjacent field. No more than 100 yards in, we found exactly what you see here in this picture. Someone had already been here and set up a small memorial at the crash site. It was a stunning and stark moment for us.
This location, an otherwise entirely forgettable place, has now become the focal point of our lives. This place where three young men met God face-to-face and the fourth, Austin, did soon thereafter. This place, the location of an utter miracle as Hannah was saved from what would have otherwise been her own destruction.
It made me think about all of those places in the Bible where other people met God, places where God performed miracles. He never wanted them to forget those locations.
Remember how God told the Israelites, after He led them through the middle of the Red Sea on dry land, to build a monument to this place so every time they came by it again, they never would forget the miracle He performed there. Another example is the night Jacob wrestled with God. God told him afterward to build a monument so he would never forget what happened in that place where he met God.
And so here, in Kansas, we have a memorial to a miracle, and a memorial to meeting God.
It made me review in my mind those places in my life where I met God. Once was at camp, another time at a friend’s house.
This might be an occasion for all of us to think about, “When did I really meet God?” What was the physical location and what was your state of mind? Or what about the place where you had some of the biggest miracles take place in your life, where you know God had done something on your behalf?
That place could be just as seemingly insignificant as a field in Kansas, but the testimony of those who perished in the tragedy of that field caught the attention of the world. More than 1,000 news organizations have reported this story, and the testimony of these five lives has been broadcast around the world.
I pray that, as you consider those places and moments where God met with you, where he stepped in and miraculously rescued you, you would honor those places in your heart and make a vow to live your life just as courageously, just as sold-out for the gospel, as those who met God face-to-face in that field.
Hannah is Walking!
I want to thank you all so much for praying! As we have heard from people praying from all around the world for Hannah’s recovery, she continues to be in the burn center of the KU Medical Center in Kansas City and is making significant progress. She’s still in quite a bit of pain, but she is beginning to use her limbs more. In fact, just yesterday she walked all the way to the visitors area and back without a walker, which is the first time she’s walked over the last three weeks.
Hannah continues to be encouraged by the many cards, letters, and gifts sent from all over. Even small gestures of generosity have moved Hannah deeply. Children have written her get-well letters, with their creative touch on them. Others who’ve been through similar traumas have written letters of encouragement, saying they’re praying for her.
In fact Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas called to encourage Hannah the other today. He said that, as he was passing through Chanute, KS the other day, people were still talking about the accident. Gov. Brownback listened to Hannah’s story and then prayed for her, and that really lifted her spirit.
We believe that today will be the first chance she’ll get to go outside for the first time in three weeks. She’s really looking forward to that. Her skin is tender and painful, and still is growing back. She has to work out regarding the functioning of her muscles, which, for all intents and purposes, have not been used in the last three weeks.
We anticipate moving Hannah Monday morning down to a hospital/rehab center in Dallas, Texas. As kind as all the people are in Kansas, I think we’re ready to get back to our home state.
Is the Church Really a Hospital?
Having spent the last two-and-a-half weeks almost completely living in the hospital where Hannah is being treated, I’ve been immersed in a whole new world. Whether it’s sleeping by Hannah’s bedside in the ICU night after night, or walking the halls and corridors of this incredible place, one thing has become glaringly apparent: Hospitals are full of hurting people.
We all know that people get injured, but when you’re living in hospital for several weeks of time, you begin to realize it’s a massive epidemic. People are in wheelchairs. They are young — some just children. Some are older. Some walk with a limp. Others have bandages. Some are rushing into the Emergency Room with obvious wounds. Some have just come out of surgery and are being wheeled down the hallway with multiple contraptions attached to them. Some have been there for years it appears, getting ongoing treatments.
It is interesting how hospitals attract hurting people. People realize they need help, know that something’s broken, and they cannot fix it by themselves. People are hurting everywhere. People are injured. People have got diseases. People have emergencies. And they all come to this central place. I wonder if we could put our glasses on, as it were, and see what all of humanity is going through, if they would all be in just as bad shape physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I wonder, if we could see through God’s eyes, would many of those we come into contact with every day look like they’re wandering the halls of a hospital, looking for a physician or someone who can give them some kind of help? I wonder, if our churches were really perceived as a place of healing, would these hurting people be streaming into our doors every week?
I wonder if many of them are already walking in our doors? We see them as “visitors” when really they’re checking to see if the Physician can help them.
I’m also amazed at all the people employed by hospitals who make them run. Of course there are innumerable medical employees – doctors of every sort, surgeons, specialists, nurses. There are counselors and psychiatrists, too, and people who specialize in wrapping people’s wounds and helping them manage pain.
They all sort of look the same. They all are either wearing scrubs or some kind of a white coat with stethoscopes around their in the necks, treating patient after patient. All of them know their jobs, and at the right point in treatment, they come in and execute their skills.
In addition to the medical personnel, there are the people who cook the food, the people who clean the dishes, people who work on the heating, and the air-conditioning, and the lights, and the building maintenance. Every single role is imperative in order for a single person to get well.
I begin to wonder if we as the body of Christ all understand the role that we play in the same way.
Do we know what part of the healing process we were designed to play in the Kingdom of God and in the lives of those who are hurting all around us? Have we been trained? Have we refined our skills? Are we on call, waiting for opportunities to reach the hurting people all around us?
It is true that Hannah would be waiting, would continue to wait, and would never progress to the next level of healing unless the next specialist walked into the room to assess, and then take her to the next level. I wonder how many more people would be helped and healed if we all similarly pursued our roles in God’s hospital, the Church?
I want to thank all of you who’ve prayed for Hannah, who’ve expressed your love and compassion for her in various creative ways. I cannot begin to tell you how much it has meant to Hannah, Katie and myself.
Over the weekend Hannah has progressed steadily, although she continues to battle bouts of pain in different parts of her body. It seems as though one drug will work for the pain for a while, and then the next day it won’t work and we’ll have to try something else.
It appears as though all of her grafts are taking, according to the doctor’s examination yesterday. We’re thanking God for that, as sometimes portions of grafts do not take and patients have to be operated on again. We are praying that no more operations are necessary and that she can continue to heal.
We have spent hours and hours reading cards and letters sent by well-wishers from all over. It’s been very encouraging for Hannah knowing she’s had so many people tell her how they’re praying for her. She still is in shock and asks, “How all these people know?”
As her wounds continue to heal, we’re beginning to look towards when we can transfer her to a Dallas hospital/rehab center. We should know more about that within the next 24 hours, and hopefully next week will be able to have the transfer complete.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Hannah, both for the physical side as well as the mental and emotional sides as she begins to pray and understand how to go forward now that all of this has transpired.
I’ve continued to reach out to the various family members of those that perished, and ask you to continue to pray for those family members. Pray that the Lord is healing their hearts and giving them perspective for the future. I have the greatest respect for each of them, and for each of the young men who gave their lives in the line of duty for the kingdom of God.
Hannah’s Continued Recovery
I wanted to share with you the latest on Hannah’s recovery and let you know just how much your prayers have meant to us.
Hannah has had a total of four skin graft surgeries, and she is recovering well. Doctors removed the tube from her throat and she is completely off of the respirator. She’s still heavily-medicated because of the pain, but we are hopeful that the pain will pass quickly. Her legs and right arm are immobilized until tomorrow to ensure the grafts adhere.
When Hannah is alert, she is joyful. She’s so overwhelmed by all of the cards and well-wishes she received and keeps asking “How did hey find out about me?”.
She seems to be doing better by the hour. She was able to drink today and hopefully will be eating tomorrow. As her grafts and donor sites heal, she will begin the process of physical therapy. Doctors estimate physical therapy could last two months.
Thanks so much for your love and prayers! It is sustaining Hannah and our whole family during this time. Please continue to pray for the families of the four men who died – the grieving process is long and difficult. Continue to love on them and lift them up to the Lord.
Reflections from a Hospital Room
Thank you all for praying for Hannah – I can’t tell you all how much it means. Hannah went through a 5 ½ hour surgery yesterday. The doctors said she did very well, and they did a lot of skin grafting. The whole process causes extreme pain for her, so since the surgery, she has been pretty heavily sedated. She is on a ventilator again and for the next couple of days, and tomorrow she goes in for another skin graft surgery. We think that may be the last one she’ll need to have.
I stayed the night in the room with her after her surgery, just to be with her, and she slept very well. A few times she woke up, and of course with a breathing apparatus, she can’t talk. So, she’s trying to write notes, expressing what she needs or how we can help her.
I anticipate in about another 10 days or so, we may be able to bring her back to Texas to be in a hospital in Dallas where she’ll be able to do rehab and physical therapy for the next month or two.
As I’m sitting with Hannah hour upon hour, watching every sort of technology known to the medical world connected to her body, I observed a paradox. As I’m looking at each device one at a time, I wondered about each piece and how much time, money, and investment it took to develop just THAT piece of technology. All of those devices and their various cords and lines are connected to Hannah to help her recover. Things are beeping, screens are flashing. Numbers are going up and down based on each of the tubes and wires connected to her, and I’m thinking about all of the people over who-knows-how-many years who have spent their lives doing research, and then refining their research, and about all of the money and time coming to bear right at this moment to restore Hannah’s health.
Then I think about the people who spend their lives becoming doctors and medical professionals to administrate each of those pieces of technology so that they’re used properly to restore Hannah. Then I think about the patient next door and the scenario is the same for that person, and for every patient on the entire floor of the hospital, and for every patient in the entire hospital. I think of all of the money and effort that’s been spent to save and restore those lives. Then I think of the thousands of hospitals across America and around the world, and the millions of medical professionals in various specific professions within the medical world.
Then I think about the multiple billions of dollars that governments and research agencies have invested all with the hope of saving a life. It seems like a massive investment, and it is, because we as the human race value life so much. People from all different religions and all different walks of life value life so much, somehow they think it’s worth investing in the medical industry, whether it’s medicine, or technology, or time, or learning the practice in order to save a life.
Then I think about a recipient of all of that technology and all of that investment. So here’s a patient with all of the cords plugged into them. Then I think about how many hospitals save how many lives every day and then restore lives to healthy functioning, and I’m wondering if that patient really understands the value of the investment. Sure, the hospital bills will come due, and insurance covers a lot of that in most cases. But even then, does that patient really understand that somebody valued them so much for so many years so that all that investment could be poured into them in that moment when they needed it the most? And once they are restored and out of the hospital, do they live in such a way that shows that they know that they were valued?
In other words, do they value their own life in such a way that they live to make it meaningful, or do they just think to themselves, “I sure am glad I have been given a few more years to live,” but then sit in front of the TV or a computer screen for the rest of their life?
I thought, what a vast juxtaposition. People who don’t even know these patients value them so much that they would give their life’s work, their careers, their money, and their passion to save the lives of strangers. And yet, so many people live without purpose and without making any kind of contribution. Even though their lives have been valued by others, they don’t value it themselves. They merely exist.
As Christians, you can see the metaphor clearly. God so valued us that He made a huge investment in us to save and restore our lives. Do we reciprocate? Do we value what He’s done in us to the point that we refuse to live a purposeless life? That we refuse to take that investment He’s made in us for granted?
As I think about this, I’m inspired to live a life that is more worthy of the sacrifice and the value that was placed on me. We could never live up to the value that was placed on us, or the whole sacrifice that was given for us. But at least we could attempt to live in a way that demonstrates our deep appreciation of the value God places on us. Our response should be to refuse to take this life for granted, but instead to live a life that makes a difference because we understand we were saved for a reason.
Extreme Race Photos
Extreme Race is hosted by Extreme Camps every spring and is open to anybody looking for a fun adventure race to run. It is a 10k (6.2 miles) through water, mud, obstacles, and wooded hills of Extreme Camps home base. Below is a glimpse of the finish line from the race.
Extreme Camps goes Mobile
ExtremeCamps.com is now optimized for smart phones. Scan the QR code to see for yourself.
We could be wrong, but we think we might be the first christian camp to make a mobile version of our website. Let us know if you see any others out there.
Teen Mania International
P.O. Box 619010
Dallas, TX 75261
To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take His life giving message to the ends of the earth.