Update on Recent Tragedy from Ron & Katie Luce
Dear Family and Friends,
As you may have seen or heard in the news media over the weekend, this last Friday afternoon a small plane carrying five passengers crashed in rural southeastern Kansas en route to an Acquire The Fire event in Council Bluffs, Iowa. So it is with a heavy heart that I stop for a moment to write this quick note—to update you on the situation and ask for your prayers.
As you would expect, the last couple of days have been a blur of shock and sadness and concern. But I know that reports of this tragedy have been all over the news and that as a friend of this ministry you would be profoundly concerned. So I wanted to get a quick note to you now to share our hearts and to help you know how to pray in the days ahead.
There is much we don’t yet know. But we do know that when the plane went down, three of the five on board died at the scene. These were (pilot) Luke Sheets, Garrett Coble and Stephen Luth. Hannah and the fifth passenger, Austin Anderson, a Marine who had served two tours of duty in Iraq, were able to escape from the burning plane and walk to a nearby roadway to get help.
However, both Hannah and Austin suffered severe injuries and were life-flighted to hospitals in Kansas City and Wichita, respectively. Hannah was listed in serious but stable condition, suffering primarily from burns on 28% of her body. Austin’s burn injuries were far more severe, especially those sustained to his lungs. At about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Austin went to be with the Lord.
We believe he helped Hannah out of the plane and to the roadside. Not only is he a hero for serving our nation, we probably owe our daughter’s life to his courage and strength.
Of course, the entire Teen Mania family is mourning the loss of these four young lives. They were so full of promise and love for God. All were friends of Teen Mania, and two of them, Austin and Stephen, were only recently hired to join our marketing team. Katie and I will share additional updates as we can. For now I would ask that you help us by lifting some very specific needs to the Father in prayer.
Right now our most intense concern is for the families of those who died. Please pray that God surrounds the families of Austin, Stephen, Luke and Garrett with His supernatural love and peace in this tremendously difficult time.
Also, as the Lord leads, please pray for a quick and supernatural recovery for our Hannah. As of today, the update on her condition is one of improvement. She is recovering well at a hospital in Kansas City. This morning, the doctors took her off the ventilator and she is breathing on her own. They have removed the tube from her throat so that she will be able to speak. She is growing stronger, more coherent and is asking questions. The burning and soot in her lungs has been suctioned out and is healing up. The doctors are reporting the damage will not be long term.
It is truly a miracle that she is alive. Grief counselors will be seeing Hannah throughout the next few weeks; as her heart is heavy with the grief for the loss of her friends. She will be beginning skin graft surgeries right away for the third degree burns she sustained on the back of her hands and her lower left leg.
Please hold us up in prayer. If you have friends or loved ones whom you know to be effective intercessors, please feel free to forward this message to them with an encouragement to lift us up.
For Daily Updates on Hannah Please See Ron’s Blog:
Ron and Katie