‘Focus on the task at hand’

POSTED ON 2010-02-09
  by David Bell

Missionary pilot Clif Huntting has been flying with Missionary Flight International to provide logistical and medical support for the relief effort in Haiti.

The NTM Aviation pilot has been flying Fort Piece, Florida, to Port-au-Prince, delivering food and water as well as medical supplies and equipment.

"My brother and I were able to support Mission Aviation Fellowship on the ground by bringing in needed generator parts, tools and medical supplies for their missionaries on the ground," Clif wrote, "and by simply bringing the people fresh oranges and bottled water each day."

"We were able to link up with another NTM Aviation pilot, Zach Keller, who is flying for Samaritan Air in Port-au-Prince by supplying him with fresh water and oranges, as well as backpacks, clean clothes, and messages and care packages from home. We were also the lifeline for many of the local clinics and orphanages with which missionaries were involved."

One flight carried a mother and daughter to Florida where the daughter was going to stay with a cousin indefinitely. Clif watched tears flow from the daughter’s eyes as she gave the missionary a big hug and boarded the airplane, unsure of when she would be back.

On another day Clif flew a woman with a crushed leg back to Fort Pierce, where she was transported to a local hospital. She was being sponsored by a surgeon in North Carolina and arrangements were being made to have her transported there in an attempt to save her leg.

"These stories are just a couple out of the tens of thousands who were affected in Haiti," Clif wrote. "No family in Port-au-Prince was unaffected. Every person I talked to had lost someone close to them and desperation was evident everywhere."

One American man who had flown in with a medical team early on told Clif that he was now running an orphanage and had just handed out his last bits of food and had been out of water for a day. The man pleaded with Clif to help. Clif said that he would bring in a couple of flats of water and a box of oranges the next day.

"This was the norm," wrote Clif, "and we were overwhelmed with the need. What do you do in that kind of situation? I still don’t know. I have not been able to process the things I saw and heard, and while there I coped by maintaining a kind of tunnel vision. I had to focus on the task at hand, to stay safe and to get as much done as we possibly could.

"Pray for the people there, because now they face the greater danger of infection and disease, as well as the need for food and water. Life for them is simply trying to exist."      

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