Posted by on Oct 18, 2010 in Blog, News & Updates | 1 comment

We did our survival training in the pool on Saturday. After getting up and leaving at 5am we drove into Tyler, broke off into two groups, and jumped in the pool.

Aaron Reide righting a survival raft

Aaron flipped the raft in record time. A necessity if the ship is sinking and the rafts inflate upside down. A bit scary for a moment when it hits you in the face though.

Sitting in a survival raft wearing gumby suits

The rafts get even more crowded when wearing full body survival suits, also known as Gumby Suits.

Jay Swanson floating in a Gumby Suit

These provide for great photo opportunities as well. Although they’re incredibly hot inside and not necessarily advisable for summer wear, they’re going to extend your life expectancy considerably when in the water. Say from a few minutes in near freezing water to a few hours.

Donovan Palmer and Jay Swanson in Gumby Suits

We jumped in, hooked our feet into armpits, and swam around like a giant water caterpillar to safety. It was a lot of fun.

Anyways, tomorrow we fly out for Haiti. In fact we’re leaving the base at 5am tomorrow so it’s T-11 hours right now. Prayers for safety, rest, and safe travel would be greatly appreciated! I probably won’t be able to get online for the next two weeks, so unless I get some blog posts to automatically publish this will be my last one until November.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my mom’s recent prayer Email:

On Tuesday the group heads out for their field service in Haiti. It promises to be 2 1/2 weeks of sweltering heat in a physically and spiritually tough place. It’s been said that Haiti is a difficult place to live on a good day. And that was before January’s devastating earthquake.

With the loss of 250,000 lives and a million people left homeless, there was and still is a lot for our team to tackle. Mercy Ships only partners with established groups who are well-accepted.  Mission of Hope Haiti is one such organization. They provide a large school, a home for orphans, a medical clinic and feed thousands. They have effectively used the resources that have been given. The media has moved on to the latest crisis but there are still great needs in Haiti.

Thanks again for your prayers! I’ll post updates as soon as I can!