Last week was a bittersweet memory for me as looked forward for my friend and long time mentor Dr. Vic Binkley to be able to return to Haiti just one last time. His dying wish was to get here one last time and through my friends Wendy Bonnell , Holly Schrader and Shelly Hedrick we were able to grant that wish through the donation of some private jets.
I picked them up at the airport in Port au Prince on Friday Feb. 5 but by Sat. afternoon it was apparent that Vic wouldn't be able to stay through the week as planned and we started making arrangements to get a plane in to take him and Donna back home. They left on Monday evening to catch a 9:30 pm flight back to Indiana. I had left Pierre Payen a few minutes before they departed to buy some bread at the street market in Montrouis it was about 7:30 pm and as they passed by me in their car Vic rolled down the front passenger window and shook my hand and said good bye it was our final conversation.
On Friday Feb. 12th at about 3:30 as I was heading back to Pierre Payen from Borel I received the call that Vic had passed away at 1:15 that afternoon. Maybe fate has nothing to do with it but it was the one month anniversary of what Vic called the worst day of his life the news of Haiti's devastating quake and the doctors report that his cancer was spreading.
As I think about his passing and that I most likely won't be able to attend his memorial service it came to mind that I alone may have the ultimate eulogy to give to his lifetime of service. As his successor I have not only the opportunity to carry on his lifetime love and efforts to establish a great health facility in Haiti but to expand it beyond even what he may have imagined.
God works in ways we don't understand I'm not a surgeon like Vic my abilities to serve lie in working with others and getting them to get involved by encouraging them. I think the term networking is probably the best way to describe how I get thinks done. So when I knew I would be taking over the leadership of Project Help-Haiti I contacted my friends Drs. Ric and Wendy Bonnell they are what I would call the masters of networking.
We were in the preliminary stages of getting a plan in place to develop a medical/surgical program to carry on Dr. Binkleys work when the quake hit Haiti. The disaster just gave us a jump start to get things moving in the right direction . Yes Vic's lifetime of service is going to go on and it is our intention that even before this year ends we will have finished with what Vic intended to be Phase 2 of the Pierre Payen Hospital, that is the best way I can eulogize my friend and missions mentor.