I want to tell you a little bit about Mike. I don’t even know Mike’s last name (though I have heard it before) but Mike has played an important role at GLA. How so?
There were a number of years where GLA needed and hired security to ride with on airport runs. The atmosphere was such that there was concern about the safety in between the airport and the orphanage. Mike was a friend of the Bickel family and he ran a security company that provided that security. Let’s just say that I felt a lot more secure with Mike or one of his staff riding shotgun.
At the time of the earthquake, Mike and his wife and daughter were living at the Hotel Montana. Mike was working with the US Embassy providing security, training, advising and coordination. He was at work when the earthquake happened. He was not able to find out what happened to his wife or daughter for over 2 days.
It was known already on Tuesday night that the Hotel Montana (which was actually more like an apartment complex) was devastated by the earthquake. Many foreigners lives there and many of them died there. So, on Tuesday night, Mike already knew that the Hotel Montana had been devastated by the quake. But he did not know what happened to his wife and daughter in the quake. He was not able to find them for two days.
Can you imagine not knowing for 2 days what happened to your family? And still doing your job because you knew that others lives depended on you? That’s the kind of dedication I admire and respect very deeply.
As it turns out, Mike’s wife and daughter were safe. They were able to get out of the country and returned to Miami where it was a lot safer for them to live while the “dust” settled. While they were in Miami, Mike was working and staying at the US Embassy. When I say staying, he was working 18 to 20 hours a day and sleeping on a blanket on a cement floor inside the Embassy. Truly putting the needs of others, the needs of the children at God’s Littlest Angels and those injured and homeless above his own comfort and even his own needs.
While this was going on, I was talking to Laurie Bickel (Dixie’s daughter). She’s been a friend of Mike’s since high school and I asked her if Mike needed anything – was there anything that our supporters and our adoptive families could do to help him and show him a little of how grateful we are for what he is doing and has done? She said she’d talk to him and find out.
The next day, she came back and said, “Hey Tom, I talked to Mike and he said that all he needs is a laptop. He lost his in the collapse of the Hotel Montana and he uses it a lot to advise the Haitian police, to manage intelligence reports, to track trouble and clear routes and it is really hard for him to do his job without his own computer.” “I’m on it.”
So, I sat down and spent about 30 minutes writing out the story. I hit “submit” and posted it on the blog and then I sat back and waited.
20 minutes later, I got an e-mail from a lady in Florida – “Tom, I’ve got Mike’s computer, let me know the specs he wants and where to get it.”
20 minutes and someone heard Mike’s story, realized what he was giving up to help those who are less fortunate and the need was met.
That’s what I call a Front Row seat at watching God at work.