My throat constricted again, and my chest tightened.
It was getting harder to breathe, and I choked on the darkness.
And then suddenly…I knew.
I was dead.
-Dan Woolley, excerpt from Unshaken
You and I first met Dan (aka webguydan) in El Salvador. Dan came along with our blog bunch to El Salvador to collect more stories and images for a site he was building Compassion. But he came home with more than that: new friends…and video proof that he and I are too old to play soccer.
The El Salvador blogging team and I started spreading the word on-line as soon as we heard Dan was missing. And you joined us.
We feared the 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti on January 12, 2010 may have taken Dan but we prayed and hoped and, thankfully, thousands of you did too.
Dan was found alive 65 hours later in an elevator under the six stories of rubble formerly known as Hotel Montana. Brave rescuers from Virginia risked their lives to bring him to the surface. His body was scratched and sore, his leg badly lacerated to the bone and broken. But alive. Reunited with his wife and boys soon after.
That’s all the story most of the world knew. But there’s much more to tell.
I just finished reading an advanced copy of Unshaken Dan generously shared with me. It was easier to hand me a book than to answer all my questions one by one!
It’s the story of what happened in those 65 hours underground. And much more. Being broken and buried alive for nearly three days wasn’t the darkest night Dan walked through.
But no matter the depth of his darkness, Dan has never been alone.
This message is deftly communicated without veering off into shallow cliches and empty platitudes spun for some Sunday school class.
Dan is vulnerable and as honest as is healthy with total strangers. His openness opened a window on my own broken places and I believe God will use this book to do the same for thousands more.
Unshaken is for anyone who loves a good suspenseful story and for anyone swallowed by darkness today or walking someone else through theirs. For anyone halfway living, in need of resurrection from the doldrums of dutiful religion and dispassionate relationships. For anyone seeking inspiration and evidence that God is unshaken by all that shakes us.
Unshaken releases January 12, 2011. To pre-order Unshaken visit DanWoolley.net.
You’ll see and hear a lot more about Dan and Haiti here in the days ahead. He’s asked me to return to Haiti with him in January. He will be speaking with media there about his story and I’ll be showing the world how donations to Compassion’s disaster relief fund were used to care for Compassion’s thousands of sponsored children affected by the quake. Stay tuned for more details. And please, begin praying for us now.