It was a different world when Air Force Maj. Ken Bourland landed in Haiti on January 12. He was making a quick visit for a disaster-preparedness relief course, and checked in with his family via the internet upon his arrival. Then, everything changed.
After an agonizing search, which this blog followed closely, the Bourland family has confirmed that the 37-year-old husband, father, and son died in Haiti's catastrophic earthquake. According to to his family, his body was recovered on Sunday in the rubble of the Hotel Montana. Throughout this unimaginable ordeal, I have been astonished by the strength of Ken's family, which has been on display on a Facebook group called "Praying for the rescue of Ken Bourland." As Maj. Bourland's mother wrote, faith is giving his mourning relatives guidance and comfort.
"As you all know by now, God has revealed his will to us," Adrienne Davis Bourland said on Facebook. "Ken is with our Lord! Ken's body was found Sunday morning and recovered within a few hours. Peggy, Chance, Kellie, Dennis and I went to Dover Air Force Base yesterday to receive Ken's body from Haiti. We were escorted by Gen. Fadok. He and Mrs. Fadok have been very gracious to us, as have many others. Thank you all for loving 'on us'. We are sad but Ken is with Jesus!"
Peggy Bourland, Ken's wife, also posted in the group about the devastating news her family received.
"Today was a difficult day. My precious husband is with Jesus and will be missed and forever in my heart and thoughts."
Ken is also survived by two young sons, a stepson, and a sister.
It is difficult to accept or understand why these children have been challenged to grow up without a dad, or why so many Haitian youths are orphaned because of this shocking tragedy. Yet when you see a family like the Bourlands show such tenacity and unshakeable belief in God, even in their darkest days, a glimmer of hope begins to flicker through the rubble. Perhaps it is shining from above, because of a man who dedicated his life to serving others. Rest in peace, Maj. Ken Bourland.