This Sunday we went to church with Warren's colleague.  We typically don't go to to church here.  In fact, this is the first time we went to church in Suva.  We loved our Unitarian church in Atlanta, but there is nothing like that here, so we've found our spirituality in other ways here.  However, Warren's colleague invited us to go along with her to church since it was Father's Day here and we agreed.   In the morning we both laid in bed, debating do we really want to go?  Was there any way we could get out of going?  But...in the end, we felt guilty not going with her, feeling like it was rude to turn down her invitation and wanting to take part in the cultural exchange of going to church here in Fiji.

We all got dressed up....not sure what we were walking into.  Would we all be sitting on the floor?  Would the service be in Fijian?  Large congregation?  As it turns out, it was a small congregation with a very international feel.  There were flags from every country all around.  We were in chairs and the service was in English.  The service was all about fathers (being it was Father's Day here).  The pastor invited any father who felt compelled to come to the front of the church and share a story or his testimony.   The first man went to the front and honestly the only thing I remember from what he said was that as dads, "We own our wives and children.  This ownership is a big responsibility."  I immediately glanced at Warren and mouthed, "You don't own me."   If anyone saw me they may be offended, but he smiled back and I felt blessed to be with a man who is a feminist and who truly believes in gender equality.

After about 10 minutes, the next gentleman walked to the front with his bible.  Warren said he was starting to get worried he would get called up, so he started to prepare something in his head just in case.  (We were the obvious visitors/outsiders).   Anyway, he spoke for about 5-7 minutes and in the middle of his testimony, he collapsed.   He fell to the side and went straight to the floor.  He hit his head on the way down so there was some blood.   He was shaking.  The whole congregation gasped and I immediately hit Warren saying, "Go help him!"  I don't know why I hit Warren and didn't run up to him myself.  Warren said he was glad I hit him because he was in shock, paralyzed.   My tap sprung him into action.   This all took place in a split second. He was running to the front of the church along with several others.  Things seemed like they were moving in slow motion.  I looked down at Andie and she was shaking.  She was close to tears and she told me she was really scared.  She said, "Mommy, please get me out of here.  I'm so scared."  So, I immediately started walking her towards the exit while asking people around me to call a doctor or an ambulance.  Everyone just looked stunned.   I tried to get Zoe to come with us towards outside, but she said she wanted to stay.  I was in a hurry to get Andie out as she was pulling on me and shaking so I just made the split second decision to let Zoe stay there knowing Warren was there.

I took Andie outside and kept telling her it's ok.  I reminded her that she was safe and that an ambulance would be there soon (knowing Suva and the stories I've heard, the ambulance usually takes around 30 minutes so I wan't entirely sure how long it would take.)  Andie just kept asking me if the man would be ok, and I could only say, "I hope so." I reassured her and reassured her and reassured her that help was on the way.  She then started crying and asked if Daddy and Zoe were ok in there with him and could they catch what he has.   Of course....I should have thought of this.  Kids don't understand the big picture.  Of course she would be scared for herself and her family.  Immediately I assured her that our family is fine.  We are all safe.  There is no way that Daddy or Zoe can catch what happened to this man and that we are all going to be ok.  She kept asking me how positive am I, what percent sure am I?  "100% " I told her.   She started to relax, especially once we heard the siren for the ambulance.  The ambulance actually only took about 10-15 minutes.  We saw the paramedics run in and carry the man down the stairs.  He was conscious and a little confused.  He smiled and Andie immediately felt relieved.

They whisked him away in the ambulance and we started to walk back inside.  Warren was there and he looked very shaken.  Some of the congregation said to me, "Thank God you were here. It was a miracle." I didn't know what they were talking about but I just smiled.   Within a few minutes, I figured out that while Andie and I were outside, everyone was singing and praying around the man.   At that point, Warren's colleague started doing chest compressions, but too low (more towards his stomach).  Warren was taking his pulse (there was none) and asked someone to call an ambulance.  He moved his colleagues hands over the gentleman's sternum and while she did compressions he did mouth to mouth breathing.  He said that the man was not breathing nor did he have a pulse.  His skin was cold and he was lifeless.  After four cycles of the compressions and the rescue breath, he began to breathe again!   Warren and his colleague knew CPR and they saved his life!

Afterwards, others said it was a miracle....but it was science and preparation.  They knew CPR.  They had taken the courses.  Maybe it was a miracle that we were there.... without Warren and his colleague (who told us she would not have gone to church either had we not gone) the man would probably have died.  It's all so surreal.   None of us can stop thinking about it.  Andie has wavered between talking about it non-stop and asking tons of questions, to exclaiming, "I never want to talk about this again! It was so scary!"   Zoe has been quiet about it all....and Warren and I are still in a bit of shock.  

After church we ate lunch with the congregation and everyone just sat there stunned.   It was a very quiet lunch.  Everyone was so kind to us and so appreciative.  We then went to a market and Warren went into work.  Again, everything just felt surreal.  We found out that night that the man had been released from the hospital and everything was ok.  He has a heart condition and diabetes and needs to be taking his medicine regularly.

All I can say is "Wow."  And, "Get CPR certified."  I need to renew my certification and I want to do it ASAP.    You never know when you may need it.

This was right after we left church at the museum market.  Looking at us, you'd never know what just happened.  

A little art therapy at museum market after church.