The 2010 earthquake in Haiti buried Renee Splichal Larson in concrete rubble, killing her husband and leaving her a widow at age 27. Surviving only to be overwhelmed by loss and trauma, she wondered if life was still possible for her. Even as she trained to become a pastor, her faith in a loving God was shaken and battered by the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and took the lives of many thousands. This is Renee's moving story of love, grief, survival, and new life. It is an account of the lives of three young people, their experience of the challenges, beauty, and hospitality of Haiti, and the tumult that overthrew all they held dear. After years of struggle and healing, aided by remarkable signs of the love and presence of God, Renee offers us an intimate look at her young romance, her experience of the earthquake, and the journey that followed. Most of all, she proclaims her hard-won witness: that in Christ, love and life conquer death. ""Renee Splichal Larson provides us with a story of hope in A Witness. It is a moving, heartfelt story that had to be told. It brings with it the visceral longings of life in the face of death, relief amid despair, light in darkness. Any who have ever known pain or loss can benefit from her story. She points us to the place that brought meaning when everything seemed lost: the foot of the cross."" --Paul E. Hoffman, Author, Faith Forming Faith ""A Witness testifies to the burning intensity of love that knew the richness and fullness of infinite possibilities--shared laughter, life, love of God, ministry, and music--and to love that knows a quaking earth, shattered buildings, and the crushing finitude of the death of many Haitians and Splichal Larson's young husband, Ben. Her sorrow embraces the fullness of resurrection hope and passionate new life. Splichal Larson witnesses to love that is stronger than death."" --Evon O. Flesberg, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling, Vanderbilt University ""Theodicy and martyrdom Theodicy: Why do bad things happen to good people--each precious one killed by the earthquake, including a young man with an exquisite soul named Ben? Martyrdom: Witness to Jesus Christ--not only in dying, but in living by thin prayer and fragile hope in God's promise beyond all theodicy --Craig L. Nessan, Academic Dean, Wartburg Theological Seminary ""Renee has written a beautiful book that bursts with life even as it faces tragedy and death. It shines with hope though it passes through heartbreak. She is profoundly generous to share her life with us like this on these pages. You'll cry with her, but also smile often. As Renee invites you to witness what she has witnessed, you'll be inspired in your faith, your love, and your life."" --Kent Annan, Co-Director of Haiti Partners; Author, Slow Kingdom Coming Renee Splichal Larson is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Born and raised in North Dakota, Renee is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, and Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. She is married to Jonathan Splichal Larson, who is also a pastor in the ELCA, and their son is named Gabriel. Renee and Jon are both survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. A Witness is Renee's first book.
Jennifer Agee is a freelance editor. Her MA is from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Systematic Mythology is her first book.
Norma Cook Everist is Professor of Church and Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. She also has served as guide and mentor to many pastors struggling with conflict. She is author of The Church As Learning Community and editor of Ordinary Ministry, Extraordinary Challenge, published by Abingdon Press.