JACKSON (CBS13) – Halfway around the world, a family connecting in the midst of tragedy.
Kelly Churchill and her girls finally got to see their dad via FaceTime 11,000-feet up Mount Everest, where the death toll from the Nepal earthquake continues to climb.
“My story could be much different right now, which breaks my heart for so many others,” Kelly said.
A couple days ago, Charleton Churchill sent his family a video of him and his friends crossing a bridge leading to a base camp on Mount Everest.
But the next video he sent was of the bridge about to give way.
“He said that he just watched as two buildings collapsed. People were jumping out of windows to get to safety,” Kelly said.
They don’t know when dad will return home, but there’s something bigger holding them together: faith
“I have had perfect peace, and I can’t explain it. It’s not something I get on my own,” Kelly said.
Her husband planned the trip to photograph his friend’s wedding.
The celebration didn’t happen. But, he took pictures of the couple with views of rubble – turning ashes into beauty, Charleton told us over the phone.
“My husband actually prayed that God would send him there for a big purpose, not knowing that this would be the way it would turn out,” Kelly said.
It’s one of his greatest challenges ever.
Sleep is almost impossible; the aftershocks are terrifying. There’s little food to go around and no heat.
“No heaters. This is third world,” Charleton said.
Even while he’s stranded with thousands on that vulnerable mountain, even through a small screen, he’s their rock.
“I’m good. I got faith.”