Texas Tech 2016 Day 4…

Hi everyone! Emily here. Fourth year in and I finally decided to give blogging a try! Today was a hard day, to say the least. Yesterday, I was sick and slept literally the entire day so I came into today a little weak and not really sure what to expect. But everyone was so incredibly helpful and sweet!

My small group (Scott, Josh, Cody, Kelly, Ashley, Claire, and Sara) had our construction day today! We spent the whole morning putting together a Gaga-ball pit (I don’t even know what the heck Gaga-ball is, but I hear it’s fun), only to find out in the last hour we had done it completely wrong and had to dismantle the whole thing. It was frustrating to say the least! But,special shout-out to Josh and Cody who worked super hard. During this time Scott worked in the clinic and Ashley and Sara helped put up decals in Asher and Levi’s bedroom, but we don’t resent them for being in the A/C ;).

After a delicious lunch, which featured some whole fish heads in the stew, we hiked over to Calvert for VBS and Teen Conference! Anna got to take a moto because of her ankle, which she said was super fun! Today, VBS was all about animals! The kids loved hearing Jacob and Scott make monkey and goat noises as we told the story of Noah’s Ark! We then went outside and hokey-poked real hard before doing a quick craft with some pipe cleaners and sending the kids home. It is always so wonderful to see the joy the Haitian kids get out of a simple game or craft. I am in awe of my teammates that have a special touch with children! It is such a joy to see them love these little babes so well.

From what I heard the Teen Conference had more Haitians than yesterday, which is beyond awesome! Kelly, Cody, and myself spoke today about Jesus being “the solution” and I think we did pretty dang great! We really focused on the metaphor of Jesus being the Lamb of God and how he was the perfect sacrifice. I hear these words all the time, but I know they carry a different weight in Haiti, where sacrifice is a real and present thing.

After the talk we tried to split into small groups and this is where it got a little hairy. The guys and gals wanted to stay together and it quickly became clear there were too many cooks in the kitchen on both ends. Furthermore, all of the questions felt almost confrontational. It was a lot of “is this a sin, is that a sin”. This happens in America too, when presented with the Gospel people want to accept it, but also want it to conform to the lives they already live.

Unfortunately, there is no clear handbook how to please God. We cannot give the Haitians a checklist of things to do and guarantee that they will enter into Heaven. But, even through the heat and frustrations, GOD IS GOOD! All we can do is continue to seek Him and have faith that He will be seen and heard through our actions and words. As I type these words and listen to Carson and Molly lead worship, I am just so reminded of the goodness of the Lord.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

We are such broken vessels and still the Lord chooses to use us to spread His glory. That is the most beautiful thing I can think of! Praise Him!

Please continue to pray for:

–       Health for the team.

–       Wisdom to be spoken.

–       Grace to be given freely, both between the Haitians and the team.

–       Vulnerability.

–       The Lord to shine from our very faces!

We love y’all. We can’t wait to get home and tell y’all all the things the Lord has been showing us! We can’t get enough of your comments, please leave more :)! Susan loves reading all the “y’all’s”!!

I love and miss everyone,


P.S. Patrick the Rat has been spotted multiple times and even ate some Reese’s Pieces. SOS.


Hey guys! It’s Carson and Emma and we just want y’all to know that…..”WE’RE IN HAITI!!!!!” Oh and I, Carson, ate a mango off the floor yesterday! It still tasted good.


Brad and Randy’s Daily Adventure (Really we are Two Real Men On An Mission Without Chaco’s™)

Imagine this. A ring of roosters (Rooster cukaroo) are angry because they are not wearing Chaco’s. You know who else isn’t wearing Chaco’s on this trip? The ocean? A palm tree? A hermit crab on the beach we found? Brad and Randy? As Christians our mission is to spread the gospel to all nations wearing awesome footwear. However, some people think it’s all about the Chaco’s. We call these people Chacians (Cha-Ki-ens) or Christians that wear Chaco’s.

As Randy and Brad are on mission, interacting with Haitians with our teammates, we feel inferior because of our lack of stylish footwear. Can we really spread the same truths without an $80 pair of sandals? Jesus wore sandals. Were they Chaco’s? Quite possibly. Bible scholars and historians have debated this issue along with pre-destination for thousands of years. We may never know. But it is safe to assume, that we should have Chaco’s.

As we prepare for our 4am alarm clock from the Roosters, we are assured that they don’t have Chaco’s or common sense, and God is awesome, because we can relate to that- we don’t have  Chaco’s or common sense either.

When life gives you Chickens and Chaco’s, one is dinner and the other is footwear. You decide which.





Please feel free to leave comments. Comments will be read each night at dinner.


  1. Brad and Randy, you rock even if you don’t have chaos! Emily’s Mom.
    Emily, we loved your blog! I continue to pray for all of you. ( or as we say here all y’all).

  2. Wesley foundation! Praying for you guys this week love you all and know y’all are truly making a differences!
    P.S. Marissa Konde my life this week is utterly boring without you!

  3. I firmly believe that Jesus wore Chacos. No. Doubt.

    Praying for y’all daily. I love reading these everyday and seeing what the Lord has been doing.

  4. Way to go Texas Tech team! I am inspired by ya’ll each and everyday that I read your blog and see those awesome pictures of you spreading God’s love! Agape love!!! That’s what you all have! It’s the highest form of love-unconditional love that transcends and serves ALL regardless of circumstances. Praying that you are able to rest in your time of rest and for strength and good health as you serve the Haitian people and that God’s grace abounds. I can’t imagine your strength, because all of us here in the Texas Panhandle are complaining about the hour of sleep we lost because of the time change!! May God Bless each of you in a special way! Love and Prayers! Jodie

    P.S. Love you Ty! 🙂

  5. great work keep it up sounds like you are having fun and teaching at the same time God is Great yes He is may God be with you be safe and be there for all

  6. Shout out to my hubs & precious girl!! Love and miss you both. Maddux is sad he isn’t there this year and misses it! Sounds like y’all are having some amazing adventures amongst the frustrations, injuries & illnesses, rats, and footwear controversies. I was laughing at the Chaco issue b/c I posted on FB while sitting in the airport on my way to Nicaragua that since I had on Chacos, I must be on my way to do missions. lol. I’m guessing I would have been able to serve regardless. I’m praying for the team, the Haitians, as well as the Castillos, Miss Beth, Miss Susan & all the other great people serving and working at the Mole. Love you all. Jodie/Momma

  7. Howdy Ya’ll! So glad you blogged Emily, great job and good to hear from you and hear how things are going in Haitian land. Sorry you have not felt well. Praying for all the request you listed. May the Holy Spirit surround each of you from the top of your heads to the bottom of your feet, may you feel His love and presence every moment and know His peace and love and grace as you minister to the Haitian people. I am so proud of you all for giving up your spring break to show God’s love to the Haitian people. Well done, good and faithful college students servants! I love you all so much, Penny

  8. Shout out to my girl, the one and only, Emily Gardner! Being sick far away from home is the worst, and I know you’re out there trying to power through it, but hey remember that you have done WELL leading this trip already. I’m so proud of you! Take care of yourself, Em.

    Somebody get Brady and Brad some water. It’s starting to sound like they’ve got that dehydrated fuzzy brain going on.

    Anna, you are so awesome for sticking it out on this trip even with your messed up ankle! (If I could put emojis in this, I would put the praise hands right here.)

    Hal Fartin’ and Wesley fam, it’s pretty creepy up here when I’m the only one around. The elevator just opens on it’s own sometimes, like…what even?! So I’m looking forward to next week when y’all are back…even Khalil :p

    I love reading about what all y’all are doing, and really what God is doing in Haiti. Praying for God to sustain weak and tired bodies to continue loving and serving well, for God to be made known through the words and actions of His people, for the Haitian people to keep asking questions…for them to keep seeking truth, and for this trip to be, in the words of Parker, a game changer. Praying that God would meet YOU right where you are and that you would respond. How cool is it that the Father is seeking you out in the same moment he’s using you to seek out another…

    Y’all are loved and missed! I’ll see your beautiful sunburned faces soon! Peace & Blessings! Amen! Bye!

  9. y’all should really invest in a pair of chacos before Jesus comes back. you silly sloths.
    Emily, I loved your sweet words and miss your sweet face! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS! keep slothing around.


  10. Lord, You are sovereign over rats and roosters. We humbly ask that you would keep the roosters from crowing until 7 am and please have Pat go somewhere else until Sunday. But, if Your wisdom knows that roosters crowing at 4am and Pat visiting and the team handling it will give You more glory, we thank you for Pat and the roosters and the grace you will give the team to survive them. Lord, as always, it’s Your call. But, as your children we’re asking for you to remove that difficulty please.

    We are praying for health, endurance and for Christ to walk in the whole team this week. Thank you for the moto for Anna. We’re praying for that ankle too.

    We’re praying for the whole team and especially Anna and you too Scott since you’re the only other person on the team we’ve met!

    “Blessed are the feet (even those wearing Chacos) of those who bring good news”

    David, Laura and Martha Zimmerman (Anna’s family)

  11. We are so proud of the work our Red Raiders are doing for the Haitians! You are spreading God’s word to help them grow spiritually, and your hard work is helping them physically. We love reading the updates and the pictures are so touching! We continue to pray for the team and Haitians!

    We love & miss you Emma…and we are proud of you for being part of such a special group!

    The Mathiasmeier’s (Mom, Dad, Ben, Jacob & Luke)

  12. Emily, You are so privileged to be chosen to plant seeds in such fertile ground. I know that the Spirit will water and cultivate where you have been and the results will be blessed and beautiful. Grandma Gaylehoward

  13. I am so glad to read this particular blog since my son is in Emily’s group. It was very nice hearing what all you have done for the children. I think about your group every day and pray for your safety and health. I also pray that the people will be receptive to God’s word.

  14. I am loving all of the blog posts!! I love this quote by Brené Brown that says… “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.”
    Vulnerability can be a scary but greattttt thing that only produces good for those around you and yourself. When you’re willing to be vulnerable and authentic, it almost seems to start a chain reaction because of the GOOD that comes from it.
    I am praying for you and your team!! Tell Khalil that I miss him a lot but I can’t wait to hear all about what Jesus taught Him while he’s there! 🙂

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