Texas Tech Day 4…

Friends, family, and people of the internet: Hi! I’m currently writing this with a dog in my lap and my heart is so happy. Today was our first official day of work. Each small group had a different task for the first half of the day. One did construction, one did a VBS, and one did hut-to-hut evangelism.

My group started with hut to hut. We walked to a village called Karenage, which is a fishing village right off the beach. Sidenote: the water here is BEAUTIFUL. So, we went around just talking to people, getting to know them, and then praying with them, over them, and for them.

We explained who we were and told them they could ask us if they had any questions about Jesus or The Gospel. I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous for today. I had no idea how to even begin the conversations but once we got there it became natural.

We met a man named Senior. When talking to him, he invited us over to his home and we got to hear about his kids and just his life. When we asked his prayer requests, he began to tell us that he’s getting ready to leave a situation and he just wants it to be safe and that he can feel comforted. I then placed my hand over him and we prayed. Seeing his face light up with joy when we prayed gave me chills. Simply letting someone know that you care and you are praying for them is so powerful.

Walking through the village I was speechless. You can hear about how the people live, but when you actually walk through it and experience, it is a completely different feeling. I just ask that whoever is reading this, that you say a prayer for the Haitians. Many, many had unspoken prayer requests, but they did ask for prayer.

After lunch, we had a VBS with the young kids and then a teen conference. We sang songs, made bracelets, and then played some games. Also, didn’t realize how much line dancing barefoot hurt but I’m pretty sure after the first three dances my feet went numb and that’s how I could keep doing the next 30 min worth of dancing. SO MUCH DANCING, I LOVE IT.

The smile and laughter of these kids is simply contagious and instantly fills your heart. I have experienced God through each of these kids because they way they are so on fire for the Lord makes me want to be that much more on fire.

After VBS we hosted a teen conference. Amelia spoke first (and did great) and then Hayden and I gave our “sermon” over accepting a relationship with The Lord. Through this talk and in our small groups, God even reminded me of how good He is.

In our small groups some girls asked us why people don’t trust God and why should we trust God? At first I didn’t know what to say but then I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:10. This verse is a go-to for me because it’s saying that you will suffer. But, once you’ve suffered, God WILL restore you and strengthen you. Suffering is a part of life and it’s not caused by God, but if we trust in Him and live for Him, He will restore us and strengthen us to where we need to be.

And I thought I was saying that to help our sweet girls, but God really used that time to convict me and remind me that even though I’ve been struggling, He is good and He’s going to restore me one day.

I’m so excited for the rest of the week to see what God has in store for the people of Haiti, our team, and myself. Big things are happening and it’s only day one.

Just some fun facts: yes, I’ve been able to eat chicken. Lots of chicken. No chicken nuggets, but this chicken is 10x better. I did not know I could produce so much sweat. And, line dancing is a million times harder in skirts and no shoes. I’m so excited to come back and share all of the stories but also I never want to leave. God is just confirming my call to missions and ministries and I’m so thankful for His assurance.

Peace out, y’all.

Abby Pursley

P.S.

1. S/O to Julie and Wayne and Gigi and Bill for the comments. Much appreciated and I’m sorry my dog ate your shoe… you should have put it up….

2. Everything hurts. I’m still not recovered from Powderpuff, honestly. Tip: don’t play powderpuff before you leave for a mission trip. YOU NEED REST.

3. ShaeLee and B-White, if you see this, I’ll see you soon and you better be ready for all the chicken nuggets and queso.

***

Hello hello!

Shannon here with y’all tonight! Before I tell you about the best day ever, I have 3 mighty groans that I need to express to y’all.

1. Everything hurts and I’m dying.

2. God played a huge prank on us and stopped the wind ALL day.

3. Everything hurts and I’m dying.

Now, with that being said, TODAY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. It was our first day of jam-packed work, and our group was anxious to get started. My group was on Construction duty.

Our job was to take the truck with down the road and pick up the giant rocks on the side of the road, load them into the truck, and unload them into “The Pit”. Meanwhile, we needed to move one pile of sand from one side of the building to the other so they could mix cement.

Audrey and I were “voluntold” by Al to load up with the men on the trunk to help with the loading of the rocks while the rest of us stayed to move sand. My first thought was “Um, I’m sorry. Have you seen these noodles I call my arms?? Take a gander.” But nevertheless, climbed aboard.

Our group was working with the handful of Haitian gentlemen who were very gracious to our unknowingness. They showed us how to make an assembly line to move the rocks from the pile to the truck most efficiently. After a few almost broken toes and “Holy Crap”s, we had loaded the rocks and ourselves to head back to the mission.

It was incredible to see the diligence with which these men did their job. They’re in the middle of construction for a nursing home for the mission. No hard hats, no state of the art tools, no steel toed boots. They worked beautifully, selflessly, and tirelessly. It was humbling to watch and made me want to do this job with a passion to make them proud.

While we let the men unload the rocks, we joined the other women of the group in the efforts to move the sand pile. Shout out to these girls (Caroline, Kelly, Averie, Bailey, and Erika) because they were shoveling and moving sand in the blistering sun with NO WIND.

On our second run to get rocks, it seemed as though we had stirred the community down the way. People had come out of their houses to create piles for us on the side of the road. It took me back a little bit and God kind of said to me, “That’s what we’re here for”. These people really had no reason to come out of their homes on a no wind day to move heavy rocks in the relentless sun, for a bunch of strangers. My heart was convicted.

When I see a need in my own world, do I run to help because I can, or do I duck my head and stay in the comfort zone? Honestly, the latter. God was saying “Love your neighbor like I ‘ve told you to a bajillion times!!!!!” (yes, God says bajillion). It was the parable of the Good Samaritan come to live and it was astounding. We hopped on the truck to load the piles. All of a sudden I felt as though I was hurting the process instead of helping. So, I excused myself to the side of the truck to a smaller of pile of rocks that was, in perfect Goldie Locks fashion, just the right size for me to heave onto the truck without feeling the glaring reality of my noodle arms.

Soon after, the women who had piled the rock for us joined Audrey and I in our “We are the women on 2017, we can lift rocks too, hear us roar” assembly line. This was way cool. We worked in sync to make sure we had left no rock behind. Their children joined in, and it was glorious. If you’ve never had a naked baby hand you a rock with all the seriousness in the world, I would highly recommend if. That little dude had a job to do and by George he was going to do it well. Another lesson in do whatever you do with passion and loving your neighbor. I will never forget those women and children, helping strangers with the love of the Lord.

You’ve already read a way too long blog about moving rocks, so I won’t keep you too much longer. Pinky promise.
Next on the agenda was a giggley VBS, and a thoughtful Youth Conference. It took every ounce of love and energy out of us. If you have a loved one on this team, know that they gave 100% today. They will fall into their beds tonight with dirty feet, tangled hair, and full hearts. God is moving strongly through them and how they are loving on everyone they meet. They laughed with kiddos, spread the word to the town of Karenage, and became a community with the youth of the Mole.

For now, we will drink our cokes and read our bibles. We have a huge day of love again tomorrow.
heart heart heart,

Shannon Loustalot

P.S. Mom- Before dinner, I went to spend some time with the orphans. Fabiola came running up to me with uplifted arms. I scooped her up and kissed her cheek. She threw her arms around my neck and told me to “Go! Go!”. So, we walked. I walked laps around the field as she snuggled into my chest.

She likes to hum songs, so I started humming a song you used to sing to me before bed. You know that one that goes “I know a place when know one ever goes. There’s peace and quiet, beauty and repose.”? That one. I hummed, we walked. After a few laps, she began to hum along with me, almost harmonizing. It made me very grateful for you, mom. Thank you for that. You’re singing babies to sleep with me here.

P.P.S William- I miss you so much it hurts. Thank you for being the best husband on the planet and encouraging me to be here. You’re my superman. I hope you’re enjoying your you time and keeping the dogs alive for me! Give them kisses for me. I’ll see you soon, then. YLA.

Y’all are troopers. If you made it this far, get yourself a cookie or something. You earned it.

***

Brad and Randy’s Daily Adventure (That’s Wild)

Have you ever wondered if something so small can turn into something so big? Think of a mustard seed. As professional botanists, we know that the seed size to plant ratio of the mustard seed is the largest of any known Flora we know of.

As Brad and Randy were pondering yesterday whether the comments would become so wild that everyone would comment, and we quote “That’s wild”, we were never expecting to see such large bounty of produce that would come from the comments. Khalil eventually gave into that it was very wild!

To our followers young or old, our producers have contacted us that our information hasn’t been completely factual. We would like to apologize from all of us here at Brad and Randy’s Ô.

We will continue to produce the best facts that money will give us, such as these. Here are today’s fact trackers:

1. Khalil’s “That’s Wild”- 7 times (The one coming from all of the comments)

2. Bullet kissing Al Martin’s head- 4 times

Today’s Randomly selected Fans of the Day

1. Marsha Leigh Kinney Porter and Mitch

So today we went to the village of Carnage and met a guy. We looked down and to our amazement we found that he had a rubber toe. He walked off after we probably offended him and in his haste, he stubbed his toe on a huge pile of bricks. We asked him what his name was and he responded “Roberto”

The testimony of the Lord is amazing!

***

Thanks Friends & Family for all your comments! It only takes us 30 minutes to read them all! LOL!! It’s okay – Susan and I now take shifts! 🙂  It’s great – keep them coming!

29 comments

  1. Hello Tatum and Kristen,
    It makes our heart soooo happy to see you impacting the lives of those in Haiti. I know God is smiling as well. Thanks for the updates, and keep them coming! Love, Mom (at home in Lubbock) and Dad (in snowy Chicago).

  2. Love the recap of your day! What grand adventures! Hauling rocks and sand is exhausting. Are y’all wearing sunscreen? And what preciousness coming from the people you are meeting along the way. Store up these treasures in your hearts. Abby, you have a beautiful heart.
    Hey Maddux! We talked about you at dinner tonight. And we are also grateful that Mason remembered you used to open your bedroom window, because he had to climb through it last night. Lol.
    Albert-love you much and miss you. Take it easy and don’t overdo. Bullett, did you know that after kissing a bald man’s head, you are more likely to become bald as a young man? Just a warning, friend.
    Continuing to pray for each of you!
    Loves!
    Jodie, Maddi & Mason

  3. Wow, I have never been so interested reading about moving rocks! What a great story of service! One thing that really got me is when you said “Suffering is a part of life and it’s not caused by God, but if we trust in Him and live for Him, He will restore us and strengthen us to where we need to be.”. This really speaks to me while I’m dealing with this new-ish year, and this current semester. Just know that while you are blessing people over there in Haiti, your words and stories that you share every night are blessing people back home as well! God bless y’all, and keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Abby,
    We just read your blog and That’s Wild…..and I knew from the start it was you with a dog in your lap… That’s Wild that you found your own dog. .and oh what a wonderful testimony to your faith and to this incredible mission team. Your heart is so full of love and Jesus and our hearts are full watching and hearing the incredible ways that God is working in your lives this week. God bless all of you and the people of Haiti tonight. Our prayers are with you as we send love and hugs to you and your team. We are loving all the blogs and all the pictures and the stories of all of the team. Keep them coming.
    And PS That’s Wild that you even found chicken….. and that it’s better than nuggets. wow That’s Really Wild.
    Love you bunches,
    GIGI and BILL

  5. SHAN!!! So happy to hear your perspective of the day. Been waiting for you to blog! Love you so much. Secretly jealous of you, wish I was there!

    Love to Jodi and all the kiddos! Especially Mikela, Malaya and Rosie. I’ll be back one day!

    Meredith (formerly Moorman) Holguin

  6. Does anyone know a way I can get there tmrw?!?! My dearest Shannon!! Wowza you have a way with words, wishing so badly I was right there aside ya. I love construction day. It always leads to the best and most eventful stories! Power to your noodle arms girls! Love hearing about how the Lord is moving through Texas Tech and it’s just day 1! Doesn’t surprise me a bit, you have fearless leaders surrounding you all! Shoutout to Al + KFOUSE + Jody + fam! Kfouse, I am so so proud of you! Khalil you crushed David and the Goliath, meant to mention that yesterday. Clairebear, praying for you always! Cannot leave with saying hey what’s up hello to my people Averie, Caroline and Maddux. Anxiously waiting on a picture of my Caleb hehe! Praying for you all! Much love.

  7. Shannon,
    LOLZ! My arms hurt for you! We have matching noodle arms! Sounds like you put in a full day to be proud of. I can picture you holding that little girl that you love so much. Humming and walking and snuggling sounds like the perfect way to end the day. Your description made me tear up with happiness. Make sure to get a picture with her. Praying for you. Love you so much. Mom

  8. Loved hearing about these amazing adventures today. Bailey Shephard, I saw you shoveling that dirt! I hope you aren’t too sore or too sun burnt! I pray that you all continue to share your hearts and your love for Christ in all ways….even when shoveling. You all have big hearts with so much to share. Thank you for letting us see glimpses! We love and miss you sweet Bailey.

    Love,
    Mom Dad and Lolo

  9. The blogs bring a smile to my face every time! Love hearing about all that y’all are doing and all the small things!
    I hope the blisters and swollen feet are minimal but the Chaco tan lines are coming in hot! 😉
    I also shed a tear yesterday when brad and randy mentioned pat the rat – partically because of fear from the experience last year but also out of laughter.

    Dear my cool girls- hurry up and write a blog post!!!!!! I wanna hear it all ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Love y’all!!! continue your beautiful work & hug the kids a little bit extra in my honor

  10. Audrey,
    Shannon’s blog brought me to tears! I didn’t think you could ever make me more proud but after reading this, a new level of proud has been created! I’m so happy we splurged for the “nicer” work gloves. Keep spreading God’s love and know I’m thinking about you 24/7! Praying for the whole awesome team.
    We love you so much!

  11. Hey Rae!!

    What a blessing this blog is for us share in your amazing Haiti experiences! That’s wild!

    My favorite part is seeing your face glowing when you are with the lovies. You have such a heart for children’s ministry and it shines through! I must have missed the pictures of you laboring with the rocks or sand….

    Sam misses his Nugget of Turd very much and is praying with us for your safety. We are cleaning things out for the rummage sale this week at church. It’s scary in his room. Today’s plan includes under the bed, who knows what will emerge?

    I see your Chacos are keeping you in fashion with your “avant-garde” skirts. I will be way behind on our lovely Chaco tan lines! That’s wild!

    We continue to pray that God will use you all in a mighty way and bless this time you have there. I am so glad you answered his call and are his hands and feet! Stay open to his words this week and continue to let your love shine through.

    One last thing. In a previous comment, I read about someone humming a song her mom sang to her each night to a sweet child there. Tonight, I want you to be reminded of every word I used to sing to you each night and hear me singing:

    Good night sweet Rachel, good night my love.
    Sleep tight sweet Rachel, sleep tight my love.
    Your star is shining it’s brightest light for goodnight, my love for goodnight.
    Sweet dreams be yours dear if dreams there be, sweet dreams to keep you here close to me.
    I wish they may, I wish they might…
    Now goodnight sweet Rachel, goodnight!

    We love you more than you know!
    Love, Mom

  12. Good morning, Kelly and Texas Tech team, from sunny West Texas! I am always filled with such joy in reading your blogs and looking at the pictures…joy because one cannot do either without seeing Christ in all of you! I do tear up though (Kelly, I know you’re not surprised about that lol!) when I see you and your face is filled with joy that I know comes from doing God’s almighty work! This morning when I sat at the kitchen table with my coffee and bible study, there were a few things that were truly reflected in all that you’re doing. In the book, Creation in Christ Unspoken Sermons, George McDonald (edited and abridged by Rolland Hein) wrote that “If God be light, what more, what else can I seek than God, than God Himself?…God means us to be jubilant in the fact that He is light…and With vivid flashes of life and truth His words invade our darkness, rousing us with sharp stings of light to will our awaking, to arise from the dead and cry for the light which He can give, not in the lightning of words only, but indwelling PRESENCE & POWER.” Sorry for the length, but just thought it would encourage you all and know that we are praying for you all to BE HIS LIGHT & that the precious people of Haiti will be rescued from the darkness because they have seen His light within all of you. Love you bunches, Kelly Marie, and hope you’re not too sore from shoveling dirt (your dad was pretty impressed lol!). Hugs and kisses, Mom and Dad

  13. Howdy from the Texas Panhandle! Love hearing about your daily adventures and the pictures! That’s Wild!!😊 So proud of each and everyone of you! Seeing some of the social media pics of college kids in Padre and y’all chose to go and share Jesus in another country! So grateful for your sacrifice and passion for His kingdom. Making wonderful memories and changing lives. Makes my heart proud!💜 Keep up the hard work, share God’s love and make memories! Praying for y’all! Love you mucho Ty!😊

  14. Claire,

    We have so enjoyed reading everyone’s stories. THAT’S WILD!! Seriously though, they have been so sweet to hear and we are so blessed by them. You guys are doing amazing work!!

    Loved all of the pictures! I can tell it is a lot of hard work, but by the smiles on your faces, I know you are having a great time. What wonderful memories you will have.

    We feel so proud to be chosen as Fans of the Day! And you got my full name in there! What an honor. THAT’S WILD!! I guess our trophy is in the mail!?!? THAT’S WILD!!

    We love you Claire Bear and wish we could be there to give you a hug and see you love on those babies. Keep doing God’s work. Nothing is more important.

    Love you to Haiti and back!

    Mom & Dad

    P.S. THAT’S WILD!!

  15. Love to hear what God is doing through ya’ll and I really get excited hearing about your dirty, sore, sunburned, and swollen feet. Sounds a whole lot like Jesus and His Disciples spreading the Good news. Maybe a foot washing will be next? Romans 10: 14,15 How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How BEAUTIFUL are the FEET of those who bring the GOOD NEWS!”
    Praying for yall
    Love you and proud of you TY.

  16. Hello Haiti Team,
    I have to say, after reading the blogs from Abby and Shannon I was totally moved by both their words, as well as humbled and reminded just how good our God is and how He meets us wherever we are…whether in Lubbock or Haiti. Now I know He is everywhere, but the realization became much more clearer to me. So know that your words spoke volumes to me today and I thank you for the gift of them which blessed my soul immensley.
    I loved hearing the stories about being in the villages, VBS, teen conference and moving rocks and sand. Powerful moments of God’s steadfast love for all of us.
    I did notice Khalil was not in the pictures of moving rocks or sand…just a reminder…he needs to be on the “manual labor team”, in case ya’ll forgot..he LOVES manual labor. 🙂 LOL.
    Brad…the eagle was released back into the wild where they found him. It was on the news. It was a great story and I am so glad you got to take the eagle to the vet and to see him through his journey of recovery. I am proud of you for volunteering your time and efforts to help the wildlife even when people bring wildlife in with all bones broken and there is no hope, you smile and say, “we will see what we can do”. I think I will start calling you…Doctor Brad Dolittle!
    May God’s peace and love surround you and His holy spirit abide in each of you.
    All my Texas love and hugs to each of you,
    Penny
    Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

  17. Hayden,

    You look wonderfully happy! Wow! To be able to share your story with others is just amazing! I love you!!! I love hearing about how God is working through y’all! Even when y’all don’t have the strength to continue on, He gives you more! Prayers for continuing to spread God’s love!

    Mom

  18. Bailey,
    What a wonderful blessing you are being to the Haitian people there. All the hard work in shoveling dirt, moving rocks, and working in that hot sun and heat are a testimony to them. We are praying for open hearts to be receptive to the message of Jesus Christ you all are bringing as you labor with them, witness to them, dance with them, and just love them. We love the pictures and will be watching and praying for all of you!
    We can’t wait to hear all about it! We love you soo much!
    Nana & Grandpa

  19. Hi Cole and all of the Wesley team!! I have been so excited to read the stories and see all of the pictures each day!! Lora is missing her “CoCo” and wants to know if you are at school! Cole, you looked right at home in the midst of all of those rocks!! Gloves?? We love you and miss you so much and are so proud of the work you are doing as the hands and feet of Jesus! Mark 45:10 “for even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many”.

  20. Hi Haydi Nicole!!!
    I am so proud of you for being such a Great Follower of JESUS!! Those Kids are so Blessed to hear GOD’S Word from you and your friends who decided to follow Jesus and Spread his Word that gives Grace. Mercy, and Salvation! You and Cammy are the best gifts GOD & JESUS brought into my life! Call me when you get back so you can tell me all about this Great Adventure!! LOVE & MISS YOU ( waaauuuuwauuu) XOXOXO xoxoxo 14

    Aunt Jayni (Janie)

  21. Abby and Shannon
    Thank you for your wonderful recaps of your day. I can get a beautiful picture just from your words, but then I see the pictures and all the smiling faces are so pure and full of love and the words and the faces just melt together. The Haitian people are lucky to have all you Red Raiders, but you are all just as lucky to have this wonderful community loving you back.
    Abby, your message to the girls was perfectly in line with a conversation Dad and I had after seeing The Shack. How do you trust God completely and really put your faith in him whole heatedly when you have had a horrible tragedy. I love your verse and your words. Trusting isn’t just during the good times, but also during the very trying ones. So, your words are helping others in Haiti and at home. People who have supported you on this trip, and really your whole life , have been posting such touching comments on my FB shares. Can’t wait for you to see them. People are so proud of you and your friends on this trip. What an amazing group of people serving together.
    Love to all of you Red Raiders who I have never met. Continue your great work and continue to have your hearts opened this week. You are a blessing to this world.
    Love, hugs and prayers, Mom
    P.S. Maybe I won’t comment every day But I just can’t help it.
    Oh and we are so glad you finally wondered into the Wesley 🙂

  22. Hi Alyssa!

    We look forward to reading the blogs and seeing the pictures every night! We love seeing all of the smiling faces! It’s obviously a blessing for you all to be there. I shared a picture of you the other night and there are so many people who are excited for you and look forward to hearing about your trip! Mimi is so glad that you chose to make this trip instead of a typical spring break college trip! 🙂 We love and miss you and are incredibly proud of you and your team! Praying for y’all every day!

    Love,
    Mom, Dad, and Landon

  23. Hey y’all!! I’ve finally caught up on the blog posts and am so excited to hear how everything is going so far. I can’t express how jealous I am, I’d be there in a heartbeat if I could. God is working through y’all in an amazing way!!
    Tyann, don’t hate me.. one of your snapstreaks is gone, it’s not my fault though!! I sent you a text so you can yell at me when you’re headed home 😭
    Prayers for all!!
    Love and miss you Ty!! 💕

  24. Abby, What a blessing you and your friends are to the people of Haiti. Your love and kindness will be remembered long after this week. Have a wonderful trip, you’re in my prayers. Martha Hollis

  25. Ashley Kate!
    ❤💕I miss you so much! I can’t wait for you to tell me all the stories in person. I am so proud of this Tech group of kids. Instead of going to Padre or some other wild and crazy place, y’all chose to go to Haiti and shine your lights! God is working through each of you and y’all are giving these precious children a glimpse of happiness and sunshine. You know when y’all fly away, those kids have been amazingly touched.
    I pray each of you continue to do Gods work and remain safe and healthy.
    I love you Ashley!

    Love
    MOM

  26. So happy to read about your interactions and see all the smiling faces. Be safe and know you are loved and valued. Miss you lots Kelly Koch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s