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.
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.
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,
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!