Texas Tech Day 6…

All,

When I was a child I remember countless moments of being obsessed with rocks; finding random rocks on the ground became a pleasure of mine, and something I often loss track of time doing. They were incredibly interesting, I still posses a few of them. There were also many times as a child I’d randomly throw them over a fence that lied next to my mothers house, and sure enough she’d yell “ one day one of those rocks are going be too heavy for you to throw that far “. There are two parallels about these facts you’ve just sat read about my boring life; Haiti confirmed my interest in rocks still exist to this day as my team moved many of them during construction today. The other, there we SOOOO MANY HEAVY ROCKS!

So here is your overview of the day with my team, which consist of (Hayden, Rachel, Ashley, Maddie, Tatum, Kelly M, Maddux, Rebekah, & and myself). While the other two teams headed to “ KaPaFu “ – a fishing village they would need to take a 30-minute boat ride to at sunrise. It was day 6 for all of us, with many running low on energy including minor illness being present amidst a team of champs who’ve loved me so well & that I’ve grown in compassionate love toward so much now after spending so much time with them.

There is a saying that has brought an increased amount of Kingdom reality to my life that being “ The Deader you are, the Better you are “ by a woman named of Jenny who means so much to me. What this has communicated to me is no present flesh stands before God and speaks, all your selfishness, all of your desires, assumptions, comforts, and expectations must be laid down to be crucified. All your hope and joy must be found in the righteous love of the father.

Today we loaded up as a team of nine onto the back of an industrial truck called the “ Tap Tap “ to go into town and load about 300 rocks. From there we would stop into a local spot where sand and rocks are kept to form a line of the nine men & women on my team along with five other Haitian men to be the assembly line to load the rocks. This experience for me was humbling. It involves a near extreme exertion of energy for each lift to pick up the rocks but also to pass them down the line to be loaded into the truck finally. After our venture into town we came back to the campus site to unload the rocks from the truck with the same format of an assembly line and lastly placing them onto the foundation of a 6ft tall foundation that would later become a refuge home for abused mothers & wives’ to come & live with their children temporarily in the near future.

We’d unload & sort the rocks into a pattern that would be broken down into smaller rocks to be the center foundation of a building so that concrete could be poured over it to support the rocks to form what I deem to be a foundation for a floor of the refuge. Next our team would shovel sand into barrels to be rolled over to the Haitian construction for them, which is to be used for a use that I could not coherently explain but it was for good cause and required many trips. All that to say, there is an incredible amount you begin to see about a persons character & Identity when they are in the hot temperatures of Haiti sun, and loading rocks and sand onto the back of an industrial truck. I loved how everyone worked so hard today to get the job done & that would could converse about life and truly get to know more about each other.

Many of us would watch the faces of the Haitian construction men just begin get after it, rock after rock unrelenting to until the final rock was picked up or unloaded. Even stopping to encourage us, waiting patiently for us to get into the Rhythm, even more making sure the women on our team where not picking up heavy rocks but handing them to myself or Maddux. After the construction assignments where complete I remember looking at the faces of our team members and saying “ The job is done “ and seeing a resounding “ amen “ come from their mouths. At the very same time I watched the other five Haitian men head back over to the construction site to work another 6 hours in the hot sun to continue in the process of building the refuge home.

It was as if their 2 hours helping us was more of a break away to simply be with us, there was no more moment in my life have I ever witnessed rare radical service to a group of people & at the same time a peace like that of God on their faces as they headed back to work. We all enjoyed working with them, & each other; learning creole & attaining a little more knowledge regarding building a home. We have too much to learn about peace in this life & how it is has nothing to do with things that a transient or temporal in this world.

Later that day we continued with our regular schedule after the other teams returned to town, which included VBS, & a teen conference. There are many things that this time includes, such as silly games that make us laugh so hard that our bellies hurt, or me learning how much I really don’t know how to dance during the dance offs. The lord has been so good to us, the reality that we get to partner with a God who is already present here and bring to us groups of Haitian people, their kids, teenagers, and young adults would be willing to listen to a group of people who come from half way around the world to share God in the teaching, games, dancing, construction blows my mind. It is more of a God given privilege than many of us would ever recognize, that he is good & far too good to us. I pray that my eyes would be open to him, too see his movement, to be doing as he does and to stand bold in a world that breathes rebellion against him, and there being a need for people to live as if heaven should come more and more to us each day. I love that even in construction today was completely about the loving union of God with us.

In closing here is one primary thing God has been speaking to me, Today I met a man by the name of Boss-Kelly; he is Haitian & he smiles so fully & wholesomely with a rare joy. He called me to him while we where doing construction and to teach me about how leveling rocks works. Afterwards sitting me down and saying “ You need a break “, and explaining to me that I needed a drink of water by how much I was panting, haha. He asked me a very odd question during and said “ Do you know what a friend is? “, I replied “ Yes, but you explain “. He then replies with absolute confidence “ A friend comes to you in your time of need. “ Immediately I thought of a time when I convinced myself that the money raised to come to Haiti could be used more wisely, why come when we could just send a check in a raised amount.

Immediate I saw a picture of how God has come to me; In that very moment he said to me “ Look at my awesome deeds, I have to come to you time and time again “. There is no better reality that of God! His supreme joy to come for his foe, and be slain to a bloody death on a rugged cross by his own hands in expression of his coming for us. Bearing the knowingly deserved wrath of his enemies and thereby to inviting the repentant into his reality, there is no reality better than that of GOD our true rock. There is no more interesting foundation built on such truth, Christ of whom is all that we have. There is no greater need for that in Haiti than it is for the lives of all people. That is he has come and is still coming the solid rock who offers a foundation of love like none of this world. There is no greater reality than that of God in Christ, my strength & portion … He is always calling into union & to simply come.

– Song of Solomon 4:4

“ Come with me from Lebanon, my bride “

With Love,

Khalil Blaine

Erika, I love you more & more each passing day, praying that you are experiencing God’s mercy in new rich ways each morning, his strength for today, and hope for tomorrow my love, See you soon.

Its great how Brady is so able to start a random trend, I have said “ that’s wild “ so many times on this trip they’ve all began to count them. To continue another trend please end your comments with “ To Randy as Well “ ….

***

Blog post #2

Erika Harvey:

Dusty and mosquito bitten feet hit the floor this “already Wednesday” morning. At 6:45am, with PB&J’s in hand for breakfast, 2 teams headed out on 2 motor boats to the people in the village of Kap pa phu to give VBS while one team stayed back on campus for a morning of construction.

Being a member of one of the teams that traveled to Kapafu, we all headed out on the boats for about a 30 minute ride. The secenery surrounding every inch of our circumference was a morning devotional in all its entirety and beauty. The cloudy morning sky complimenting the massive & jaw dropping mountains of Haiti. The sunrise was the size and the same amount of beautiful as it is in west Texas, but just add palm trees and clear, glossy blue ocean water and then you’ll get the picture (hopefully).

As we pull up to about a couple hundred yards to the village, that’s when my eyes really, truly opened. Roughly 30 grass and palm tree leaved huts were all clustered together. Perfectly placed on the sand of the shore. Once we all climbed out of the boats, we all immediately disppursed to discover who all we would be interacting with for the next hour and a half. Between dancing our hearts out, playing Jenga, blowing bubbles, and watching full grown adults run around playing tag placed nothing but pure, Jesus filled joy in my heart and smile.

We all gathered in a big circle to share our stories we had prepared for VBS. And right at that moment, the Lord broken another piece of my heart. The fact that we got to leave (to take showers, eat a full lunch, and set up for another VBS). It really didn’t (and still fully doesn’t) make sense to me. I wanted to stay SO BAD. I wanted to get to know their hearts. How they were doing. What they do in their every day life. I wanted to love them even more, because I knew that they really, really needed it and deserved it. I saw it as something (literally anything) that I could do for them in that moment, but knowing that that very moment was not and could not be eternal.

We hoped back on to our boats and started to head back home (reminder that we took TWO boats). While I forgot to mention that on our way to the village, we had to take the ride a little bit slower because there were more people on the boat than usual. So to complete my point, we were headed back… very, very slowly. I remember that I rested my head in my hands for about 10 minutes and looked up and noticed that we were in the same exact spot. We were literally not moving. I looked up ahead of us and noticed that the other boat was no where in sight.

I really started to think how or when we would eventually get back to land! I was not really worried, knowing that there were solutions to the predicament. We all started emptying out our water bottles and scooped out all the water we could that was coming into the bottom of our boat. There was a point in time that we all looked at each other and started laughing and started wondering if this could or would turn into real life bible story LOL. You know, REALLY living in the moment and trusting Jesus. All in all, the story end that the boat that made it back to shore first, came back for us to have some of us move over to that boat and then have them tow us back to shore. One of my friends, Alyssa Bernier, while still scooping out water from the bottom of the boat starts singing, from McDonalds “Bah da bap bap, I’m lovin’ it”!!! Still crying from that to this minute!

Once we all made it back to shore COMPLETLEY SAFE (you’re welcome Mom(s)), we ate lunch and started to meet the kids at the gate for VBS here at the Mole. Today, we ended up having 55 kids come in! It was an absolute blast, with limbo and of course a never ending game of duck-duck-goose.

After VBS, I got the chance to work with a small group of the special needs orphans that live here. Every single one of them steel and melt my heart, with no apology. Getting to hear about their stories and how they live day to day was completely humbling to my heart.

Once we got done with our time in the class room with them, I walked one of the girls that I got to work with (her name if Fedna), back to the shaded area where she likes to sit, and got to just take in what was all around us and hold her hand, hoping and praying that she knows that I love her with my whole entire heart. Other girls came to come sit in my lap and started drawing their names in my journal. I looked up once again and just felt right at home. So much peace came over me to a point that I NEVER wanted to leave that chair. I seemed to have to have the whole world right in the reach of my arms with these girls. To this moment, in describing to y’all how I felt that very second, it brings me (and I know it always will) to tears.

But eventually I got up to have dinner with the team and had the amazing blessing to hear the encouraging and remindful wisdom from Jody in our night devotional.

I am truly blessed to have this opportunity to share what God has done in just this one day, in just one person that is on this trip! Know and be encourage that the Lord is very present and stirring up hearts in expected and radical way. Lord, you are so, so good to us. Day 3: How sweet you have been<3

Psalms 23

Much blessings and love always,

Erika Harvey

28 comments

  1. Rocks will forever have a different meaning after this trip! We are glad to see that Tatum found a NY Yankee fan in Haiti!!! Can’t wait to read tomorrow’s blog, most likely about more rocks… Y’all be safe, have fun, and keep smiling. Most importantly, continue to be good examples to those in other parts of the world.
    Much love and hugs, from Tatum and Kristen’s parents.

  2. Love the updates! It’s wild how God works! Les, Rebekah’s dad, went on a mission trip to Haiti and fell in love with missions and more in love with Jesus. It’s great to see you guys doing the same thing! God bless all of you as you are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are praying big prayers for you as you’re tired and weary. The needs are overwhelming but Jesus is greater! Greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world. Can’t wait to hear all about your trip! Love y’all so much. Someone give my sweet Bekah a hug from me! ❤❤❤

  3. Hello Team and a special hello to Bailey Shephard!
    I am going to have to admit that have an obsession with looking for these posts each day. I look forward to reading the touching stories and looking at the pictures. I think that I am most surprised that I am greeted by sweet faces that are still smiling even though it is day 6. I know that you all are touching so many lives there as you open your hearts and share God’s love with these beautiful people. So proud of each and every one of you.
    Bailey…..we miss you like crazy and yes, i stalk the photos to find you!! I hope that you are wearing lots of sunscreen and do not have the freakish mosquito bites again! Love love love you.

    Continually praying for you all. Thanks again for keeping us updated,
    Much Love,
    Melanie Shephard

  4. What sweet words from Erika and Khalil. Love both your hearts. Way to rock (literally) construction, ladies!!! And Maddux and Khalil. Prayers for health and rest and broken hearts. God is good. We love y’all and are praying.
    Al, why were you merely holding the limbo bar and not actually playing yourself? I know….you’re too humble and didn’t want to outdo all those young whipper snappers, right?
    Loves,
    Jodie, Maddi & Mason

  5. Ashley Kate-
    Missed you at Perini’s tonight!! Mamaw & Papaw say “Hi!” Mandy and the kids came in, so it’s been a fun evening. Sounds like you had a very grueling day! What a witness you & the Texas Tech team are for God’s kingdom and glory!
    “Leave your country and your people,” God said, “and go to the land I will show you.” Acts 7:3
    Love you infinity!😘❤🙏
    PS-Hootie sends a great big hug!! 🙄😜😘❤😍🤗😘

  6. Les said that all the work you did for grandpa prepared you for moving rocks, Rebekah! It’s wild that you’re skills are paying off 😂 Looks like you’re working hard and having fun. We love you! Mom and Dad

  7. Erika- I loved reading your post today sweet girl! Your kindness and love for others is beautiful. You have always reminded us to see the good in others and to do whatever we can to take care of people. No matter where you are…Austin, Lubbock, Good Neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville, TX, or Mole-Saint-Nicolas…you will always be thinking about how you can help. What amazing work you are all doing! Sounds like long days and full hearts. Praying that everyone stays safe and well and wears sunscreen!
    Love (and miss you bunches), Mom
    (and Dad, Travis and Kendall) ❤
    P.S. Pudge misses you too

  8. Kelly, what joy it brought to see your sweet face! We knew that you were called by God to lead the Haitian people to build their foundation in Christ, but we did NOT know that you would literally be helping them to build other foundations! Dad continues to be impressed for so many reasons lol! The whole Bruns clan is missing you this spring break as well (and I am missing you and your ability to entertain! It’s hard work:). I so look forward to not only the pictures, but the blogs as well…know that through them you are changing lives back home! Thank you all for modeling Colossians 23 for all us. May we all follow your example…”Whatever you do (even moving mountains of boulders on a scorching day), work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”…may we do this on a daily basis especially when OUR work loads are not so heavy. Love you bunches, sugar, and can hardly wait to hear your precious voice! Miss you! Mom and Dad (and Jessie & Emmitt:)

  9. Claire Bear,

    I can see that God is doing an amazing work in and through you guys. It blesses me so to read about what you all are doing there. We’re praying that God will change your heart forever!!!

    Dad passed his test! Woohoo!! Thanks for the prayers. Sam came and stayed a night and left the dogs, so we are puppy-sitting!

    Say a prayer for Mo, Kim and Bruce. We love you and miss our baby girl!!

    Love,
    Mom & Dad

  10. Hi Sweet Abby,
    I just read last nights blog here at work and wow I am exhausted. You all are amazing and That’s Wild…..The incredible stories on the blogs and the incredible things that you all are doing is heart warming and totally exhausting.
    Hope you are feeling good, not eaten up by mosquitos, or totally sunburned. We send our love from North Richland Hills and especially from all the DOGS…….love you bunches as we continue to remember you and your team in our daily prayers.
    God is Good
    Love GIG and Bill

    1. Amelia and Team,
      I am so impressed by the work you are doing and the adventures you are having! They will surely result in life long memories and lessons! I can’t wait to hear the stories when you get back! Dad and i are praying for continued strength and good health for everyone. Remember that when you are weak HE is STRONG!
      Love from Aimz and P Woolz

  11. The foundations being built by this team are inspirational & comforting! You are all in my prayers as are all that receive your ministering.

    Hayden, it’s great to see you building your construction skills.

    Continue to spread the Word, be safe & enjoy the time remaining.

    To Randy as well…

    Love,

    Dad

  12. Hello Everyone!
    It truly blessed my soul to read Khalil and Erika’s blog.
    Khalil….that is the blog I have been waiting to read. You amaze me and I love how the Lord uses you in so many different ways…especially how He speaks to you in the moving of rocks….I know you dislike manual labor, but I love how you persevere and your endurance to allow God to be your rock at all times and for HIm to literally move you out of your comfort zone and into growing in Him. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
    Erika…amazing to see your motivation and how the Lord is using you in Haiti. I know you are a radiant beaming light for all those kids and you touched those girls hearts with your passion and love for them.
    I leave you with these verses.
    Psalm 78:35
    And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.
    1 Samuel 2:2
    “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”
    Psalm 94:22ug
    But the LORD has been my stronghold, And my God the rock of my refuge.
    Allow God to be your strength as you are in your final days in Haiti, to finish strong and well and for Him to be your refuge now and always.
    Blessings, Peace and Love,
    Penny
    “To Randy as well…”

  13. Abby,
    What a great job with that wheelbarrow! I was tired just reading about the hard work. I watch the blog every evening and can’t wait for it to post so I can see what is going on in Haiti. Amazing work being done by all.
    I visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library and thought of this team many times. Former President Bush talks about serving others here and around the world and I found myself smiling all morning at the fact that I have a kid serving in Haiti right at this moment beside other wonderful, selfless people. Thanks to all of you for showing the world that the 18-25 ish generation is an amazing generation! What a difference you are making in Haiti, and at home, to the ones you are serving with and to the ones following along. Love to all of you. Can’t wait to see you get off the plane in DFW. I’ll be there even for just a quick hug and hello.

    Saw this today and thought of each one of you…”Faith crosses every border and touches every heart in every nation” George W. Bush
    Prayers, hugs, and love to all of you!
    Abby’s Mom

  14. Abby Pursley, I am so excited to see how God is working through you and your team. May God bless you and keep you as you work. I trust God is doing a good work in you. Peace and Blessings my friend. -Rev. Clint Jones First United Methodist Church of Hurst

  15. Howdy Texas Tech Gang! I know your bodies are getting tired. Praying for your strength and endurance. You all are such an inspiration and I love seeing the light of Jesus in your smiling faces. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;His mercies never end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness” Lam.3:22-23
    Y’all Rock and that’s wild! Love you mucho Ty💜😊

  16. Hi Abby!!
    We are so glad to hear that things are going well!! We are so proud of you and your group for doing all of this great work! We miss you terribly and can’t wait to hear all of your stories in person! Love you lots
    Jorden and Cameron

  17. Wow! These blogs continue to inspire me as a mom almost 50 years old who never considered doing anything like this in my life! You beautiful people are truly my heros! To my favorite beautiful person, Audrey Vlk, I love you so much!!
    Mom

  18. Hey hey Haiti Team! Mama Megan here. I’ve been praying for your week and that the Lord would truly move through you all, and I’m so glad to just hear the fruit of that! Keep pressing on!
    #thatswild #staywild
    #sneakyjesusinHaiti

  19. I love reading the posts of the team and all that y’all are doing! Y’all are doing so great! Keep pressing in to what the Lord has!
    Tell khalil that I miss him SO much and am so happy that all is going well. And that I can’t wait to see him! 🙂

  20. Yoooo.

    Khalil I could tell you were the author of the first part of this blog without even reading the name at the end lol. The story of Boss-Kelly is something I’ve been thinking about ever since I read it last night, so thank you for sharing. You’re a blessing to all us at the Wesley…and to Randy as well.

    Erika, you have such a pure spirit. Thank you for representing the heart of Jesus the way that you do to all the people you meet…and to Randy as well.

    Brad, I hope that you’re finding moments of Sabbath in the midst of all the working. I also hope those laminated bird sheets have come in handy. Your appreciation for all of creation is encouraging to me…and to Randy as well.

    Al, I’ve got mad respect for you. You are a servant-leader through and through. I know you don’t hear it enough, so if you haven’t heard it recently…thank you for all that you do. You mean so much to us at the Wesley, especially to the staff…and to Randy as well.

    And lastly, Chris I hope your heart is full. I can’t wait to hear your stories and see more pictures of what you’ve been doing. I miss you soooo much. Keep showing lots of love to everyone you meet, to those precious kids…and to Randy as well. LOVE YOU.

    – Beth

  21. Hi Cole, we love you and miss you! We love seeing the pictures and can’t wait to hear the stories! Love, Mom, Michelle & Lora

  22. Hi Christopher –
    Been searching and searching pics for your sweet face but I haven’t seen you in many. I trust that God is using you as He always has and is growing your heart ten times its’ already boundless size. We love you so much and are praying for you, the others and for the beautiful children whose smiles shine so beautifully back at me through the pictures. Keep up the good work all. Your selfless love is inspiring to all who witness in Haiti and back home.
    Love, love, love –
    Kelly
    Chris Brooks mom

  23. It was a beautiful day in Andrews, Texas but nothing compared to the view you all are experiencing! It makes me realize how diverse this creation really is. I’m praying that your experiences make you more aware of your God given potential and opens your eyes and hearts to your calling at home! Love you so much!
    Mom

    1. Hi. Are you from Andrews? We are, too! I am Sue Hall and my husband is the pastor at Means. Do you have a child on the trip?

  24. Ashley Kate-
    Hope today was a wonderfully blessed day for you, your TTU Team and the Haitians you are serving. The men tried to get farming done today–I’m not sure how successful that was, plow issues! Lazy day for the girls!! Went to Mamaw & Papaw’s this evening for some fishing and a weinie roast!! Somemores were for dessert!! We pray you are well and spirit filled. “Be strong in the Lord and in His might powers.” Ephesians 6:10
    Love & Blessings😘❤
    Mrs. P
    PS: Mr. Happiness sends all his love!😘❤😍😳🙄

  25. AK!-
    I know you are having mixed feelings as your week is coming to a close. The time you have spent in a far away place spreading Gods word is a true testimony of your love for Christ. I am so proud of you and your devoted and dedicated committment to HIM. The entire team will leave Haiti soon, but the seeds you all planted will never leave or be forgotten. When it becomes the darkest of dark, these little people will know where to look and when to pray. You will forever have memories of hard work, twinkling eyes and giggles, funny stories, and the many hugs. I’m praying for safety and good health as y’all return to good ole West Texas! I can’t wait to hear your voice and see your big smile.
    It has been so HOT here. Dad and i worked in the yard. It looks like the trashy people moved out, except for the 1970 Winnebago that is parked on our private road. Just when I thought it was looking nice around here I looked out and saw that. Remember the movie RV? Yep Yep! 😏🙄
    Well enjoy the remainder of your time. I love you a whole stack a bunch!
    ❤😘
    MOM

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