Through service, LNHS junior finds direction


Abby Russeth sits with Haitian children.

Abby Stoa , Staff Writer

What started out as a unique way to give back, ended up being some of the most life changing experiences that not only broadened Abby Russeth’s worldviews, but also gave her direction for what she wanted out of her career, later in life.

In the June of 2018, Abby Russeth, now a junior at LNHS, went on a Mission Trip to Guatemala through her church, Hosanna. Although she didn’t know what to expect the first time around, Abby wanted to be as open minded as possible. 

“I was just kinda nervous and didn’t know what to expect cause I’d never been out of the country let alone go somewhere new without my family, with almost complete strangers at the time.” Russeth said. 

Unsurprisingly, throughout Abby’s time in Guatemala, she learned many lessons regarding the culture of Guatemala, and just wanted to keep making a positive impact on others in need.

Then, on July 22nd of this year, Russeth went to Haiti and embarked on her second Mission Trip through Hosanna.

 “I had a great time in Guatemala and it really opened my eyes, so I thought, why not expand my worldview even more and get to learn about a new culture and get to know more people. Russeth said. 

This time around, Abby was less anxious and more passionate about helping those in need. While it was hard for her to see how many people were in poverty, she was taken back by how selfless everyone was. She enjoyed the community, and interacting with the people of Haiti was one of her favorite aspects of the trip.

 “While I was in Titanyen, a village in Haiti, my team and I were talking to a woman who was sponsored through one of our programs. We asked how we could pray for her, she told us that we shouldn’t pray for her situation to change, but we should pray that our team feels real love, happiness, Jesus, and pray that the world will open its arms and care for everyone.”

Hearing this Russeth was truly touched and humbled by this woman’s selflessness and generosity. She felt pure gratitude in that moment, and as the Mission Trip went on, her eyes were even more opened to how the people of Haiti lived and connected.

“A lot of people there have a different way of life, and they are more focused on community rather than things. It was truly a trip of a lifetime” Russeth said.

Throughout the trip, Abby was able to have a multitude of experiences. She  played with kids and give them clean water, worked in an orphanage and took care of those who were sick. Each experience brought her closer and more connected to the people and culture of Haiti.

When she came home she reflected on the trip, which came with so many emotions. During some points of the trip Abby didn’t know what to feel, but through the conversions with those in Haiti and the experiences she shared with her team, she had gained a completely new perspective for life.

“It made me realize that we are really all the same, we all want compassion, we all want love. We only have such a short time on this earth, so we should always live it to the fullest.  We need to remember that life is short and we should love and care for others as much as we can.” Russeth said.

With this, she realized that her passion really is, helping others. 

“Now I know I want to major in nursing and help those who are sick and in poverty because life isn’t about possessions, it’s about how you can help others.”