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Yearly Archives: 2013
Let us join with the angel voices
Let us join their happy song
All of heaven and earth rejoices
For the Lamb of God has come
He has come to rescue sinners
Come to meet our desperate need
He was born to bring forgiveness
Born for Calvary
Alleluia, Hope has come
Alleluia, Christ has come
We once were slaves in misery
Till You appeared and set us free
Alleluia, Hope has come
Let us lay our gifts before Him
Let us magnify His Name
With our thankful hearts adore Him
For the Lord has come to save
He has come to break sin’s power
He has come to set us free
Hope was born that glorious hour
Christ the mighty King
(2006 Sovereign Grace Praise)
Hope Has Come is the title of the music and drama production we were involved in at our church this past weekend. Although practice and work on our parts took up a lot of time, we received a blessing as we reflected on the meaning of the message of the production. We praise God for the opportunity we get this time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus and contemplate the meaning of Christ’s coming to this earth as a perfect baby to later die on a cross and rise again to conquer sin, death and hell. Hallelujah indeed!
Thank you, Keith Bunting and Clarence Rolle, for the work you did to put together this production!
Female Staff Cottage Update
Except for some small areas that need touched up, the interior painting of the staff cottage is complete. The spiral staircase arrived before Thanksgiving and is waiting to be installed. Tim is installing the gas line that will supply power to the water heater and gas stove. We are in the process of purchasing appliances and furnishing the spaces with a couch, beds and table/chairs. Our goal is to have everything done by the time Jen and Michelle (our current female missionary staff) return to the island on January 6th so they can move right in.
Florida Atlantic University Mission Team
When we left for our vacation in the USA, we were not quite prepared to facilitate the mission team from Florida Atlantic University that would be coming to ALCamp the week of December 16th-20th. So we spent quite a bit of our vacation time preparing for this group’s mission team ministry work. All the diligence and hard work paid off, and not only did everything turn out well for the group and the ministry areas they worked at, we received such a blessing from the presence of the young people on this team. The 30 young people, all part of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) at Florida Atlantic University, ministered on the pediatric ward at Princess Margaret Hospital, the geriatric ward of Sandilands Care Centre, and at All Saints Camp. It was our first attempt at facilitating a mission team, and God was faithful and allowed us to accomplish all we needed to accomplish and taught us a lot of lessons along the way.
Although it took almost a month to find us here in The Bahamas, a reward letter from the University of Minnesota came today bringing with it tidings of great joy for sure! Logan has received a large academic scholarship from the University of Minnesota (with more scholarships possibly coming in the spring) . We learned in September that Logan had qualified as a merit scholar finalist with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and shortly after that he applied and was enthusiastically accepted into the honors program at University of Minnesota starting fall 2014. What we did not know was that we would be hearing from the University of Minnesota this early in the year. What a blessing and encouragement this is! Congratulations, Logan. Praise God for your gifts and talents.
Update of events
Our last blog entry was 4 weeks ago when we were en-route to Minnesota to see family, celebrate Thanksgiving, spend some time resting/relaxing and shopping. We did not get much resting/relaxing done, but we had a great time visiting with family/friends, finishing up some school work for a couple courses we were taking online, visiting/updating 3 churches on our ministry work, and even experiencing Minnesota winter weather.
Enjoy the last month in pictures!
Thank you for taking the time to “get caught up” on our last month of events. We will try not to take so long next time to update you. As we conclude, we would like to share a few prayer requests with you. May God bless you and may you have a blessed new year!
Please pray for
Discernment and wisdom in dealing with those we work with and serve
That God will be glorified in all we do
That God continues to raise up those who are able to partner with us in our ministry work both in prayer and in financial support
That others will join us here–especially in the area of maintenance for Camp and the Centre and facilitator staff at the Centre
That God will continue to open doors for ministry
Kingdom Life Church–opened doors for ministry and growth
Merry Christmas from beautiful, not white Nassau, The Bahamas!
We sent out an E-Christmas card/letter/greeting earlier this week. If you did not receive one, it is because we do not have you on our email list. If you would like to be on our mailing list, please private message us your email address. We will be glad to send one to you. We are not snail mailing cards this year because of the expense. Merry Christmas!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary Seeley
Another blog post is in the works for later in the week!
Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go!
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow…
(The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving)
Like most places outside the USA, Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November is not celebrated in The Bahamas; therefore, we are glad to be off the rock (the expression we use to say we are leaving the island) and heading north to Minneapolis, Minnesota to celebrate the holiday with family! What a blessing it is to live and serve as missionaries in a day and age where air travel is relatively easy and accessible. We may not be getting to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in a sleigh, but we are on our way there nonetheless, and hopefully the pilot knows the way.
Although spending Thanksgiving with our adult children and parents is our major motivation, the ultimate goal for this trip is to rest and recuperate from a very busy year. We will be staying with Tim’s parents for two weeks. Mindy’s parents who live in Indiana will be driving up to join us for the weekend. We plan on celebrating “Christmas” together as a family this weekend while we are all together. Wow! Two holidays in one weekend: one of the draw backs or benefits (however you want to look at it) to living so far away yet still wanting to celebrate Christmas together as a family. We are just glad we are going to get to be together.
Besides resting with the family…
We have made a couple of other plans. The first plan is to spend a couple days shopping for things we can’t get or can’t afford in Nassau. The other plan is to visit a few churches. On December 3rd at 630pm, we will be at our sending church, Grace Church in Viroqua, WI to update people on the ministry and to meet and greet everyone in that area. On Wednesday, December 4th, we will be at Bible Truth Chapel in Wausau, WI to update the assembly during their Midweek service. On Sunday, December 8th, we will be updating Grace and Truth Chapel in Minneapolis during their morning worship service/Sunday School hour. If you are in any of the areas where we will be presenting, please consider coming to see us. We would love to see you. You may email us if you have any questions.
Some updates will be seen in the pictures below. For the rest of what we are doing at camp, we have been busily working on things that are not easily photographed: phone calls, making contacts, working on budgets, planning for future groups, and trying to get organized among other things. Immediately after we get back on December 11th, we will be preparing camp for the arrival of a mission team from a university in Florida. This team has never been to the island before. This is also our first time fully facilitating a mission team. Usually groups that come have been here before and know what they want to do and how to accomplish it. This is going to take a lot of prayer. So please PRAY for us as we work through the details before and during the group’s stay at camp.
*Travel to Minnesota on November 27th and return to Nassau on December 11th.
*Connections with family, friends and supporting churches while in the US
*Rest and relaxation while on vacation
*God provides funds for a new stove and refrigerator. The oven thermostat on our stove does not work and we are missing a burner on the top. The refrigerator we currently have is not big enough for our family and all the hosting we do. We would like to buy our own refrigerator and give our current refrigerator to the girls staff cottage.
*Wisdom and discernment as we facilitate the December 16-20 mission team from Florida. This is a non-Christian school, so the focus is different, but there is a lot of opportunity.
*Completion of the girls staff cottage
*Wisdom as we deal with the Bahamian people
*That God will send us staff to help us in the work at the ALC. We are especially desperate for facilitator staff at the Centre and maintenance help for both the Camp and Centre.
Last Several Weeks in Pictures
At this time of Thanksgiving, we would like to express to each of you how much we appreciate you and your support of us. We are grateful and honored by your interest in our lives and ministry work. May God bless you!
Please stay in touch. We love hearing from you!
When life is easy and things are going well, it is easy to say “Thank you, Lord!” But what about the times when the Lord allows a relationship to become strained, a financial hardship to arise, things in the house to fall apart, the body to show signs it is not young anymore, or a boa constrictor to show up in the house? Do we have to say thank you to Jesus for these too?
The initial Sunday School answer would be, “Yes! I Thesselonians 5:18 says be thankful in everything.” But doesn’t the Bible also say we are to be honest? What if we are not thankful that a snake came and made his presence known to the person in the house with a huge snake phobia? We believe being thankful for the actual event is not the key here. We may not be thankful for the snake in our bathroom, but we can be thankful that God taught us through the experience that He keeps His Word when He says He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8), He provides opportunities for us to grow and become stronger, and His grace is sufficient for us (II Corinthians 12:9)
Mindy will never be thankful for the snake that visited her in our bathroom, but she is thankful that God brought her through the dreaded nightmare come true and that He did not leave her defenseless.
Those wanting to know: No, we do not have a picture of the critter. The boa constrictor was about 18 inches long and was found crawling up the toilet paper tower. The one positive in all this (besides learning that Mindy can survive such encounters) is that the critter was in the bathroom and not the bedroom. Please pray no more find their way into the house!
Thanksgiving and Christmas Plans
In lieu of a family vacation this year, we have decided to vacation in Minnesota for two weeks around Thanksgiving instead. This will give us extra time to relax, visit with Andrew, Katie, Garrett and both sets of parents. We also plan on being at Grace and Truth Chapel in Minneapolis on December 8th, at Grace Church in Viroqua, Wisconsin on December 3rd (this is a Tuesday evening), and Bible Truth Chapel in Wausau, Wisconsin on December 4th. If you are in any of these areas those days, please consider stopping in to see us. Since our plan is to actually vacation and rest, we do not want to be wearing ourselves out trying to go out and visit everyone. If you would like to see us, we will be staying at Tim’s parent’s house in St Anthony, MN. Email us if you would like to stop in for a visit.
A lots of firsts this Christmas…our first without Garrett (and Andrew and Katie), our first outside the states of Minnesota or Illinois/Indiana, our first in a country where there is no threat of Christmas being white, our first Christmas in our cozy Bahamas home, and our first Christmas with our new Bahamian friends. We are guardedly looking forward to it but know it is going to be different than what we are used to. If anyone is daring enough to brave the expensive airline prices, please consider this an invitation to come and spend Christmas with us in the Bahamas!
I Phone 4
Have you (or anyone you know) upgraded to I Phone 5 and still have your I-Phone 4 you are wanting to get rid of? We would like to get a couple but the cost of new ones are out of our budget right now (our Android phones we brought with us are not working properly). The phones have to be unlocked GSM phones (that means they use a SIM card from the telephone provider). Let us know if you know of any. Thanks!
(Updates are in the pictures and prayer requests are below)
The last 3 weeks in pictures
* Provision of a stove and refrigerator for our house (our current stove has to be babysat because the temperature does not regulate itself, and we are giving the frig to the girls cottage and buying our own. We hope to get a bigger one that is more suited for our entire family and all the guests that join us at our table on a regular basis.)
*Travel plans for Thanksgiving; time to rest and regroup for the busy winter and spring schedules coming up
*Finish up the cottage so the girls can move in soon (pray specifically for furnishings as well)
*Wisdom and discernment with the ministry and working with the Bahamian people
*We are working on hosting and facilitating a mission team that will be here in December; please pray we find someone to cook for them since we will be out with the group during the days
*ALCentre and ALCamp ministry: staff well being, facility repairs/construction, those we serve
*That God would send other missionary staff to help us here: especially maintenance staff to help Tom, a cook for camp, and someone to provide help with grounds and housekeeping here at camp
Thank you for your interest in our lives and ministry work. It is a blessing and encouragement to know you care and are praying for us.
Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest
Several posts back, we shared how we have been swimming in a sea of busyness these past 12+ months and how we were hoping to soon have some down time to relax and catch our breath. With the completion of our last big event, last weekend’s Young Adult Weekend, that long awaited down time finally arrived during the middle of last week. Other than a few local guest groups over weekends in November, our schedule has slowed down a bit. Of course the “off season” is time to do work projects, promote the camp, and gear up for the winter/spring groups, but it is also time to relax a little and complete personal business.
As an added bonus to our “break time” and thanks to a generous gift from some friends, the four of us spent this past weekend in paradise…Paradise Island that is. We had a blast playing in the water together and just relaxing and spending time together. We came home Sunday evening exhausted from all the fun activity, but we are definitely much more refreshed and rejuvenated. We praise the Lord for these little blessings He gives us!
We had originally thought we would not share our outing with everyone because we were afraid it might give the impression that we are extravagant with our money and our time, but as we were counseled and as we prayed about it, we felt someone might be encouraged as we shared how God provided for this little “extra” enjoyment. God is faithful and does provide good things to his children. In this case He provided for something we did not ask for, were not expecting, and didn’t know we really needed. Thank you, dear brother and sister (you know who you are), for allowing God to use you in this way! We really enjoyed the time away.
Like us (and the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp) on Facebook!
Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet? If not, you might want to consider doing so (The Seeley Family Serving in the Bahamas). We have begun to be more intentional with updating our family Facebook site. With that, we have tried to post pictures every couple days, if not every day. Consider checking in on Facebook often to see more up to the date information. You may also check out Adventure Learning Centre and Camp’s Facebook site as well. We have been attempting to keep that up to date as well.
The ALC Newsletter focuses on the ALC updates, prayer requests and information. We try to publish it every other month. Lord willing we will be working on the newsletter this next week. If you have never received the newsletter and would like us to add your email to the list to receive it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Let us know you would like to receive the ALC Newsletter.
The staff cottage is in the process of being tiled now. It will soon be ready for painting, inside and out. Since neither we nor our maintenance man Tom Schafer have time to do the painting ourselves, please pray that God sends the help needed to get this big project done.
The electric upgrade is finally finished. Praise the Lord! BEC made it out to hook up the last of the wiring and install the meters. We are so glad to have this big project complete. It took a lot of work organizing the project, but we learned a lot through the process.
*Prayer requests are listed after the pictures.
A review of the last 2 weeks in pictures!
The “relaxation” (not really relaxing but definitely a diversion from ministry work) of this past weekend have served us well. We praise the Lord for these times away; they are much needed.
*The ALC facility is falling apart in many places because of age and use. Please pray that God sends the help needed (financial provision and man power) to repair/replace things! Also, our maintenance guy will be gone for the next week and then again for 2 weeks in November. Pray for Tom as he rests and recuperates, and pray nothing breaks down here while he is gone.
*Wisdom and discernment in our work and our interactions with other staff and the people we serve
*Travel to be made over the next couple of months: Tim and Mindy will be going to a cousin’s wedding in Indiana this next weekend (the boys will be staying on the Island), Tim goes to Fort Lauderdale for outreach meetings at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale in 2 weeks, and we all will be going to Minnesota for Thanksgiving
*ALC staff unity
*Wisdom in Leadership: Tim over the Adventure Learning Camp and Mark Wallace over the Adventure Learning Centre
*God sends helpers to get the staff cottage painted and that God will send other laborers to help in the ministry work here at the ALC
*Praise God that the electric upgrade has been successfully completed
*Praise God for His providential care, His provision, and His blessings
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. We sincerely appreciate your interest in our work and lives. Please take a few minutes to email us to let us know how you are doing. We LOVE to hear from people (and it lets us know that people actually read these updates).
Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary Seeley
Where there is no vision the people will perish.
The adventure began in 1986, when missionaries Randy-affectionately known as “Uncle Randy” to the Bahamian students-and Kimberly Grebe had a vision for reaching out to students in the Bahamas. The Grebes envisioned an outdoor education centre that used the visible wonders of God’s creation to minister to students of the Bahamas.
At first, Randy and Kim took their hands-on programs to the schools and youth group outreaches. In January 1991, after presentation and approval of the proposed programs and building plans to the Bahamian officials and Ministry of Education and a generous government approved land offer by Hesketh and Dawn Johnson of Crossroads Ministry, the ground breaking and construction of Adventure Learning Centre began at the site where the main section of the Centre is today. Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” was the guiding scripture during the building process. The Centre was built by the financial donations and volunteer labor from generous supporters throughout the world.
On September 13, 1993, with the official endorsement of the Ministry of Education and a grand opening ceremony, Adventure Learning Centre began reaching thousands of children through field trips to the island’s only outdoor education program. The first group of students arrived on October 18, 1993, and by the end of the first school year, 7,700 students had visited the Centre.
Formerly Joy Bible Camp, Adventure Learning Camp was offered by Canadian missionaries Jack and Audrey Adams in late 1993 to Adventure Learning Centre board of directors.
On September 19-21, 2013, Bahamian dignitaries, past and present staff, volunteers and board members, and friends of Adventure Learning Centre and Camp gathered to celebrate 20 years of “Bringing the Wonders of God’s Creation Together with the Curiosity of Kids” and “Exposing Laborers to the Harvest Through Short-term Missions” at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. The three days of events included a donor dinner at a Nassau restaurant on Thursday evening, a celebration ceremony at the Centre on Friday, and a Family Funday on Saturday. It was a wonderful time of celebration remembering and reminiscing about the past , thanking God for what He is allowing us to do now, and praying for wisdom as we look ahead to the future.
We now invite you to enjoy pictures from the days leading up to the big events and the big events themselves!
We would like to publicly thank all the people that came out to help us celebrate and to help serve the community for the Funday. We could not have done it without you!
We feel so honored that God has allowed us to be a part of this awesome ministry. Although we have been here for only part of one year, we feel very attached to this ministry and the people it serves. We love the Bahamian people, and we hope and pray, as Jesus tarries, that we will be able to serve Him here for many years to come.
Please pray for the ministry and for all of the ALC&C staff. Most of all, please pray for the people we serve. God has brought us all here to this ministry for one reason, and that is to serve and bring glory to HIm. May Christ be glorified in deed!
**Stay tuned for the third and final post this weekend. We will be doing a general update of what is going on at the centre and camp and what will be coming up in the next couple of weeks. We told you we had a lot of ground to cover this week. We hope you have enjoyed the journey!