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Yearly Archives: 2013

Our Hope Has Come!

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

CHORUS
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

VERSE 2
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!

Logan sang in the chior and played the acoustic guitar.

Logan sang in the chior and played the acoustic guitar.

Zachary narrated two sections of the drama.

Zachary narrated two sections of the drama.

Mindy played the part of Anna.

Mindy played the part of Anna.

Tim played the part of Simeon.

Tim played the part of Simeon.

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.

The spiral stair case took some work to get shipped over here, but it finally arrived and is waiting to be installed.  It will give the girls access to the loft sleeping area.

Tim is finishing up the installation of the gas line that will fuel the water heater and the stove.

Florida Atlantic University Mission Team

30 American Medical Student Association members from Florida Atlantic University came for a mission trip December 16th-20th

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.

When we picked up each group from their ministry work at All Saints Camp each day (the team was divided into three groups and rotated to all 3 work sites), we were able to give them a tour of the Adventure Learning Centre.  This day we were able to take the group out onto the new wetlands boardwalk.

When we picked up the young people from their ministry work at All Saints Camp each day (the group was divided into three teams and rotated to all 3 work sites), we were able to give them a tour of the Adventure Learning Centre. This day we were able to take the group out onto the new wetlands boardwalk.

Congratulations, Logan!

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.

Logan received an academic scholarship award letter from University of Minnesota today!

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!

Our trip back to Minnesota began with Thanksgiving dinner with Tim's family....

Our trip back to Minnesota began with Thanksgiving dinner with Tim’s family….

It continued with playing street hockey (and eventually ice hockey) for the boys,...

It continued with playing street hockey (and eventually ice hockey) for the boys,…

...Mindy finally getting to be with all 4 of her boys (and Katie too),...

…Mindy finally getting to be with all 4 of her boys (and Katie too),…

...subzero temperatures, ...

…subzero temperatures, …

...dips in Aunt Becky and Uncle Paul's hot tub (yes, it cold weather) with the cousins, ...

…dips in Aunt Becky and Uncle Paul’s hot tub (yes, it was cold weather, and that is sparkling juice in the bottles/cups) with the cousins, …

...visiting with Tim's parents,...

…visiting with Tim’s parents,…

...visit with Mindy's parents,...

…visiting with Mindy’s parents,…

...watching the boys hang out together (playing what else but hockey),...

…watching the boys hang out together (playing what else but hockey),…

...visiting a long time traditional holiday spot, Macy's Christmas display in downtown Minneapolis, and the Holidazzle Parade,....

…visiting a long time traditional holiday spot, Macy’s Christmas display in downtown Minneapolis, and the Holidazzle Parade,….

...celebrating an early Christmas together as a family...

…celebrating an early Christmas together as a family…

...Mindy's annual lunch /shopping date with each of the boys,...

…Mindy’s annual lunch /shopping date with each of the boys,…

...enjoying snow (easy to enjoy when you know you will be heading back to 80's in a week),...

…enjoying snow (easy to enjoy when you know you will be heading back to 80’s in a week),…

...the guys enjoying a Minnesota Wild hockey game...

…the guys enjoying a Minnesota Wild hockey game…

...celebrating Logan's 18th birthday, ...

…celebrating Logan’s 18th birthday, …

...updating our sending church and Wisconsin friends at Grace Church, Viroqua, WI...

…updating our sending church and Wisconsin friends at Grace Church, Viroqua, WI…

...spending some time fellowshipping with our dear friends, the Becks...

…spending some time with our dear friends, the Becks (thanks for housing us while we were in the Viroqua area)…

...updating Bible Truth Chapel (Wausau, WI) on our ministry work...

…updating Bible Truth Chapel (Wausau, WI) on our ministry work…

...then visiting with our gracious hosts, Eric and Denise Shelly and daughters Grace and Hope  (Thank you for your awesome hospitality, Shelly family!)...

…then visiting with our gracious hosts, Eric and Denise Shelly and daughters Grace and Hope (Thank you for your awesome hospitality, Shelly family!)…

...not having to miss this wonderful pass time this year--shoveling snow...

…not having to miss this wonderful pass time this year–shoveling snow…

...catching Eden Baptist Church's annual ladies Christmas dinner (Mindy enjoyed surprising her good friend Carole Miller)...

…catching Eden Baptist Church’s annual ladies Christmas dinner (Mindy enjoyed surprising her good friend Carole Miller)…

...giving ministry update to Grace and Truth Chapel in Minneapolis, MN...

…giving ministry update to Grace and Truth Chapel in Minneapolis, MN…

...Grandma and Grandpa taking Logan to a Chinese Buffet to celebrate his birthday...

…Grandma and Grandpa taking Logan to a Chinese Buffet to celebrate his birthday…

...Grandma and Grandpa taking Zachary out for a belated birthday dinner at Ole Spaghetti Factory...

…Grandma and Grandpa taking Zachary out for a belated birthday dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory…

...saying a tearful good-bye (for Mindy anyway) to Andrew and Katie after a wonderful 2 weeks of off and on visits together...

…saying a tearful good-bye (for Mindy anyway) to Andrew, Katie and Garrett after a wonderful 2 weeks of off and on visits together…

...also saying good-bye to Tim's parents and her sister and brother-in-law,  Becky and Paul Kuehn...

…also saying good-bye to Tim’s parents and his sister and brother-in-law, Becky and Paul Kuehn…

...leaving snowy Minneapolis, Minnesota behind (you geography buffs, this is looking west)...

…leaving snowy Minneapolis, Minnesota behind (you geography buffs, this is looking west)…

...and arriving back in warm, sunny Nassau with a 2-week visitor, Aaron Mills.

…and arriving back in warm, sunny Nassau with a 2-week visitor, Aaron Mills.

When we got back, we hit the ground running, preparing the camp facility for the Florida Atlantic University team.  While we worked on the paper work and planning aspect of the team's arrival, Aaron and the boys cleaned the facilities.  The dining hall was cleaner than it has been cleaned in a very long time. Thank you, Aaron for all your hard work!  We never would have been able to do it without you!

When we got back, we hit the ground running, preparing the camp facility for the Florida Atlantic University team. While we worked on the paper work and planning aspect of the team’s arrival, Aaron and the boys cleaned the facilities. The dining hall was cleaner than it has been cleaned in a very long time. Thank you, Aaron for all your hard work! We never would have been able to do it without you!

Two days after we returned, the ALC staff got together for a Christmas party.

Two days after we returned, the ALC staff got together for a Christmas party.

We squeezed a few hours out of our weekend on Saturday evening, December 14th, to decorate for Christmas.  This is significant, and Mindy wanted a picture of the occasion.  The Christmas decorating is usually left to Mindy and the boys.  Tim rarely if ever gets involved.  We had a great time together and were joined by Michelle Brisbin and Aaron Mills that evening.

We squeezed a few hours out of our weekend on Saturday evening, December 14th, to decorate for Christmas. This is significant, and Mindy wanted a picture of the occasion. The Christmas decorating is usually left to Mindy and the boys. Tim rarely if ever gets involved. We had a great time together and were joined by Michelle Brisbin and Aaron Mills that evening.

The cute pencil Christmas tree and white lights throughout our tiny house helped make it feel like Christmas time.  The weather sure doesn't make it feel Christmasy to us northerners, but at least the lights added to the festivity.

The cute pencil Christmas tree and white lights throughout our tiny house helped make us “think” Christmas, but it sure did not feel or look like Christmas outside to us northerners.

After decorating the house, we had dinner together and watched "Home Alone" and "Charlie Brown's Christmas".

After decorating the house, we had dinner together and watched “Home Alone” and “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”.

On December 15th, Kingdom Life church told USA/Canada residents, Alissa and Blair Finley, good-bye.  The Finleys were going back to Canada after their year here working in Nassau.  The Finleys are going to be missed.

On December 15th, Kingdom Life church told USA/Canada residents, Alissa and Blair Finley, good-bye. The Finleys were going back to Canada after their year here working in Nassau. The Finleys are going to be missed.

We spent December 16-20th serving and leading the FAU students while they were here ministering to the Bahamian people.

We spent December 16-20th serving and leading the FAU students while they were here ministering to the Bahamian people.

Tis the season for coconuts.  Zachary has become a machete wielding coconut cutter upper.

Tis the season for coconuts. Zachary has become a machete wielding coconut cutter upper.

As soon as the FAU students left, we switched gears and began preparing our cabins to house more than the 14 they usually house.  Logan, Aaron and Zachary (but mostly Aaron), pulled beds apart, moved beds around, assembled "new" beds and fixed existing beds in all 5 of our cabins.  Each cabin is now configured to house sleep 16.  There is still work that needs done, but Aaron was a huge blessing to us in that he got so much done.

As soon as the FAU students left, we switched gears and began preparing our cabins for a huge group coming in January. Logan, Aaron and Zachary (but mostly Aaron), pulled beds apart, moved beds around, assembled “new” beds and fixed existing beds in all 5 of our cabins. Each cabin is now configured to sleep 16. There is still work that needs done, but Aaron was a huge blessing to us in that he got so much done.

"Hope Has Come" production at Kingdom Life Church.

Saturday and Sunday evenings were involved with the “Hope Has Come” production at Kingdom Life Church.

Aaron did not get to do many touristy things, but we did get him to Twin Brothers for conch fritters, conch salad and smoothies.

Aaron did not get to do many touristy things, but we did get him to Twin Brothers for conch fritters, conch salad and smoothies on Sunday afternoon.

Aaron worked to fix and tighten existing beds in all the cabins.  What a blessing Aaron was!

Aaron worked to fix and tighten existing beds in all the cabins. What a blessing Aaron was!

Elton Deetjen (one of our ALC facilitators) came to work with us at camp for a day since the Centre does not have school groups while the schools are on Christmas break.

Elton Deetjen (one of our ALC facilitators) came to work with us at camp for a day since the Centre does not have school groups while the schools are on Christmas break. He and Tim worked on moving a lot of “junk” out of the cottage next to the new girl staff cottage and worked on laying a gas line to the girl staff cottage.

Christmas Eve, Elton joined us and helped us bake cookies and prepare for the evening and Christmas day festivities.

Christmas Eve, Elton joined us and helped us bake cookies and prepare for the evening and Christmas day festivities.

Christmas Eve supper we made our own personal pan pizzas,...

Christmas Eve supper we made our own personal pan pizzas…

...and watched "Santa Clause" together while drinking hot cocoa with spray cream and candy canes.

…and watched “Santa Clause” together while drinking hot cocoa with spray cream and candy canes.

Kevin Poitier was finally around to receive his Christmas present from us.

Kevin Poitier was finally around to receive his Christmas present from us.

Christmas morning began the traditional way:  reading of the Christmas story before unwrapping presents.  What was not so traditional for us:  doing it in shorts and t-shirts with doors and windows wide open.

Christmas morning began the traditional way: reading of the Christmas story before unwrapping presents. What was not so traditional for us: doing it in shorts and t-shirts with doors and windows wide open.

Aaron joined our family this year for Christmas (God graciously gave us an "extra" distraction to fill the Garrett and Andrew/Katie void).

Aaron joined our family this year for Christmas (God graciously gave us an “extra” distraction to fill the Garrett and Andrew/Katie void).

After presents were opened, it was on to the kitchen to make bread and...

After presents were opened, it was on to the kitchen to make bread and…

...the traditional Chinese Nut Clusters.

…the traditional Chinese Nut Clusters.

That evening we joined both of our church's pastors and their families for dinner at the Bunting's house.  We had a great time of food and fellowship.

That evening we joined both of our church’s pastors and their families for dinner at the Bunting’s house. We had a great time of food and fellowship.

We are so blessed with these dear friends, to the left is Cedric and Alexine Moss, and to the right is Kristin and Keith Bunting.

We are so blessed with these dear friends, to the left is Cedric and Alexine Moss, and to the right is Kristin and Keith Bunting.

Tim and I went to bed late Christmas night for a few hours of sleep, but the boys opted to tough it out before we were to be picked up at 345am to go downtown for the Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade.

Tim, Aaron and Mindy went to bed late Christmas night for a few hours of sleep, but Zach and Logan opted to not nap before our 345am pick-up to go downtown for the Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade. We went with Tim and Felicia Ryan and their children, Faye Boscom, Keisha and Katie Dean, and Bradley King.

Our eyes were pretty bright during those wee hours of the morning.

Our eyes were pretty bright during those wee hours of the morning,…

...but as the morning progressed, our eyes began to become heavier.  The parade was fantastic, and we enjoyed seeing the pageantry!  We are new to Junkanoo and hold no biases for the different groups that performed in the parade.  We disagree with who the judges picked as the winners, but the Bahamians in our group were quite happy with the group that "won" the competition.  Congratulations Valley Boys for your victory (even though One Family was clearly a better group).

…but as the morning progressed, our eyes began to become heavier. The parade was fantastic, and we enjoyed seeing the pageantry! We are new to Junkanoo and hold no biases for the different groups that performed in the parade. We disagree with who the judges picked as the winners, but the Bahamians in our group were quite happy with the group that “won” the competition. Congratulations Valley Boys for your victory (even though One Family was clearly a better group).

By afternoon, we were quite exhausted (you can really see it in our eyes here).  By the time we left at 230pm, we were ready to go home and go to bed.  We are so glad we stuck it out all day.  It was quite fun to see.

By afternoon, we were quite exhausted (you can really see it in our eyes here). By the time we left at 230pm, we were ready to go home and go to bed. We are so glad we stuck it out all day. It was quite fun to see.

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

Did you receive a Christmas greeting from us earlier this week?

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 ocean and through the airports…

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.

Ministry News

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.

Prayer Requests

*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

With the last fitting in place, the girl staff cottage now has running water.  Plumber Tim enjoys getting to use his plumbing skills on occasion.

With the last fitting in place, the girl staff cottage now has running water. Plumber Tim enjoys getting to use his plumbing skills on occasion.

Google video talking with Andrew and Katie (and Gatsby the cat) is always a highlight for us.  We love getting to see our kids.

Google video talking with Andrew and Katie (and Gatsby the cat) is always a highlight for us. We love getting to see our kids.

Tika Penn, facilitating  a program in the petting farm area of Adventure Learning Centre.  Kudos to Facilitator staff who have been extremely busy ministering to 100’s of Bahamian children.

Tika Penn, facilitating a program in the petting farm area of Adventure Learning Centre. Kudos to Facilitator staff who have been extremely busy ministering to 100’s of Bahamian children.

Elton Deetjen, another of our program facilitators at the Centre, demonstrating the small animals in the nature centre.

Elton Deetjen, another of our program facilitators at the Centre, demonstrating the small animals in the nature centre.

Every month, the Bahama school principals meet at various venues to hold their principals meeting.  This month we hosted the principals at the Centre.  During their  break, we served them lunch. 140 30

Every month, the Bahama school principals meet at various venues to hold their principals meeting. This month we hosted the principals at the Centre. During their break, we served them lunch. 

(L-R)  ALC Board President Chet Lowe, Ian Brockway (Chet’s assistant), Zach (works with Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale’s Patmos placement).  Chet came to the island to meet with the Ministry of Education leadership.  We are trying to convince the Ministry to allow school children to attend the ALC for more than the 3 hours they currently allow.  Please pray that the Ministry looks favorable on our request.

(L-R) ALC Board President Chet Lowe, Ian Brockway (Chet’s assistant), Zach (works with Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale’s Patmos placement). Chet came to the island to meet with the Ministry of Education leadership. We are trying to convince the Ministry to allow school children to attend the ALC for more than the 3 hours they currently allow. Please pray that the Ministry looks favorable on our request.

This is the Keyser family.  Naomi is sister to a friend of ours, Katie Welch, from Westby, WI.  They are on the island for a month to speak at a local church.

This is the Keyser family. Naomi is sister to a friend of ours, Katie Welch, from Westby, WI. They are on the island for a month to speak at a local church.

This is Bob and Judy Balson and Judy’s sister Jill Wolf (on the left).  Bob and Judy are in the works of coming to the island to work full time with us here at the Camp.  They are from Wisconsin and are currently waiting for their house to sell.  We are praying they are here by early January.

This is Bob and Judy Balson and Judy’s sister Jill Wolf (on the left). Bob and Judy are in the works of coming to the island to work full time with us here at the Camp. They are from Wisconsin and are currently waiting for their house to sell. We are praying they are here by early January.

Our maintenance guy, Tom Schafer was on vacation for 2 weeks.  While he was gone, our solar bus radiator went bad.  Bob Balson jumped right in and was able to repair it.  What a blessing!

Our maintenance guy, Tom Schafer was on vacation for 2 weeks. While he was gone, our solar bus radiator went bad. Bob Balson jumped right in and was able to repair it. What a blessing!

Dinner with the Balsons and Jill.

Dinner with the Balsons and Jill.

Calvary Bible Church in Nassau held their Men’s retreat at ALCamp.  We enjoyed hosting these men.  As is customary, we provided a short orientation when they arrived.

Calvary Bible Church in Nassau held their Men’s retreat at ALCamp. We enjoyed hosting these men. As is customary, we provided a short orientation when they arrived.

Calvary Bible Church’s cook, Prescilla Murphy.  She cooked for the Men’s Retreat.  We enjoyed getting to know her.

Calvary Bible Church’s cook, Prescilla Murphy. She cooked for the Men’s Retreat. We enjoyed getting to know her.

The girl staff cottage is in the last stages of being painted on the inside.   After the painting is finished on the inside, we hope to furnish the living spaces so the girls can move in.

The girl staff cottage is in the last stages of being painted on the inside. After the painting is finished on the inside, we hope to furnish the living spaces so the girls can move in.

This is the Keith and Renae Saunders family.  We enjoyed food and fellowship with them one evening last week.

This is the Keith and Renae Saunders family. We enjoyed food and fellowship with them one evening last week.

We completed the delicious meal with these wonderful cheesecakes made by the Saunder’s oldest daughter who is a culinary arts major.  Yummy!

We completed the delicious meal with these wonderful cheesecakes made by the Saunder’s oldest daughter who is a culinary arts major. Yummy!

Last weekend the ALC ladies got together at Felicia Ryan’s house for a lady’s overnight.  The only ladies missing were Kim Wallace (Mark’s wife), Christine Wilson, (Sean’s wife) and Brittney (Eric’s girlfriend).

Last weekend the ALC ladies got together at Felicia Ryan’s house for a lady’s overnight. The only ladies missing were Kim Wallace (Mark’s wife), Christine Wilson, (Sean’s wife) and Brittney (Eric’s girlfriend).

Massage train!

Massage train!

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I was able to talk our very own Ms. Ada to join us for the overnight. Ms. Ada is like a mom to me.

On the agenda for the evening was food, encouragement as Titus 2 ladies, Manicures and pedicures, and a chick flick—Ultimate Gift!

On the agenda for the evening was food, encouragement as Titus 2 ladies, Manicures and pedicures, and a chick flick—Ultimate Gift!

Ms. Ada and Jen Rogers getting a pedicure.

Ms. Ada and Jen Rogers getting a pedicure.

Meanwhile, back at home, the guys were hosting Shadow, RJ and Elton for an overnight.

Meanwhile, back at home, the guys were hosting Shadow, RJ and Elton for an overnight.

On Sunday, we had the College of Bahamas students that attend our church over to our house for lunch.

On Sunday, we had the College of Bahamas students that attend our church over to our house for lunch.

Sunday evening we had our 4th and final Kingdom Life membership class at our house.  We LOVE these people and are so glad God has brought us to this fellowship.

Sunday evening we had our 4th and final Kingdom Life membership class at our house. We LOVE these people and are so glad God has brought us to this fellowship.

After the membership meeting, we had a dessert social.  Obviously Zachary had a great time.

After the membership meeting, we had a dessert social. Obviously Zachary had a great time.

This is Julian Williams.  He was on the island for a week to visit and help out around the Centre.  Julian was program director at the Centre 7 years ago.

This is Julian Williams. He was on the island for a week to visit and help out around the Centre. Julian was program director at the Centre 7 years ago.

Kevin Poitier (Left) and Elton Deetjen (Right).  We sure enjoy having these young men around.

Kevin Poitier (Left) and Elton Deetjen (Right). We sure enjoy having these young men around.

Logan volunteers at the Centre for 4 hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Helps  Mark Wallace with technical and computer related issues.

Logan volunteers at the Centre for 4 hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He helps Mark Wallace with technical and computer related issues.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Cost Right.  It is similar to a Sams Club or Costco.  This is the bagger I have built a relationship with.  Her name is Pascal.   Baggers are a norm in the Bahamas.  Along with that is the expectation to tip baggers.  Although I hate having to spend so much in tipping, I don’t mind paying my friend to bag my groceries.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Cost Right. It is similar to a Sams Club or Costco. This is the bagger I have built a relationship with. Her name is Pascal. Baggers are a norm in the Bahamas. Along with that is the expectation to tip baggers. Although I hate having to spend so much in tipping, I don’t mind paying my friend to bag my groceries.

On Monday night we had Jen Rogers and Julian Williams for dinner.

On Monday night we had Jen Rogers and Julian Williams for dinner.

We enjoyed getting to know Julian and can’t wait until he comes back.

We enjoyed getting to know Julian and can’t wait until he comes back.

On Tuesday evening, we had Julia Williams and Michelle for dinner—made to order omelets.

On Tuesday evening, we had Julia Williams and Michelle for dinner—made to order omelets.

Saying see you later to Julia Williams.  She will be leaving the island on December 5th.  Hopefully she will be back next summer.

Saying “see you later” to Julia Williams. She will be leaving the island on December 5th. Hopefully she will be back next summer.

Julian Williams and Julia Williams.  These two had fun with their similar names.

Julian Williams and Julia Williams. These two had fun with their similar names.

With  warm clothes on and  nearly empty suitcases in tow, we boarded a plane  heading for Minnesota for a 2 week vacation.

With warm clothes on and nearly empty suitcases in tow, Wednesday we boarded a plane heading for Minnesota for a 2 week vacation. (Our winter clothes are at our parent’s house and we need room in our suitcases to bring back supplies.)

Airline electronics policy has changed.  We can now use electronics during take-off.  I snapped this picture of New Providence.

Airline electronics policy has changed. We can now use electronics during take-off. I snapped this picture of New Providence.

Thanksgiving!

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!

Lesson from an unwanted visitor: Do we always have to be thankful?

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

Two weeks ago, Tim and Mindy flew to Indiana for Mindy's cousin's wedding.  We left 93 degree weather and were greeted with  upper 30 degree temps and freezing rain/snow.  The trees were beautiful and the air was crisp.  Just the way Mindy likes it!

Two weeks ago, Tim and Mindy flew to Indiana for Mindy’s cousin’s wedding. We left 93 degree weather in Nassau and were greeted with upper 30 degree temps and freezing rain/snow in Indiana. The trees were beautiful and the air was crisp. Just the way Mindy likes it!

Got to experience fall weather after all!  Smelled like fall, sounded like fall, felt like fall!

Got to experience fall weather after all! Smelled like fall, sounded like fall, looked like fall, felt like fall (and probably would have tasted like fall if it were possible)!

Bonfire with Mindy's sisters (Tammy and Missy) and parents (Dick and Mom). Dick wanted us to experience as much fall as we could while we were up north.

Bonfire with Mindy’s sisters and brother-in-law (Tammy/John and Missy) and parents (Dick and Mom). Dick wanted us to experience as much fall as we could while we were up north–complete with jeans, sweaters, scarves, leather coat and gloves!

Meanwhile, back at camp in Nassau, the facilitators and the boys were having a crazy party to celebrate Marion's birthday.  Marion is the French facilitator.

Meanwhile, back at camp in Nassau, the facilitators and the boys were having a crazy party to celebrate Marion’s birthday. Marion is the French facilitator.

Those of us that met in Indiana for the wedding: Tammy and John with their sons Dylan and Connor, Missy, Dick and Mom.

Mindy’s sisters (Tammy and Missy) and Tammy’s husband John and sons Connor and Dylan came up from Charleston, SC for the wedding.

The last cousin to  get married.  Kristy and her husband Brad.  It was a beautiful, traditional wedding held at the Indiana State Capital Buidling---gorgeous!

The last cousin to get married. Kristy and her husband Brad. It was a beautiful, traditional wedding held at the Indiana State Capital Buidling—gorgeous!

The cousins.  Finally a get together that was not a funeral.  Notice, all girls.  Interesting fact, the generation under us is nearly all boys (14 boys, 4 girls).  Mindy and her sister are twins, and the cousin third from the left is the mother of triplet boys.  What is in store the next generation?  Quad girls???

The cousins. Finally a get together that was not a funeral. Notice they are all girls. Interesting fact, the generation under them is nearly all boys (14 boys and 4 girls). Mindy and her sister are twins, and the cousin third from the left is the mother of triplet boys. What is in store the next generation? Quad girls???

On Sunday morning, we were able to connect with the church Mindy grew up attending, Edgewood Baptist Church in Danville, IL.  To the right is Pastor and Mrs. Matt Harmless, and to the left is the assistant Pator

On Sunday morning, we were able to connect with the church Mindy grew up attending, Edgewood Baptist Church in Danville, IL. We shared a brief ministry update. To the right is Pastor and Mrs. Matt Harmless, and to the left is the assistant Pastor and his wife.

Sunday evening, we presented an update at another supporting church, Hillery Bible Chapel in Danville, IL.

Sunday evening, we presented an update at another supporting church, Hillery Bible Chapel in Danville, IL.

This is literally where it all began for us!  This is the exact spot we met on December 21, 1986.  It was at Hillery Bible Chapel in Danville, IL.

This is literally where it all began for us! This is the exact spot we met on December 21, 1986. It was at Hillery Bible Chapel in Danville, IL.

Two years before we met, this man, Tim Van Ryn, and Tim Hadley (currently lives with his family in Michigan) came in to the restaurant that Mindy and Missy worked at.  The two Tims (Tim Van Ryn and Tim Hadley) prayed for their food while Mindy was sweeping the dining room.  She asked them what church they attended, and this began a friendship that would later result in us meeting and eventually marrying.

Two years before we met, Tim Van Ryn (pictured here with Mindy and Missy), and Tim Hadley (currently living with his family in Michigan) came in to the restaurant that Mindy and Missy worked at. Tim Van Ryn and Tim Hadley prayed for their food while Mindy was sweeping the dining room. She asked them what church they attended, and this began a friendship that would later result in us meeting and eventually marrying.

We returned back to our parent's house where Tammy and Mom had planned a little surprise birthday party for Tim.  It was his 53rd birthday that day!

We returned back to our parent’s house where Tammy and Mom had planned a little surprise birthday party for Tim. It was his 53rd birthday that day!

On Monday, we flew back to Nassau.  On our way from the plane to customs, we saw our assistant pastor at Kingdom Life, Keith Bunting, in the gate area waiting to board his plane to the states to attend a pastor's conference.  He and Tim conversed on telephones because the glass was too thick and high to hear each other.

On Monday, we flew back to Nassau. On our way from the plane to customs, we saw our assistant pastor at Kingdom Life, Keith Bunting, in the gate area waiting to board his plane to the states to attend a pastor’s conference. He and Tim conversed on telephones because the glass was too thick and high to hear each other.

Early last week, schools were on fall break and testing time so the Centre had very small groups coming for programs.  Facilitators helped us at camp prime the girl staff cottage.  There is a debate going on what to name this cottage.  The other cabins on site are named after the family islands.  The girls are thinking of calling this Cat Island.  (Hmmm?)

Early last week, schools were on fall break and testing time so the Centre had very small groups coming for programs. Facilitators helped us at camp prime the girl staff cottage. There is a debate going on what to name this cottage. The other cabins on site are named after the family islands. The girls are thinking of calling this Cat Island. (Hmmm?)

While facilitators painted, Tom and Tim were trying to figure out where to did the trenches for water lines.  Tim thought he would try to pick axe it by hand.

While facilitators painted, Tom and Tim were trying to figure out where to did the trenches for water lines. Tim thought he would try to pick axe it by hand.

Tim and our electrician Fabian also worked on hooking the cottage up to the current.

Tim and our electrician Fabian also worked on hooking the cottage up to the current.

Tim opted to rent a trencher instead of digging it by hand.  Here he and Fabian are trenching for an electric line from the bath house to the cabins.

Tim opted to rent a trencher instead of digging it by hand. Here he and Fabian are trenching for an electric line from the bath house to the cabins.

Priming moved inside the cottage on Friday.

Priming moved inside the cottage on Friday.

Break for lunch with our honorable guest, Pastor Cranston Knowles.  Pastor at Abundant Life Bible Church.

Break for lunch with our honorable guest, Pastor Cranston Knowles. Pastor at Abundant Life Bible Church.

Then it was back to work that afternoon to dig the trench for the water line from the well house to the cottages.

Then it was back to work that afternoon to dig the trench for the water line from the well house to the cottages.

Early in the week last week, Jingles, the black and white cat that belonged to Tom died.  The Centre had two cats, so we brought the younger of the two cats to be the Camp cat.  This is Samson and he has adopted us as his family.

Early in the week last week, Jingles, the black and white cat that belonged to Tom died. The Centre had two cats, so we brought the younger of the two cats to be the Camp cat. This is Samson and he has adopted us as his family.

Trying to feel like fall here.  Monday evening this past week did feel a little cool with the winds howling and the air temperature in the upper 70's to low 80's.

Trying to feel like fall here. Monday evening this past week did feel a little cool with the winds howling and the air temperature in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.

On Saturday, Tim worked on laying the water pipe and filling the trenches so cars can use the driveway.

On Saturday, Tim worked on laying the water pipe and filling the trenches so cars can use the driveway.

Saturday evening after the girls spent the afternoon at the beach with Marion (it was Marion's last day on the island before she left on Sunday), we had everyone to our house for homemade whole wheat waffles.  We learned something else about the Bahamas that night, baking powder does not last very long here.  The powder did not function properly in the waffles because of the humidity of the summer.  We just opened that can earlier this summer.  The new one is now in the frig.

Saturday evening after the girls spent the afternoon at the beach with Marion (it was Marion’s last day on the island before she left on Sunday), we had everyone to our house for homemade whole wheat waffles. We learned something else about the Bahamas that night, baking powder does not last very long here. The powder did not function properly in the waffles because of the humidity of the summer that got into the can. We just opened that can earlier this summer. The new one is now in the frig.

Sunday morning we said good-bye to Marion.  She was here for two months and we are sad to see her go.  She is off to Haiti for a six month mission.

Sunday morning we said good-bye to Marion. She was here for two months and we are sad to see her go. She is off to Haiti for a six month mission.

Sunday evening we began membership classes at Kingdom Life Church.

Sunday evening we began membership classes at Kingdom Life Church.

Prayer Requests

* 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.

God bless!
Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary

God’s Provision: A Calmer Sea!

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.

Mark 6:31

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

Hebrews 4:9-10

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!

Our weekend getaway in paradise...Paradise Island that is.  Someone graciously blessed us with the means to stay at the Comfort Suites on PI.  One of the perks of the hotel is full use of the Atlantis water park and pools.

Our weekend getaway in paradise…Paradise Island that is. Someone graciously blessed us with the means to stay at the Comfort Suites on PI. One of the perks of the hotel is full use of the Atlantis water park and pools.

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.

ALC Newsletter

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 tims@alcbahamas.org or mseeleyrn@gmail.com.  Let us know you would like to receive the ALC Newsletter.

Camp Projects

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 most recent picture of the staff cottage.

The most recent picture of the staff cottage.

A picture from the back of the cottage looking towards the front.  This is the kitchen area.

A picture from the back of the cottage looking towards the front. This is the kitchen area.

This is the loft area being tiled.  This is where the girls will sleep.

This is the loft area being tiled. This is where the girls will sleep.

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.

BEC finally showed up.  The electric upgrade is now complete.  Hallelujah!

BEC finally showed up. The electric upgrade is now complete. Hallelujah!

It was a long road to completion, but it is finally complete and we are so glad.  We have learned a lot through this whole process.

It was a long road to completion, but it is finally complete and we are so glad. We have learned a lot through this whole process.

*Prayer requests are listed after the pictures.

A review of the last 2 weeks in pictures!

Rarely are we ever alone at our dinner table (and that is exactly how we like it).  This night we welcomed, Jen, Tika and Lagloria for dinner.  Tika had come to work with Logan on worship songs for the Young Adult Weekend.

Rarely are we ever alone at our dinner table (and that is exactly how we like it). This night we welcomed, Jen, Tika and Lagloria for dinner. Tika had come to work with Logan on worship songs for the Young Adult Weekend.

Logan has developed his ability to play the guitar, and because of that, he has been able to help with times of worship at camp and at church.

Logan has developed his ability to play the guitar, and because of that, he has been able to help with times of worship at camp and at church.

We picked up our Young Adult Weekend speaker, Jay Seegert, and his wife Amy on Thursday afternoon, October 10th.  We were able to spend some time talking before dinner that evening.

We picked up our Young Adult Weekend speaker, Jay Seegert, and his wife Amy on Thursday afternoon, October 10th. We were able to spend some time talking before dinner that evening.

That evening, Mark and Kim Wallace joined us for dinner so they too could get to know Jay and Amy.

That evening, Mark and Kim Wallace joined us for dinner so they too could get to know Jay and Amy.

A box of toys that we had forgotten we had brought came in handy for entertaining Adam and Ava Wallace.  (Zachary was entertained as well!)  Zachary is such a blessing.  He sincerely loves playing with small children.  His gift is a blessing to parents of small children.

A box of toys that we had forgotten we had brought came in handy for entertaining Adam and Ava Wallace. (Zachary was entertained as well!) Zachary is such a blessing. He sincerely loves playing with small children. His gift is a blessing to parents of small children.

One of our uninvited house guests.  This is a slug.  We have found a couple of these in our house.  One of the many Bahamian critters we get to "enjoy".

One of our uninvited house guests. This is a slug. We have found a couple of these in our house. One of the many Bahamian critters we get to “enjoy”. Like cockroaches, they make them bigger here in the Bahamas then they do in the USA. YUCK!

On Friday, Jay Seegert did a radio interview at JCN (a Bahamian radio station).  Tim was able to advertise the Young Adult Weekend as well.

On Friday, Jay Seegert did a radio interview at JCN (a Bahamian radio station). Tim was able to advertise the Young Adult Weekend as well.

While Jay and Tim spoke on the radio, Mindy took Amy to see downtown Nassau and the Queen's Staircase.

While Jay and Tim spoke on the radio, Mindy took Amy to see downtown Nassau and the Queen’s Staircase.

Friday evening, we opened registration for the Young Adult Weekend.

Friday evening, we opened registration for the Young Adult Weekend.

Turn out for the weekend was low, but the ALC staff was able to glean a lot of helpful information from Jay Seegert and had a great time of bonding together as a group.

Turn out for the weekend was low, but the ALC staff was able to glean a lot of helpful information from Jay Seegert and had a great time of bonding together as a group.

After the Friday evening session, we had a time of refreshment and fellowship along with a chance to unwind around a campfire.

After the Friday evening session, we had a time of refreshment and fellowship along with a chance to unwind around a campfire.

On Saturday morning, after a good Bahamian breakfast of tune, corn beef, and grits (yummy!) made by our very own Ms. Aida, we began the session with a time of worship led by our very own TIka Penn, Logan and Zachary.

On Saturday morning, after a good Bahamian breakfast of tune, corn beef, and grits (yummy!) made by our very own Ms. Aida, we began the session with a time of worship led by our very own TIka Penn, Logan and Zachary.

Morning session

Morning session

The attendees of the first annual Young Adult Weekend.  There were 4 attendees besides our staff.  Not what we had hoped for, but it was a great weekend nonetheless.  We learned a lot (from the speaker as well as from the actual process of running a Bahamian camp).  We had a great time!

The attendees of the first annual Young Adult Weekend. There were 4 attendees besides our staff. Not what we had hoped for, but it was a great weekend nonetheless. One of the ALC facilitators said we should have more events like this because it was a great learning time and a time to grow together as a “family”. As one of the attendees said, “It’s a start, and you can learn more for next year.”

Ms. Aida was in the kitchen and missed the call for the group picture.   True to fashion, she treated us all with her famous Bahamian cooking.  What a treat!

Ms. Aida was in the kitchen and missed the call for the group picture. True to fashion, she treated us all with her famous Bahamian cooking. What a treat!

Before dinner, some of the young people enjoyed a game...

Before dinner, some of the young people enjoyed a game…

...while others relaxed reading the speaker's book.

…while others relaxed reading the speaker’s book.

We enjoyed hosting the Seegerts.  The information was great and the fellowship was sweet.

We enjoyed hosting the Seegerts and gleaning so much information from Jay’s presentations.

On Sunday, Jay spoke at Kingdom Life Church.

On Sunday, Jay spoke at Kingdom Life Church.

After Jay spoke in the am service at Kingdom life, we met at our pastor's house.  This was the young people's table.  From left to right is Keaton and Kendall Bunting, Deborah (pastor Cedric's niece), Logan, Zachary, Kara Bunting, and Abby Moss.

After Jay spoke in the am service at Kingdom life, we met at our pastor’s house. This was the young people’s table. From left to right is Keaton and Kendall Bunting, Deborah (pastor Cedric’s niece), Logan, Zachary, Kara Bunting, and Abby Moss.

This is the adult table.  From left to right:  Kristin Bunting, Antja Humes, Cedric  and Alexine Moss, us, Amy and Jay Seegert, Keith Bunting, and David Humes.

This is the adult table. From left to right: Kristin Bunting, Antja Humes, Cedric and Alexine Moss, us, Amy and Jay Seegert, Keith Bunting, and David Humes.

On Tuesday, October 14th, Jay participated in the taping of a television interview.

On Tuesday, October 14th, Jay participated in the taping of a television interview.

After the television program taping and dinner at Montague Gardens (one of our favorite restaurants), we took Jay and Amy to Marina Village and to see Atlantis's "Dig" (aquarium).

After the television program taping and dinner at Montague Gardens (one of our favorite restaurants), we took Jay and Amy to Marina Village and to see Atlantis’s “Dig” (aquarium).

Mindy dropped Jay and Amy off at the airport on Wednesday around 2pm and picked-up our newest ALC facilitator, Michelle.  We had all the ALC facilitator staff for dinner that evening to meet and great Michelle for her first night on the island.  She is from (where else?) Wisconsin and will be with us for the next 5 months.

Mindy dropped Jay and Amy off at the airport on Wednesday around 2pm and picked-up our newest ALC facilitator, Michelle. We had all the ALC facilitator staff for dinner that evening to meet and great Michelle for her first night on the island. She is from (where else?) Wisconsin and will be with us for the next 5 months. From left to right: Logan, Elton, Zachary, Marion, Sam, Julia, Michelle, Tika, Jen, Tim.

For our weekend getaway, we stayed at the Comfort Suites on Paradise Island, right next to the Atlantis Hotel.

For our weekend getaway, we stayed at the Comfort Suites on Paradise Island, right next to the Atlantis Hotel. One of the perks of staying at the Comfort Suites is full use of Atlantis hotel’s water park and pools. After checking in Friday morning (our room was ready by 11am), we changed and made our way over to enjoy Atlantis. Besides not having to pay for the weekend (someone generously blessed us with this getaway), we were able to get this room at a much smaller rate because we are residents of the Bahamas.

This is the casino area of Atlantis.  You have to walk through it, but besides affording us with a view of how many people waste their hard earned money, we get to enjoy the beautiful art work.  This is a "sun" sculpture.  It is gorgeous.

This is the casino area of Atlantis. You have to walk through it to get to the Dig. One of the art pieces on display is this “sun” sculpture. It is gorgeous.

This is the "moon" sculpture.

This is the “moon” sculpture.

Since we never come to the Atlantis during daylight hours (you cannot get in unless you have a wrist band), we were amazed at how different the aquarium looks during the day as opposed to the dark of night.  This is the entry into the "Dig" area (Atlantis's aquarium).

Since we never come to the Atlantis during daylight hours (you cannot get in unless you have a wrist band), we were amazed at how different the aquarium looks during the day as opposed to the dark of night. This is the entry into the “Dig” area (Atlantis’s aquarium).

The aquarium truly looks different in the daylight than it does at night.

The aquarium truly looks different in the daylight than it does at night.

This is the Atlantis Bridge Suite.  We hear it is quite spendy to stay in  that suite.  We have never had a photograph of it in the daylight.  We have tried to take pictures here before but they have never turned out because it was always dark.

This is the Atlantis Bridge Suite. We hear it is quite spendy to stay in that suite. We have never had a photograph of it in the daylight. We have tried to take pictures here before but they have never turned out because it was always dark.

The Atlantis resort is massive.  We were trying to get our bearings and see where everything was.

The Atlantis resort is massive. We were trying to get our bearings and see where everything was.

One of the many pools...carrying on the Atlantis theme.

One of the many pools…carrying on the Atlantis theme.

Another area that looks totally different during the daylight hours.  This is predator's tunnel.  There are sharks swimming everywhere.  Totally cool!

Another area that looks totally different during the daylight hours. This is predator’s tunnel. There are sharks swimming everywhere. Totally cool!

Friday evening we went to church for movie night.  Before the movie was a time of food and fellowship.

Before we planned our getaway to Paradise Island, we had made plans to attend Kingdom Life’s movie night on Friday. So that evening we went to church for movie night. Before the movie was a time of food and fellowship.

ALC facilitators joined us for the movie night.

Many ALC staff came to the movie night at Kingdom Life. From left to right/front to back: Marion, Julia, Alex (couple of the Kingdom LIfe young people), Katie, Jen, Sam, Charmaine, Michelle, Felicia, Mindy, LaGloria.

On Saturday morning, while the boys slept in, we took a walk through the Atlanis grounds to see parts we had never seen before.  This is over by "The Cove" and "The Reef" towers.

On Saturday morning, while the boys slept in, we took a walk through the Atlanis grounds to see parts we had never seen before. This is over by “The Cove” and “The Reef” towers. After our morning walk, we ate breakfast together at the hotel before venturing out to the water park for a day of fun.

After a day of play at the water part, we went to one of our favorite restaurants on PI, The Green Parrot.  This is the sunset view we enjoyed as we ate our dinner.  This is a picture of the 2 bridges leading to and from Paradise Island.  The far bridge is the entrance bridge and the near bridge is the exit bridge.

After a day of play at the water park, we went to one of our favorite restaurants on PI, The Green Parrot. This is the sunset view we enjoyed as we ate our dinner. This is a picture of the 2 bridges leading to and from Paradise Island. The far bridge is the entrance bridge and the near bridge is the exit bridge.

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.

Prayer Requests

*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).

God bless!
Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary Seeley

Celebrating 20 Years of Adventure!

Randy and Kim Grebe in the early days of Adventure Learning Centre. Taken from the tower at the Centre.

Randy and Kim Grebe in the early days of Adventure Learning Centre. Taken from the tower at the Centre.

Where there is no vision the people will perish.

Proverbs 29:18

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.

Randy and Kim Grebe on the tower in February of this year when they were on the island chaperoning a mission team from the school in Florence, SC where their daughter attends school.

Randy and Kim Grebe on the tower in February of this year when they were on the island chaperoning a mission team from the school in Florence, SC where their daughter attends school.

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!

Preparation for the 20th Celebration at the Centre began last Spring with meetings for making the picture book and planning the 3 days of events.  During the 2 weeks leading up to the Celebration, work on the program and facility took much of our time.  Here the facilitators were working on the puppet show in the new puppet stage.

Preparation for the 20th Celebration at the Centre began last Spring with meetings for making the picture book and planning the 3 days of events. During the 2 weeks leading up to the Celebration, work on the program and facility took much of our time. Here the facilitators were working on the puppet show in the new puppet stage.

The puppets in action in the new puppet stage tree house.

The puppets in action in the new puppet stage tree house.

One of the projects was the erecting of the new sign at Adventure Learning Camp

One of the pre-celebration projects was the erecting of the new sign at the Camp…

...and the new sign at the Centre

…and the new sign at the Centre

While we did help with some of the preparation activities at the Centre, we also prepared for and hosted 14 people who had come from the States to attend the Celebration.   This is Jon and Annemieke Stassel.  Jon is Tim's cousin and was a huge part of the construction of the ALC.  They were at the ALC until 1996.  Jon and Annemieke arrived on Tuesday, September 17th.

While we did help with some of the preparation activities at the Centre, we also prepared for and hosted 14 people who had come from the States to attend the Celebration. This is Jon and Annemieke Stassel. They were the first of the out of town guests to arrive. Jon is Tim’s cousin and was a huge part of the construction of the ALC. They ministered at the ALC until 1996.

Another of the big projects was the cleaning and repairing of the structures around the Centre.  On Thursday, September 19th,  Tika, Marion and Jen continued the HUGE job of scrubbing fences with bleach.

Another of the big projects was the cleaning and repairing of the structures around the Centre. On Thursday, September 19th, Tika, Sam, Marion and Jen continued the HUGE job of scrubbing fences with bleach.

Zachary and RJ (Centre Office Manager, Eldora Carter's son) were also recruited to help get the Centre ready for the Celebration events.

Zachary and RJ (Centre Office Manager, Eldora Knowles’ son) were also recruited to help get the Centre ready for the Celebration events.

RJ and Zachary painting the wall around the flag pole.

RJ and Zachary painting the wall around the flag pole.

Moving chairs from the Media Centre to the pavilion for Friday's ceremony.

Moving chairs from the Media Centre to the pavilion for Friday’s ceremony.

Tom Schafer (our maintenance guy), Sean Wilson and our other 2 grounds keepers worked really hard around the Centre as well.

Tom Schafer (our maintenance guy), Sean Wilson and our other 2 grounds keepers worked really hard around the Centre as well.

One of my (Mindy) jobs was to make airport runs to pick up guests.  This is Humprhey and Marilyn Duncanson.  They are from Long Island, New York and were on the ALC board during its early days.  It was great meeting and hosting these dear people.

One of my (Mindy) jobs was to make airport runs to pick up guests. This is Humprhey and Marilyn Duncanson. They are from Long Island, New York and were on the ALC board during its early days. It was great meeting and hosting these dear people.

Thursday evening's donor reception took place at Luccianos in downtown Nassau.

Thursday evening’s donor reception took place at Luccianos in downtown Nassau.

Directors of the ALC&C:  Tim (Mindy) Seeley, Camp Director and Mark (Kim) Wallace Centre Director

Directors of the ALC&C
Tim- Camp Director
Mark (Kim) Wallace-Centre Director.

Mark's wife, Kim, did a fantastic job at decorating and putting together the decorations for the events.  She and Mark spent 100's of hours working on the events.

Mark’s wife, Kim, did a fantastic job at decorating and putting together the decorations for the events. She and Mark spent 100’s of hours working on the details of the events.

Our table at the donor reception.  Seated with us are Cranston Knowles (current board member), Mark Davis (past board member), as well as a 2 couples we had just met that evening.

Our table at the donor reception. Seated with us are Cranston Knowles (current board member), Mark Davis (past board member), as well as 2 couples we had just met that evening. Mark Wallace, Randy Grebe, Tim, Lee Burtelson (current board member), and Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald spoke at the reception.

Friday morning, after a time of prayer with the staff, we began putting the finishing touches on the Centre.  It had rained heavily on Thursday evening and a little on Friday morning.  Dirt had to be brought in to absorb some of the water.

Friday morning, after a time of prayer with the staff, we began putting the finishing touches on the Centre. It had rained heavily on Thursday evening and a little on Friday morning. Dirt had to be brought in to absorb some of the water.

Ms. Aida one of the many helpers getting the pavilion ready for the ceremony.

Ms. Aida one of the many helpers getting the pavilion ready for the ceremony.

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Kim Wallace (left) and Tika Penn helping with decoration.

Kim Wallace (left), pictured with Tika Penn, supervised the decoration of the Centre for the celebration ceremony. She put in a LOT of time and effort into every detail. Her brother also donated a lot of his time and materials for making the ALC look really nice.

Alfred Nahkla, Eric Nelson, Randy Grebe before the ceremony.

Alfred Nahkla, Eric Nelson, Randy Grebe before the ceremony.

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The ALC ready for the celebration!

The ALC ready for the celebration!

Guests started arriving and our job was to greet them and hand out the anniversary book.

Guests started arriving and our job was to greet them and hand out the anniversary book.

Ceremony opened in prayer by Pastor Cranston Knowles, one of our board members.

Ceremony opened in prayer by Pastor Cranston Knowles, one of our board members.

The ceremony began with the Bahamas national anthem.  Three schools were invited to send children to the ceremony.

The ceremony began with the Bahamas national anthem. Three schools were invited to send children to the ceremony.

After the national anthem, the ceremony began with a puppet show.  The puppets sand the Celebration song.

After the national anthem, the ceremony began with a puppet show. The puppets sang the Celebration song.

Following the puppet show, Mark Wallace addressed the crowd.  In the audience were several media outlets.  Minister of Education, Jerome Fitzgerald was in attendence.

Following the puppet show, Mark Wallace addressed the crowd. In the audience were several media outlets. Minister of Education, Jerome Fitzgerald was in attendance.

Some of our staff enjoying the ceremony from the back.

Some of our staff enjoying the ceremony from the back.

Part of the ceremony included dividing the audience into 3 groups and sending them to the three program areas to experience what the school children experience on a daily basis when they come to the Adventure Learning Centre.  The three areas were the wetlands via the train, the planetarium, and the petting farm/nature center.

Part of the ceremony included dividing the audience into 3 groups and sending them to the three program areas to experience what the school children experience on a daily basis when they come to the Adventure Learning Centre. The three areas were the wetlands via the train, the planetarium, and the petting farm/nature center.

Minister of Education, Jerome FItzgerald, addressed the audience.

Minister of Education, Jerome FItzgerald, addressed the audience. Randy Grebe and Chet Lowe also addressed the audience.

Minister FItzgerald with the children on the train.

Minister FItzgerald with the children on the train.

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The ALC staff family! Several of the staff were honored for their many years of service. We feel so honored getting to be a part of this group and getting to serve our Lord together with these awesome people.

The ALC staff family! Several of the staff were honored for their many years of service. We feel so honored getting to be a part of this group and getting to serve our Lord together with these awesome people.

Everyone staying at camp:  along with our staff are Paul and Beth Hadley, Humphrey and Marilyn Duncanson,, Alfred and Maria Nakhla, Nate Kaiser, Randy and Kim and Annika Grebe, Roger and Grace Grebe, and Jon and Annemieke.

Friday evening, after cleaning up from the ceremony and setting up for the Funday to be held on Saturday, some past facilitators hosted a meal at the camp for everyone. Everyone staying at camp: along with our staff are Paul and Beth Hadley, Humphrey and Marilyn Duncanson,, Alfred and Maria Nakhla, Nate Kaiser, Randy and Kim and Annika Grebe, Roger and Grace Grebe, and Jon and Annemieke.

Every morning while they staid at camp, the guests attending the celebration activities would join us at our house for breakfast.  Since we knew these people from back in Wisconsin/Minnesota/Illinois, it was so much fun visiting with them.

Every morning while they staid at camp, the guests attending the celebration activities would join us at our house for breakfast. Since we knew these people from back in Wisconsin/Minnesota/Illinois, it was so much fun visiting with them.

Breakfast at the Seeley's house.

Breakfast at the Seeley’s house.

Friday after the ceremony and Saturday morning, the staff set up for a Funday.  A Funday is a carnival of sorts that we use to help raise funds to operate the Centre.  Although we had a great time, the turn out was low due to many factors including the weather.  It was rainy much the day.

Friday after the ceremony and Saturday morning, the staff set up for a Funday. A Funday is a carnival of sorts that we use to help raise funds to operate the Centre. Although we had a great time, the turn out was low due to many factors including the weather. It was rainy much the day.

One of the Funday activities is a skit of sorts that coincides with the train ride.  This is where the gospel is presented to the guests.  Tika Penn was in charge of the skit this year, and she did a fantastic job!

One of the Funday activities is a skit of sorts that coincides with the train ride. This is where the gospel is presented to the guests. Tika Penn was in charge of the skit this year, and she did a fantastic job telling the story of Creation, man’s fall into sin, and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ! Way to go Tika!

Music provided by a DJ!

Music provided by a DJ!

Ms. Aida's awesome chicken wings were among the food items available.

Ms. Aida’s awesome chicken wings were among the food items available.

Our pastor's wife and daugther, Alexine and Abby Moss, were among the many volunteers that helped us man the activities of the Funday.

Our pastor’s wife and daugther, Alexine and Abby Moss, were among the many volunteers that helped us man the activities of the Funday.

Although the rain dampened things a bit, the 580 people that did come out for the Funday seemed to have a great time.

Although the rain dampened things a bit, the 580 people that did come out for the Funday seemed to have a great time.

Horse rides

Horse rides

Randy and Kim Grebe introduced us to this young man.  This young man laid one of the first blocks in the construction of the ALC back over 20 years ago.

Randy and Kim Grebe introduced us to this young man. This young man laid one of the first blocks in the construction of the ALC back over 20 years ago.

Playground and climbing wall

Playground and climbing wall

Train ride with drama presentaion

Train ride with drama presentation

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!

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