(posted by Mindy)
Hello, everyone. We are sorry we have not posted in a while. This week we have been busily serving our first mission team guest group here at the Adventure Learning Camp. Over the last couple of weeks we were working hard to get the camp cleaned and organized for the group’s arrival, purchasing food (another all day shopping trip because we are still “newbies” here on the island), and trying to figure out how to just “do” things.
It was exciting getting to welcome our first official mission group, and we are enjoying serving them this week. The team of students from Kings Academy in Florence, SC are being led by ALC founder Randy Grebe and his wife Kim. Tim picked them up at the airport mid afternoon on Saturday (he was able to drive the bus to the airport because they don’t require a C-class license here).
As directors of ALC Camp, we are the staff. We came from a camp where positions were filled by several different individuals, so it is challenging for us to fill all the positions and come out feeling like we have done each position justice. We know this will never be a Living Waters, nor do we expect it to be. We have been in prayer about it, and so far God has been gracious to us and given us wisdom and strength to do the work we need to do. Bob and Faye Browning are an older couple from Canada who come here every year for 3 months to help out around the ALC. They have been an invaluable asset to this ministry and a huge help to us. They arrived a week after we got here and will be leaving in April. Faye has done a fantastic job showing me what needs to be done in keeping the cabins clean and kept up. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She has also helped me work through organization of linens, supplies, cleaning regimens for the guest groups, etc.
The last couple of weeks have brought many challenges, but we have learned through each of them. We can clearly see God using events to mold us and train us further into what He is calling us to be and do here. Please pray for us that we remain mold-able and teachable. We do not want to hinder the work of the gospel here on this island by bringing dishonor to the Lord. We are so thankful for our background in camp ministry. It has been a huge asset to us in our job here.
On the home front…
Logan and Zachary continue to work diligently with their school work, trying to get caught up on the many days of missed assignments. They are making good progress. Logan has been helping out at the Centre as a facilitator. They both have also been helping us with set up and clean up of the kitchen for the arrival of King’s Academy. Please continue to pray for them as they work to get caught up on school work and adjust to the new schedules.
We are attempting to get phone service in our house. Not only do we want our own telephone so we can be in contact with family and friends from back in the states, but we are also finding that the camp’s internet is unreliable. We need a reliable internet service for both Zach and Logan’s online courses. We have decided that the money spent on a landline (it will be a USA phone number and we can call USA, Canada, UK, and Switzerland) and our own internet access will be money well spent. We don’t know when BTC will be here to hook up our phone (it could take a matter of days or a matter of weeks…nothing is timely on this island), but as soon as we know something, we will let you know.
The last couple of weeks in pictures….
Here are some pictures of the last couple of weeks. I did not get pictures of everything, but here are some of the highlights…
On a Friday evening a couple weeks ago, all the staff got together at the ALC (Centre) for a “family” cook out and small birthday celebration for a couple of our staff.
Ms Aida, Eric, Mark with daughter Ava, and Sean
Happy Birthday, Tika! (one of our facilitators)
Since we spend a lot of time with ALC staff and family even when at home (we love having people around), we have designated Sundays as “Seeley Family Only ” days. Unless we have company in town or there is a guest group or camp we are serving, we will do something together as a family. This will not only give us time to be alone togehter, but it will also give us an opportunity to learn more about the island and the Bahamian culture. Our first “Seeley Family Only” outing was to Arawak Cay. We started with a walk through “The Fish Fry” (a lot of quaint, islandy looking buildings where locals and tourists alike come to experience great local cuisine and seafood)
We walked over by the shipping container unloading area. It was windy and a tad bit chilly (by Bahama’s standards that is).
We then walked back through the Fish Fry area and walked down Western Esplanade Beach towards down town Nassau (heading East). Those are cruise ships in the background. You can also see Atlantis on Paradise Island.
I have been wanting a beach photo of the two of us! This one will have to do for now.
Zachary. This is also on Western Esplanade Beach, but I am facing West. In the background is the shipping container port.
After enjoying the beach for a short time, we hiked up the hill across the street from Arawak Cay and the beach towards Fort Charlotte.
There were some pretty amazing views from atop that hill.
To the North, we could see Paradise Island with Atlantis, the port, as well as the ocean beyond.
A hike around the fort to see the south island view.
The view to the south side of the island. The island is only 7 miles from north to south.
Zachary waving good-bye to one of the departing cruise ships. I wonder if they can see him?
After our tour or Fort Charlotte, we supported a local restaurant, Franky Gone Bananas. They have wonderful seafood.
…and then walked down Western Esplanade Beach after dark. We had not done a beach walk after dark yet. It was cold, so we didn’t last very long (yes it can get “cold” here).
Lunch at “The Green Parrot” with Faye (left) and Marcia (right). Faye is from Canada and is here helping at the ALC along with her husband Bob until April. Marcia lives here on the island. I LOVE being with these ladies!
We celebrated Valentine’s Day at the restaurant in Atlantis’ The Dig
Our entertainment during our Valentine’s Day celebration at Atlantis’s The Dig.
After dinner, we walked behind the Atlantis Hotel to see the ocean. I was able to get this beautiful photo of the building from behind.
An evening at Bob and Faye’s cabin playing Skipbo after a long day of work.
A friend of ours from Wisconsin came to visit last week. Phil Barker (in the red shirt) and his family used to be missionaries here in Nassau. We had dinner with Pastor Lee, pastor of Calvary here in Nassau. Phil has been sharing a lot of important insider tips. He has been a huge help and encouragement to us this week.
We welcomed excited young people from King’s Academy in Florence, SC to Adventure Learning Camp. They are under the leadership of Randy and Kim Grebe (founders of the ALC). Randy and Kim’s daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Jimmy are also here to help supervise the group. Here Tim is filling one of his many roles as camp director. He is orientating the group to the camp. Shortly after this, he switched his role to cook.
Tim’s assitants. Faye and I helped get the evening meal prepared for the group. This was the first group we have actually served. We have so much to learn and perfect. The most challenging to us is juggling all the roles and giving 100% to all of them. Faye has been such a huge help to us in both the cleaning and the cooking. It is too bad she is leaving in April. If you know of anyone who would like to come and spend some time here helping us serve, let us know!
Some of the young people waiting to leave for church on Sunday morning.
The team is comprised of 4 guys and 9 girls.
On Sunday, the group went to Abundant Life Church and served in the children’s ministry there. Children from The Children’s Emergency Hostel was at church. After church, the children came back to the camp with the team, and we served the children lunch and took them to the Centre to play for a short time before they returned home.
Our friend, Phil Barker, arranged a meeting at Starbucks with the director of a Bible camp on one of the sister islands. Tim, Richard Asbury (Director of Camp Bahamas on Eleuthera Island), Phil Barker, and Pastor Mike (from Calvary Chapel, Ft. Lauderdale)
One of the ministry out reaches the King’s Academy did was invite the neighborhood children into the camp for a fun day.
The boys on the team played basketball with the Bahamian boys.
One evening we went with the team to Paradise Island to see Atlantis.
That is it for now. Today is Thursday, February 28, and it is going to be another exciting day of service for us here at Adventure Learning Camp. I will be gone much of the day, I will be attending a ladies Bible study at one of area churches this morning and a homeschool support group meeting this eveing. We are also looking forward to the weekend when a couple ladies from our home/sending church will be coming. Sheila Eiserman and Kate Aloisi will be arriving Saturday afternoon. Interesting enough, Tim will also be picking up our second guest group/mission team from the airport on Saturday afternoon. We won’t be cooking for them, so we won’t be as involved with them as with the Kings Academy group.
Please keep us in your prayers. We greatly appreciate it. We know we owe many of you personal thank yous for the gifts/support, meals, lodging, etc you have given us over the past couple of months. We feel badly about our deliquency and hope to remedy that soon. We remember your generosity and thoughtfulness and pray that God blesses you for them!
Until next time….