(posted by Mindy)
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
God plans our days and works things out according to His will and purposes. It is so comforting to know who is in control. Even when we pridefully take control, He is readily available to admonish us and convict us until we humble ourselves. In our humility of heart, He forgives us and lovingly puts us back on track. God’s ways are perfect. Oh, but that we would learn that!
WE ARE OFFICIAL CARD CARRYING BAHAMIAN RESIDENTS
We do not want to come across as sounding impatient or intolerant to our host country’s way of doing business, but, like other Bahamian businesses, The Bahama’s Immigration Office seems to be as slow as molasses in January (in Wisconsin, that is). We spent a good part of Monday waiting and waiting and waiting at the immigration office. We had received a letter from the Bahamian government early last week telling us that Tim was officially awarded a 2 year Bahamian residency to work in the Bahamas as a missionary. We were instructed to go to the immigration office where we would receive the final approval for residency subject to payment of the residency fees for me and the two boys. After waiting, paying the fee, waiting some more, leaving for a lunch break, and returning to the office to wait a little longer, we walked out of the immigration office with 4 shiny Bahamian resident cards in hand. It is such a relief to have this final piece of the puzzle in place. With this final piece of the puzzle in place, we can humbly say that God has granted us a remarkably smooth road/journey here to this ministry. As we reflect back over this 8 month journey to the Bahamas, we are in awe at how God has led and guided us. It has indeed been remarkably smooth.
SUMMER TRAVEL PLANS
When we flew here in January, we were not yet Bahamian residents, therefore we had to purchase round trip tickets. We chose May 30th as our return flight day because it was the time of our nephew’s graduation in South Carolina. We are still heading back to the states for that graduation and will be heading north after the graduation to see our sons and daughter-in-law in Wisconsin and Minnesota, visit family and friends in various places, touch bases with a couple of churches, and to allow the boys to attend high school camp at Living Waters Bible Camp. We are excited to be getting this opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. Here is a tentative itinerary:
May 30-June 2: Charleston, SC for nephew’s graduation and to visit with Mindy’s sisters
June 2: Hickory, NC to visit Tim’s sister and family (and meet our new great niece!)
June 3: Toledo, OH to visit a cousin of Mindy’s
June 4-7: La Crosse, WI to see Garrett and to meet up with our sending church in Viroqua on Wednesday evening the 5th
June 7-14: Minneapolis, MN to see Andrew and Katie, Tim’s parents and sister, other friends, and Eden Baptist Church family
June 11: Tim flies out of Minneapolis to go back to Nassau to prepare for the busy summer camp/mission trip season
June 15-22: Covington, IN to see Mindy’s parents and relatives
June 22-July 2: Westby/Viroqua, WI area to visit and allow Logan and Zachary attend High School Camp at LWBC
July 3: Mindy, Logan and Zachary fly out of La Crosse to go back to Nassau
We continue to work steadily to learn the ropes here in the Bahamas as well as the ministry here at the Adventure Learning Camp. We feel like we are making progress. We are so thankful for the camp ministry training we received while at Living Waters Bible Camp. Things we learned by watching others work and things we learned in our own duties at Living Waters have been valuable for us as we take on the task of directing this camp ministry here.
We have served several weekend groups from local Bahamian churches as well as for a couple of week long groups from the states. This weekend we have a choir group from a local church using the facility and a small mission team group from the US will be here this next Sunday to Thursday. For us, the highlight of having these groups here is getting the opportunity to connect with the people and minister to them and their needs. It is a joy getting to serve people in the name of Jesus! It is serving in the name of Jesus that keeps us going and focused on doing the best we can.
LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS IN PICTURES
A group of students from James Madison University in Virginia were here for a week to serve at a Bahamian school.
JMU students did some service projects around camp. They cleaned the dining hall in preparation of us painting it that week.
JMU also cleaned dining hall windows!
The same day the JMU team arrived at camp, we also welcomed a couple of friends from our sending church, Grace Church, Viroqua, Wisconsin. Sheila Eisermann and Katie Aloisi were here to see us and to investigate future church mission trip opportunities in the Bahamas.
The beginning of a great week of encouragement. I loved having these ladies here!
Tim had to work on Sunday morning, but the boys and I took Katie and Sheila to a Haitian church. After church, Tim met us at Arawak Cay to eat lunch at Oh Andros. Katie and Sheila had Bahama’s famous conch.
After lunch, Tim and Zachary went back to camp to get some camp work done while Logan and I (and Kevin, foster son to our maintenance guy) took Sheila and Katie to a few sights. This is on the north side of the island at Fort Charlotte (one of the 3 forts on the north side of the island). Fort Charlotte is across the street and up the hill from Arawak Cay where we had had lunch.
This is the Queen’s Staircase.
This is Montague Bay just east of downtown Nassau on the North side of the island. Katie and Sheila were able to get their feet into the water. As you can probably tell from the way we were dressed, it was too chilly to swim, even for hearty Wisconsinites (Sheila and Katie) who had just come from a very snowy climate.
On Monday, we had Pastor Basile over for lunch to learn about his ministry with the Haitian community and to introduce him to Katie and Sheila. He is the pastor of United Alliance Church where we attended church the day before. This meeting was a highlight for all of us.
On Monday evening, Faye and I took Sheila and Katie to Atlantis. (Tim could not join us because of camp obligations). Poseidon’s chair at Atlantis.
On Tuesday, we put on work clothes and began the long day project of painting the dining hall. Katie and Sheila were such a huge help with this huge project!
From beige to Bahamian colorful!
Kevin, the artist that he is, made this beautiful sunset picture in a very short time in the dining hall.
On Wednesday, Sheila and Katie were able to go with me to All Saints Camp to help Tim and Felicia Ryan feed the residents lunch.
On Wednesday morning, we went to All Saints Camp to help Tim and Felicia Ryan make lunch for the residents.
Delivering lunch to the residents of All Saints Camp.
After ministering to the residents at All Saints Camp, it was time to play! I took Katie and Sheila to Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. (Tim couldn’t join us because he was leaving to go to his monthly meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the boys had too much school work to get done.)
The water and weather was gorgeous (It was actually the first day of their visit that was warm enough for a visit to the beach). Sheila and Katie were able to tolerate the chilly water in the upper 70 degree weather, but my blood has gotten too thin, and like most Bahamians, I think it is too cold to swim this time of year.
I introduced them to another one of our favorites here on the island: coconut tarts! YUM!
Katie and Sheila had seen the north side of the island, the east side of the island, and stayed with us on the south side of the island. That left only the west side of the island. We made it to the west side of the island on Wednesday evening in just enough time to watch the sunset over the western horizon. It was a perfect ending to a gorgeous day and a wonderful visit. They left the next day to fly home.
Before the JMU students left the island, they got a tour of the Adventure Learning Centre.
We had our second Seeley family outing on Sunday. We went to Jaws beach where the guys swam a little (it was still too cold for me). After the beach, we went to the cliffs to eat a light supper and watch the sunset.
After the beach, we went to the cliffs to eat a light picnic supper and watch the sunset. Tim and I had been here before, but this was the boys’ first time.
Pirate stairs/slave stairs…whatever you want to call them..at the cliffs area where we were watching the sun set and eating our picnic supper.
The boys enjoying the view from below.
Playing around with angles and camera shots (getting ready for senior pictures—boy do we have some good choices for back drops!).
Watching the sun set!
Having fun with sunset photo shots!
Love spending time with these guys!
We spent most of Monday at the immigration office, but on Tuesday, I took Faye downtown to do some shopping and to walk across the bridge that connects downtown Nassau to Paradise Island.
This week we tested out the lights on the camp basketball court. Tim, the boys, the ALC facilitators, and friends from the Castle ministry got together for an evening of basketball.
Thank you for letting us share our life and ministry work with you. Until our next post…