Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures!
Well, if you are a visual person and like lots of pictures, then this is the blog post for you. With this post, we have attempted to pick-up where our last blog with pictures left off, so that means we have a lot of pictures to share. The pictures below cover the time period of May 27th to July 13th! Enjoy the story!
(For those interested in knowing how to better pray for us, we have shared prayer requests at the end of this post.)
Before our trip to the USA
Hannah Roth, along with her Dad and brother, were here at the end of May with a mission team that they were leading. They helped out some around the Centre and Camp. Hannah’s parents were directors of the camp when she was younger.
Electrician Fabian and one of the mission team members working on the electrical upgrade at camp.
Past director (Dan Roth) and current director (Tim) working on the electrical upgrade.
Kevin and RJ helping fill in the trench after the electric conduit was installed.
In May, Mike Leger (left), Chet Lowe (center) and a Patmos intern came for a brief visit to touch bases with Mark (Centre director) and Tim (Camp director). Chet is Executive Director of the ALC ministry and Mike is a pastor at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale and oversees the Caribbean ministries their church supports.
This is Pastor Keith Bunting and his wife Kristin and their 3 daughters. Keith is the assistant pastor at Kingdom Life Church where we have been attending church. They came to the island last summer.
The Buntings welcomed us into their home for dinner two days before we left for the states. Our senior pastor and his wife, Cedric and Alexine Moss, had had us over a couple weeks earlier, but we had forgotten to take our camera to that dinner.
Zachary playing games with the Bunting girls.
On Monday before we left for the states, Mindy picked this young lady up at the airport. This is Deborah. Deborah is a Ghana, Africa citizen that had been residing in the USA for 10 years while she attended college. She had come to The Bahamas to renew her student Visa at the US embassy in Nassau. To make a long story short, she was denied re-entry into the USA and was “stuck” in the Bahamas for three weeks while she tried to make arrangements to get to Ghana. She eventually got a ticket to Cuba where she was able to connect with the Netherlands government to obtain a transit visa to fly from Cuba to Netherlands to Ghana. God brought this young lady into our lives to bless us with her presence and to teach us to be hospitable to all people especially in their time of need.
Our trip to the USA…
We left for the USA on Thursday morning, May 30th. It had been raining for a couple of weeks and the bugs were terrible. We were very glad to be leaving the pests, excited to be going back to the USA to see family/friends and be in familiar surroundings, but we were sad to be leaving the dear Bahamian people we had grown to know and love. This picture was taken at the Bahamas airport right after passing through USA customs into the gate area.
We had a “Restaurant Bucket List” when we came back to the states. This hamburger and french fry joint was not on the list, but boy was it GOOD! Mindy’s sister took us to this restaurant after she picked us up from the airport in Charleston, SC.
Mindy’s twin sister and her family: Chuck, Melissa, Kayla and Liam. We stayed with them while we were in Charleston, SC May 30th-June 2nd.
Mindy’s sister and her family: John, Tammy, Megan, Evan, Connor, and Dylan O’Sullivan. They live in Charleston, SC. Evan graduated from high school at the end of May, thus why we were in Charleston.
Our nephew Evan with his parents.
We enjoyed celebrating with Evan at his graduation party.
Saying good-bye (or see you later) is never easy, especially if you are as close as these two are. Logan and Evan have always had such a special relationship.
Not on our “Restaurant Bucket List” but definitely on our must have list—Peanut butter panic ice cream (at an affordable price)! In the Bahamas, these 1.75 liter ice cream containers are $9.00. At Walmart, we paid $3.50. What a deal!
A couple of the things we (except Zachary) miss on the island are road trips and traveling at free way speeds. On June 2nd we left Charleston, SC to head to North Carolina to see Tim’s sister and her family. Thus began our 3 day trip north to get our car back up to Wisconsin.
In North Carolina, we were able to visit with Tim’s sister and her family and meet our two new great-nieces. This is Joe, Kristina and Lena Presson and Caleb, Karen and Olivia Myers. Kristina and Caleb are the children of Tim’s sister and brother in law- Ruth and Chuck Myers.
Chuck and Ruth with their granddaughters
We were also in North Carolina to see our other niece and nephew, Bethany and Joel Myers.
We left North Carolina on June 3rd, and after a beautiful drive thru West Virginia, we arrived at Mindy’s cousin’s house in Toledo, OH. We enjoyed a brief visit with Jon and Lisa Harris and their son Drake and was able to check “Italian Restaurant” off our bucket list when they took us to Biaggi’s. Thanks for hosting us, Jon and Lisa!
Look who drove 4 hours from their home in London, Ontario Canada to see us in Toledo for one hour. Bob and Faye Browning joined us for breakfast at one of Jon and Lisa’s McDonalds stores.
From Toledo, OH we headed to La Crosse, WI where we met up with our son Garrett (as well as Andrea Huser, Nick Bentsen, and Abby Huffman) at the home of Theo and Ruth Habel.
Theo and Ruth Habel graciously allowed us to crash at their house for the few days at the beginning of June and then again at the end of June. What fantastic hosts they are. Thank you, Theo and Ruth!
We stopped in at Living Waters Bible Camp to see some of the staff. It was weird walking back in to that kitchen. (with Marion Jung, Kevin Evers and Aaron Mills)
More LWBC staff.: Chris and Annie Sutton and Erv Jung.
Bella was so excited to see us! She even wrapped her paw around our legs and whimpered in excitement.
On Wednesday, we met with Pastor Rich Maurer for supper at Culvers (another restaurant checked off our bucket list) .
We had the chance to meet and greet friends from the Viroqua/Westby, WI area on Wednesday, June 5th at Grace Church in Viroqua (our sending church). Tim gave a quick ministry update, and then we had a question and answer time.
Jim and Jean Beauchamp were neighbors while we lived in Westby. We were so blessed in that we got to see and touch bases with them and a lot of other friends, family and ministry supporters while on this trip.
Another restaurant off our bucket list. This time: Mexican!
On Friday, June 7th, we left La Crosse and headed to Minneapolis. We stopped in Winona to see Mandy Felten (the daughter of one of Tim’s cousins), Tim Siler and Josh.
While we were in Minnesota, we stayed with Tim’s parents.
Not going to lie: my favorite part of the entire trip—getting to see my kids again! I had a picture with Zach and Logan on Mother’s Day and needed a picture with Garrett and Andrew. Boy I miss these guys (and Katie and Abby too)!
The guys at Grandma and Grandpa Seeley’s house…
…and then the girls!
Hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa Seeley’s house.
Introducing the grand-cat, Gatsby! (We won’t be getting grand children for a while, so we just have to be happy with Gatsby for now!)
We spent Saturday, June 8th together as a family. First of all: Happy Birthday and Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
The annual “kids” picture!
We went to the Minnesota Zoo together. We loved watching our 6 adult children interacting together. What a blessing!
After the zoo, we went to a Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis to celebrate Garrett’s birthday together. (This restaurant was not on our list, but it was still worth the visit.)
After church at Eden Baptist Church (the church we used to attend when we lived in Minnesota) on Sunday, we had lunch with our daughter-in-law’s family. This Dennis, Cathy, and Andrew Sundlie with Andrew and Katie.
We stopped in at an old neighbors house in the neighborhood we used to live in when we lived in Rosemount, MN. This is Mark Olson. We were bummed that his wife and children were not home.
On Sunday evening, Tim’s sister Becky and her husband, son and daughter-in-law came over to visit. This Paul and Becky Kuehn with Bryan and Suzanne.
Another restaurant off our bucket list–Chipotle!
Grandma and Grandpa wanted to take the boys to the other zoo.
On Tuesday, June 11th, Tim flew back to the Bahamas from Minneapolis. Later that afternoon, some Eden Baptist Church ladies came to visit the rest of us at our friend’s house.
More of the ladies that came. Thank you Adam and Carole Miller for opening up your home for this get together.
One more visit to see Andrew and Katie before leaving the Twin Cities.
We stayed with Charles in Chicago. Charles Owens was Mindy’s best friend in high school. It was great connecting with him again.
After our over night stay in Chicago, we went to my parent’s house in Covington, IN.
On Sunday, June 16, I presented our family’s ministry to the church I grew-up attending, and Logan preached the morning message.
Some of the people that used to attend Edgewood Baptist Church in Danville, IL when I was a little girl.
On Tuesday, June 18th, we presented the ALC ministry to a cousin’s church in Lafayette, IN. The church is considering bringing a mission team to the Bahamas.
The boys helped grandpa split and stack firewood for use in their wood burning furnace this winter.
After nearly a week at my parent’s house in Indiana, we headed back to Westby, WI to spend at week serving at Living Waters Bible Camp. We stayed with our good friends the Becks before leaving for camp on Saturday.
On Sunday, June 23rd, we provided a full ALC ministry update to our sending church, Grace Church of Viroqua.
Logan attended his last and Zachary his first (and maybe his last) high school camp at Living Waters Bible Camp in Westby, WI during the last week of June. I was able to do what I love to do—be camp nurse for the week!
Even while at camp, friends stopped in to see us. Sheila Eisermann.
I even got to help the cooks in the kitchen a little. This brought back a lot of memories and made me kind of sad too.
My good friend Martha Fuhr brought supper one evening so we could have dinner together without having to go off camp grounds.
On Thursday evening of our week at Living Waters Bible Camp, we were able to share an update on our family’s ministry work at the ALC and how God orchestrated our move to Nassau. Afterwards, Logan shared a message with the campers.
Another visitor: Jmee Felten. (I am trying to talk her in to coming to work at the ALC for a semester or more! Pray for her!)
Another friend: Amy Youman!
A young lady I counselled several years ago at high school camp. Ann Kress.
A special group of young people at high school camp. I love this age group.
Zeke Montag, Lindsy Lucht, PJ Morris. For the last couple of years, I have taken a picture with this group of kiddos. One is missing this year (thus the empty spot next to PJ).
Two of the 3 LWBC 2012 interns. On the left is Bethany Seeley (no relationship to us) and on the right is Tomke Fahrenholz from Germany. It was a total surprise to us that they were going to be at camp this year.
Ivan, Laura, Jeremiah and David Munguia served at Living Waters this summer. They are from Mexico City.
After camp we attended our former church’s community outreach in Viroqua. The young people presented the gospel in skits, stories and songs to the area children and then fed them and played games with them.
On Sunday, June 30, Logan spent the afternoon and evening with friends from Viroqua, Zachary was working at Living Waters Bible Camp as a Kid Caddie, and I met Garrett, Abby and Abby’s parents for the afternoon. We ate at Hu-Hot (yes, another restaurant on our bucket list!)
We attended a softball game that Garrett played in with his Twenty Somethings church group.
Amidst my shopping for things to bring back to Nassau, I was able to make it to Jim and Lorraine Harnwell’s place in Westby for a visit.
Logan and I (Zachary was still at camp working as Kid Caddie) stayed with Theo and Ruth Habel during the days leading up to our trip back to Nassau. Theo, Ruth and I were serenaded by Logan and his friends, Andrea, Sam and Katie.
Garrett, Logan, Zachary and I left for Nassau from La Crosse, WI airport at 7am on July 3rd. Our first stop was Detroit’s airport. This is the tunnel connecting Detroit’s regional flight concourse with the regular flights concourse. We made it back to Nassau at 10pm that night after a short stop and plane change in Atlanta. Of course our luggage decided not to join us on the flight from Atlanta to Nassau, but the 18 hour baggage delay gave us the opportunity to request a $40 refund on the baggage fee we paid as well as a $50 Delta voucher.
Meanwhile back at Adventure Learning Camp
When Tim got back on June 11th, he immediately jumped back into work. He had to begin preparations for the first summer mission teams that were scheduled to arrive June 14th (Mission Discovery). Deborah left on Saturday June 16th for Cuba in her attempts to get permission from the Netherlands to fly through their country to get home to Ghana, Africa. This is her send off party.
Alissa Finlay along with Kristin Bunting and her daughters graciously came to help Tim with the cooking at camp while the boys and I were in the States. Thank you so much ladies for all your help! You were such a blessing.
The first Mission Discovery mission team that was here June 16-22.
The second Mission Discovery mission team that was here June 23-29.
The third Mission Discovery mission team that was here June 30-July 6.
The fourth Mission Discovery mission team that was here July 7-13.
Mission Discovery team at morning devotion time before going out to the ministry work sites.
Mission Discovery team getting ready to go out for ministry work.
John and Alexis Williams leading worship weeks 2 and 3 of Mission Discovery
Mission Discovery week 4 worship leaders
Evening worship time.
Pastor Bazile from the Haitian church that some of the mission teams served that week gave out recognition forms to the mission team members.
Meal time for Mission Discovery
Beach day on Fridays during Mission Discovery weeks.
Mission Discovery staff here for the first 2 weeks.
Mission Discovery staff for week 4: Cara and Nate Ryver, Lauren Kemp and Hannah Denney.
John, Alexis, Jayden, and Joshua Williams. John and Alexis were here as Mission Discovery worship leaders for weeks 2 and 3.
Andy and Jen Nelson. Andy, a member of Mission Discovery week 3 mission team, was seriously injured by a fall at one of the work projects. He had gone to the hospital after the accident on Tuesday but was sent home because he appeared to be ok. By Saturday of that week, he was not doing too well. God was with him and gave us wisdom to send him back to the hospital. He was suffering from a collapsed lung due to the undetected broken ribs. He spent 5 more days in the hospital. Praise the Lord they caught the collapsed lung in time! His wife, Jen, flew down to be with him while he was in the hospital.
Telling Hannah Roth good-bye. Hannah (in the middle) was here for a couple of weeks to help out at the Centre.
A “good-bye” of sorts for Kevin. Kevin has lived at the camp with Tom our maintenance guy for a couple of years. He graduated this year and has moved into his sister’s house near by.
Garrett, Logan and Zachary hung out a lot at the house and helped us where they could. We felt bad that we could not spend more time with them while we were tied up with Mission Discovery, but they fared ok on their own.
Mike and Nicola (a young man from Switzerland here to work at the Centre this summer) playing Risk with Garrett and Zachary.
Summer day camp at the Centre is in full swing. Nicola leading the children in games with a soccer ball.
Tika Penn leading one of the classes for the summer day camp kiddos.
Andy had just been discharged from the hospital but insisted on helping serve dinner for Mission Discovery week 4.
Mission Discovery week 4 attendee, Allison, made this beautiful duct tape flower for me.
Zachary loved talking to this youth leader of the group from week 4 of Mission Discovery. Alex Walton is from England, and Zachary loves the English accent.
Hannah Denney, Mission Discovery intern, adopted us as her second family. We enjoyed having her around in the evenings.
Saving Andy a trip to the hospital at the end of week 4 of Mission Discovery. I was able to take the stitches out of his arm for him. My nursing skills came in handy a lot the last 2 weeks of Mission Discovery. Andy’s wife Jen is so much fun to be around. Her personality comes out in this picture.
Andy and Jen Nelson were such a blessing to us. Even though he suffered a serious injury, they both had a positive attitude and a willingness to help out where they could after he was discharged from the hospital. (We are trying to recruit them to come and help out next summer.) We hated having to tell them good-bye.
When Mission Discovery was over, we met with a few of the leaders at a restaurant on Paradise Island to debrief and fellowship.
We then walked around The Dig at Atlantis.
Jen Rogers came to work at the ALC as curriculum writer on June 9th. This was one of the first chances we had to go to Cabbage Beach for a swim (swimming is about the only cardiovascular activity I can do right now because of my injured knee). We have loved having Jen around and are looking forward to more time together as things slow down.
That is it for now. Although we anticipate a very busy week again this next week, it is our goal to get back on track with posting every other weekend, and since this post does not cover this past week, we should have another blog post for next week. We will see what time allows.
Please continue to pray for us as we seek to serve others and share God’s love with those around us. Here is how you can specifically pray for our family and the ministry work we are doing:
*Pray for ALC staff: unity, God’s guidance and protection, wisdom and discernment, ability to complete the work needed
*Pray for the Bahamian people we serve and serve with
*Pray that God will send us the skilled help we need to repair the mason work on the cabins and to finish the cottages (we need housing for our single, female ALC staff)
*Pray that the electric upgrade at camp is completed soon
*Pray for Mindy’s upcoming knee surgery. We will be scheduling it for the week of July 27th. Her twin sister will be here that week to help out.
This has indeed been a very long post, and we appreciate the time you took to read through it. We feel blessed by your interest in our lives and ministry work. Thank you, and may God bless you!