Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go!
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow…
(The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving)
Like most places outside the USA, Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November is not celebrated in The Bahamas; therefore, we are glad to be off the rock (the expression we use to say we are leaving the island) and heading north to Minneapolis, Minnesota to celebrate the holiday with family! What a blessing it is to live and serve as missionaries in a day and age where air travel is relatively easy and accessible. We may not be getting to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in a sleigh, but we are on our way there nonetheless, and hopefully the pilot knows the way.
Although spending Thanksgiving with our adult children and parents is our major motivation, the ultimate goal for this trip is to rest and recuperate from a very busy year. We will be staying with Tim’s parents for two weeks. Mindy’s parents who live in Indiana will be driving up to join us for the weekend. We plan on celebrating “Christmas” together as a family this weekend while we are all together. Wow! Two holidays in one weekend: one of the draw backs or benefits (however you want to look at it) to living so far away yet still wanting to celebrate Christmas together as a family. We are just glad we are going to get to be together.
Besides resting with the family…
We have made a couple of other plans. The first plan is to spend a couple days shopping for things we can’t get or can’t afford in Nassau. The other plan is to visit a few churches. On December 3rd at 630pm, we will be at our sending church, Grace Church in Viroqua, WI to update people on the ministry and to meet and greet everyone in that area. On Wednesday, December 4th, we will be at Bible Truth Chapel in Wausau, WI to update the assembly during their Midweek service. On Sunday, December 8th, we will be updating Grace and Truth Chapel in Minneapolis during their morning worship service/Sunday School hour. If you are in any of the areas where we will be presenting, please consider coming to see us. We would love to see you. You may email us if you have any questions.
Some updates will be seen in the pictures below. For the rest of what we are doing at camp, we have been busily working on things that are not easily photographed: phone calls, making contacts, working on budgets, planning for future groups, and trying to get organized among other things. Immediately after we get back on December 11th, we will be preparing camp for the arrival of a mission team from a university in Florida. This team has never been to the island before. This is also our first time fully facilitating a mission team. Usually groups that come have been here before and know what they want to do and how to accomplish it. This is going to take a lot of prayer. So please PRAY for us as we work through the details before and during the group’s stay at camp.
*Travel to Minnesota on November 27th and return to Nassau on December 11th.
*Connections with family, friends and supporting churches while in the US
*Rest and relaxation while on vacation
*God provides funds for a new stove and refrigerator. The oven thermostat on our stove does not work and we are missing a burner on the top. The refrigerator we currently have is not big enough for our family and all the hosting we do. We would like to buy our own refrigerator and give our current refrigerator to the girls staff cottage.
*Wisdom and discernment as we facilitate the December 16-20 mission team from Florida. This is a non-Christian school, so the focus is different, but there is a lot of opportunity.
*Completion of the girls staff cottage
*Wisdom as we deal with the Bahamian people
*That God will send us staff to help us in the work at the ALC. We are especially desperate for facilitator staff at the Centre and maintenance help for both the Camp and Centre.
Last Several Weeks in Pictures
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
Ms. Ada and Jen Rogers getting a pedicure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Julian Williams and Julia Williams. These two had fun with their similar names.
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.
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!