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
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
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.
Zachary narrated two sections of the drama.
Mindy played the part of Anna.
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.
Florida Atlantic University Mission Team
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 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.
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.
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….
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),…
…subzero temperatures, …
…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 Mindy’s parents,…
…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,….
…celebrating an early Christmas together as a family…
…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),…
…the guys enjoying a Minnesota Wild hockey game…
…celebrating Logan’s 18th birthday, …
…updating our sending church and Wisconsin friends at Grace Church, Viroqua, WI…
…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…
…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…
…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…
…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 Old Spaghetti Factory…
…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 his sister and brother-in-law, Becky and Paul Kuehn…
…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.
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.
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 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”.
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.
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 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.
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 on Sunday afternoon.
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. 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 supper we made our own personal pan pizzas…
…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.
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).
After presents were opened, it was on to the kitchen to make bread and…
…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.
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, 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,…
…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.
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