Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
For the last week, we have been weeping with our brothers and sisters at Kingdom Life Church as we mourn the death of a dear lady, Keva Poitier. For the short time we knew this godly lady, she inspired us and encouraged us in our walk with Jesus. As painful as Keva’s death is to us personally, it is the pain we are seeing in our Kingdom Life Church family that is causing us to suffer the more. We understand the bond that exists among church members and the pain associated with losing one of them. We went through four separate, unexpected losses in our church in Minnesota. The pain of losing Keva brings back those memories. Because we have tasted this bitter cup before, we know the relief and comfort that comes from God Himself. He will comfort our grieving hearts.
Losses of a different kind
Death has not been the only loss we have felt these past weeks. Although we enjoyed the novelty of being in The Bahamas for Christmas and God graciously provided us with a sweet, special time with new friends, the absence of our family and “normal” tradition was still painful for us. Additionally, over the past several weeks, we have said good-bye to friends and have received news of other families we have met and grown close to here in the Bahamas who will be leaving the island in the next several months.
One would think that after two significant events (2009’s move from Minnesota to Wisconsin to work at Living Waters Bible Camp and 2013’s move from Wisconsin to Nassau, Bahamas to minister at Adventure Learning Camp) which forced us to say good-bye to many relatives and friends and friends from 2 great churches, we would be accustomed to saying good-bye, but it is no less painful saying good-bye to dear friends now as it was then. The one comfort that we do have is that we know better now that we need to trust and lean on Jesus for our comfort and healing. We know He heals broken hearts and guides us through these painful experiences in His way and timing. Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” We also rest in the fact that this life on earth is brief, and we will have all eternity to commune with those we do not get to see regularly here on this earth.
We ask you to pray for us in this time of grief and loss that God would comfort our sad hearts and that He would show us how to rely more fully on Him for contentment, comfort and peace. This coming summer’s loss of dear friends and Logan’s leaving to go back to Minnesota to attend college next year will be a very trying time (for Mindy especially).
With all those (tearful) good-byes, there are many welcome homes and welcome backs as well. This week, ALC staff and volunteers returned from holidays in various places. Jen Rogers (ALC Facilitator and Curriculum Writer) came back from her 3 week holiday in Colorado. Michelle Brisbin (ALC Facilitator) came back from her holiday in Wisconsin. Bob and Faye Browning, a couple from Canada who have been volunteering here at ALC for several months over the past several years, joined us from their frigid Ontario home and will be here until late March. It is such a blessing to have them back.
Adventure continues at camp
Last week and this week have been consumed with preparations for a large group that will be coming here January 16-January 21. Nearly 100 young people and chaperones from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will be here for a mission trip. We have been busily fixing up cabins, putting together bunks, ordering kitchen supplies to accommodate the large group, and getting things ready for their arrival. We have never been here when there have been so many people. It is exciting, and we are looking forward to serving so many at one time. Please pray for us!
The last week in pictures
You will notice that it has been only a little over a week since our last blog. There aren’t as many pictures to share this time. Enjoy getting caught up nonetheless! Have a great week!
May we please refer you to our last blog entry? The prayer requests are pretty much the same!
Thank you for your interest in our work and lives. We really appreciate your support for what we are doing to further the Kingdom of God on this earth. May God bless you, and may you have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!