All I Have is Christ
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
-Jordan Kauflan, Sovereign Grace Music
“Hallelujah! All I have is Christ. Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.” God grants peace and comfort in so many ways. Not the least of which is through songs sung during morning worship time at church. No matter what is going on in everyday life and the human emotions that threaten to discourage and defeat us, God always seems to provide the wisdom and encouragement we need.
We praise God for Kingdom Life Church. The strong expository preaching, the faithfulness to scripture, the focus on God, and the loving way KL members interact with us and with one another not only edifies and encourages us but also challenges us to keep our focus where it belongs: on Christ! We came from strong Christ-centered churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin and are so grateful that God directed us to yet another church that is not only similar but also does what a church is supposed to do: faithfully teach God’s Word, edify, encourage, admonish, etc.
Many of you have sent us words of encouragement and assurances of prayer in response to our last brief blog and prayer request email. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! God has answered, and although it may not be exactly how we would like to have had the prayers answered, we are content. Because we KNOW that God is sovereign and in control of all things and is a God of love who does everything for His glory and our good, we are resting in His answer as being the perfect answer. We have adjusted our perspective of things to match His perfect perspective. Our focus remains on Christ, and as that focus on Christ is manifested in our service to the Bahamian people and those who come to serve the Bahamian people, please pray that God continues to give us strength, courage and a focus that is on Him and Him alone.
Show Us Christ
Prepare our hearts, O God
Help us to receive
Break the hard and stony ground
Help our unbelief
Plant Your Word down deep in us
Cause it to bear fruit
Open up our ears to hear
Lead us in Your truth
Show us Christ, show us Christ
O God, reveal Your glory
Through the preaching of Your Word
Until every heart confesses Christ is Lord
Your Word is living light
Upon our darkened eyes
Guards us through temptations
Makes the simple wise
Your Word is food for famished ones
Freedom for the slave
Riches for the needy soul
Come speak to us today
Where else can we go, Lord
Where else can we go
You have the words of eternal life
-Doug Plank and Bob Kauflin, Sorverign Grace Music
Such a long period of silence … for good reason
Please forgive us for not updating this blog for almost 2 months. We have been told we have done a great job at keeping everyone updated this last year and that we should not feel guilty for not writing more often. We appreciate the assurance. Our absence from updating our blog is not intentional but a mere necessity right now in light of how busy we have been.
On the home front…
It has been a while since we updated you all about what is happening with each of us, so here we go…
Logan just finished up his 3rd term with Liberty University online (he is a dual enrollment student working on course work through Liberty University Online). He completed courses in biology, psychology, speech communications, and US History, and philosophy. He is currently working on Biology lab and will be starting a macroeconomics and a statistics course this next week. He continues to help at the Centre 3 days a week. Time is going by so quickly, and it is hard to believe he will be leaving us soon. We are working through issues right now, but it looks like our decision to move out of the country is going to negatively impact college tuition for him. He will be attending the University of Minnesota as an out of state resident. Please pray they look favorably on his situation.
Growing in wisdom but mostly in stature…Zachary is now 6’2 1/2 and does not appear to be done growing. He is so unlike his 3 older brothers in stature and stands a head taller than all of us. He remains our gentle giant with a heart that is so sensitive and kind to the needs of others. He is trying to stay caught up with his school work and seems to be enjoying his courses this year. Besides his normal courses, he is taking a Graphics Design: Photoshop class online. This summer he hopes to get to spend a couple of weeks with his best friend Granton Ledgister at his house in Tennessee. We hope we will be able to let him do this. Please pray for the funds for this trip and for Zachary that he will be able to remain focused on his school work despite my inability to be with him all the time.
Tim continues to work very hard trying to juggle the duties that come with being Camp director. A lot of what he does here at camp is not seen, and because of that, it may seem he is not doing much. Let us assure you, the man is overwhelmingly busy. Besides countless hours answering emails/phone calls and trying to work through logistics with future guests and mission teams, he is busy making contact with Bahamian pastors and youth pastors, building relationships with past Joy Bible Camp campers (he is trying to lay the ground work for developing a camp ministry for Bahamian children), assisting with budget and operational issues at the ALC, and maintaining the facility and grounds here at the camp. He is also very busy doing maintenance and grounds improvements here at Camp. There are big construction and improvement items in the works for this year (we will update you on this in the near future), and there is not a day that goes by that someone does not come to him with something that needs repaired or fixed. With our maintenance guy overworked as it is, a lot of maintenance issues fall into Tim’s lap. Please pray for Tim’s ability to focus on priorities, his ability to find time to rest, and for wisdom in his dealings with those we minister to (both Bahamian and foreign).
For several months now, I (Mindy) have been trying to wear many hats-wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and guidance counselor while also trying to juggle duties at Camp and the Centre that benefit the ministry and help lighten Tim’s load as Camp Director. I have begun to find that spreading myself so thin is not only detrimental to my sanity and peace of mind, it is not a very effective way of getting things done. One of the biggest things that has suffered is my responsibility of homeschooling Zachary and assisting Logan as he prepares to go away to college later this year. It is a problem that I am praying about how to correct. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel frustrated and upset with myself and circumstance that do not allow me to do for Zachary and Logan what needs to be done. I have relinquished the duty of writing the ALC Newsletter, took a break from posting update blogs these last 2 months, given up my Thursday morning lady’s Bible Study, and cut back on Facebook time, among other things. Please pray for me as I attempt to pare out other duties so I can focus on my biggest priority and responsibility. Pray also for Tim as he attempts to do more without my help. Thankfully reinforcements have arrived—-
Reinforcements have arrived…
We welcome to the ALC staff family, Bob and Judi Balson from Wisconsin. They have been coming to the Bahamas on short term mission team trips for many years, and last year they answered God’s call to come and work full time serving in the Bahamas. We are so excited to have them here. They will be working with us to serve the groups that come to serve here in the Bahamas by helping with cooking, housekeeping, maintenance, and other various duties here at camp. They will also be helping at All Saints Camp on occasion. They have jumped right in and have been doing a lot to help the ministry here. They are doing such a wonderful job at taking initiative and getting things done. Truly they are a god-send!
As you will be able to tell by the pictures below, we have served a lot of people the first 2 months of 2014. Today we have a large group of leaders from Zion Baptist Church here for a leadership training conference. Next Friday, we will begin hosting a Canadian pastor and his wife at Camp as they are here on a fact finding trip to see if they will bring a mission team here in the future. Also, next Friday we will welcome a group of middle school children from Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale here for a 5 day mission trip. While, the Calvary Chapel young people are here, we will welcome a group of 13 adults from Peace Church in North Carolina. This adult group has been coming here for years and are such a blessing to this ministry. Please pray for us as we juggle the overlapping schedules of these groups.
Highlights from the last 2 months…
Whew! It takes a long time to get caught up on 2 months of happenings. Thanks for your patience and for taking the time to get caught up on what is happening. We will try not to let another 2 months go by without updating this blog.
For a focus that stays on Christ
For continued wisdom, discernment and strength as we strive to serve the Bahamian people and those who come to Nassau to serve on mission teams serving the Bahamian people
For this aging facility (the Camp and the Centre). Things naturally fall apart and quit working as they get older and are used . Tim, Tom Schafer our maintenance guy, Bob Browning (our Canadian friends here until the end of March), and now Bob Balson are busy all the time fixing and repairing things. Not only is it tiring work for these guys, but it can also get quite expensive.
For Logan as he finishes high school and makes plans to leave this summer (and for Mom as she says good-bye)
For Mindy as she tries to balance homeschooling and the other responsibilities
For Bob and Judi as they learn the ministry and as they acclimate to the new way of life, climate, and culture and as they deal with emotions from leaving family and friends
For the ALC&C staff