Our days are spent serving at the Camp side of Adventure Learning Centre and Camp in Nassau, Bahamas, but did you know that we are not actually employed by Adventure Learning Centre and Camp?
We all are on this earth to live lives that bring glory to God. We serve Him in everything we do, and that includes in what occupies our time. For us, our occupation is full time ministry to others in a country that is not our passport country.
Our days are spent serving at the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp in Nassau, Bahamas, but did you know that we are not actually employed by Adventure Learning Centre and Camp? Lately, this has come up in conversations, and many do not know that we are not employed nor do we receive monetary compensation from the ALC&C for the work we do here. Like many missionaries, we raise our support in the United States and rely on faith that God will provide us with the money we need through the generous giving of others who have committed to support us in the work we do. We ultimately work for God, but in a sense one can say we work for those who faithfully support us. We are the hands and feet of the many would-be missionaries who are unable to be out doing the work we are called to do.
Fall Travel Plans
We are very aware, humbled and appreciative of all support entrusted to us through the generosity of others, and we diligently try to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. At no time do we pause and take notice of how we are spending our time and money more than when it comes time to travel.
When it comes time to spend time and money to travel, not only are we concerned about whether we can afford the expense, we are very reluctant to share news of our travels. Past trips we have announced provoked some rather insensitive remarks from people who don’t understand what we do. Some people do not seem to understand that a trip back to the United States is not necessarily a vacation. Like trips made by other missionaries, our trips back are rarely restful and relaxing. It is a necessary part of what we do. Generally most of our time is spent visiting with family/friends/supporters, planning and preparing reports and updates, speaking at churches, and staying connected with the job on the field via phone and internet.
With this said, after much prayer, we have decided that we will be taking a ministry-related trip this fall. It will be during a time that is considered relative “down time” here at Adventure Learning Camp. Traditionally during the months of later October to early December, only a few guest groups come and use Camp; therefore, we have decided mid October-December 1st is the best time to leave the island. The trip will serve several purposes.
First, we hope to find some time to rest and be rejuvenated in body and soul. Our plan is to attend a pastor’s conference at the front end of the trip. The goal is to be fed spiritually and rest while spending time with our current Pastor and his wife Alexine Moss and our friends (and former pastor) Keith and Kristin Bunting. We are hoping it is just what we need to get us ready for the 6 weeks of travel we have planned.
Second, we plan to connect with churches and groups that have recently been to the Bahamas and stayed at the Camp as well as with others that have either never been here or have not been here in many years. We are also hoping to let people know about the ministry, promote the Camp for future mission teams, and recruit missionary facilitator staff for the Centre.
Finally, we will be visiting current and prospective supporters to increase our support base and maintain relationships with those who already support us. God has always faithfully supplied our needs, and we have no reason to doubt He won’t continue. However, we realize we need to work to maintain our current support base and gain new support as the Lord guides and directs.
We will not post a detailed itinerary on this blog for safety reasons, but we will private message the itinerary in the email that we send out to announce this blog post. If you don’t get our emails, you may be added to the list to receive the emails by signing up through the “newsletter sign-up” link above or in the side bar.
Now for the picture update
In our last update, we finished off in early June. Logan was already gone, Zachary had just left for his 5 week trip to the states, and preparations were being made at the Centre for Summer Day Camp and at the Camp for summer mission teams.
Temporary staff, Andia and Twins Paige and Dakota spent a lot of time in May and June putting together props for Summer Day Camp at the Centre. Tika, Sam and Jen did a lot of prep. work for Summer Camp as well.
Great job ladies! The summer theme was African Safari.
We finally had the opportunity to have Brandon and Huram over for dinner before the crazy summer schedule began. Eric Nelson (the Centre’s program director) and his girlfriend Brittany also joined us. While playing Jenga, the power went out.
Power outages and cable/internet outages…just a couple of the inconveniences that try our patience. The internet and cable went out on Tuesday June 10th. It took 8 days for Cable Bahamas to finally make it out to fix a problem that took them all of 10 minutes to repair. We have not had any problems since. In the foreground, our grounds workers Celavia and Odisa were dealing with a problem of their own-lawn mower failures.
Cabins all spruced up and ready for the summer mission teams and groups!
Kevin helped me go through all the donated medical supplies. We put together first aid kits for the buses, Centre, and Camp.
One of the things I was able to do for the Centre was provide First Aid “training”. (Now that we are on the other side of Day Camp, I can happily announce most of the information I taught them was unnecessary! Praise the Lord!)
Sunday morning, June 22nd was the Buntings last Sunday at Kingdom Life Church. It was a sad day for us; grief compounded by the fact that we had already had so many painful good-byes that month. The worship team sure misses the Buntings.
Sunday afternoon, June 22nd, we welcomed our first Mission Discovery team to Camp.
Evening times were time for worship, debriefing and a challenge.
That first night, Tim gave orientation to the group.
Afterwards we escaped Camp and met the Buntings at our favorite spot to meet, B’s Ice Cream Parlour. We went back to their house afterwards to have a private time of saying good-bye to our dear friends.
This is Stanley, owner of B’s
The first Mission Discovery Team was made up of folks from Texas, Baltimore and Alabama. They served with Pastor Bazile’s church, and the girls and boys detention centers.
While we were serving mission teams at the Camp, the Centre was running a day camp for 5 yr old – 13 yr olds.
Jen Rogers did a great job making Bible stories come alive for the children at the day camp. Here she is teaching about Moses.
Huram loved being a camp counselor, and the campers loved him!
Brandon was not able to stay the whole summer, but what he did do for the kids at the summer camp was great. The kids loved him.
We had some special visitors in June. This is Vic and Ethel Coffman from the Minneapolis, MN area. Tim grew up going to church with them and their 3 boys.
Every night, the Mission Discovery leadership team held debriefs. We were included in them and joined them a couple of times.
These are the parents of the boy from Calvary Chapel 8th grade trip 2 that fell at Centre in February and broke his arm. Frank and Laura Morris were on the island while their cruise ship was in port. They wanted to see the ALC&C, so I went and picked them up and gave them a mini tour of the island and the ministry.
After saying good-bye to the first Mission Discovery team on Saturday, we stole a few hours in the afternoon to get away on a date. We drove to the north west side of the island…
…and picked up a yummy tropical conch salad to share for a beach lunch picnic. It was great to get away from camp for a few hours!
On Sunday, Mission Discovery week 2 began.
Mission Discovery week 2 participants were from Connecticut and Kentucky.
We had a visit from some people we had never met before but who know Tim’s parents know. They came by to see the Camp. The man on the left lives here on the island. His name is Robert Davis. The couple are the Carters from North Carolina.
On July 3rd, we went to bed around 900pm when the power went out. We woke up at 3am when the power came back on. How did we know when it came back on? First of all, it was so hot that night, we did not sleep very well. Also, like everyone else, we awoke to fans coming on, microwaves beeping, and lights that we did not know were still in the on position coming on. On July 4th at about the time the mission team was returning to Camp to take showers, the power went out again. We fired up the generator to operate the pump. This time it was out for 4 hours. These were island wide power outages due to “equipment failures” with BEC (Bahamas Electric Company).
July 4th–it is not only our passport country’s birthday, it is also Judi’s birthday. We made her cheesecake!
To celebrate July 4th, we went with the Mission Discovery team to Paradise Island.
We joined them for their evening worship time.
Afterwards we celebrated the United State’s birthday with everyone on the beach while watching fireworks compliments of the Atlantis Hotel. It was awesome!
On Saturday, July 5th, we were able to sneak away for another date night. This time we went to the Cricket Club, an English style restaurant—fish and chips and chicken pot pie.
These are an interesting fruit we found and got to sample in a store here. It is called Rambutan. You break them open and eat the fruit off a large pit. It is very good. There is a Bahamian fruit similar to these called genips.
Week 3 of Mission Discovery started on July 6th, and it was the biggest with 55 people.
Mission Discovery week 3 participants were from Johns town, PA and Long Island, NY
On July 9th, we said good-bye to Brandon Meyer. He was a great help at the Centre, and we enjoyed getting to know this young man.
During the day when Mission Discovery was off site, we began getting the unfinished cottage prepped for construction to commence.
The cottage has been used for storage for a long time. Everything must go before construction can begin.
One of the leaders of Mission Discovery, Gary Lane from Atlanta, is a cabinet maker. He blessed the ALC by replacing the very worn counter top in the Centre kitchen. He worked a very long, hard day to get the counter done. Huram and Eric spent their day off helping as well. Way to go guys!
One of the more enjoyable jobs I get to do is play hostess and tour guide to people who come to the island and want to see the ministry. I pick them up at the cruise ship port and take them around the island and down here to the ALC&C to see what we do here.
Yikes! The walls of our house are infested with termites. I noticed some bubbling of the back splash behind our stove. When I touched the bubbles, it broke open and out poured termites. I don’t even want to think of the work we are going to have to do to get this infestation taken care of. Please PRAY!
Meanwhile, back in the USA…On June 10th we allowed Zachary to go to the states for a 5 week trip. He started at my parent’s house in Indiana where he helped grandpa cut and stack wood…
…make his favorite dessert with grandma…
…the finished product, banana pudding!
After Indiana, he flew to Tennessee to stay a couple weeks with his best friend, Granton Ledgister. These two have been best friends for many years.
After Tennessee, it was on to Charleston, SC to go on vacation with his Aunt Missy, Uncle Chuck and cousin Liam.
His aunt and uncle blessed him with this camping trip with their friends.
We are so glad Zachary had this opportunity to take a nice vacation, something we haven’t had time to give him. Thank you Missy and Chuck!
The spoiling and blessing continued. For week t’wo of Zachary’s stay in Charleston, SC, he stayed at my older sister’s house. They took him to an amusement park. Thank you, John and Tammy!
The last day of Mission Discovery was July 12th. This is Pastor Bazile, one of the Haitian pastors that MD mission teams works with.
Myron Rolle Foundation weak planning session…Mission Discovery teams left at 9am on Saturday morning, and by 10am we were planning for, working with, and assisting the Myron Rolle Foundation. We were unaware until shortly before their arrival that they were coming in on Saturday instead of Sunday. Mission Discovery leadership team did not leave until Sunday, so we were thrust in to planning and working with the next group before the MD team was out. It all worked out, but it meant we worked 16 hours on Saturday and 14-16 hours on Sunday. That was probably the most tiring, stressful two days for us to date.
Myron Rolle (left) with his father and two of his four brothers.
Myron Rolle and Stacy orientating the mentors/leaders for the Wellness and Leadership Camp.
After 3 weeks of camp food, it was time to sit down to my own cooking. What says, “Good, home cooking” better than a pot roast and vegetables and tossed salad? We invited the Mission Discovery Leadership Team to join us.
On Sunday, July 13th, the Myron Rolle Foundation Wellness and Leadership Academy camp opened with a ceremony at the Centre.
Tim was among the speakers.
Myron Rolle opening the camp.
On Tuesday, July 15th, we welcomed the now 6’3 Zachary! An airport run with hellos instead of good-byes.
We stopped for supper at Thai Lotus on the way home from the airport.
We were able to host and tour guide a group of ladies who had come into port on a cruise ship. This time, the contact was through a lady from our sending church in Wisconsin.
RJ and Zachary helped us clean and move furniture around. We relocated Tim’s office to a larger room to accommodate a second desk for me or a future secretary to use.
We had quite a bit of rain on one day. This storm also caused power outages.
Finally a day off! We had 1 day between Myron Rolle leaving and our next mission trip coming in, so we took Zachary to a favorite restaurant.
A sad gathering…our church care group got together to say good-bye to the Dean family.
We are going to miss Calvin, Keisha, Katie and CJ Dean.
We welcomed a mission team from Metro Life in Orlando, Florida to camp for a 10 day trip. It was a joy serving these guys and gals. They ministered at a Music Camp at Kingdom Life Church.
The day the group arrived, Judi’s grandmother died in Wisconsin. The group took the time to gather around the Balsons and pray for them.
Because Bob and Judi had to leave to go to her Grandma’s funeral, we cooked for the group—Tim for breakfast, and me for supper. It felt like old times again.
The old bath house on the left looks tiny compared to the new bath house.
While the team was gone during the day, Tim began working on making room in the old bath house to store things stored in the unfinished cottage.
Demo work in the women’s side of the old bath house.
A new temporary home for drying green-treated lumber.
Even among time spent serving and cooking for the mission team and doing demo and moving work around camp, we had time to sit down with Sydney and Yvonne Bootle to begin planning for a Joy Bible Camp reunion scheduled for September 27th.
At the end of the Music Camp at Kingdom Life Church, this team led the campers to perform a very nice program for parents.
The program was fun to watch.
Zachary hung out with the team all week (that was so nice to see!). They worked together and played together. The group even blessed Zachary and took him with them to Rose Island. Thank you, Metro Life!
Tim installing an exterior electrical outlet on the girl staff cottage so the new cottage has electricity.
Tom was a huge blessing and help. Even before Judi’s grandma died, Tom came to help for a couple of weeks. God knew we were going to need him while Bob was away. It was nice having him and his laugh back.
On Monday, July 28th, Metro Life left.
This past week Tim, Zachary and RJ worked to get things out of the unfinished cottage.
It took a good part of 4 days for RJ and Zachary to get all the bunk beds apart so they can be removed from the cabin. Way to go RJ and Zachary!
Exciting!!! Plans are moving along now for a Joy Bible Camp reunion. ALCamp used to be Joy Bible Camp and has impacted a lot of Bahamian people. We are working on rekindling that spirit. Tuesday, July 29, we met with 8 former campers/staff.
Eight former Joy Bible Camp staff/campers. There stories are fascinating. We are so excited to be working with these people. Stay tuned for future plans to start a local outreach for neighborhood young people and eventually a summer kid’s camp program at ALCamp (formerly Joy Bible Camp).
Kingdom LIfe Church got together Wednesday evening to say good-bye to the Deans.
My birthday was Thursday. Judi surprised me with these beautiful flowers she picked and arranged. Gorgeous!
Birthday selfie with my hubby on the beach across from Orange Hill Resort on the upper west side of the island.
Anniversary selfie in front of the Orange Hill resort. Tim took me to this resort for the night between my birthday and our anniversary.
Thank you for taking the time to get caught up on what is going on around here!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley