During this “Thanksgiving” season, sometimes we only think of the big things we have to be thankful for, but what about the seemingly trivial things of life?
As many of you know, we were born and raised in cold weather climates. I (Mindy) love my four seasons with fall being my favorite season of all, so when we returned to Nassau on December 1st and were welcomed back with such beautiful, cool, non-humid weather, we could not help but feel so blessed by our Creator. (This year has been a very hot year, and work in this hot, humid weather can wear you down and affect your mood.) It has been 12 days since we returned to the island, and the nice, cooler weather has continued. We have been able to wear long pants/sweaters/closed toed shoes, to snuggle under comforters at night, to come out of the shower and actually dry off, and to find comfort in sipping hot chocolate. I see this cooler weather as a gift from God. I see a God who lovingly works out even small details so that He may bless us and encourage us on our way.
Beyond the trivium of weather, we find ourselves thankful for so many other things as well: friends and family on both sides of the pond, a great group of fellow ALC&C staff who also desire to serve God by serving the Bahamian people and those coming to serve the Bahamian people, an awesome church family, a comfortable place to live and minister, talents and gifts to serve and do the work God has called us to do, safety even amidst increased crime on the island, and so much more! Praise God with us for all He has given us and allowed us to do in the furtherance of His Kingdom on this earth!
Update on trip fundraiser!
God blessed us with a great trip in the States October 16-December 1st (details of the trip are on earlier blogs) and with ease of travel back to the island and through immigration and customs (even with 9 suitcases and 3 backpacks full of supplies). Many have asked us if we raised all the money we needed to cover the cost of the ALC promotion/support raising trip. For those of you wondering how we did, we were able to collect enough money on the trip to cover about 3/4 of the cost of the trip. Praise the Lord! The initial projection of $4500 was pretty much covered, but with the unforeseen expenses and extras, we still have about $1000 that has not been covered. We are confident that God will provide funds as needed.
We are back and have hit the ground running!
As soon as we arrived back, we hit the ground running. Although we spent a lot of time on the trip working through emails and connecting with people who will be coming here on upcoming trips, there were still a lot of paperwork, emails, etc to get caught up on when we got back. These last 2 weeks we were able to do just that. Tim has been in his office a lot this week.
Our biggest focus since we have returned has been on the mission team of 47 Florida Atlantic University students that will be here December 14th-19th. We are facilitating this team which brings with it a lot responsibility in not only the planning phase but also the implementing phase. With all our staff leaving the island on Monday and Tuesday, we have had to be creative in finding the help we need to serve and facilitate this group. By God’s providence, Aaron Mills came to visit us this past week and will be staying through Christmas. He will be able to do a lot in helping us serve this group. Ms. Ada will be cooking for us. Please pray for strength and stamina as we serve this group.
Many of you already know that all our kids are coming here for Christmas. Garrett arrives tomorrow, Logan arrives next Friday, and Andrew and Katie arrive next Saturday. Aaron Mills (a young man we used to work with at Living Waters Bible Camp in Wisconsin) arrived last week and will be staying with us until the 31st. We plan on being on “vacation” the week the kids are all here (December 20-28) so we can enjoy family time and showing the kids around the island. We will do our best to really be on vacation that week.
As we mentioned above, all the missionary ALC staff will be leaving the island for Christmas. Because we are the only staff remaining behind, we will be making many airport runs to pick-up and drop-off people over the next three weeks (between the staff leaving and returning, the mission team coming and leaving, and our kids coming in for Christmas, we have >26 airport runs). This is a job that I like doing, and fortunately google calendar is a great resource tool and keeps me organized.
Christmas Light Drive-Thru at Adventure Learning Centre
For nearly the entire time we were away in the States, the ALC staff was preparing for the Christmas Lights Drive-thru event scheduled for December 12-14. This event has a two-fold purpose: share the Gospel story with all who come to experience the event and raise funds to help run the ALC as it shares the Gospel with the school children of the Bahamas. Our first night was last night (Friday, December 12), and we had more that 160 cars drive thru the ALC and experience the beautiful lights and the pageantry of the story of Jesus’s birth, life, death and resurrection. Here are some of the pictures of the event:
The event was beautiful, well put together (way to go Centre staff!), and well received by those who came and saw it. We have had a LOT of great feed back. We are expecting even a larger crowd tonight and tomorrow night, but we are competing with a couple other large events on the island this weekend. Please pray that God sends those people who need to hear the gospel as well as numbers so we can pay the expenses of this event and have extra to go towards funding the ministry. If you would like to donate to the ministry to help cover the cost of this event, we invite you to go to alcbahamas.org and click on the donation link.
Picture update for last three weeks!
We will be going back to posting picture updates in the “Picture Update” tab above. So, if you want to see an update on what has happened in the last 3 weeks, please feel free to click on the link below or tab above (I may not get to the picture update today because I do not have much time this afternoon to do it, so you may want to check back later in the week).
Link: Picture update
Christmas letter and greeting!
If you do not get an email from us when we post blogs and would like a Christmas letter sent to you, please let me know by posting a reply to this blog. We will be sending out a Christmas greeting to our email list recipients sometime later this next week.
Thank you for your interest in our ministry work and lives. We appreciate your support of us in your prayers and your financial contributions. We could not be here doing what we are doing if it were not for you and your faithfulness and generosity. Thank you and God bless you!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley