Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
Personally and on the behalf of Adventure Learning Centre and Camp staff, we offer our condolences to the family of a young man who has been to the ALC&C in the past as part of a short term mission trip. Michael Lotz died on Monday, July 13th from complications of cancer treatment. The Lotz family are friends of ours, and Michael’s sister Dani (Zeke) Miller served as a facilitator at the Centre in the past. The most recent trip that Dani led here was in August of 2013, and Mike was a part of the team. They had had plans to come again this past April, but Mike was diagnosed with cancer shortly before they were to come, so plans had to be changed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lotz family at this time of grief, and we are mourning with them at this time of great loss. Mikey will be missed by many.
We were supposed to send along a family update a couple weeks ago. As you will soon be able to see, July was crazy around here, so it did not get done. We are starting this blog with the family update and will finish with the ministry update.
And he’s off!
A week ago last Friday, amidst serving a mission team of 28 from Wilson, NC at Camp and hosting a family of 8 at our house, we dropped Zachary off at the airport to fly to Indiana to stay with Grandma and Grandpa Mikels for two weeks. It is always sad for this mother to say good-bye to her children, but as we waved good-bye to Zachary, we couldn’t help but feel excited for him and the adventure he was about to embark on. He was happy, and we were happy for him.
On August 8th, Logan will meet up with Zachary at the Atlanta airport and fly here to Nassau with him. We are looking forward to Zachary’s return and getting to spend two weeks with Logan. We hope to have a few days away from Camp to rest and relax. Please pray that plans come together for this!
When Logan returns to Minneapolis at the end of August, he will be preparing to start his second year at University of Minnesota. He will also continue working in the IT department at the University of Minnesota.
Zachary will be starting his final year of homeschool/high school this month. With his final year of high school, comes preparations and planning for graduation and moving back to the States to attend college. Please pray for all that is involved with this.
As you may recall, on June 8th we were in the States to attend our second son’s wedding. In the blog we posted following the wedding, we promised to post pictures of Garrett and Abby’s wedding. We have to apologize for still not having many wedding pictures to post. Believe it or not, I did not live behind the camera lens on the day of the wedding. As a result of not taking pictures, we are waiting for the pictures to come via jump drive on August 8th when Logan comes for his visit. Stay tuned! We hear the pictures are awesome, and we will for sure gladly share.
Garrett and Abby are settled into their new apartment in Hutchinson, Minnesota (hour west of the Twin Cities). We have Skyped with them and talked with them several times over the past month, and they are enjoying married life. Praise the Lord Garrett got a job as a barista at a Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop. Abby will continue to work in occupational therapy.
On the move
We connected with Andrew and Katie on Friday via FaceTime. They had two very exciting pieces of information for us, first they had just moved into a townhome (no more apartment living for them!) and second, Katie now has a job as a 2nd grade teacher at a charter school in Apple Valley, MN. We are praising God for this job for her.
Weathering the changes
As we mentioned in the last blog, there have been some big changes in the leadership structure here at the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp ministry (Mark Wallace, Director of the Centre side of the ALC&C ministry, stepped down as director), and with the transition and changes, there have been a fair amount of challenges. With the changes have come added responsibility for Tim. Of course, we are adjusting, working and praying through this time. Please pray for extra strength, wisdom and discernment as we navigate these changes. Pray for the board as they seek new members and seek to fill the executive director position.
Besides the changes in leadership that have affected Tim on a professional level, we are also experiencing other personal “struggles” (for lack of a better term). Although it sometimes feels like we are sinking, we are confident that God has everything under control, and we rest in His divine care and guidance. Please pray for us.
Ministering to this guy
This is RJ. He is Zachary’s best friend, the son of Eldora Canter (secretary at the Centre), and another one of my “Bahamian sons”. God has given Zachary and me the opportunity to minister to this young man this summer by tutoring him in math. There is even talks of assisting Eldora in homeschooling him this fall. The Bahamas public school system is failing to meet this boy’s needs, and it is our burden to help him. Please pray for wisdom and an understanding on how to proceed with helping RJ.
Simpson Penn Boys II Men
A local group of young men were on sight for a 4-day camp that was geared to discipline, integrity and leadership training. Tim was able to lead one of the chapel sessions.
Football Team with Abundant Life Bible Church
A football team from Florida on the island as a mission team staying with Abundant Life Bible Church (Pastor Cranston of ALBC is on our board) came to ALC&C for 3 days to do repair work on the camp house fence and paint Tim’s office building. The leader of the group was able to fill in as guest speaker for one of Simpson Penn’s chapels.
Mission Discovery 3
Mission Discovery 3 was here serving in a Haitian community, at a Haitian church, and at All Saints. Eleven were from Johnstown, PA, 13 were from Colorado, 5 were from Kentucky and 3 individuals are from various other places. Zachary and RJ got to serve a day with the Johnstown, PA group in the Haitian community (Zachary even let a little girl platte his hair). A couple (he is a diesel mechanic) from the Colorado group generously donated their time to change the timing belt in the Camp van.
First Covenant Church of Hamilton, Massachusettes
Chelsea Kingston has been bringing young people from Connecticut here through Mission Discovery for many years. Earlier this year she took a new position at a church in the Boston, MA area and this year she brought a group of young people from her new church. The group served Pastor Wilney Joseph’s church by conducting a VBS and doing work projects.
E-team from Pennsylvania
While Chelsea’s group from First Covenant Church was with us, we were also serving the E-team. The E-team was represented by 4 churches under the leadership of Crossway Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Crossway and Kingdom Life Church are sister churches. E-team was here to direct the Music Camp at Kingdom Life Church. While Tim hosted Chelsea’s group, I was able to host the E-team. The beauty of having the screened in porch is being able to provide a meeting area for a second group. The E-team used the porch while First Covenant Church used the dining hall.
Blitz Student Ministries, Peace Church, Wilson, NC
Another group that has come for many years is the Blitz Student Ministries team from Peace Church in Wilson, NC. The team is under the directorship of Brad and Kasey Perry (above left). The team was here this year to serve at All Saints Camp. Tim and Deoborah Lamm (above right) come as chaperones on the team, but they also come other times during the year to serve at All Saints Camp. They are dear friends of ours and the ministry here. They always bring the staff kids treats.
Summer Day Camp at the Centre
Last week was the final week of Day Camp at the Centre. For six weeks, Centre Staff, volunteers and young people from Bahamas Youth and Culture served 70-80 children ages 5-12 years each week. The days were hot and tiring for the staff, but the time spent with the children in play, field trips, beach outings, Bible lessons, sports and adventure activities, crafts, etc was quite rewarding. We appreciate the time, effort, and energy spent to minister to the Bahamian children that came to experience an “Under the Sea” adventure at Adventure Learning Centre!
This summer we have been blessed by the presence of individuals who come to visit staff, to help out at the ALC&C, or to minister in some other capacity and end up staying over for a short vacation. Not only are they an encouragement in that they help lighten our load of work, but their presence is also uplifting and encouraging to us.
Denise Young from Cumming, Georgia came to hang-out for a week. She helped Judi serve meals during Mission Discovery 2.
Mission Discovery 2 staff, Kenny and Sara Foster and Hannah Denney, were with us for several extra days beyond MD teams being here. We enjoyed their company and Hannah’s willingness to help paint a fence.
Though they did not stay with us (they were with Billy and Leah Slater at the Castle), Vic and Ethel Coffman were on the island for a couple weeks, and we had the opportunity to visit with them. Vic and Ethel attended church with Tim in Minneapolis as he grew up.
Steve, Melanie, Jeremiah and Matthew Jones came and served at the ALC&C and at the Children’s Emergency Hostel in early July. Melanie served as a Facilitator at the Centre for 2 years about six years ago.
The Weaver family (Yes, you are seeing correctly. They have 3 boys and 3 girls.) were here on a mission trip with the E-team from Crossway Church in Lancaster, PA in mid-July. They stayed over an extra week as our guests. We got to know the Weavers last fall when we stayed with them in Lancaster during our ALC&C promotion trip. We had a great week with these dear people. Kurt is one of the pastors at Crossway church.
As you can tell, July has been a busy month for us. The month of August is a quieter month over all with the Centre being closed for the month and many of our staff going back to the States for vacation. We will be here and starting on some projects (ie: taking down cabin 3 in preparation of building a new cabin), planning for Young Adult Weekend in October, preparing for a local group that will be here in 2 weekends, and hosting a few people coming for visits. We will also be hosting a woman for about a week while her rental home is being vacated. We will fill you in on all the details of these events next month.
Just letting you know
This is never easy to say, but we feel we need to be honest and let you know what is going on. Donations to our ministry have been down the last couple of months (and education bills are coming due). Summer months are traditionally very lean months, so we are not overly concerned. However, we are not fully funded even in our best months, and when the donations drop lower, it becomes a further strain on our budget. If God lays it on your heart to donate and/or partner with us in our ministry work, you may click on this link (Shepherd’s Staff) which will take you directly to our funding organization. Please pray with us that God provides the needed funds to cover our expenses.
Thank you for your interest in our lives and our ministry work. May God bless you!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
We are not employed by Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. The work we do here in the Bahamas is exclusively funded by the generous support of individuals and churches. If you feel led to do so, you may partner with us and support our ministry work by clicking on the “Shepherds Staff Mission Facilitators” logo in the side bar of this page and following the instructions. All donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your prayers and generosity. May God bless you!