Over the centuries Valentine’s Day has evolved into an occasion where people express their love for each other with greeting cards, gifts, flowers, candy, etc. Like people in many other countries around the world, we here in The Bahamas recognize Valentine’s Day as well. For Valentine’s Day this year, instead of celebrating it alone (or not celebrating it at all as is often the case), we spent time with our son and daughter-in-law enjoying God’s beautiful creation, walking on beaches, drawing hearts in the sand, etc.
Albeit under unfortunate circumstances, Valentine’s weekend also offered us at the ALC&C an opportunity to demonstrate love for one of our own in a practical, tangible way. On February 13th, we as a staff gathered around Eldora Canter (the Centre’s office manager) as she laid her husband to rest. Yes, death has once again touched the ALC&C family. Eldora’s husband, Raymond Canter, died unexpectedly at the end of January.
We have had many opportunities to love on Eldora and her children over the past several weeks. Please pray for her, Savannah, RJ and the rest of the Canter family as they adjust to life without Raymond.
Although we are saddened by the losses of the past several months, we continue to trust God. We recognize that the one who epitomizes love and is the author of the greatest love story ever told knows and cares for us deeply. He is with us and is especially with our dear comrade, Eldora and her family at this time of great tragedy.
You may recall from our last couple of blogs that several staff finished their commitments at ALC&C in December and returned to the US. We know these position vacancies, like everything else, are divinely orchestrated, and we are learning to rely more heavily on God for strength and discernment in working more efficiently. Because we are more stretched for time, we have had to reprioritize tasks (and some tasks have had to be put on hold for now), shuffle responsibilities, and re-organize the way we do things. Please pray that God sends us the help we need, be it in the form of temporary help on a regular basis or in a permanent staff situation.
Starting next Saturday through Easter, we have 5 mission teams coming to stay at Camp and serve the Bahamian people. Cooks for these teams are pretty much covered, but we have a very busy schedule of mission teams from mid May through mid August and could use cooking staff to help serve these groups. Shoot us an email if you or someone you know is interested in coming to serve with us for any (or all) of these weeks. It is hot working here during the summer months, but serving these teams is a blessing. Please pray God sends us the right people.
Mindy continues to oversee the food service and housekeeping areas of camp life but has taken on a more active role of kitchen management since Judi left. Like many places, spring-cleaning is a necessity here as well. We took the opportunity of the staff change to get the reorganization and kitchen cleaning done early this year. It has been a grueling journey over the last month, but we are happy with the results.
Aaron arrived a little over a month ago, and he has already accomplished quite a bit: outdoor lighting installed, installation of projector screen and wiring for sound system in dining hall, replacement light fixtures installed in kitchen, completion of screened porch at office, reorganization of storage trailers, and so much more. We truly appreciate all he has accomplished. He has really been a help to us especially now since Tim has been unable to do a lot of physical labor (see update below).
Bob and Faye continue to be a huge blessing to the ministry. They work tirelessly on many projects and spend time encouraging staff in their times of fellowship.
There is still no more progress to report on the permit for the new cabin construction. Please pray that God will work in this. We need to get this project underway soon.
In January a young man from Switzerland came to ALC&C to volunteer in maintenance and to work on improving his English. Tobias Jaton has been a joy to get to know. He will be with us until March 21st. He has not only helped with maintenance at the Centre, but he also helps drive the bus for groups, assist with Adventure Clubs, and helps with the animals.
Gael is a young man from Switzerland that had come to serve at ALC several years ago. He, his girlfriend, and his parents came for a couple weeks. They vacationed, got to know the ALC&C ministry, and even spent a couple days helping us with projects. Our friend Cathy Mott, also originally from Switzerland, came for dinner and was able to talk French with fellow countrymen. We also celebrated Cathy’s daughter Florence’s 10th birthday.
This young lady is from The Bahamas island, Andros. Fellow missionaries Dave and Sue Bryant contacted us to see if we could assist a young lady they work with. Celine came to Nassau to take the SAT test. She arrived on New Providence on a Friday morning, and after a tour of Adventure Learning Centre, an afternoon with the staff at Camp, and Youth night at Camp, she took her test on Saturday morning and returned to Andros that afternoon. We enjoyed getting to know this young lady. Just another neat way God has used our connection with Dave and Sue Bryant (see our blog post from December to see how we met the Bryants).
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s young adult program, Eikon came back to Nassau to serve at All Saints Camp, Camp out on a beach, and do some evangelistic work downtown. It was great reconnecting with these young people. We also appreciate the wood they helped supply camp with.
This last month several people associated with ALC&C and/or staff have come to the port of Nassau on cruise ships. We were able to show them around the ministry and the island. Let us know if you are ever here on a cruise ship, we will be glad to pick you up and show you around as well. (If you have stayed at ALCamp and noticed “LWBC” on the bottom of the tables, the tables came from the camp Dennis and Mary Ann are from.)
Pastor Q from Epic Church brought a group of young men to Camp for a men’s retreat. We have a heart for the young people of the Bahamas and appreciate Pastor Q’s work with these young men.
Youth Outreach to Bahamian young people in grades 7-12 continues every Friday evening. In January the focus was on the Fruit of the Spirit: Peace, and February the focus is on Patience. Interest seems to be increasing with the outreach, and it is encouraging to see the young people eager to come out and participate. Last Friday, we had about 22 young people.
Once a month young adults, mostly college aged, get together at St. Andrew’s Kirk for food, fellowship, worship, prayer and a challenge from God’s Word. The leader of “City Lights” is Dan Weightman, a fellow missionary here in The Bahamas. Some of our facilitators like to frequent this monthly event, and we attended our first meeting in January. It is great getting to connect with young people we know from Young Adult Weekend, College of Bahamas, etc.
We made another ministry connection. The Seahorse Institute provides intensive interventions for children and young adults with Autism and developmental delays. We are looking forward to the opportunity of connecting mission teams with Seahorse.
Not ALC related, but we were able to minister to a lady that attends our church by watching her three active boys for her for a weekend. These boys are so sweet. It was a lot of work for us (it has been a long time since we had little boys in our house), but we enjoyed the time with the boys very much.
Easter Monday Funday
Easter Monday Funday preparation has begun again. The Funday is one of the two ALC fundraisers and gospel outreaches we have each year. It takes a lot of work to prepare and run. Please pray for the preparations and for the event.
One of the projects at the Centre that is being done now is sprucing up the landscaping in the petting farm and the grounds. Andy Cartwright, a local landscaper, is leading the project. We appreciate him and his professional expertise in doing this project.
We have just received word from the school next door to the Centre that they will be going ahead with plans to build an auditorium on the land behind the Centre. We will maintain the use of the train trail, but much of the land to the east of the train trail is going to be taken over with the building. This will negatively impact some of the programs we operate out there, take away the “in the middle of nature” feel you get while in the wetlands, and of course destroy some beautiful, endangered natural resources (ie blackland coppice, mangroves). Please pray for this situation. We do not want to appear to the world to be fighting with the Bahamas Academy next door. Nothing could hurt our testimony more than Christians “fighting” Christians.
With Dilan Van Ryn’s departure, Jen Rogers (left) has taken over the program director job. Tika Penn has taken over the event planning part of the program director job. Please pray for these ladies as they adjust to their new roles. Also, please pray for all our facilitators as they continue with a very busy programming schedule. We have been blessed with many opportunities to love-on and teach many Bahamian school children this semester. New additions to the petting farm have arrived, and Garnett is adjusting well to his new position as animal and grounds caretaker.
This mom of 4 boys has waited almost 27 years to say this, “It’s a Girl!” Garrett and Abby have announced that Anastasia Lucile Seeley will be making her appearance sometime around August 8th. We are so excited and are praying for good health for both mom and baby.
Our oldest son Andrew and his wife Katie were here for a week. They were able to relax, tour the island, and visit the ALC (even got to follow some programming). We put Andrew on our car insurance and he got to drive. He learned very quickly how to navigate the island. We enjoyed getting to be with the kids.
During the weekend we were watching the Glinton boys from church, Tim took a fall from the back of a bench onto the corner (and a bolt) of a cement footing that supports one of the legs to the super slide tower at the Centre. He landed on his back left side and broke ribs number 10 and 11. Thankfully he suffered no internal organ damage. Although he was uncomfortable for a week, he has not experiencing a lot of pain. He says it feels like something is pushing on the area of the injury, but he is not in a lot of pain. We are praising God that he was not injured more than he was.
Thank you to all of you who support us both financially and with prayer. We appreciate your faithfulness and generosity and pray God’s blessings for you.
Thank you also for taking the time to get caught up on what is going on in our lives and the ministry work here at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp.