ALC&C staff are tired and overwhelmed, but we are all safe and praising God things are better than they could have been. We are thanking God for sparing us the excessive storm surge and rain that was originally forecasted and that he sent the storm at low tide rather than high tide as originally forecasted.
Impactful Video of Hurricane Matthew’s Destruction
Even with the lower amount of rain/surge, we still have a lot of standing water at both sites, buildings at both the Centre and Camp have sustained some roof damage and other minor to moderate damage, many fences have been broken, cabinets in the Centre kitchen and Nature Centre were damaged by water, uprooted trees damaged underground utilities, the new boardwalk in the wetlands is gone, and there are many downed trees. We are also without power and cable/internet because of downed cable/power lines in the area. It may be days or weeks before we get power restored.
Although the amount of work ahead of us may be daunting, we are praising God for no loss of life and that we are already receiving a few calls from people asking how they can help with the relief effort.
We are helpless without God. We need Him for strength, stamina, wisdom, discernment, daily provision, and so much more. Everything else comes to us as a result of prayer.
Please pray that God will guide us, direct us, sustain us, keep us, give us wisdom and discernment, and provide all our needs.
Please pray that we are able to start ministering to the Bahamian people soon. In order to do this we must first get our own houses, lives, and facilities in order.
Please pray that God supplies funds (for our staff as well as for the ministry) for repairs and supplies and laborers to come and help us clean and make necessary repairs.
Please pray for the clean-up, repair of not only the ALC&C but also for the people of the Bahamas.
Please pray for the strains and concerns that many may have that may lead some to commit crimes. We all know desperation can cause people to do bad things.
Please pray the power comes back on soon. We are in the coastal area, and as such, all houses in our area need to be inspected one by one to make sure that there are no water issues that will affect the power lines before the power company turns on the current.
Please pray for the people of the Bahamas that their hearts are softened at this time and turn to God.
Of course the easiest material ways to help is financial contributions, both for the ministry and for the missionary staff.
The ministry will not be bringing in funds while the facility is not operating.
Repairs and replacement of damaged or destroyed items will be costly. The board walk alone is over $30,000 (it was just replaced in 2014).
Normal everyday expenses continue to accumulate: Bahamian staff salaries, animal care, animal feed, utilities, increased costs of goods and services due to shortages and supply interruptions and lack of refrigeration.
Some needs are not noticeable now but may become evident as time passes (ie cabin 6 appears ok now, but it still has water in it and around it)
Donations can be made by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/1Kh8o5Y
Missionary Staff Needs
The main issues for the missionary staff are loss of food from spoilage due to power outage and increased cost of food due to shortage issues and supply interruptions. Many staff are barely making it on the donations they receive, and this added expense as well as other added expenses will strain already tight budgets.
Donations to missionary staff can be made at this link: http://alcbahamas.org/staff/
Come and lend a hand
This is something that is going to be needed immediately as well as over the next several months. We already had a long list of tasks and deadlines of things that needed to get done, and with this hurricane, our maintenance staff will be stretched further. As you contemplate and pray for laborers to come (maybe it is you), here are a few things to keep in mind.
Our staff is stretched and will need people to come along side us and help pull the load, not burden it further. We are looking for skilled (NOT only construction trade skills), hard-working, mature individuals.
In the interim, the work will be hot, dirty and in not so desirable conditions. We may or may not have electricity available.
Food: Volunteer laborers will need to come prepared to take care of their own food needs (especially over the next month) as store supplies and refrigeration here may be limited. Volunteers can use the Camp kitchen to prepare their food, but remember if we don’t have electricity, stove and refrigeration is limited. Think camping in the wild when planning food (ie MRE’s, Freeze dried food, etc).
Lodging: Volunteers working at ALC&C can stay at Camp (just remember power may or may not be available and staff will do their best to make you comfortable).
Run chain saw
Construction help (siding, soffit, fascia, kitchen cabinets, mason/cement work, fence repair)
Spread the word
Could you please help us out by disseminating this blog post. We need as many people to see this as possible. A few people cannot do it all, but a large group of people sure can!
Thank you so much for your support of us and the ministry here.
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
As many of you may have heard by now, we are dealing with our very first hurricane here in the Bahamas. We are in the direct path of Matthew. Matthew is New Providence’s very first, direct-on hit, category 3-4 hurricane since 1929. A category 1 hurricane is dangerous enough, but this category 3-4 hurricane can be catastrophic for this tiny 7 mile x 21 mile island. There is no precedence and the fear is that people will not take this one seriously.
We should begin seeing affects of the storm around 2pm tomorrow which happens to be high tide. This does not bode well for New Providence, especially for us that live on the low lands on the south side of the island. The storm is arriving from the south and will cause a storm surge of 15-18 feet. Because we are only .5 mile from the ocean and are on flat ground (near sea level) we will not be staying here. We are going to higher ground on the north side of the island. We will be staying with our pastor and his family.
We have been working over these last 2 days to get the Camp secure (We have done the best we can, and though not what we would like, we have to leave the rest in God’s hands). Today I finished up packing our house and moving many things to loft areas around Camp. Tim and Aaron worked cutting wood and boarding up windows.
Please pray as we finish up our “getting ready” tomorrow and that we are able to finish well and get out of here by noon when things start deteriorating. We still have quite a bit to do. We are exhausted (I essentially packed our house alone today while Tim and Aaron boarded up windows).
Please pray for safety. We pray that life is preserved and that no one is hurt. (All staff here are evacuating to the north side of the island). If you could see how some people live here and know how stubborn people can be (they will not heed warning to leave), you can imagine that loss of life in the South Beach area is a real possibility.
Pray for the aftermath. For smaller hurricanes that have not hit this island directly, power outages can last weeks and months. Infrastructure is such that repairs take a lot of time and some times just don’t get done. We are concerned for the inconvenience of it but also for the affect it will have on this ministry.
Please pray for miraculous care of the facility both here and at the Centre and pray that the animals live. We have no way to secure them for this type of storm. We are afraid for them. It saddens us. But we are doing everything we can do safely.
I am not sure when we will be able to communicate again. We will keep you posted as much as and as soon as we can.
Thank you for your prayers!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley