First our August trial…
Friday, August 11th was day 54 of our busy summer ministry schedule; our bags were packed in preparation for our 2 week trip beginning on the 12th, a group was getting ready to vacate the Camp, and the last group of the summer was scheduled to arrive later that day. As we ventured back to Camp that morning (we had been spending the nights that last week at the house we were watching/securing for the fall), we received a call from Aaron that the frig and microwave on the office porch were missing. When we arrived home, we found that the thief had also broken into our house and stolen things from us as well. We filed a police report, assessed what needed to be replaced/purchased, and continued with our plans to leave the island.
Which leads us to our August blessing…
August 1st was our 30th wedding anniversary. To celebrate this year, we booked a cruise vacation so we could get away, relax and experience some quality time together. We left the island on the 12th and flew to Indiana to help Zachary (he had come to the island for a visit on July 29th) move to Minnesota. After a week of shopping (not on our original plan but necessary after the theft of jewelry and clothing) and visiting family, we flew to Fort Lauderdale to begin our cruise vacation on August 20th. We spent 7 glorious days at sea and on 3 Caribbean islands. When we returned to Fort Lauderdale on August 27th, we were rested, refreshed, and reveling in the quality time we had gotten to spend together.
Before and after the cruise, we were able to spend some bonus time with friends from Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale. We were also able to meet with leaders and discuss the school’s upcoming mission trip in January.
We returned to the island on the 28th with news that the thief had been apprehended and some of our belongings had been recovered. We were able to go to the police station the day after we arrived back and reclaimed our belongings. While at the police station, we inquired about reaching out to the thief in prison. We were encouraged by the police officer to do so, and we are praying for the right moment and opportunity. Please pray that God opens a door to minister to this young man.
Praise: Though there were trials this summer (burglary, weeks of long days of ministry in the heat), God blessed us with a peace about our situation, a God-honoring perspective of the break-in and feelings towards the perpetrator, a few days in the presence of our family in Indiana and Minnesota and with friends/ministry partners in Florida, and a wonderful vacation together. We feel incredibly blessed, refreshed, rested, and ready to begin ministry again.
Thank you to all of you who helped make this vacation possible. We had received some gifts over the past year from people requesting that we use the money to “do something fun”. Those funds were used towards the cost of this trip. This trip made us realize that we spend so much time through out the year serving others and spending time in the presence of others. We now see the importance of getting away and being alone and have decided a similar getaway is a must every year. Thank you!
The last day of Day Camp at the Centre was July 28th. Most Centre staff were off island on vacations/visiting family this month. Many have since returned and are preparing for staff training which begins next week.
Jen Rogers, our program director, has been particularly busy this week as much of the training schedule and logistics fall on her shoulders. Please pray for Jen this week and the next 2 weeks.
There were a couple fun days at the Centre hosted by Scotia Bank and RBC Bank for children that live in orphanages on the island. Another great opportunity to partner with businesses in serving the Bahamian children.
Our newest staff, Stephanie Wittmer, arrived this week. She was here for about 9 months in 2010 and has returned to facilitate once again. We have enjoyed getting to know her this week and feel like she is going to make a great addition to the ALC&C staff family. Welcome aboard, Stephanie!
Early in August, while the Centre was vacant and quiet, Tim and Aaron were able to work on some projects. Aaron worked on the front gate, but we are still finding some challenges with it. We hope to resolve them soon. Tim and Mark worked on getting the play set on the playground finished. Tim installed bathroom sinks and counters in the children’s bathrooms.
July 29-August 6 we hosted a mission team from Pennsylvania/Maryland/New Jersey area. They are the E-team under the leadership of Doug Plank, pastor of Crossway Church in Lancaster, PA. They were on island to help serve at Kingdom Life Church’s annual Music Camp. This awesome team was such a blessing to us on many levels. We enjoyed serving them as they served the Bahamian community.
Calvary Baptist Church rented the Camp for a youth Camp the week of August 7-11. It was a blessing to see the pastor of the church engaging his youth and interacting with them as they retreated from every day life to Adventure Learning Camp.
Ms. Ada’s group, Boys Brigade (not pictured), from Abundant Life Bible Church was our last group of the season. 21 boys/leaders were on site for their annual camping trip at Adventure Learning Camp. Zachary was able to hail Ms. Ada before he left to go back to the states.
Nancy is a dear friend and ministry partner of ours. She was a Joy Bible Camp camper when she was a child. She came by this week to visit, and we enjoyed getting to catch up with her.
As we said earlier, staff training starts next week. This weekend coming the board will be on island and we have an all staff retreat day on Saturday. We are looking forward to a great year.
Until next month…