During the recent bout of storms (which, by the way, did not affect us despite warnings and calls by our passport country’s government to “evacuate” and our resident country’s government to “prepare”), there came to me a new realization of why we are here and why we should keep working in spite of how we feel of what is or is not happening.
In the days leading up to Irma’s arrival in our vicinity, when the hurricane’s cone of uncertainty was still over the Bahamas, we were admonished by NEMA (Bahamas equivalent to USA’s FEMA) to prepare our property for a large dangerous hurricane. As we began surveying what needed to be done, not only did I see the large preparation task ahead of us (all this during our annual staff orientation week), but I also saw unfinished projects (projects put on the back burner because of lack of staff to complete them and more urgent projects arising) and remnants of the damaged landscape from last year’s Hurricane Matthew. As I pondered what happened last year and what might happen again this year, I asked myself, “Why even try? Why do we keep doing this? We work hard to make things nice, and then it gets destroyed. Between hurricanes, salty humid air, and dirty electricity, things just keep breaking. It all seems so futile. Furthermore, work just keeps coming with no end in sight. I am tired. Do I even want to do this anymore?”
Despite what Satan was trying to tell me, God reminded me that there is in fact a work going on here; God is moving; lives are being impacted; what we are doing by God’s grace is important.
God is using the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp to bring glory to himself. ALC&C is reaching the Bahamian people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the educational programs at the Centre, Adventure Clubs in the schools, puppet shows at Birthday party rentals, and pageants/dramas at the 2 annual Fundays. The Camp financially supports the ministry (guests that come to Adventure Learning Camp pay a small fee to stay at the Camp), facilitates/serves mission teams where participants not only draw closer to the Lord in their service to him but also are given opportunities to minister to and share the Gospel with the Bahamian people, provides a retreat facility for local churches and groups to getaway from every day life, and operates a weekly Youth Night outreach where ALC staff together with former Joy Bible Camp staff impact the lives of local young people.
So, every tree branch we pick-up off the road and carry to the burn pile, every fence board we cut/prime/paint/nail to the post, every water filter or pipe fitting we replace, every twisted light fixture we repair, every tree or plant we prune, every program lesson developed/practiced/taught, every picnic table we turn upside down then right side up again, every board we nail in place over a glass window, every roof shingle we replace, every blown tire we replace on a vehicle, every smile/touch/kind word to a guest, every animal we move to safety and then back out to pasture, every conflict between staff we mediate, every meal we prepare is all worth it for one reason: it keeps the ALC&C ministry going so we can continue the work God has called us here to do!
We continue, taking each day as it comes and praying that God gives us the grace we need to do what needs to be done and the wisdom/discernment we need to prioritize each task.
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
(I Thesselonians 5:24)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
( I Peter 1:3)
Please pray with us for maintenance staff and a program director. These positions are urgent needs.
Expectations: Responsible for overseeing facilitator staff, communicate with teachers and schools, booking school field trips, scheduling and logistics. Requirements: customer service and phone skills, can delegate and manage staff. Not required but desired: organizational skills and basic computer program skills such as word and excel.
Requirements: Skills in general construction and repair, able to lead mission teams and volunteers with work projects. Preferred but not required: mechanical and diesel engine repair abilities
Interested applicants with a godly character and servant heart can contact Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark (email@example.com).
Welcome aboard, Kadeisha and Stephanie
We are so excited to have these 2 ladies as part of our facilitator team this year. Kadeisha is originally from Trinidad and has lived in Nassau for the past 2 years. Her husband is Bahamian, and they met at Bible college in the States. You met Stephanie last month, but in case you missed it…Stephanie Wittmer comes back to us from New York. Stephanie was here for 9 months in 2009-10. We are glad to have her back. Please pray for these ladies as they begin their service and employment here at Adventure Learning Centre.
Staff Retreat Day
The ALC&C board, minus Pastor Cranston who is on sabbatical and off island, gathered with the staff for our annual pre-year staff retreat. It was held at Atlantis on September 2nd. As a staff we revisited our mission as a ministry. It was another opportunity to see why we are here and the value of what we do. Always a great way to begin the new school year!
Staff Orientation Begins
Another great way to start a new school year is coming together as staff during new staff orientation week for team building activities. Jen’s first team building activity involved donuts. Way to go, Jen! The first week of training was interrupted by hurricane preparedness, but we eventually got it done.
Getting the Word Out
On September 10th Tim was able to provide an ALC&C ministry update to the church at East Street Gospel Chapel. This is their annual missions month, and we usually attend at least once every year to provide the local ministry update. Aaron, Celine and Stephanie joined us.
Ministry of Another Kind
We were able to help fellow Bahamians during the recent Hurricane Irma. As many of you may know, the southern Bahamas islands received a direct hit from this Category 5 hurricane. In the days leading up to the hurricane, NEMA evacuated the tiny islands. NEMA requested the use of our buses to transport the evacuees from the airport to the shelters here on New Providence.
Friday Youth Night
Youth Night 2017-18 has begun, and boy are we excited for another great year of ministering to these young people! The young people have started to return, and we are encouraged by their enthusiasm and overall desire to be here. Our dedicated staff are also an encouragement as they devote themselves to ministering to the young people. Last Friday the mission team from Buffalo, NY led the program. This week we begin a new series based on Andy Stanley’s “Seven Checkpoints”. Pray for the exciting new year of ministry ahead of us.
Not much in way of projects has been taking place at Camp. Aaron and Tim have been spending a lot of time at the Centre working on projects over there. We hope to resume the office storage construction soon. Denny continues to work his magic on the grounds. He is a hard, quick and efficient worker.
The only mission team we had this month was a group of young adults from Buffalo, New York. They are part of a group called Focus Group The Chapel and were here through a mission organization called Score International. Among the many things they did while on the island, they did work projects at the Centre, led our Friday Youth Night, worked in the community to build a playground/benches in the Kemp Road area, did outreach with a Bahamian boxer, and served at Uriah McPhee Primary School. They were a blessing to serve.
Bradley King (left) brought a couple from Barbados, Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Brown, to tour the Camp. They do camp ministry on their island and were here in Nassau to speak at East Street Gospel Chapel’s missions conference.
The staff are practicing the curriculum and getting ready to begin teaching the children that come to Adventure Learning Centre throughout the school year. A 3rd grade class from Albury Sayles Primary school will be here next week as our first group of the year (this is a way of reaching out to and encouraging the class of a little Bahamian boy that was shot and killed by a stray bullet while sitting at his dining room table doing homework this past Monday night). Pray for the little boy’s family, that we are able to encourage the children, and for the facilitators as they minister to these children, sharing the Gospel of Jesus and providing outdoor education programming.
One of the ways we minister to the Bahamian people is by opening the Centre for rental for children’s birthday parties. We not only provide a service to the attendees, but we are also able to present the Gospel through the puppet show. We had the first birthday party of the school year this past weekend.
Another set of triplet goats were born at the Centre on September 11th. This is the second set of triplets born this year. They are adorable. Enjoy viewing these little cuties!
Busy Fall Ahead
On the Road
A church in Windsor, Ontario is holding an ALC&C fundraiser on October 21st, and this fundraiser has prompted us to make a promotion/connecting trip in Indiana (mission team coming next March), North Carolina (meet a new youth pastor of a supporting church and past mission team), Windsor (fundraiser/meet with past mission teams), New York (meet with prospective staff and connect with supporting church), and Cleveland Ohio (mission team coming next June). We should be gone from the island for about 3 weeks. Pray for us as we prepare and for travel and for the connections we will be making.
When we return, we have local groups scheduled for 3 weekends in November. The first 2 weekends in December are our annual Christmas Lights Drive Thru. Then we have a local camp December 15-16 and a week long mission team of 45 people the week before Christmas. Please pray for us as we make preparations for these big events.
Have a great October!