Can you tell we are not in the Bahamas? As this post goes to press, we are on a 3-½ week, 9-stop trip n the USA/Canada promoting the ALC&C and connecting with future mission teams. The trip has been such a blessing thus far. You can get an idea of the itinerary and whom we saw and what we did in the “Guests/Visitors” section of this post, but we would like to quickly highlight one of our stops, which was the stop that instigated this trip in the first place.
On October 21, 2017 we attended and spoke at an ALC&C Fundraiser Auction and Dinner hosted by the past mission team from Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor, Ontario. Also instrumental in the event were a past mission team from West London Alliance Church (London, ON), Grace and Truth Chapel (Windsor, ON), and long time Windsor area ALC supporters. It was a great evening. The ministry was blessed in many ways including the large monetary donation collected from the love offering and auction.
The ALC’s work of reaching Bahamians with the Gospel, which for us begins with the children of the Bahamas, could not continue with out vital ministry supporters. The event was heart warming to us as we witnessed and felt the support of more than 160 people that night.
Part of the blessing of being in community with one another is getting to rejoice with each other during life events. We rejoice with our Celine as she obeyed Jesus’ command to follow him in believer’s baptism. Pastor Moss baptized her as we witnessed at Goodman’s Bay in early October. We then met at a French café for breakfast afterwards. God bless you, Celine!
One of the initiatives that ALC leadership implemented this year is staff care and development days. We have started taking one day a month to get off site to do something together as a staff. For October, the staff took a day to serve Billy and Leah Slater at their Castle ministry. Billy and Leah Slater were past ALC staff before they started their own ministry to young adults. As you can tell from the pictures, the staff had a great time serving the Slaters.
This year at our church, we have been working through a series on discipleship in our Wednesday night meetings. The first week in October, Tim was able to lead the discussion on one of the chapters while Pastor and Alexine were off island at the annual Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor’s Conference. “The Walk” is a great book on discipleship.
We recently got all our full-time staff (absent Tika Penn) together for a hard-to-get ALC&C full-time staff picture. As we share this picture with you, we are reminded that we are in need of other laborers. Please pray that God provides the following staff personnel, but also pray for the board as they work to fill the most important positions of all, Executive Director and Centre Director. Pray for our current leadership team, Mark and Tim, as they fill these positions during the interim.
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).
Our train continues to limp along. For over 2 years now we have been sharing the need for the train to be replaced. The fact it has not been replaced is evidence that God has not seen the need to replace it yet, but we continue to ask for prayer that God either provides a new train or keeps this one going. It is in sad shape and absorbs a lot of man hours to keep it running. Please pray for wisdom/discernment in keeping this one going or seeking a new one. (Continue to pray for our fleet of buses as well.)
Since we have been gone most of this month, we are not only going to highlight the guests that have come to the Camp but also those we visited and our speaking engagements along the way on our trip.
Libby Brode is from Australia and used to be a part of the ALC staff in the early days. She was on island for a visit and came by to spend a day at ALC. She blessed us with a testimony and devotional during our staff devotion time. We enjoyed meeting her and getting to know her.
Kristin Guzak is a young lady from Texas that is on island working with a Bahamian pastor and his wife that are starting a church ministry. In early October, the pastor and his wife had to return to the States for a family emergency, so Kristin came to stay with us while they were off island. During the 5 days she was staying with us, Kristin worked with the animals, assisted with the Adventure Clubs and followed programs at the Centre. She fell in love with the ministry, and even though she has returned to the Russell’s, she has been back to ride the horses and help with Adventure Club. It has been a joy getting to know and minister alongside this young lady.
Our first stop was at my parent’s house, Dick and Connie Mikels. As time marches on, we find our time spent with our parents to be more and more precious. We are thankful for the opportunity we had this trip to spend a few days with them. They are big supporters of us (in many ways), and their love for Jesus and their declaration of the Gospel is inspiring. We are thankful for them! We also got to attend an encouraging Bible study at their church and participate in their church’s small group at their house.
While in Indiana, we also got to see some aunts, uncles and cousins.
On Sunday, October 15th, we met with a team that is coming on their first mission trip to Nassau in March. We were able to present the ALC ministry and Bahamian culture to the youth during their Sunday class time at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. Our very own Micah Godsey and her mother Joan met us there. We had lunch with the youth pastor, his family, a couple other team leaders and the Godseys after church.
Early Tuesday, October 17th, we flew to Raleigh, NC to meet with friends/past mission team members from Peace Church in Wilson, NC. We were able to connect with mission pastor Brad Perry and current youth pastor Brian Tippet. The church plans to send another mission team to Nassau in the future.
Carl and Ann Fama led the mission team from Heritage Park Alliance Church in February, spearheaded a lot of what took place for the fundraiser on the 21st, and hosted us while we were in Windsor. This couple has a huge heart for missions, and they were a blessing to us.
Richard and Judy Greenhow attend Heritage Park and are parents to Adam Greenhow who is part of our maintenance staff at ALC. They hosted us one evening while we were in Windsor.
We had the opportunity to speak at Maranatha Christian School in Windsor. We shared the ministry and a brief challenge.
We were able to spend an evening with the Tissot/Fairley Clan while in Windsor. Sam Tissot (wife Lil) was one of the founding board members of the ALC. Their daughter and son-and-law, Brian and Carol Fairley, and son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Cheryl Tissot, are long time friends of the Seeley family. We were able to spend an evening with this family as well.
Sunday evening, October 22, we were able to give an update to the church where the Tissots and other long time ALC supporters attend. Grace and Truth Chapel were instrumental in helping Heritage Park work through the tax legalities for the charitable donations from the donors at the fundraiser. This is also the home church of Adam Greenhow.
We drove right through Bob and Faye Browning’s home town, London, Ontario on our way from Windsor, ON to Buffalo, NY. We were able to stop and have lunch with them. It was good getting to see them.
We were able to have dinner with Jeff and Cindy Hackett and Jesse Pohle in Buffalo, NY. Jeff and Jesse are part of the organization Score International. The organization facilitates mission teams, and they had brought a group to Nassau in September of this year. After dinner on the Eerie Canal (we ate a restaurant on the canal, and had they not told me it was the “Eerie Canal”, I would not have known. It was that unimpressive), they took us to their church to tour it.
The Focus Group at The Chapel in Buffalo, NY was the group that came to Nassau with Score International in September. We reunited with the team members and Tim got to share a little about the ministry with the group in their Monday evening meeting.
On our way from Buffalo to Piseco, we stopped and met Pat and Janice Armstrong for dinner in Rome, NY where they currently live. It was nice getting to reconnect with them.
Adirondack Bible Chapel in Piseco, NY is another church that supports the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp by supporting a couple ALC missionary families and through past and present attempts to send staff to help at ALC. We were able to give the church an update during their Wednesday evening prayer meeting. We also wanted to connect with them about continuing the ministry partnership by sending staff and teams to the Bahamas.
While in Piseco, we stayed at the ABC’s Ministry Center. It is a unique ministry that disciples people and ministers to hurting people, Christian laborers, missionaries and pastors. It is situated in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains and provides quiet rest and ample opportunities to be nurtured and ministered to. We were able to take 2 days off to rest while there, and the staff at the Centre did everything they could to make us feel welcome and cared for. This was our second visit there.
Pastor Ed Hart and his wife Faith hosted us for an evening at their beautiful mountain top home. Ed is the pastor of ABC, and he was an early board member of ALC&C. At one time he had 7 young people serving at ALC&C. The Harts (as well as many at ABC) have a huge heart for ALC and have been on many construction trips to the ALC. Judy Olenik joined us for dinner as well.
Our final speaking engagement for this trip was at Grace Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Cleveland, OH. The church junior high came on a trip in June 2016, and they will be bringing another team in June 2018. The purpose of our stop this time was to speak to the parents/families/junior high students that will be coming on the trip. We shared the ministry and Bahamas culture with them. We connected with Pastor Shawn Brennan who is no stranger to Nassau in that he used to live and minister there in the early 2000’s.
Dave and Gail Herwerden hosted us while we stayed in the Cleveland, OH area. Dave and Gail have been to Nassau several times to help. You may recall the most recent time was last April. They came to help us get our buses and other vehicles fixed and to help us with other projects. They are such a blessing to be with and we thank them for their hospitality. (They took us to the house where the move “The Christmas Story” was filmed.)
Jon and Lisa Harris are big partners of ours in the ministry we are doing in the Bahamas. We appreciate their continued support of us and their encouragement and faithful prayers for us. We were able to spend a few hours with them in Toledo, OH on our way to Detroit today. They are a huge blessing.
How many people would loan their nice Dodge 2500 diesel pick-up truck to traveling missionaries to use for an entire week? I am sure there are others out there, but Bill and Deb Giles from Windsor, ON loaned us their truck to use so we did not have to rent a vehicle. It was a very nice ride (complete with Sirius XM radio) that got excellent gas mileage. We are so thankful for these servants and their willingness to support us and the ministry in this way. As we dropped the truck off with them today to catch the flight from Detroit to Minneapolis, we were reminded that it isn’t only the big money donors to a ministry or the out-there-in-front missionaries or evangelists that are doing a great work to build the kingdom of God on this earth. Everyone who has ever prayed, financially supported, provided for a need, worked alongside, etc are just as much the kingdom builder as are the missionaries on the front lines. Thank you, Bill and Deb!
We continue our Friday night Youth Night where the young people are learning through Andy Stanley’s curriculum on the Seven Checkpoints of Christianity. The staff has held the fort down while we have been off island, and we look forward to the reports when we return.
Aaron has been spending a lot of time at the Centre these days, but he has had some time to get some small projects completed at Camp. He helped Tim fix an installation issue of one of the toilets in the women’s bath house; he installed a new water cooler shelf at the bath house; he is working on building storage closet in the Camp office; he repaired light fixtures damaged in storms.
Victory has finally been had in the repair and reconstruction of the reverse osmosis system at the Centre. Praise the Lord! Aaron and Tim continue to battle the system at Camp, but we are hoping that will soon be resolved.
Our first program at the Centre for this school year happened the first week in October and it was for the class of the little boy that we told you about in our last update. You may recall that we told you about a little boy who had been doing his school work at his kitchen table in his home when a stray bullet struck him and killed him. Eugene Woodside’s third grade class from Albury Sayles Primary School was our first program at Adventure Learning Centre this year. The facilitators and staff reported that the children from the class were especially clingy, and the staff were able to heap love and affection on these hurting children. What a ministry opportunity it was, complete with hugs, hand holding, play time and most importantly time to share the Gospel and love of Jesus. The class also was one of the first groups to get to enjoy the use of our newly constructed play set.
Christmas Lights Drive Thru 2017: “Believe”
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Christmas Lights Drive Thru that is. Lights are going up. Volunteer rounding-up is in full swing. Set/pageant preparations are being made. Meetings are being had. All this is for the annual Christmas Lights Drive Thru at Adventure Learning Centre. This year’s theme is “Believe”. Please pray for this event, its preparation, execution, Gospel delivery, community attendance, as it is a major fundraiser for the ministry as well as a Gospel outreach to the community.
Matters for Prayer
Though this trip we are on is coming in far under budget then what we had originally anticipated (due to God’s provision of great airfares, the vehicle use, and generous hosts along the way), we are funding it personally. The ministry is not paying for it. It is an added expense for us. Please pray with us that God will provide the rest of the funds that will close the budget gap.
We are seeking God’s wisdom and guidance on a couple things, please pray with us on these.
Please pray for the outreach of the Christmas Lights Drive Thru, programming at the Centre and Camp, and through the various side ministries of the staff.
Please pray for our Ms. Ada (cook at the Centre). Her husband passed away from prostate cancer yesterday.
Thank you for your time in reading this update and for your interest in the ministry of Adventure Learning Centre and Camp.
Until next month…