Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
Last month’s trip to the States that ended with our return to Nassau on the 6th was, as you may recall, a “business/ministry” trip that took us to many locations in the upper Midwest/Great Lakes area. During our travels, we encountered many people doing their normal life which included, as far as I was concerned, one of my biggest desires. That is, many fellow empty nesters were enjoying the benefits of living alone as husband and wife yet in close enough proximity to family, relatives, adult children and grandchildren to be able to see and interact with at a very short notice or to make plans for an outing or meal together. We even got a brief taste of it when we were in Minnesota (and boy did that taste good!).
While observing these seemingly normal, mundane encounters, I began to feel sad at the loss of such luxury. The sadness went beyond that to almost self pity. I even cried out to God, “Why can’t I have that too?” Even as I contemplated what I was missing out on by living so far away from family, God reminded me that number 1, it was Satan that was sewing these seeds of discontent; number 2, my sufficiency is not in anyone or anything, no matter how noble or good, and number 3, He has promised to supply the affections of all that we have given up in ways that are unexpected. Even as I contemplated what God was speaking to me about, I remembered the verses in Mark 10:29-30 (verses above). As if I needed further assurance and convincing, the topic of a devotional by Solid Joys that week was speaking to this very thing. My sufficiency is in Jesus alone, and though far from the affections of mother, father, sister, children, grandchildren, God has provided other relationships for me to enjoy and nurture (we have a great group of young people on site right now, and they are such a blessing!).
I confessed my lack of trust in Jesus to be my all sufficiency and prayed that I would trust more in Him to be that comfort of family around that I so longed for. I would be lying if I said I do not still wish I had my children closer, or that I could have my grand daughter come spend the weekend with me, or that I could pop into my parent’s house and have coffee with my beautiful mother, or go shopping with my twin sister, or do any of those other things families do when they are in close proximity. However, I am now recognizing the source of the discouragement and trusting Jesus to be my all in all. He knows and sees every tear and heart ache. I take great comfort in that.
Furthermore, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be living in a time of Skype and FaceTime and texting and messaging. These tools are very valuable in helping us remain connected.
One of the new things we started this fall was taking an hour each week to connect with the on-site staff, Tim with the guys and me with the gals. It has been a great time for all of us to encourage one another and take an opportunity to pray together, discuss issues going on as we live in community, and build each other up.
We have not spoken much about our church, but since it is something that is an integral part of our lives, we thought we would start including it in our blog. We have had many opportunities to meet with our pastor and his wife for fellowship and encouragement. We have also had opportunity to meet with other members of the congregation (David and Antja Humes above) outside of the Sunday morning worship and Wednesday evening discipleship classes. Tim has been able to lead Wednesday night discipleship class when Pastor was out of town and also periodically leads worship in giving and announcement times on Sunday mornings. We are blessed by our church family at Kingdom Life Church.
It is tough being away from family during holiday times. Thanksgiving is not observed here in the Bahamas; however, we chose to take the day off because we had worked the weekend previous and needed to take a day off anyway. We chose to adopt “parents” for the day. We had a lovely time with Donny and Barbara Maura. After lunch and a great conversation, a tour of Lyford Cay and Island House with the Maura’s, we drove to Bahamar to walk around and then ended up eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal alone together at a local restaurant. It was such nice day together; made better by telephone conversations with all our children and parents.
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
If you know of anyone who has organizational skills and desire and ability to work in a kitchen, we may have a ministry position for them. We are in need of someone who can manage and cook in our kitchen especially during the busy spring and summer schedules and at other times through out the year. Since this is just a seasonal position, the interested person can also come and assist in other areas around Camp and the Centre.
Interested applicants with a godly character and servant heart can contact Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark (email@example.com).
2400 to be exact! That is the goal for the Christmas Lights Drive Thru this year (see below). We sell concessions at the Christmas Lights Drive Thru to bring in more revenue to fund the ministry. We usually sell out of these cookies every year, so I decided to make more than usual in hopes of meeting the demand. A couple weeks ago I measured and put ingredients together, and in the last week I made large batches of dough, scooped them into balls and froze the dough to be made into cookies later this week. We will repeat the process next week for the event’s 2nd weekend.
Our Ms. Ada lost her husband and the ALC staff attended his funeral in support of her.
Groups/Visits & Visitors
November 9-10th, Calvary Chapel Academy sent a couple scouts, Marty Fanning (left) and Steve Mayo, to work on coordinating ministry connections for the mission team coming in January.
Dave and Sue Bryant, missionaries from Andros and good friends of ours, came for a couple nights on their way back to the States for Thanksgiving holiday.
Epic Kids led by Ms. Rodena Sands from Epic Church came for a weekend retreat at Camp November 17-19. This is their second retreat this year. What a great group of children. We were able to attend their church. We enjoyed the opportunity to worship and experience another assembly on the island.
New Bahamas missionaries, Bob and Donna Mastin, arrived on the island in late October. They are here to work with Bahamas Youth Network. We were able to meet with them for a Sunday afternoon and experience Jollifcation festival together. We were able to impart to them some tips of living in a new culture with plans to meet up again really soon.
Brother Bradly King, good friend and one of the pastors at East Street Gospel Chapel, and his sister Vanria from Florida, joined us for lunch last Saturday. It has been a while since we had opportunity to connect with them and we enjoyed our time together.
This last Friday we had our last youth gathering until the New Year. We have been averaging 8-18 young people a night. We have enjoyed the opportunities to pour into these young people. We have a few challenges with some of the young people (namely with a couple of them that have been caught coming on property at odd hours and causing mischief). Please pray for all the young people we minister to but one young man in particular, Tirique. He needs Jesus. Pray that we are able to minister to this young man.
Aaron has been pulled to the Centre to do a lot of projects, but one big project at Camp that is needing done (mostly because we need space for our group of 100 people in January and this is part of clearing that space) is the closet and storage structures in the Camp office. He has been moving along well and hopes to have it done by Christmas (if he is not pulled away to do things at the Centre). We appreciate this young man so much and all the hard work he does. He truly is a blessing.
We have been very busy over the last 3 weeks pulling things together for the local group that comes December 15-16, our large group the week before Christmas (December 17-22), for our larger group in January and the new groups in March. The January group, Calvary Christian Academy from Fort Lauderdale, comes twice for 5 days in early to mid January. Both CCA groups are about 100 people each. It gives us challenges with transportation schedules, lodging assignments, ministry connections, etc. Since the groups come right after the holiday, we started earlier this year so we can enjoy some time off for the holidays. We have also been making connections with the new teams that are coming in March. Exciting things happening, but they just take time to plan and work through details.
Please pray for Tim and me as we help with the Christmas Lights Drive Thru and then continue on for the following 2 weeks serving groups at Camp.
Christmas Lights Drive Thru 2017
There is a lot going on at the Centre side of the ministry, but the biggest thing right now is the preparations for the annual Christmas Lights Drive Thru that begins this weekend. For 6 nights, we will be hosting guests driving thru the Centre to see the beautiful display of lights and witnessing the Gospel of Jesus come to life from the Shepherd’s perspective. Please pray for this important fundraiser and Gospel outreach.
Pray for the staff in the preparation phase as well as during the event. There has been a lot of work done in preparing for the event and there remains a lot to be done.
Program and Adventure Club
Even with all the CLDT preparation this last month, children still came into the Centre, and the Gospel was still being presented to children through the educational programs. The staff were stretched. Thankfully today was the last day of programing until after Christmas break. They get some time off next week between the 2 Christmas Lights Drive Thru weekends and then after the 2nd weekend until their return in January.
Adventure Club Christmas party was also this week. This is often the highlight for the clubbers where they get to come to Adventure Learning Centre and play, eat food and see the pretty lights.
Our Broken Down Train
Our train at the Centre may have seen its last chugga-chugga, choo-choo around the Centre. A radiator and wheel axel problem may have put it out of commission permanently. We are in the market for an alternative. Please pray that God provides for this area of our program.
Thank you and a final note of encouragement!
Thank you for your continued support of us and the ALC&C ministry. Those of you who contribute financially, your gifts are making a difference, and we thank God for your partnership with us in this work. Those of you who contribute to us by supporting us in prayer, we want you to know we appreciate you as well. Your prayers are vital. We do not underestimate them.
If you do not currently support us financially or through prayer, we invite you to start doing so as the Lord allows, lays it on your heart and provides.
We know the days of our sojourning on this earth are quickly coming to an end. The events we are witnessing around us and around the world point to a soon return of Jesus, our bridegroom! It is our prayer as we continue the work here to further the Kingdom of God, that you will seriously search your heart and heed Jesus when he said in Luke 19:13: “Occupy until I come.”
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Tim and Mindy Seeley