On Wednesday, January 17th, shortly after the second group of Calvary Christian Academy (see below) arrived, Tim brought to the house a box wrapped in white wrapping paper. As he handed me the box, he said it was a gift from an anonymous person brought to the island by one of the team members. I had absolutely no expectations, so as I pulled back the wrapping paper and saw what it was, I was stunned speechless. The gift was a DSLR camera.
I have always valued photography. Pictures to me represent memories; memories represent people; people are what relationships are all about, and relationships with people are important to me. However, as meaningful as this camera is to me, what makes this gift even more meaningful is the testimony of the giver. The carrier told me that the giver had been sensing God telling her to buy this camera for a long time, and she finally listened. Her sensitivity and obedience to God astounded me. I am not sure who I spoke to about not having my camera any more or in what context this benefactor found out that I loved my DLSR camera that broke a couple years ago.
The camera itself, the sensitivity of this person to God’s nudging, and the seemingly randomness of the generous act was such a surprise and blessing. Wow!
Can You Bless the ALC&C?
Sure you can, in many ways. Many of you have already done so. We are grateful for all the donors, volunteers, prayer warriors, visitors etc that have supported and thus blessed the ministry over its nearly 25 years of existence, but we are once again looking for people who are wanting a way to tangibly bless the ALC&C. Here are a couple of specific ways:
Come and volunteer for a week (or two or three) as Camp cook. We are looking for people to come and help us serve the mission teams that will be staying on site and serving ALC and the Bahamas community. Weeks of need: March 3-17, March 28-April 4, June 9-July 29, and maybe August 5-10.
Come and volunteer your time to help with general maintenance and vehicle maintenance/repair. Our buses are old and are constantly breaking down. (Maintenance is also a full time need.)
Your lodging (and food when we are cooking for guest groups) will be taken care of as you serve, so the only major expense is your transportation here. Come and enjoy meeting and serving people and more importantly help us build the kingdom of God.
Staff Development Day
Thank you to Jen Rogers and Tika Penn for planning and executing an exciting day of staff development on Monday, January 29th. The day started with staff devotions at South Beach. At the beach we were encouraged by Jen, shared time together in prayer, got together one on one with another staff member to talk and pray, and shared donuts. We then hopped into the bus and headed to Potter’s Cay for a culture experience and team game involving conch and Bahamian fruit jams. We ended the outing with a “blind folded” event at the Caves. We headed back to the Centre for a pizza lunch and birthday cake for our January-March babies. We had a great time together. Man we love these people!!!! So glad we get to do ministry with these guys and gals. So blessed we are.
Welcome Back, Bob and Faye!
Bob and Faye Browning returned in early January and hit the ground running as soon as they arrived helping us get ready for our 2 weeks of large groups. Bob immediately set in to fixing our buses and train and Faye to helping clean camp and help Ms. Ada at the Centre. We are so pleased to have these two back serving with us for 2 1/2 months.
Praise the Lord, the train is running again. Thank you Bob for making this happen!
We just finished the first step of the yearly process of getting our fleet of buses inspected and licensed. This poor fleet of vehicles continues to limp along, but God keeps them going despite rust, broken radiators, failing starters, and many other mechanical woes. Please pray they pass all inspections and continue to run. We rely on these buses both at the Camp and at the Centre to do the ministry work we do.
Calvary Christian Academy from Fort Lauderdale, FL sends their 8th graders on a mission trip to Bahamas every year where they learn to “Know God More and Make Him Known”. The two groups of nearly 100 that come for 5 days each (one group one week and the other group the next week) in early January stretch our capacity and resources here at the Camp, but partnering with these teams has been such a blessing as we have seen the team’s focus/ministry evolve over the years (more on CCA 8th graders below). They serve at government schools, orphanages, All Saints, and the Centre.
Bob and Jane Caldwell (in purple and black) were on island visiting fellow Bahamas missionaries, John and Karen Stodgehill (in red and black). We met up with these couples for a team planning meeting and tour of ALC&C. Bob will be leading a mission team here over Easter. They will be serving with us at our Easter Monday Funday, and Kenny was showing them the train track where the train skit takes place.
Long time ALC&C friend Marcia Harvey joined us a couple Saturdays for lunch and a visit. Marcia is also related to Bob and Faye.
Illiana and BYN board member, Leslie, came and met with us last Saturday to discuss a BYN leaders retreat at ALCamp this summer.
Former ALC maintenance man, Tom Schafer was back on the island and staying with Tim Ryan. He came to ALC and served for a couple of days while here. It was fun hearing him laugh again and seeing him running his old toys.
After the holiday times of December and CCA mission teams in early January, we began our weekly youth night last Friday evening. We had 18 young people on our first night back. Before our first meeting, leaders got together to plan and pray for the youth and the meetings.
Every year we deep clean our Camp kitchen in late January. This year Debbie tackled this huge job for us. She did a fantastic job. Thank you, Debbie, for your hard work.
Tim, Aaron and I have been working on various projects at Camp. Aaron finished the office closet, and we are in the process now of getting the office back in order. Tim has been working on many small projects at Camp and…
…one big one. He has begun laying out the foundation for the 2 remaining staff cottages. It is our goal to begin these two construction projects this year. A couple of mission teams have expressed interest in helping with this project.
We have begun to train Debbie in what we do to serve mission teams and local guest groups from the time they first call to book their stay with us to when we physically serve them. We are looking forward to having her help us and to backing us up in our efforts to serve these groups. Debbie is a quick learner and is great at taking initiative to do whatever is needed to be done.
Program at the Centre has resumed. The first of the groups for 2018 were in conjunction with Calvary Christian Academy. CCA helped facilitate the programs/fundays for local government schools at the Centre. It is such a joy seeing children coming to the Centre again, and one of the sweetest sounds is hearing laughing children at play and the train whistle blowing. Please pray for the children we are serving and the staff that are teaching and sharing the Gospel of Jesus through the educational programing.
Barn Roof Repair
Tim Ryan along with a couple friends, Adam and Kenny worked very hard in getting the barn roof re-shingled. As you can tell, the barn roof is a dangerous pitch. We appreciate these men’s risk and time spent in getting this job done. Well, done, gentlemen!
Tim’s parents Lee and Jan Seeley are currently here visiting us. Their visit is a blessing and encouragement to not only us but to all the ALC staff. We love having them here and are looking forward to their two week long visit.
Thank you for your continued support of us in your thoughts, prayers and financial giving. We appreciate all you do to help us in the ministry work God has called us to do here in Nassau, The Bahamas.