Early this year we handed in our resignation (dated January 7, 2018) for the Camp Director position at Adventure Learning Camp. In that resignation letter, we offered to stay on as Camp Director to help with the transitioning to a new Camp Director until January 2019 but sooner if a new Camp Director was found.
As we have been praying through our transition, we are seeing more and more that it is much harder then we expected it to be. Our desire and fortitude is waning. Unfortunately, serious family issues are weighing us down and playing into our decisions as well. With that, we are sensing the Lord saying that the end needs to be sooner rather than later. We are seeking an earlier transition than previously expected.
Knowing the calendar and the seasons of both the Centre and the Camp, we feel with the new school year starting in early September and a new accompaniment of staff arriving at the beginning of the school year, an early September departure would be an appropriate time. It is only 4 months early, and it will also let the new staff and leadership jump in and take the reigns of the Camp. With the new team, a new sense of synergism can begin afresh.
Our departure date is Wednesday, September 5, 2018. We will initially be landing in Summerville, South Carolina where Mindy’s sisters and their families live. Our plan is to take a few months to rest, heal, regroup, pray and seek God to find out what he would have us do. We will also be attending a Pastor’s conference in October and taking a pre-planned vacation (who would have known but God that the conference and vacation would fall at about the same time we would be leaving and needing time to refuel and rest).
It is still unclear what direction God has for us. We are confident that He is already working out all those details, and so we will continue to focus on this busy summer schedule and finishing strong here at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. Though this is a tough season for us right now (personal and ministry), we feel God’s grace meeting us in our time of need.
To all of you who have supported us: We value you and all you have been for us over these last 5 1/2+ years here in the Bahamas and the 3 1/2 years before that at the camp ministry in Wisconsin. Without your partnership with us, we would have not been able to complete the mission work God called us to do.
Though we leave the Bahamas on September 5, 2018, the financial need will continue for a few months. Gainful employment is not on the radar as yet, and there will also be travel and relocation expenses. When we moved to The Bahamas, what we didn’t bring with us (vehicle and household items in particular), we gave away or sold. What we brought with us, with a few exceptions, we are selling or giving away here (costs too much to take back). Add deterioration of things from this salty, humid climate (clothing and electronics in particular), and we will not have much when we return. Please know that we have a healthy, godly perspective on money and possessions. Neither of us desire to accumulate a lot of “things”. We see “things” as only tools to be used to do what God calls us to do on this earth, and excesses of these “things” are not what we desire.
Our mission organization, Sheherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators, will be collecting tax deductible funds on our behalf until November 30, 2018. Our last pay out from them will be December 7, 2018. If you would like to contribute to our relocation expenses or donate to our monthly living expenses for now until November, you may do so via this link: Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators.
We appreciate your generosity.
Changes continue at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. Honestly, we are so focused on and busy serving our groups and planning for our upcoming groups, we are a little out of the loop with what is going on at the Centre and our executive director’s new plans for the Camp. We apologize for that. This update will have to focus on what we know. Our co-laborer, Jen Rogers, has a great blog as well. Her update is a great resource as is the ALC&C Facebook page.
End of School Year, Staff Development, Good-byes
Early this month we had staff development days where we were blessed and encouraged by a guest speaker (see below). We also got together for a staff vision meeting with our executive director, Kenneth Romer. During the meeting, we took the time to thank and say good-bye to 4 staff members that will be leaving ALC&C this summer. Adam Greenhow served in maintenance November 2016 – June 16, 2018. Stephanie Wittmer served as a facilitator August 28, 2017 – June 16, 2018. Debbie Degen served as facilitator for 8 months at the Centre (November 2016-July 2017) and then as an assistant for 9 months at Camp (October 2017-July 9, 2018). Sam Robb has served at Adventure Learning Centre since the mid 2000’s and will be leaving to serve on the OM’s Logos Hope ship in early September. We wish them all well in their next adventure.
Living in Community
We have had a great group living at Camp this year. We had one last “family” meal followed by the dreaded family photo earlier this month before things got busy and some started leaving. There have also been opportunities for game nights and beach trips with the gang on our rare “down times”.
Getting Ready for a Busy Summer
Let the craziness of summer begin! A lot of time goes into planning for and preparing for mission teams to come. There is facilities to clean and prepare, maintenance issues to tend to, staff meetings to have so we are all on the same page, menus to plan for, food and supplies to purchase, schedules to finalize and work through, bus driving assignments to figure out, etc. Soooo much to do! All for one purpose: serving everyone who comes to Adventure Learning Camp with excellence.
Final Youth Night
Our last night of youth night was June 8th. We were able to have one final opportunity to meet with the small groups, celebrate our graduating 12th grader Gabby Hanna, and fellowship with pizza and Dairy Queen treats.
Joan Godsey and her friend Ruthann were on island June 2-7 to bless and encourage the ALC&C staff. They lead a seminar on self care and met/prayed with individual staff members.
A group of Navigators (a national college ministry organization) from he USA were on island and came to ALC&C to serve with various service projects. They did a lot of jobs that staff do not have time to finish. They also helped us at Camp get everything ready for our first group.
Micah Godsey (left) and her friend Caitlin Jones came on June 5. Micah is no stranger to ALC&C as she was a facilitator 3 years ago and has been coming summers and spring breaks ever since. She will be serving with us until July 17. Caitlin was here for little over a week volunteering at the Centre.
Team Loge! Nathaniel and Jesse Loge and their children (June 13-July 17), Bridgette and Zach Brown (June 20-July 3), Marcus and Christian (June 24-July 3), and Catherine (June 24-July 11) have been on site helping at Camp and the Centre’s Day Camp. We have appreciated their partnership with us. The Loges were here last summer serving alongside us as well.
Grace Christian Missionary Alliance from Cleveland, OH was in the Bahamas on their mission trip June 9-16. They worked with ALC&C, Calvary Bible Church, United Missionary Alliance Church, Bahamas Down Syndrome and Bahamas Association of Physically Disabled. They helped with painting, mixing cement for the new staff cottage foundation walls, building the playhouse at the Centre that was destroyed by the hurricane, cleaning, moving wood piles, and many more projects. They got a lot of work accomplished and were a tremendous blessing.
Dave and Gail Herwerden have been coming to volunteer at ALC&C for a couple of years now. This year they came as part of their church’s mission team (Grace CMA) and then staid a week longer to help. Dave worked on buses and Gail helped me at the Camp.
Calvary Chapel (Plantation, Florida) Six 7/8 youth group came June 16-23rd and served the ALC&C, United Missionary Alliance Church, and Children’s Emergency Hostel. They were great helpers as they did various jobs at the Centre and helped at the Camp to lay rock that had been washed away by the 2016 hurricane.
Laurel Highlands FCA has been coming for years with Mission Discovery, but this year they came alone. Their leader is Kayla Zambanini. They came June 17-23 and served in the same Haitian community that they have served at for many, many years.
We have had some extra hands around the Camp and Centre this month doing projects. We are so thankful for all the work that has been accomplished.
Summer Day Camp
Adventure Learning Centre has been running their annual Summer Day Camp since June 18th. They have been ministering to 50-67 children each week. Pray as the staff continue to serve during the hot, humid days and that the campers will see the love of Jesus in the staff and hear the clear Gospel message.
Some of you know that we have been experiencing some trials. God has been teaching us lately to lean more on him and rely on the promise that “all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28). This is not a flippant, prosperity-gospel, name it claim it sort of way, but rather a promise from God that He will take everything and make something good out of it. And one very important lesson about the definition of “good” is that it is “good” as it is defined by God and not by us. Please pray that we continue to experience God’s gracious peace.
Thank you for your support of us and the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. We appreciate every prayer, encouraging thought and word, and dollar given.
Grace and Peace,
Tim and Mindy Seeley