First our August trial…
Friday, August 11th was day 54 of our busy summer ministry schedule; our bags were packed in preparation for our 2 week trip beginning on the 12th, a group was getting ready to vacate the Camp, and the last group of the summer was scheduled to arrive later that day. As we ventured back to Camp that morning (we had been spending the nights that last week at the house we were watching/securing for the fall), we received a call from Aaron that the frig and microwave on the office porch were missing. When we arrived home, we found that the thief had also broken into our house and stolen things from us as well. We filed a police report, assessed what needed to be replaced/purchased, and continued with our plans to leave the island.
Which leads us to our August blessing…
August 1st was our 30th wedding anniversary. To celebrate this year, we booked a cruise vacation so we could get away, relax and experience some quality time together. We left the island on the 12th and flew to Indiana to help Zachary (he had come to the island for a visit on July 29th) move to Minnesota. After a week of shopping (not on our original plan but necessary after the theft of jewelry and clothing) and visiting family, we flew to Fort Lauderdale to begin our cruise vacation on August 20th. We spent 7 glorious days at sea and on 3 Caribbean islands. When we returned to Fort Lauderdale on August 27th, we were rested, refreshed, and reveling in the quality time we had gotten to spend together.
Before and after the cruise, we were able to spend some bonus time with friends from Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale. We were also able to meet with leaders and discuss the school’s upcoming mission trip in January.
We returned to the island on the 28th with news that the thief had been apprehended and some of our belongings had been recovered. We were able to go to the police station the day after we arrived back and reclaimed our belongings. While at the police station, we inquired about reaching out to the thief in prison. We were encouraged by the police officer to do so, and we are praying for the right moment and opportunity. Please pray that God opens a door to minister to this young man.
Praise: Though there were trials this summer (burglary, weeks of long days of ministry in the heat), God blessed us with a peace about our situation, a God-honoring perspective of the break-in and feelings towards the perpetrator, a few days in the presence of our family in Indiana and Minnesota and with friends/ministry partners in Florida, and a wonderful vacation together. We feel incredibly blessed, refreshed, rested, and ready to begin ministry again.
Thank you to all of you who helped make this vacation possible. We had received some gifts over the past year from people requesting that we use the money to “do something fun”. Those funds were used towards the cost of this trip. This trip made us realize that we spend so much time through out the year serving others and spending time in the presence of others. We now see the importance of getting away and being alone and have decided a similar getaway is a must every year. Thank you!
The last day of Day Camp at the Centre was July 28th. Most Centre staff were off island on vacations/visiting family this month. Many have since returned and are preparing for staff training which begins next week.
Jen Rogers, our program director, has been particularly busy this week as much of the training schedule and logistics fall on her shoulders. Please pray for Jen this week and the next 2 weeks.
There were a couple fun days at the Centre hosted by Scotia Bank and RBC Bank for children that live in orphanages on the island. Another great opportunity to partner with businesses in serving the Bahamian children.
Our newest staff, Stephanie Wittmer, arrived this week. She was here for about 9 months in 2010 and has returned to facilitate once again. We have enjoyed getting to know her this week and feel like she is going to make a great addition to the ALC&C staff family. Welcome aboard, Stephanie!
Early in August, while the Centre was vacant and quiet, Tim and Aaron were able to work on some projects. Aaron worked on the front gate, but we are still finding some challenges with it. We hope to resolve them soon. Tim and Mark worked on getting the play set on the playground finished. Tim installed bathroom sinks and counters in the children’s bathrooms.
July 29-August 6 we hosted a mission team from Pennsylvania/Maryland/New Jersey area. They are the E-team under the leadership of Doug Plank, pastor of Crossway Church in Lancaster, PA. They were on island to help serve at Kingdom Life Church’s annual Music Camp. This awesome team was such a blessing to us on many levels. We enjoyed serving them as they served the Bahamian community.
Calvary Baptist Church rented the Camp for a youth Camp the week of August 7-11. It was a blessing to see the pastor of the church engaging his youth and interacting with them as they retreated from every day life to Adventure Learning Camp.
Ms. Ada’s group, Boys Brigade (not pictured), from Abundant Life Bible Church was our last group of the season. 21 boys/leaders were on site for their annual camping trip at Adventure Learning Camp. Zachary was able to hail Ms. Ada before he left to go back to the states.
Nancy is a dear friend and ministry partner of ours. She was a Joy Bible Camp camper when she was a child. She came by this week to visit, and we enjoyed getting to catch up with her.
As we said earlier, staff training starts next week. This weekend coming the board will be on island and we have an all staff retreat day on Saturday. We are looking forward to a great year.
Until next month…
This month has been crazy. As this is going to press, we are on day 40 straight (no break) with a little over 9 days left (more if the group that has asked to come the week of August 7th ends up coming). Besides us serving back to back and overlapping mission teams and a local group of about 100 these last several weeks, what has made it so crazy is Tim has been doing some major maintenance projects at the Centre (Tim and Aaron are it for maintenance staff right now), leading maintenance projects being done by crew members of the OM ship Logos Hope at the Centre (there is a lot that goes into project managing work crews), and trying to keep the buses running (3 of the 5 buses are out of commission right now). This has left me (with Kevin’s help) here at Camp serving the groups.
We are exhausted and busy, but we are still able to function. We have some good rest at night and that has helped a lot. Although this week we have 100 people here at Camp, next week should be relatively quiet with a group of only 16. The ship is gone from port which means there will be no more work teams to manage. And Day Camp at the Centre will be over (no need to juggle the 2 functioning buses).
July in a nutshell…
CAMP: 4 weeks of mission teams and a week of Young Life Bahamas (youth camp)
CENTRE: Day Camp with 50-80 campers ages 5-12 every weekday.
Operation Mobilization Logos Hope in port and partnering with us here at the Centre (2 fun days for the crew at the Centre 2 evenings in early July, crew ministry days at the Centre, ALC Day Camp field trips to the ship, many days of work projects at the Centre, rest days for crew at the Camp)
Maintenance continues at the Centre. With buses being out of commission, the reverse osmosis system still having issues, projects to manage, and messes to clean up, Tim and Aaron are quite busy.
There you have it, short and sweet.
We need staff here at the ALC&C, namely facilitators and maintenance staff at the Centre. Please pray God sends godly, servant minded people to fill these positions.
Strength to finish out the summer, both serving the guest groups and completing unfinished work projects at the Centre (the ship crew were unable to finish some of the projects they started)
Wisdom and discernment as we serve
We will be traveling August 12-19 to help our son move from Indiana back to Minnesota; then we will be taking a vacation from August 20-27 to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.
Leadership of the ALC&C: board, Tim and Mark, future Executive Director, etc
The fall term as it begins in little over a month. We have one new staff member coming.
Thank you for your support of us in keeping up with our updates, praying for us, and partnering with us in your giving. We sincerely appreciate it and thank God for your faithfulness.
Tim and Mindy
The phrase “living in a fishbowl” means living your life on display for everyone to see, just as everyone from the outside can see what the fish is doing in its fishbowl home.
We that live in community on sight at Adventure Learning Camp live in a “fishbowl”. Everyone sees and knows what is going on. Whereas living on site can be very convenient and is often necessary, it can also be tiring in that someone is always around and there is never a time when we are not working or being ready to work. Someone can be knocking at the door at any given time. In times we want to disconnect, we have to be very purposeful and intentional.
We were blessed this past week and half with the opportunity to live “off site”. That meant we had to commute to work each day, something we have not done in over 8 years. We are house sitting for a couple who are away. We are watching their home for them and keeping the homestead clean and ready for Kim and Randy Grebe and their family when they come to the island in the next couple of weeks. When the Grebes leave, we will hurricane proof the house and close it up.
The view of the canal and ocean on one side of the house and the view of the in-ground pool on the other side is breath taking. Although we are not able to make it to the house everyday (mission teams are on site now), the views as well as the experience of being alone has done wonders to revitalize us! We are thankful to the homeowners, Donny and Barabar Maura, for their generous gift to us and to the Lord for providing us this connection and opportunity to serve the Mauras and the Grebes.
Vehicles and Maintenance Staff
This picture brings to mind two very important prayer requests: Please pray for our vehicles. The buses, the train, the van, the Explorer, the pick-up truck, and even our own personal vehicles are all tools for the ministry and are very important for what we do, but many of them are limping along and require many man hours to remain safe and road worthy. Please pray God sends us godly, mission minded maintenance staff with gifting in leadership, general maintenance and vehicle maintenance skills! Adam, Aaron, Tim and Mark do what they can to maintain the ministry and to keep the vehicles maintained and running, but we could use someone with this expertise.
PRAISE THE LORD! Tim has spent spent countless hours, days, weeks and even months trying to get the water problem solved at both the Centre and the Camp. The RO system was having issues for the last year and half, but it was complicated further by flooding from Hurricane Matthew and needed repairs. Dewey Dawkins (pictured in first picture) has been graciously helping Tim with the plan for the system. Today we are happy to report we think the project is nearing completion. Thank you also goes to Adam Greenhow and Aaron Mills for their help. This has been a project that has taken a lot of Tim’s time, and now that it is finished, we can focus on other important things.
A sad good-bye… Our sweet Eva Sartor from Germany left this past week. She came to work as a missionary facilitator at the Centre side of the ALC&C ministry in September. We miss her already and wish her well as she starts school next year.
Kevin continues to thrive and grow in his position as Camp cook. He has had a firm grasp on the cooking aspect of the job (great time management skills, very organized, food is great, etc) and is now being trained to do menus, inventory, place orders, manage staff, and even implement and enforce serve safe practices in the kitchen. We are well on our way to having a well organized, industrial, “Serve Safe” kitchen!
The Operation Mobilization’s Logos Hope is coming to Nassau July 7-25! ALC founders Randy and Kim Grebe were among the OM staff that came for a planning meeting in late May. They hope to send ministry people here to help us, and we look forward to meeting all of them.
Brazil, Germany, Japan, Peru, Canada, USA, Bahamas, Jamaica! Those are some of the countries represented at this table. OM ship preparation team (and others) came and had dinner at Camp. One of our facilitators, Debbie, used to minister on the OM ship and had invited all these young people for dinner.
Aaron has been helping fix things and build props for Day Camp, but his big project this past month has been the storage closet in the Camp Office. Our office still looks like a war zone, but after he finishes this closet and builds additional storage, we will get it fixed up nice. Thanks, Aaron, for your hard work!
Beautification of the grounds at the Centre was highlighted in last month’s blog. The Camp is also getting a much needed face lift. The grounds crew has planted some new plants in the beds around the Cabins and added beautiful mulch. Denny received a new “toy”, a leaf blower and has been using it to help him with his work at Camp. Today he started tearing out the ugly, painful, mosquito incubators (these plants hold water in its base) from around the office, the dining hall and Camp house. As soon as funds are available, we hope to plant and mulch around these buildings.
Happy Birthday to our staff with April-June birthdays! From left to right: Garnet Hepburn (animal caretaker), Mark Wallace (Science and Outreach at the Centre), Romain Denise (Camp grounds keeper), Ms. Ada (Centre cook)!
Congratulations, RJ! RJ is the son of the Centre Office Manager, Eldora and a very good friend of our son, Zachary. When Zachary still lived at home, RJ would hang out with us. This is the first time we had seen him in a while. He just completed high school and is now taking technical courses at Bahamas Vocational Technical Institute.
Adam Greenhow has been working in maintenance at the Centre now since January. He has “adopted” us as parents. He took us out for dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Afterwards we toured the new resort, BahaMar!
Celine’s two sisters, Anika and Amanda, stopped in for a visit between their travels from the USA back to their home in Red Bays, Andros, The Bahamas. We love seeing these young ladies and watching these 3 sisters interact.
Calvary Deliverance church had a group of 32 young ladies at Camp for their annual retreat in early June.
Logos Hope / Operation Mobilization pre-trip staff were on site to visit former Logos Hope team member, Debbie Degen. Debbie is one of our facilitators at the Centre. We were able to visit with them for the evening.
Epic Kids were at Camp for a one night sleepover in early June. Their pastor, Pastor Q, is a dear friend of ours, and we enjoyed getting to see him and host this awesome group.
This is Cordea. She is from Red Bays, Andros, and she has an identical twin sister with a very similar name. The Bahamas passport office issued her sister a passport, but because they thought one person was trying to order 2 passports, they cancelled Cordea’s passport. She was on island trying to get it sorted out, and we were able to assist her. Just another way we are able to partner with the ministry Dave and Sue Bryant have on Andros.
With one eye always on upcoming events, we were able to give a tour of the Camp and Centre to a group from Precept Ministries that will be holding a camp here in October. The local representatives brought the USA ministry team to see where the event will be hosted.
On a recent Sunday, Sue Bryant and Celine’s brother Torn flew to Nassau from their homes in Andros, and since they had a few hours to kill while they waited to go to the international airport to fly to the USA, Adam picked them up and brought them to church.
Loge family (Nathaniel, Jessie, Bailey, Josiah and Kaitlin) came to the Bahamas on June 15 to serve as missionaries for a month as part of a family mission team. They are laboring in the heat (they are from the cold north: Minnesota) to serve with the Day Camp at the Centre. They are such a blessing to all of us here at the ministry, not only with the hard work they are doing but also for bringing a lot of supplies and for being great companions and encouragers during this very busy time. Thank you, Loge family, for all you are doing!
ALC Board Meeting took place last weekend. Lee Burtelson from Chicago flew in (Stacie Burtelson had to join the meeting via internet as she just recently had foot surgery) to meet with the 3 Bahamian board members, Cranston Knowles, Kenneth Romer, and Sharon Stuart. The board took the ALC&C staff out for dinner one evening while they were all here.
Micah, Alex and Candace Godsey are no strangers to ALC&C. Micah was here as a facilitator last year, worked at Day Camp last summer, and returned this summer again to work at Day Camp. Her sister Candace is here for a week to help at the Day Camp, and Alex is here until mid-July. We are so thankful for these young ladies!
Leeia Hutcheson worked at the Day Camp 2 years ago as a counselor. This summer she is helping out at Camp for a week or two. We are enjoying her presence and appreciate her help.
Mission Discovery summer 2017 group 1. The group consists of teams from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, several churches from Pepin , Wisconsin, and a group of 3 ladies from Rapid City, South Dakota. They are here learning about foreign missions by working at Elizabeth Estates children’s home and at a Haitian church. MD has been coming here for many, many years.
Regular school programs at the Centre ended in early June. We had over 6000 children come to Adventure Learning Centre this year. That is fewer than normal, but considering we had a slow start to the year because of the hurricane, we are pleased with the amount of children we were able to reach with the Gospel through our education programs. Please pray for the preparations being made for this fall. Also pray God sends us facilitator staff to help run and maintain programs this fall.
Summer Day Camp at Adventure Learning Centre began on June 19th, but before the children began enjoying programs and activities with a Circus theme, staff from both the Centre and Camp got together for team building times and staff training. I (Mindy) was able to help out with first aid training.
Children that attend Day Camp go to the beach every week and on a field trip most weeks. They also have fun games and activities as well as Bible lessons and craft times. Please pray the Summer Day Camp program and the staff. It is hot here and the activity level and work can be grueling.
We start another Mission Discovery group on Sunday with mission teams and camps back to back clear through mid-August. We hope to get some down time, but it does not look like that is going to happen. Please pray that God grants us much grace as we work through the hot summer days, maintaining/stewarding the ministry and serving the many people staying with us here at Adventure Learning Camp.
We are looking forward to a visit from Zachary at the end of July. He will be staying with us until August 12th at which point we will fly back with him to Indiana and help him pack and move to Minnesota. While in the States, we hope to take some time to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary which is on August 1st. Please pray for safety in travel, that we would be able to be away to celebrate, and for us as we make the necessary arrangements.
So much to be thankful for! Praise God we received 5-year visas this year and 3-year driver’s licenses. That means several years before we have to think about paper work, expense, or hours spent obtaining these documents. We are so thankful for God’s favor in helping us get these necessary tasks completed. Now, whether that means God will have us here for another 3-5 years remains to be seen. At least as far as documents go, we are legally able to be here!
Thank you for your continued support of us and the ministry through your prayers and financial giving. We pray God’s richest blessings on you as you partner with us in this great work of kingdom building here in The Bahamas.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9-10 (ESV)
(Note: Prayer requests are marked in bold letters throughout the update)
For those of you who are new to receiving our updates, our updates are very thorough, and we try to mention and post a picture of everyone who comes to ALC&C. We missed April’s update because we were in Minnesota on break. So, here is April and May’s update. It is lengthy, but since there are a lot of pictures, it should go by quickly.
Is God calling you into full time ministry? Pray that God would send gifted, equipped servants to fill the following short term and long term positions. It might even be you!
Full time Maintenance. With the departure of Pat in March and Jesse just this last week, the job of full time maintenance at the Centre is in the hands of Tim (as Maintenance Director over both sides of the ministry), Adam Greenhow, and to some extent, Aaron Mills. Adam will be gone July and August for prior-to-coming here commitments but plans to return in September. Please pray that God sends us a mission minded person with gifting in construction, general maintenance and automobile mechanics.
Summer Day Camp Staff. The Centre is looking for counselors to help with the Day Camp program. Please pray God sends the mature, godly staff of young people needed to help with this program.
Full time Adventure Learning Centre Facilitators. Please pray for facilitator staff for the fall. If you or someone you know would like to come and serve as a facilitator for a semester or year, we are looking for mission minded young people (or older persons) who have a heart to glorify God, to reach Bahamians with the Gospel through the teaching of outdoor education programs and various other ministry opportunities on and off-site, and to minister to young people in conjunction with the ministry at the Adventure Learning Camp. Please let us know your interest and we will be glad to connect you to the right people.
Summer Adventure Learning Camp Assistant. We are looking for a couple of people to come and minister on site at the Camp side of the ALC&C ministry this summer. We could use someone to help serve mission teams as well as help maintain the property. Please pray God sends us the right persons to assist in this area.
Besides the “normal” day to day work and ministry opportunities…
Tim continues to battle through the ALC&C’s water system issues that resulted from Hurricane Matthew storm surge damage. It is complicated to explain, so suffice it to say, there is a LOT involved in getting this project done, and it has a taken a lot of his time and labor. He hopes to have it done soon so we are not having to buy bottled water. Please pray for this endeavor.
I spent much of my time from the end of March until the end of April planning for the mission teams arriving while we were off island (2 teams arrived while we were gone and one arrived the day after we returned) and preparing training for the staff that would lead the mission teams. It took a lot of time, but the work put into it laid the ground work for future “substitutes” and allowed for smooth transitions.
Donny and his wife Barbara (not pictured) are a Bahamian couple that own a home on the upper east side of the island. Tim knows Donny from a monthly lunch he attends at a doctor’ house here on the island. We will be care taking Donny and Barbara’s house while they are off island. The purpose of our care taking their house is to get the house ready for Randy and Kim Grebe to use when they and their daughters come to the island in July. Operation Mobilization’s ship, Logos Hope, will be in the Nassau port the month of July.
We meet as staff for devotions every weekday morning. Recently we began using Monday mornings for staff meetings. The 30 minute weekly meeting is designed to communicate what is going on and what the plans are for the next week. So far it has been a great communication tool. Please pray for staff as they function in their roles, for wisdom, discernment, and divine guidance in their dealings with others, for their physical/emotional/spiritual needs, and for overall unity as a team. As with any “team” or family, there are struggles in the ALC&C staff family as well. There are a lot of great things going on here for the cause of Christ, and Satan is attacking.
We have gotten to have some fun times as staff over the last month. Living in community has its benefits.
Special, special, special shout-out to all our young people who have been such a huge help to us! Celine has spent countless hours cleaning our very neglected home (best housekeeper we have ever hired!); Adam has helped with odd jobs (including taking initiative to clean vehicles- ours as well as Camp/Centre’s), and several staff took over leadership of the Camp and mission teams while we were away in Minnesota. Thank you, Debbie, Adam, Kevin, Celine, Eva, and Aaron, for all your hard work. We greatly appreciate it!
Special thank you also to ALC&C volunteers, Andy, Keri and Alyssa Cartwright! Andy has volunteered time at the Centre working with the landscaping. Keri and Alyssa have spent many hours cleaning and doing laundry at Camp.
From roof repairs (thank you, Matthew!), to electrical issues, to facilitating mission team work projects, to the Camp office remodeling project, Aaron has been working on several projects.
Lisa Moss is no stranger to us. She is the former secretary at Abundant Life Bible Church. She came by to share her ministry work with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Pray for her as she seeks to raise support to work among her own people.
Mrs. Vanisa Godet is new to our congregation at Kingdom Life Church. She is newly married to one of our fellow KLC church members and has recently moved to Nassau. We had a chance to welcome Vanisa with a lady’s social at church. Please pray for her as she adjusts to life in a new country.
For the third year in a row (and right during Easter Monday Funday preparations), we had to pull out fire fighting equipment and fight fires that threatened our property. Thankfully the fire was contained within a day. We were able to use the new fire equipment we obtained.
Divine appointments…we were able to “serve” more people God brought across our paths. We have been attending discipleship training classes on Wednesday nights at our church. These 2 couples are pastors of a church in Texas and were on island for vacation. They found our church and attended Wednesday evening. We were able to take them back to their hotel after taking a detour to show them Marina Village and experience Junkanoo. They were an encouragement to us and offered prayers for us.
Phil and Terri Barker (left) and Tim and Kim Olson from the Wausau, Wisconsin area were on island celebrating the Olson’s 25th wedding anniversary. Phil and Terri were missionaries here in Nassau for 9 years in the early 2000’s, so they were the perfect tour guides. One of their stops was here at ALC&C.
Kiwanis Key Leadership retreat was held here at Camp April 7-9. The young people from several locations in the Bahamas were on site to attend team building and leadership seminars. Building tomorrow’s leaders is our passion, so we were excited to host this group.
David and Gail Herwerden came and served alongside us from April 12-28. They were here in November for 2 weeks as well. David is a mechanic, and when we called to let him know our buses were “sick” and some ministry/staff vehicles were in need of some tlc, he came and brought his sweet, encouraging wife with him. David worked on the vehicles, and Gail helped me do some huge organization projects that have been needing done for a while as well as painting and cleaning projects and literally worked on keeping me on task at jobs I needed to do to get ready for groups coming while we were gone. I don’t know what we would have done without these two. They were a HUGE help, blessing and encouragement!
Biz Mair is a friend of ours from Minnesota. He came for a week in April and helped out with odd jobs as well as with Easter Monday Funday. We enjoyed the time we got to spend with him and for all his help.
Bob and Donna Mastin (far left in left picture) led a mission team (David Hurley, Erika/Kimberly/ Josh Donahue) to Nassau to conduct a soccer camp outreach. While on island, we were able to spend an evening with the team. Later in the week, we met up with Bob and Donna and another Nassau based missionary couple and talked “mission work”. John and Karen Stodgehill (foreground of right picture) have been on island now for a few months. It was a fun evening and a great time to connect, share stories and help Bob and Donna brainstorm as they too will be coming to the island in October to serve full time here in The Bahamas.
Friends and fellow missionaries from Andros, David and Sue Bryant, have been on island a few times in the last month. They are working on obtaining paper work for the people they serve as well as taking care of other important tasks. We help them when we can with transportation needs, food and lodging while here in Nassau. They are a great encouragement to us.
Rebekah Rockafield came to serve at ALC for about 5 days in late April. She is a friend of Jesse Keizer and wanted to experience time serving at a ministry in The Bahamas during part of her stay on the island. Her work with the horses and in other areas was greatly appreciated.
Celine’s brother Nathaniel and mother Agnes were at ALCamp to visit in early May. We were not on the island at the time, so we missed getting to see them, but their presence was a blessing and encouragement to Celine. We look forward to their return when we are not off island.
A group of 8 from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee arrived on May 7 for a 9 day mission trip to serve with Bahamas Godparent Centre. They were able to experience many things while serving the Godparent Centre. They also got to do work projects here at the Camp for a day. Our staff did a great job serving these young people, and we were able to meet them on their last day here.
A team of 12 from East Central University Baptist Student Union came for their 12 day mission trip on Thursday, May 11. This dynamic team ministered at Hopedale Centre, ALC&C, Bahamas Assoc. of Physically Disabled, Kingsway Academy, Williemae Pratt Centre for girls, and Kingdom Life Church. They also got to lead our Friday night Youth Night. Like the Bryan College group, they arrived while we were gone, but we were able to serve them for a week after we returned.
Life Church from Richmond, Virginia were here May 16-20. This is their third year coming and serving the Bahamian people on a mission trip. Pastor Vernon Gordon (far right) is the leader and pastor of this awesome team. They served at Children’s Emergency Hostel, ALC&C (painting projects, construction of fences, helped repair Hurricane Matthew damage to the sign at end of Marshall Road, and so much more), BAPD, C.H. Reeves Middle School.
The numbers of youth attending our Friday night Youth Night have dropped a bit, but we continue to have great opportunities to touch the lives of Bahamian youth. This past weekend, a group of us leaders gathered to discuss the year past and strategies for impacting the youth starting again this coming fall. Mission teams that are here during Friday evenings get the opportunity to work with the youth, and this mission team interaction has been well received by the youth.
As of May 29th, 5943 Bahamian children were reached with the Gospel through the educational programming at Adventure Learning Centre! Despite being nearly 3000 shy of our previous years numbers, we are quite thankful for the opportunities we have had to reach children with the Gospel especially in light of the fact that Hurricane Matthew caused loss program days for nearly 1 1/2 months. God is still working. Praise God for those we have ministered to this year, and pray that God will water the seeds of the Gospel presented to every one who has been to Adventure Learning Centre this year and years previous.
Easter Monday Funday
We had about 1400 people attend our annual Easter Monday Funday. Along with our Christmas Lights Drive Thru, Easter Monday Funday is one of our annual fundraising, Gospel-outreach, family fun days. It takes a lot of time, effort and volunteer help to run this event. It was a beautiful day enjoyed by many.
Petting Farm Update
Volunteer, Andy Cartwright, has been managing the work being done on the petting farm revitalization. Irrigation installation is underway. When all is said and done, and we have had a couple seasons of growing, the petting farm is going to look beautiful again.
Summer Day Camp
This year’s theme for Summer Day Camp at the Centre is “Circus”. Preparations are underway for a very exciting summer for Bahamian children. Please pray for preparations, acquiring staff, the children that will be attending, and for the ministry that takes place during the hot summer days.
No personal update this month… If you made it this far in the update, give yourself a round of applause. This was a long update. We appreciate the time you took to get caught up on what is happening with us here at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp.
Thank you and God bless you!
Tim and Mindy Seeley
As leaders of a ministry, do we really get to get “out of the office”? Not really. But we are trying, and the scenery we are enjoying is definitely different. Even now as we visit with family and friends in Minnesota, love on our granddaughter, shop for/sort through/pack/re-pack supplies (for personal and ministry), and rest, we are continuing our communication with the ALC staff over issues and with mission teams that will be arriving at the ALCamp while we are gone and shortly after we return. We are also pulling together a presentation to present to our sending church whom we will be visiting next Sunday.
Because we are trying to rest, celebrate our son’s college graduation, enjoy time with family, and recuperate from a very busy season, we have chosen not to spend one of our precious few days putting together a blog post for this month. These posts, though necessary and appreciated by many of our supporters, usually take a full day to pull together, and time is so precious. Please excuse us for letting it go this month and enjoying the time spent with family (especially the snuggles and love from our dear Anastasia). We will catch you all up on “April” news in the May update.
Until then, please keep us in your prayers:
Ministry work at ALC&C
Staffing needs at ALC&C:
Facilitators at the Centre
Summer Camp Assistant
Summer Day Camp Staff
Our travels between Minnesota and Indiana (we will be taking a few days away next week and end up in Indiana to pick up Zachary to bring him to Minnesota for Logan’s graduation)
Time of rest and relaxation
The 2 mission teams that arrive at ALC while we are gone and the staff that will be taking over for us.
Thank you for your continued interest in us and the ministry work we do.
Tim and Mindy Seeley
Our church has begun its journey through the book of Galatians. We have benefitted from a steady diet of the Gospel these last several Sundays as Pastor Moss has spent worship services expositing the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Galatians (and to us) to remain faithful to the one true Gospel. The Gospel is purely, simply, strictly this: Jesus Christ died, was buried and then rose again for our sins. It is exclusively the faith and trust one places in Jesus’ work on the cross that redeems them and brings them into eternal fellowship with God their Creator. Nothing else added to or taken away can define the Gospel or make the Gospel more effectual.
The Gospel points us back to the glory of God and His sovereignty over all. We find great peace, comfort and rest in knowing that God is in total control. He is working out things in our lives (as seemingly insignificant as they may be in the grand scheme of life) for His glory and our good. During this time of great busyness and pouring out of ourselves in ministry (sometimes weeks upon weeks at a time), getting to hear and be reminded of the Gospel that we cling to refreshes us in ways that are hard to describe.
Thank you Pastor Moss for your faithfulness to the Word and for weekly doses of encouragement! You will never know how encouraging your expositing is week in and week out.
The Adventure Learning Centre and Camp ministry makes a difference in lives of Bahamians: the Centre with its focus on outdoor education programs for Bahamian school children, after school Adventure Clubs, and Evangelical outreach Fun Days, and the Camp with its focus on youth outreaches, providing retreat facilities for Bahamian churches, and serving foreign mission teams that are here to serve the Bahamian people.
How would you like to join us and help us minister to the Bahamian people and those here to serve the Bahamian people? We are looking for qualified, missionary-minded individuals who desire to bring glory to God through hard work and initiative. We are looking for full time staff:
Maintenance staff (diesel mechanic skills a plus)
Facilitators (run and maintain outdoor education programs)
We are also looking for summer time help:
Camp Assistants We are looking for 2 people who would be willing to come help us serve groups this summer (i.e., housekeeping, serve alongside our full-time cook in the kitchen, and do various hospitality jobs). We prefer someone over 21 who is capable of learning to drive one of our buses, but anyone over 18 would be considered. We are willing to train people for this and would prefer a more than 1 week at a time commitment.
Day Camp Counselors to work 6 weeks at the Centre’s Summer Day Camp Program.
Red Bays, Andros
You may recall in February we got away to Andros for a couple of days to rest and encourage fellow missionaries, Dave and Sue Bryant in Red Bays, Andros. Sunday we took Adam Greenhow with us and flew back to Andros to get some time away to recharge and to help Dave and Sue build a chicken coop. We enjoyed our time together. During the days we worked (Tim and Adam building and Mindy working on this blog, organizing office work and connecting with future mission teams) and in the evenings we played, laughed and fellowshipped with the Bryants and the people they minister to there in Red Bays. We were even able to help Dave and Sue by Tim speaking on Sunday evening at church, helping the neighborhood children with repairs, and working with the children on their school work. What a blessing it is to be able to take some time away and fellowship and bless other missionaries.
You may recall from our January update that we have been connected with a couple from Wisconsin that has started a ministry called Marleigh’s Ministry. It is a ministry that provides care packages for mothers of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit babies. Jill and Matt Gilmore came to Nassau on a cruise in January, and we were able to connect them with Princess Margaret Hospital NICU to deliver care packages. We are in conversation with Jill about her return to Nassau in May and about partnering with her to connect with Bahamas parents with NICU babies. Each care package has items for mom and baby along with a Bible and tract. It is our desire that the packages be delivered and facilitated with our local church here so the families of these babies have a contact follow-up here. Please pray as we reach more Bahamian families with the love of Christ through their children.
Saying good-bye again. This is the fifth time since we arrived 4 years ago that we have had to tell these two good-bye. Bob and Faye Browning come every year for almost 3 months to encourage the ministry with their capable, willing, working hands. They are such hard workers and are a huge blessing to the ministry.
We also said good-bye to Pat and Janice Armstrong. They left to go to work at a Camp in upstate New York. They served with us here at ALC&C (Pat at the Centre and Janice at the Camp) for over 2 years. Their absence is felt. We wish them well in their new position.
Kevin has been an employee of Camp now for over a month. His culinary skills along with his organization, cleaning and time management skills have made him the perfect Camp cook. We have also been working with him on other details of food service management, and he is doing a fantastic job. We are amazed and proud of him.
You may remember us introducing Andy Cartwright in previous posts. He is a local Bahamian business man (landscaper) who volunteers at the Centre. His wife Keri has recently started volunteering her time at the Camp. Faye showed her how to do Camp laundry and how we clean the Camp between guest groups. We are so thankful for Keri’s volunteer service to the ALC&C.
Environmental and health nightmare. The dump started burning on Sunday, March 5, and it has been smoldering ever since. The toxic fumes wafted through the air causing breathing difficulties, shutting down schools, forcing people out of their homes, and causing who knows what kind of environmental impact. It is really very sad to see things like this happen to this beautiful, tiny little island. Please pray for those affected and that it does not happen again.
Drinking Water Issues
Water issues persist at the Camp and Centre. Tim has been working very hard at getting this resolved. A local water expert has been on site to assist in the design of the new system and repairs of the reverse osmosis system. Because things are not fixed yet, we continue to have to purchase bottled water. Please pray that things come together soon.
Adventure Learning Centre exists to bring the message of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross to the people of the Bahamas. It is our desire to see the families of this country come to Christ, and we believe it starts with the children. Through each child’s imagination and curiosity, the Adventure Learning Centre provides them with hands-on experience to discover God’s creation. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not forbid them; for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Please pray for the staff as they continue the ministry work at the Centre and for the children they serve.
Mark Wallace continues to bring in 6th graders almost every day for the planetarium program. We are hoping to reach all the government school 6th grade classes again this year. We are also bringing in preschool groups and other younger grades for outdoor education programs.
Easter Monday Funday
Easter Monday Funday is quickly approaching and facilitator staff, under the direction of our event coordinator, Tika Penn, have been very busy making preparations. It is one of the 2 fundraiser events we have each year. It is a family fun day, fundraiser and opportunity for us to present the Gospel to the community. Please pray for the event.
Once again God sustained us through 5+ 7-day ministry work weeks (some days were 12-15 hour days). As you can probably tell, mid-February till the end of March is one of our busy seasons. It was draining physically, but the groups were all great and we enjoyed serving them.
February 25 to March 4, 2017 Hood Canal Community Church from Hoods Port, Washington was on island for their mission trip. The group of 24 served at the Children’s Emergency Hostel, Blairwood Academy/Bahamas Downs Syndrome, ALCentre, and Bahamas Assoc of Physically Disabled. They helped complete the portion of the boardwalk into the wetlands as far as the observation tower. This is a blessing as it has gotten us another step closer to being better than we were before Hurricane Matthew.
Students from James Madison University come ever spring to volunteer with the athletic department at Uriah McPhee primary school. They were with us again this year on March 3-10.
Tim’s parents Lee and Jan Seeley came for a week long visit again this spring. They are such a huge blessing encouragement to all of us. They blessed staff a couple nights with meals and time of fellowship.
Theo and Ruth Habel are friends of Jen, Aaron and us that we knew from the past ministry we worked at, Living Waters Bible Camp. They are also good friends and supporters of the ALC&C. Theo was instrumental in getting the ALCentre planetarium going and Ruth was Camp Director for a few years in the late 1990’s. They were here March 6-15 to encourage, see the ministry and volunteer their time.
Micah Godsey is no stranger to ALC&C. In fact she spent a gap year here last year and was a facilitator at the Centre. She came for a visit March 8-20. This was her first trip back since she left last August. Seeing the landscape changes from Hurricane Matthew brought tears to her eyes.
Lena McGee and her two sons (one of the boys is not pictured because he was being shy) came through on a cruise. Lena used to teach 8th graders at Calvary Christian Academy and came here a couple years on their eighth grade mission trip. We picked them up at the port and brought them to ALC&C to see the ministry.
The King’s Academy (TKA) from Florence, South Carolina came March 11-18. This is their 5th year coming to Nassau on a mission trip. The school takes one week every year and sends all the students out on mission trips, local and abroad. The young people served at the Centre, Bahamas Association of Physically Disabled, Hopedale Centre, United Alliance Church, and Children’s Emergency Hostel.
Mission Discovery usually brings teams in the summer. This year they brought a spring break team. A group of 22 young men from a Christian (not in name) club at Texas A&M came March 11-17 to serve at Sadie Curtis Primary School and Blairwood Academy. They did work projects at both schools and ministered to children. This group of young men were a huge encouragement to our staff as they had such sweet, giving, serving spirits.
Steve and Cheryl Hargraves from London, Ontario, Canada were on a mission team with West London Alliance Church (Bob and Faye’s church) 2 years ago. They were in Nassau on a cruise on March 17 and came to the ALC&C to see us. It was a blessing to get to reconnect with them.
On March 17-24, Woodlands Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin were here for their third senior high mission trip to the Bahamas. The team served at United Alliance Church (Pastor Bazile’s church), BAPD, All Saints, C.W. Sawyer Middle School and Grace Community Church.
Nathaniel Loge and his daughter Bailey came on Sunday, March 19th and left on Sunday, March 26. Tim’s sister Becky did not know the Loges but someone at their church put them in touch with Becky who then put them in touch with ALC&C. Nathaniel helped Adam with construction projects, Tim with digging trenches and making a concrete slab for the new water tank, and post-group cleaning projects. Bailey helped Garnet with the animals. There is talk of the Loges bringing mom and 2 siblings back to Nassau this summer to help with Summer Day Camp and/or serve mission teams at the Camp. We would gladly welcome this servant minded father-daughter duo. They were a huge blessing to us, and we enjoyed getting to know them.
We continue to average 20-30 young people at our Friday night Youth Night. This semester has been really encouraging to us as the younger ALC&C staff have stepped up and taken ownership and leadership of the outreach. Thank you Jesse, Eva, Debbie, Celine, Adam, Kenny, Tika, and Elton for your hard work and dedication! We have also had some great evenings where mission teams have lead the activities and challenges for the evening. Please pray for our young people that lead and for the youth as they come.
We had yet another accident wake us up in the middle of the night last week. This time a young woman who was driving under the influence hit our fence (thankfully not by the gate this time), ricocheted off the fence and swerved across the street hitting the brick wall and landing on the sidewalk. We continue to try to work with the electric company and Ministry of Works to address the unsafe curve and poor lighting, but nothing seems to be happening. Please pray something happens soon. Also at issue is the leaning power poll that is out front of the Camp. BEC needs to address that as well. In the mean time, we do what we can, and that includes adding a solar rope light in the shape of an arrow on the from fence.
Aaron has been plodding away at many tasks at Camp. Working on the front gate at Camp and the Centre, fixing broken faucets/cabinets/etc, installing new can openers in the kitchen, building a hand washing sink in the dining hall, and building table racks in the dining hall are just some of the small jobs he has been working on. He has been doing a lot more than that, but he is often so quiet about what he is doing, we don’t catch him in the act. We appreciate all he does. He is a blessing.
Now the fun, personal news (and 1 picture of the grand baby because we have to do it!).
The Tim and Mindy Seeley Clan is about to get bigger, and with this addition, the Seeley females will finally balance out the Seeley males! This is 28 years in the making.
Our son, Logan, proposed to his girlfriend, Anna Heinrich on March 15 in front of an old Shakespeare book store in Paris, France. Anna’s father lives in Germany and the kids had been there for spring break (and obviously to get engaged). Congratulations, Logan and Anna!
Anastasia continues to grow and develop. We are looking forward to getting to see her in a month when we go back to the States to attend Logan’s college graduation. It is hard to believe she is already 7 months old.
As we conclude another very long update, we want to thank you for your continued support of us (in prayer, financial giving, and in your thoughts of us). We are blessed and encouraged as we consider how God brings people into our lives to partner with us in the work He has called us to do here.
May God bless you!
Tim and Mindy Seeley
We feel so blessed to be a part of the ministry work God has called us to do here, but sometimes the longing for time with our children, parents and siblings back in the States is very strong. Now that we have a grand daughter growing up in Minnesota, the longing can be even stronger. Despite these longings, we are reminded often how blessed we are to be living in a day and age of internet where we have access to our children through FaceTime, Skype, Messenger, Facebook, texting, WhatsApp, etc. The internet has made this world a rather small place. As you can tell from the slide show above, frequent FaceTime and Skype calls allow us to see our beautiful granddaughter on a regular basis (Thank you so much, Garrett and Abby for allowing us frequent contact with her!). Though nothing can mimic the feeling of kissing and snuggling a sweet baby (or our other kiddos), we thank God for the small blessing and encouragement technology brings.
How blessed we are!
For a couple days earlier this month, we were able to take a short 10 min flight to Andros (the big island between New Providence and the USA) to visit and encourage fellow missionaries, David and Sue Bryant in Red Bays, Andros. We had a wonderful time, visiting, getting to see the island, meet the people they minister to, learn more about their ministry, and Tim even got to preach for David at the Sunday evening service. We look forward to going back.
One of the things we get to do to help the community is provide donations to needy ministries who serve the community. Every year we receive donations of clothing, bedding, towels, pillows, etc from those here on mission trips. This year we had a van load and took the donations to Great Commission Ministries. GCM feeds and clothes the homeless and poor. We are glad to be able to help the needy people of New Providence.
Have we told you lately how much our church means to us? A highlight of our week for sure is joining our brothers and sisters at Kingdom Life Church on Sunday mornings. We are blessed, encouraged and “filled-up” by our weekly gathering with our church. We missed nearly every Sunday in January because of mission team schedules, and it was very hard to not get our weekly dose of KLC those weeks. Thankfully schedules have been such this month that we have been able to attend.
Due to the hurricane, we missed staff birthdays for the last several months. We got together and celebrated all the staff who were born between August and March. Happy Birthday, August to March babies! Thank you, Tika, for the beautiful cards you blessed everyone with!
Besides being Camp Director and part of the ALC&C leadership team, Tim is also director of maintenance for both the Centre and Camp. He has been managing the day to day maintenance issues, working through the reverse osmosis and well issues, working with NEMA (Bahamas’ equivalent to FEMA) to get duty/VAT free materials in to make repairs and do reconstruction projects, working on getting the Camp gate/fence repaired (and paid for by insurance), trying to get the electric company out to sheer up leaning power polls and install lights on our dark corner to prevent accidents, trying to get the Ministry of Works to address the dangerous curve out front, working with the maintenance team to work through hurricane reconstruction/repair projects and plan for mission teams coming to work, and the list could go on. Please pray for Tim as he has a lot of responsibility and projects on his plate.
One of the enjoyable things we get to do in ministry is spend time with mission teams. Sometimes that will be during the evening debrief times but other times it will be off site at restaurants or while hosting them in our home. Heritage Park of Windsor, Ontario invited us to share our story on how we were called into ministry. 4 of the 6 members of the E-team from Crossway Church in Lancaster, PA took us out to Blue Sail for dinner one evening. Since Crossway is the sister church of our church, we were able to host our church elders at our house the last evening the team was on the island. Please pray for past, present and future teams that come to minister to the Bahamian people.
Adventure Learning Camp Update
Praise God for answer to prayer: someone to cook for our guest groups! Kevin Poitier is no stranger to those who have read our past blogs or who have frequented ALC&C. Kevin is our new Camp cook. We have hired him to cook when we have groups here. He loves being in the kitchen, and his food is awesome. If you come on a mission trip here or are here when a team is here, you will get to enjoy his cooking. This is a very talented young man, and we are glad to have him as part of our team.
Aaron has worked his magic on the front gate again, and it is now operational. It took nearly 2 months to get one of the 2 settlements with which to fix the gate and fence that was hit by cars in 2 separate accidents in November, and we have been working on the repairs of the fence and gate these last 2 months. It is so nice to have a gate that will open with the click of a button instead of having to go out to the gate to open it manually. Please pray the gate and fence remain intact, functioning and accident free and that we learn to not brace ourselves every time we hear a car going around the bend.
The new cabin now has porch railings and benches like the other cabins. Adam and the team from Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada worked on the construction and painting project in mid February.
Matt and Katie Albright (Katie is daughter to ALC friends Dave and Debbie Tuthill from Delhi, NY) came through Nassau on a cruise. Pat and Janice were able to pick them up at the port and enjoy a day showing them around.
Sue Bryant (middle in picture on the right) is a missionary on Andros with her husband David. Her daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandsons were in the Bahamas visiting them for a week. They stopped in to visit ALC&C and Celine (far left in picture on the left) on their way from Andros back to the USA.
Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor Ontario were on island for a mission trip. They ministered at Bahamas Association of Physically Disabled, Adventure Learning Centre (contruction projects, namely the front fence damaged by the hurricane), Children’s Emergency Hostel, and All Saints. They blessed the ALC staff with a dinner and with gifts (maple syrup, honey, coffee, candy, bags, etc) of encouragement. This was their first year at ALC, and we look forward to a future relationship with this team.
John Fairley is a friend from way back. He attended the same church circle that Tim attended growing up. He was in the Bahamas on a cruise, and Billy Slater brought him by the ALC&C to see the ministry. He used to come on mission teams and serve here. He now resides in Windsor, Ontario.
The E-team from Crossway Church in Lancaster, PA were on island to serve at Kingdom Life Church. They helped redo the roof of the church building and remove corroded metal from the front, some of which had been torn off during the hurricane. They also helped one day at the Centre building the boardwalk into the wetlands. We were able to serve the team as they stayed at Camp. Tim and I served them breakfast and dinner each day at our house, so we had plenty of time to get to know this group.
Peter and Helen Wall are a missionary couple who are part of Spiritual Fruit Ministries and are “sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus with the youth, children and educators in schools in Central America and the Caribbean.” We hosted them last Tuesday for an evening to get to know them and hear a little about the ministry they are doing.
Hood Canal Community Church from Hoodsport, Washington is with us now. They are a group of 24 who are here to serve at ALC (building the boardwalk), Blairwood Academy/Bahamas Down Syndrome, Bahamas Association of Physically Disabled, Children’s Emergency Hostel, and ALC (help with Easter Monday Funday prep).
Keegan O’Leary is back and helping us feed our mission team. He is such a blessing to us. We enjoy his servant heart and appreciate his coming here to help us out.
Friday night Youth Night continues to be the highlight of the week for many young people. Lately the younger staff of the ALC&C have stepped up and taken over some leadership of the Youth Night which is very encouraging to us older leaders. We continue to talk about the Armor of God. Tim and I both lead a small discussion group of junior high aged young people, Tim with the boys and me with the girls. On a couple nights, the young people watched the movie “Do You Believe?” Jesse made wooden crosses for the young people to take home and remember what they learned from the movie.
Another casualty of the hurricane that just made its presence known has been the damage to our reverse osmosis system (we had some issues with it last year, but the hurricane complicated the issues) and the wells at the Centre and Camp. A water treatment specialist has been on site to help us sort out the issues and recommend a course of action. He has told us the wells are salt water wells now due to the storm surge/flooding and the lack of significant rain. The repairs include reconfiguring the RO system at the Centre (adding descalant and replacing the media before the system and adding chlorine and carbon filters after the system) and adding a chlorine and a carbon filter to the wells at Camp. Please pray the parts come soon, that they clear customs duty/VAT free (NEMA has already approved), that the repairs are made easily, and that the repairs take care of the problem.
Adventure Learning Centre Update
Program and Adventure Club Update
Program continues at the Centre with many children coming in on Ministry of Education grant money. It has been our goal once again this year to get all the government school 6th grade classes on New Providence in to the Centre for programing but more importantly to hear the Gospel. Tuesday and Wednesday after school Adventure Clubs have also resumed and there has been record attendance at these clubs.
Mark has been very busy with wetland programs and with planetarium programs. The schools have appreciated the field trips, and a couple have sent him thank you’s. An 11th grader from RM Bailey High School said, “This was the best day ever? When are you bringing us back?” A class from CW Sawyer Primary School offered Mark a thank you plaque and fruit basket.
Easter Monday Funday
It is hard to believe it, but it is time to start talking about our next big event at the Centre. Easter Monday Funday (EMF) is less than 2 months away. You may recall, EMF is one of our 2 annual ministry fundraisers. It is a funday for families to come out and enjoy the ALC and partake in carnival type games, food, and activities while supporting a good cause. Last year’s event was under the direction of our very own Tika Penn, and we look forward to another great event under her direction. We will keep you posted! Please be in prayer as preparations continue.
The front wall that was damaged during the hurricane has been repaired thanks to the team from Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor, Ontario. The boardwalk into the wetlands was worked on by our staff and the Crossway team one day last week, and this week, Hood Canal’s work team is working on it. We are so grateful for the many volunteers/mission teams that have come and assisted us in the reconstruction of these structures. It is a blessing to us.
We covet your prayers. We admit we are tired. We have been working a lot (like many of you), and are starting to feel the drain of nearly non-stop ministry. We are also beginning to see why mission organizations require their missionaries to take furlough every 4 years. We have been in ministry now since July 2009. Trips away from the island (especially for Tim) usually involve other “work” or still being connected with the ministry through email and other projects. As we look to the next few months, we are praying about possibly taking 20 days at the end of April/first of May to get away. These dates happen to coincide with our son Logan’s college graduation, so we are hoping and planning it works out to attend his graduation while we are away. Please pray that God guides us in how to best use our time and that staff are on hand here at ALC&C to continue serving the mission teams that are scheduled to be here while we are gone (this will be especially important now that some of our staff are making exit plans and will be gone during that time). God knows and is in control!