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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
If you know me (Mindy), you know that I am textbook extrovert. I love people, am energized by people and thrive on being around people. I cannot remember a day where I have not been an extrovert. That is until a couple weeks ago. That day, I switched from being an extrovert to being an introvert, much like flipping the light switch from light to dark. It was foreign to me, and I could not understand my feelings and emotions. Yes, even we extroverts get days where we need some privacy, but on that day it was much more than that. It was beyond “I need to go in my house and shut the door to the world.” It was all that and, “I don’t want to see, talk to, or think about people.” I even found myself disliking people (not certain persons, only people in general). What made those feelings worse for me was the guilt I was experiencing for feeling so unloving. As much as I prayed that day for that feeling to go away and for my love and desire to be with people to return, it would not. As the day would pan out, God had lessons for me to learn that day.
As the day began, I found it very hard to get up and think about facing the mission team, staff and others at breakfast let alone serve them with a cheerful smile. Being greeted with “the freezer door was left open last night and everything is thawing” did not help my already troubled spirit as I entered the Camp kitchen just before breakfast, and as I worked through cooking all the meat that had partially thawed, I found myself growing more and more impatient and uncharitable to people. After the work was done, I walked home, relieved to enter my house and close the door behind me. But wait, we live on sight of the ministry which means our door is open to all. It wasn’t too long after I arrived home that someone on our staff came walking in our back door. This usually does not bother me, but all I wanted to do was scream, “Doesn’t anyone know how to knock around here?” I just smiled and pretended I was ok.
At lunch time, I had reached my limit, and began almost in tears to explain my foreign feelings to my husband, who immediately (unbeknown to me) took that as his opportunity to get me out of the house and off property that evening by saying, “I am taking you out to dinner tonight.” Almost immediately, the thought of getting away from people we know began to soften my heart, so I was able to plod through the afternoon. As we left for dinner and my excitement at finally having my husband to myself began to set in, I found myself relaxing a bit, but I still felt ornery and not wanting to see anyone I know. We had a wonderful quiet dinner and then drove out East to watch the sea reflect the rays of the setting sun behind us. Sitting on that bench with my sweethearts arm around me-just the two of us-I felt safe and at peace all the while realizing that only several miles away, a group of people I know and love were waiting for us to return. I did not want to return. In the end, I knew we must so I agreed to going back.
As we entered the Camp, we saw Aaron fixing the gate (again, poor guy), and my uncharitable thoughts towards people came back. Even as we pulled into our parking spot and started walking toward the house, my thoughts were of getting inside before someone saw us and decided to pay us a visit. As I hurriedly walked up to the porch (our car alarm was going off and Tim’s clicker was not working, so I was going in the house to get mine), I noticed through the dark screen around our porch that RJ was sitting in the corner by the door. I could also see Kevin. My immediate thought was, oh no, Zachary decided to have the young people over for the evening. I was about ready to whisper to him, “I was hoping to come home to some peace and quiet”, when all of a sudden, “Surprise, Happy 5oth Birthday!” erupted from a porch full of people. Just as the switch that morning went from extrovert to introvert, I immediately switched from introvert to extrovert again. The transformation was sudden and amazing to me. After a few tears (more out of feeling guilty for my uncharitable thoughts) and a speech of gratitude to everyone, my heart was gladdened and I once again enjoyed the presence of these dear people.
Why is this story so important? It is because of what I learned that day…I not only learned what a wicked sinner I am (I had some pretty uncharitable thoughts about people and circumstances), but I also learned what my introvert husband (and others who are like him) experiences when he is around people all the time. It gave me a sensitivity that I could never understand before. Above all, the experiences of that day showed me how God is in control and works things out for His glory and our good. Had I not wanted to be away from people, I would not have cried out to my husband at lunch; he would not have said and I willingly accepted, “I am taking you out to dinner tonight, away from this place and all the people.”; we would not have gotten away and allowed the other staff to bless me in the way they did with the surprise party; and in the end I would not have seen how God switched me miraculously from not wanting to see people to loving and embracing those dear people around me (which is exactly how I felt immediately after the “surprise” welcomed me onto our porch that night).
Please continue to pray for our bus situation. We were blessed by the addition of another very, very well used bus to our fleet of already well used buses. We were able to purchase it on the island, and although cosmetically a little rough, it does run. We could still use another nicer, more reliable bus. Buses not only transport the school children to the Centre during the school year to experience the adventures at Adventure Learning Centre and hear the Gospel presented, the buses are also heavily used to transport mission teams to and from the airport and to ministry sites around the island and to transport summer day camp children to off site outings and field trips.
As we mentioned in the June update, we had several volunteers come this summer to help out. They came at their own expense and worked under very hot/humid conditions to serve the Bahamian people and those here to serve the Bahamian people on mission trips. Thank you to all of you who came to help us serve the mission teams at Camp and the day camp children at the Centre this summer! We appreciate all you did and the time we had to spend with each of you.
Back to back to back groups and cabin construction has been the name of the game for us at the Camp this summer. We have had someone at the Camp every day (except 2 days) this summer since mid-May. A lot of ministry and a lot of progress on major construction has taken place. It has been a grueling schedule, but we have made it through by God’s grace and with the help from some very dedicated volunteers that came to help us out.
We will let the picture slide show tell the story. The local guys worked on the construction up until this past Monday. Now the rest can be completed by Tim and Aaron. It is coming right along.
We are already preparing and looking ahead to our next big construction projects at Camp: 2 new staff cottages. Cottage 2 (Pat and Janice Armstrong’s residence) and Cottage 3 (single female staff cottage) are currently located to the southeast of the dining hall. We have the permits in hand for the construction of Cottage 1 (single male staff cottage) and Cottage 4 (couple housing). Our maintenance guy, Denny, has already been working at clearing the sites for construction. We are hoping to use mission teams to help construct these cabins. Please pray for teams and materials to complete these two projects.
July Guest Groups and Visitors
Shekinah Family Ministries Summer Camp (June 29-July 1)
The last week of June into July was supposed to be a week long camp for a group of precious children from a local church, but the week long camp had to be changed to a 2 day camp because of financial hardship of the church. The joy of the children at this camp was touching to say the least, and because we got to be a part of the camp because we cooked for them, we were blessed to see the exuberance of the children. On departure day, the children were sad to have to go. Their loving leader, Samantha Evans, is such a patient kind lady and takes her job as leader of the children’s ministry at her church very seriously. It is a blessing to see this group and to serve them.
Mission Discovery 3 (July 1-July 10)
The second summer week for Mission Discovery (the third for the year) took place the first week of this month. The group that MD hosted was from Fort Worth Texas. It was a large group, and they served at 2 Haitian churches and both the girl’s school and the boy’s school. This was a mission team experienced church that did a great job teaching and discipling their young people. Of course we enjoyed the fellowship with the returning MD leaders as well.
Peace Church (July 10-16)
The Blitz Student Ministries of Peace Church from Wilson, NC has been coming to Nassau for mission trips for many years. Their leader, Brad Perry, is the youth and missions pastor of their church. He brings his wife and parents with him on the trip to chaperone, and of course we are always blessed and encouraged by these dear people. We enjoy partnerships with them in ministry and friendship. This year they worked with VBS at Pastor Bazile’s church (a Haitian church) and did work projects at Pastor Bazile’s house and around Camp. One of the tougher jobs they helped with was the trench digging to help Aaron bury a line leading to the bath house. What great servants they are!
E-team (July 16-23)
The E-team, comprised of members from 3 Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Pennsylvania and Maryland, came to help run the Music Camp at Kingdom Life Church (a Sovereign Grace Ministries Church here on New Providence which happens to also be our church). Because the team is from our sister churches, we feel a special connection with them. Zachary was able to spend the entire week as the 16th member of the team. We were excited that Zachary was able to serve alongside this awesome team. We got to spend one evening out with this team.
First Covenant Church Hamilton (FCCH) (July 16-23)
Another awesome team (our summer was full of these awesome teams) which happened to coincide with the E-team, was the team from First Covenant Church of Hamilton, Massachusetts and led by our very own Chelsea Kingston Erickson. Chelsea not only did a fantastic job of serving the community associated with Pastor Wilney Joseph’s church, Carmichael Evangelical Church, she sacrificed time home with her new husband (she was newly married in June) to lead the team to Nassau. She has a heart for the church here, and their group came alongside the church members and helped the church members operate a day camp/VBS in their community. It was such an awesome ministry that they did in that they partnered/came alongside an existing ministry to help equip the local ministry instead of taking over and running the show. Way to go FCCH! We got to spend an evening with these folks and enjoyed the fellowship and hearing from each of the team members through out the evening.
Methodist Churches of Caribbean and America Summer Camp (July 24-28)
This week we hosted another local group that ran a kids camp of their own on our property. The group consisted of 24 children ages 9-12 and 6 leaders. On one evening, a bus of 30+ teenagers aged 13-18 from the group’s church came to join the younger children for a camp fire. Camp was full of children’s laughter, bouncing basketballs on the basketball court, and the occasional stern reprimand of leaders trying to get the children to obey orders. We always love having children use this facility. After all, it is a camp, and Camp ministry is our passion.
Boy’s Brigade (July 29-August 1)
This weekend, we will be hosting a group of young boys from Abundant Life Bible Church. Our Ms. Ada (cook at the Centre) is one of the leaders of the Boy’s Brigade and brings the group here for an annual camp the first weekend in August (Monday is a holiday-Emancipation Day-so it is a 3 day weekend). We do not have pictures yet of course, but we will try to squeeze some in to next month’s blog.
Summer Day Camp has been the dominating scene at the Centre. The children have been treasure hunting here, there and everywhere. Most of all, they found the treasure of God’s Word in classes and daily interactions!
Happy Birthday to my wombmate, Melissa McDaniel, who lives in Summerville, SC! Wish we could be together for this milestone birthday. I love you, Twinnie!
Besides my 50th birthday which happens this Sunday, Tim and I will be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary on Monday, August 1st. It is so hard to believe that it has been nearly 3 decades since we began doing life together. As we reflect back on the years and see how God has worked and moved in our lives, we are in wonder and amazement at what a great, awesome, providential God we have. Our union has not only brought about a great deal of sanctification in each of us, it has produced 4 great young men, 2 wonderful daughters-in-law, a soon-to-arrive granddaughter, an exciting life of ministry, and many joyful, treasured memories. We thank God for His blessings on our lives!
Celebrating our Passport Country’s Birthday
July 4th was a work day for us. We had a mission team here and decided to treat the team to a quick birthday celebration with decorations and traditional 4th of July picnic food. Paula Brown made a beautiful watermelon carving.
Enjoying Family and Friends
Zachary and I will be leaving for Minnesota on August 4th, and Tim will be joining us on August 23rd. We will all return to the island together on September 3rd in preparation for new staff orientation on September 5th (Zachary’s return to the States for good will come in October).
Please pray for Tim as he stays behind to hold the fort down and serve the one last mission team that is coming August 15-22. He has Aaron and Ms. Ada here with him, and Jullian Williams (a Toronto man who used to be program director at the Centre and that comes every year for several weeks) will be coming on the 17th to help serve the group for part of the week. Tim will be managing the team and staff alone.
Whew! You made it through another lengthy post. Saving these updates for once a month, though necessary because we don’t have time to do them any more often then that, makes for long posts. We really appreciate your support of us by keeping up to date on what is going on. Please contact us and let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you!
God bless, and have a great weekend!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
“We enjoy hearing from people back home… because it emboldens us to do what we are doing…”
Never underestimate children and the impact they can have! On April 14th we received an unexpected envelope. According to the postal mark on the envelope, it was sent first class from Wausau, Wisconsin on March 11th (yes, the mail system here can be quite abysmal). As we opened the envelope and removed the contents, we started reading through 7 colorful handmade cards from about 23 children. It was touching to see the artistry of these children and to read their simple messages of encouragement. Their messages to people they do not know (and may never meet) were sweet, uplifting and encouraging. What impacted us the most is the fact that the church where these children attend is a church we are not associated with. We visited there once about 10 years ago when we were in Wausau visiting a friend.
As I contemplated how to honor these little encouragers for the great “work” they had done by sending us these cards, I reflected back to my childhood and the many notes I had written to missionaries for Sunday School or VBS class projects. As I pondered on this, I told Tim and Zachary we need to write back to these children. I don’t ever recall getting a note back from a missionary that I had written to as a child. I want these children to know how encouraging they are and how their simple act has benefitted the ministry here.
I know we have mentioned this many times in our blogs and emails, but I hope you will indulge me and let me say it again. We LOVE hearing from people back in the States (and from other places as well)! We are not partial to snail mail letters and notes; any correspondence will do. Perhaps it is because we love the feeling of connection with our home culture or because we are prideful human beings who like to know we are being thought of and appreciated or because we are lonely and enjoy hearing from people or because we are nosey and want to know what is going on back home. But I think it is more than any of these. We enjoy hearing from people back home (especially sentiments of “we are praying for you”) because it emboldens us to do what we are doing because we know there are fellow Christians praying for us as we do battle on the front lines! Though Bahamas is modern enough, it is still a foreign culture. It is hard to live here. Furthermore, Satan does not want us to bring glory to Jesus, and he will do whatever he can to thwart any good thing we do here. We need prayer and we need the encouragement that comes from hearing people say, “I am praying for you and your ministry work.”
So please write to us if you can. We would love to hear from you! With that, please understand, we will do the best we can to respond in a timely manner.
Staff and Facility Update
Facilitator Staff Needed for 2015-16!
It is hard to believe we are approaching the end of another school year. That means, 2 of our current facilitator staff who made a commitment to work as facilitators at the Centre for the school year, will be leaving the island to go back to the States. With their vacancy comes a need to replace them. We are also looking for someone to work as a maintenance assistant. If you are interested or know someone who would be interested in filling these positions, please contact us. Please pray God sends the right people to help us in the work we are doing here at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp.
Good-bye Bob and Faye!
Bob and Faye left on March 25th and safely made it home to London, Ontario, Canada. We sure miss them but look forward to their return next winter, which will be here as soon as you know it.
The board has given approval for the construction of a new cabin and the relocation of the front entrance to the Camp. We are waiting for blue print/plan modifications for the cabin. Please pray that plans get finalized and that God sends the right people and funds for constructing the cabin.
With the breaking down of our current generator, we have been approached by someone who is offering to help partially finance the acquisition of a couple of generators for Camp. One will be to power the dining hall/part of the bathhouse to maintain essential power to serve guest groups, and one will be to power the Camp house and office which will keep phone, water and internet service functioning during times of power outages. Please pray for the decisions that need to be made regarding type, size and placement of the generator(s), and pray that God supplies the funds for them.
New skill: fire fighter!
If you follow us on Facebook (The Seeley Family Serving in the Bahamas), you may have noticed we had bush fires in the areas immediately surrounding Camp property. Bahamas has a policy that they will only answer fire calls that threaten structures. They are not concerned with fires in the bush. We, however, are concerned about the fire in the bush because a fire in the bush can easily enter Camp property and threaten the serene, secluded-feeling beauty of Camp as well as the buildings on site. The staff took time over 5 days doing round the clock vigils watching for flare-ups, and several of us spent time in the bush with Indian fire packs extinguishing flare-ups.
Tim Lamm’s group from Peace Church- Wilson, NC
Tim and Deborah Lamm and six other adults from Peace Church in Wilson, NC were on the island to serve at All Saints Camp the last week in March. They had dinner at our house on Monday evening followed by a tour of the Centre.
Easter Monday Funday at Adventure Learning Centre
Twice a year, we have fundraisers to help support the ministry work of the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. The Christmas Lights Drive-thru was in December, and the Monday following Easter Sunday, we had the annual Easter Monday Funday. Even though many of us were busy fighting fires the week before the Funday and were not able to assist in preparations, the attendance at the Funday was a record breaking +1550, not counting volunteers and children under 2 years old. God surely blessed us with great weather, great turn out, and great fund raising.
Discovery United Methodist Church- Richmond, VA
This team was led by team member Kim Shortell, and they served Bahamian children at Bilney Lane and Ranfurly Home and served a day at All Saints Camp. The pastor of the church is married to a Bahamian woman and enjoyed getting to see his in-laws while he was here on the island.
Up and Coming
We are looking forward to hosting a local young lady’s group this weekend at Camp. Also this weekend we will be hosting a young adult leadership meeting at our house on Saturday morning, our church’s annual picnic at Camp on Sunday, and a Youth Outreach meeting Sunday evening. A busy weekend for sure!
A week from Sunday, we welcome back to the island the students from Florida Atlantic University. The group has been here for a week the last two Decembers. They will be serving at the hospital, Bahamas Association of Physically Disabled and doing hypertension and blood glucose screenings at the mall. We are excited they are coming back.
As you can tell, we remain quite busy. We are so grateful for a staff that are not only great to fellowship with regularly but are also a huge help in sharing the work load here at ALCamp.
If you haven’t done so…
We invite you to check us out on Facebook (The Seeley Family Serving in the Bahamas). We provide regular updates of what is going on here, so it is a great way to keep up on the latest Bahamas/ALC&C news.
Could you please check out our prayer requests and pray for us? We could really use the prayer.
Please check back later. We do not have time to update the pictures at this time.
Thank you for taking the time to catch up on what has been going on these past few weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
We are not employed by Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. The work we do here in the Bahamas is exclusively funded by the generous support of individuals and churches. If you feel led to do so, you may partner with us and support our ministry work by clicking on the “Shepherds Staff Mission Facilitators” logo in the side bar of this page and following the instructions. All donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your prayers and generosity. May God bless you!
During this “Thanksgiving” season, sometimes we only think of the big things we have to be thankful for, but what about the seemingly trivial things of life?
As many of you know, we were born and raised in cold weather climates. I (Mindy) love my four seasons with fall being my favorite season of all, so when we returned to Nassau on December 1st and were welcomed back with such beautiful, cool, non-humid weather, we could not help but feel so blessed by our Creator. (This year has been a very hot year, and work in this hot, humid weather can wear you down and affect your mood.) It has been 12 days since we returned to the island, and the nice, cooler weather has continued. We have been able to wear long pants/sweaters/closed toed shoes, to snuggle under comforters at night, to come out of the shower and actually dry off, and to find comfort in sipping hot chocolate. I see this cooler weather as a gift from God. I see a God who lovingly works out even small details so that He may bless us and encourage us on our way.
Beyond the trivium of weather, we find ourselves thankful for so many other things as well: friends and family on both sides of the pond, a great group of fellow ALC&C staff who also desire to serve God by serving the Bahamian people and those coming to serve the Bahamian people, an awesome church family, a comfortable place to live and minister, talents and gifts to serve and do the work God has called us to do, safety even amidst increased crime on the island, and so much more! Praise God with us for all He has given us and allowed us to do in the furtherance of His Kingdom on this earth!
Update on trip fundraiser!
God blessed us with a great trip in the States October 16-December 1st (details of the trip are on earlier blogs) and with ease of travel back to the island and through immigration and customs (even with 9 suitcases and 3 backpacks full of supplies). Many have asked us if we raised all the money we needed to cover the cost of the ALC promotion/support raising trip. For those of you wondering how we did, we were able to collect enough money on the trip to cover about 3/4 of the cost of the trip. Praise the Lord! The initial projection of $4500 was pretty much covered, but with the unforeseen expenses and extras, we still have about $1000 that has not been covered. We are confident that God will provide funds as needed.
We are back and have hit the ground running!
As soon as we arrived back, we hit the ground running. Although we spent a lot of time on the trip working through emails and connecting with people who will be coming here on upcoming trips, there were still a lot of paperwork, emails, etc to get caught up on when we got back. These last 2 weeks we were able to do just that. Tim has been in his office a lot this week.
Our biggest focus since we have returned has been on the mission team of 47 Florida Atlantic University students that will be here December 14th-19th. We are facilitating this team which brings with it a lot responsibility in not only the planning phase but also the implementing phase. With all our staff leaving the island on Monday and Tuesday, we have had to be creative in finding the help we need to serve and facilitate this group. By God’s providence, Aaron Mills came to visit us this past week and will be staying through Christmas. He will be able to do a lot in helping us serve this group. Ms. Ada will be cooking for us. Please pray for strength and stamina as we serve this group.
Many of you already know that all our kids are coming here for Christmas. Garrett arrives tomorrow, Logan arrives next Friday, and Andrew and Katie arrive next Saturday. Aaron Mills (a young man we used to work with at Living Waters Bible Camp in Wisconsin) arrived last week and will be staying with us until the 31st. We plan on being on “vacation” the week the kids are all here (December 20-28) so we can enjoy family time and showing the kids around the island. We will do our best to really be on vacation that week.
As we mentioned above, all the missionary ALC staff will be leaving the island for Christmas. Because we are the only staff remaining behind, we will be making many airport runs to pick-up and drop-off people over the next three weeks (between the staff leaving and returning, the mission team coming and leaving, and our kids coming in for Christmas, we have >26 airport runs). This is a job that I like doing, and fortunately google calendar is a great resource tool and keeps me organized.
Christmas Light Drive-Thru at Adventure Learning Centre
For nearly the entire time we were away in the States, the ALC staff was preparing for the Christmas Lights Drive-thru event scheduled for December 12-14. This event has a two-fold purpose: share the Gospel story with all who come to experience the event and raise funds to help run the ALC as it shares the Gospel with the school children of the Bahamas. Our first night was last night (Friday, December 12), and we had more that 160 cars drive thru the ALC and experience the beautiful lights and the pageantry of the story of Jesus’s birth, life, death and resurrection. Here are some of the pictures of the event:
The event was beautiful, well put together (way to go Centre staff!), and well received by those who came and saw it. We have had a LOT of great feed back. We are expecting even a larger crowd tonight and tomorrow night, but we are competing with a couple other large events on the island this weekend. Please pray that God sends those people who need to hear the gospel as well as numbers so we can pay the expenses of this event and have extra to go towards funding the ministry. If you would like to donate to the ministry to help cover the cost of this event, we invite you to go to alcbahamas.org and click on the donation link.
Picture update for last three weeks!
We will be going back to posting picture updates in the “Picture Update” tab above. So, if you want to see an update on what has happened in the last 3 weeks, please feel free to click on the link below or tab above (I may not get to the picture update today because I do not have much time this afternoon to do it, so you may want to check back later in the week).
Link: Picture update
Christmas letter and greeting!
If you do not get an email from us when we post blogs and would like a Christmas letter sent to you, please let me know by posting a reply to this blog. We will be sending out a Christmas greeting to our email list recipients sometime later this next week.
Thank you for your interest in our ministry work and lives. We appreciate your support of us in your prayers and your financial contributions. We could not be here doing what we are doing if it were not for you and your faithfulness and generosity. Thank you and God bless you!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
(Prepare to be encouraged…)
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfoldAnd this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfoldingGod’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begunAnd this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfoldingWe were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginningOf this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfoldingJust watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)
If you read or listened to the lyrics of this song, you may have been moved or encouraged as you heard yet another song with a message of encouragement to help you as you fight your personal battles and struggle through life’s difficult circumstances. The song is indeed very encouraging, but if you stop at the self-centered message and not see the God-centered message of the song, we think you are missing the bigger theme of the song.
For us the focal point of the song is this:
God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun
Recently a young lady shared this song with us. She had come to us in her struggling with some trials and difficulties. As we sat and chatted with her, we attempted to be a blessing and encouragement to her, but instead she blessed us with this song and its message.
As we seek to further the Kingdom of God on this earth by ministering to the Bahamian people and those that come to serve the Bahamian people, we do face times of difficulty and discouragement, but God is faithful. He brings us encouragement and help when we need them and in ways we least expect it. We can rest assured that everything is working out for our good and God’s glory as we remain faithful to Him.
Blog Changes: “Picture Update” and “Follow & Email Sign-up” tabs
You may notice, there is no “picture update” in this post. That is because from this post forward, we will be posting pictures under the “Picture Update” tab at the top of our web page. Feel free to go to that page by clicking on the tab to see in pictures what has been going on with us. We have combined the follow us tab and the email sign-up tab.
“What’s New” and “Prayer”
We have updated the “Prayer” and the “What’s New” pages. We invite you to check them out by clicking on the tabs above.
We thank you so much for your continued support of us with your prayers, attention and financial giving.
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley
How can a place we do not necessarily like be the only place we would rather be?
Recently someone asked us if we liked living in The Bahamas. Our honest response was, “No, not particularly.” When asked by the same person, where would you rather be right now, we responded, “There is no place we would rather be than right here in The Bahamas.” Now this may sound odd or like we are complaining, being discontent, arrogant, or contradicting ourselves, but we are not.
Yes, we are in a country not our own, without easy access to family and relatives, confined to real estate (a 21 mile x 7 mile island) which in its entirety is smaller than the metropolitan area in Minnesota where we are from, in a culture and climate entirely different than what we are accustomed to, but we can still say there is no place we would rather be than the Bahamas. Why? Because it is where God has called us (and we love the Bahamian people). We are able to deal with the heat and humidity, the snakes and spiders, no see em and mosquito bites, and long absences from children, parents, siblings, relatives and friends because God is in control and has given us a peace that passes human understanding. God has graciously and continues to graciously teach us to say like the Apostle Paul, “in whatever state [we are] in therewith to be content.”
God’s Word teaches us that this world is not our home. The reason for not “feeling at home” somewhere has less to do with physical, earthly location than the fact that as Christians, until we are Home in Glory in the presence of our Creator, we will never feel at home. Recently, during a time of extreme fatigue and stress, I (Mindy) so wanted to just go “home” and rest. Even though I was in our house, I just did not feel at home and could not find comfort and rest. As I contemplated this dilemma, I realized I could not identify anywhere on this planet as my “home”. Instead of allowing myself to despair, I was encouraged, because at that very moment I realized as the song goes, “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” My rest does not come from being in a certain location but from resting in my Savior.
Check out the “What’s New” tab above
Under the “What’s New” tab you will find out more information on
*the progress of our fundraiser for our fall support/ALC&C promotion trip
*a skeleton itinerary of the fall trip
*Joy Bible Camp Reunion Open House
*first ministry outreach program to the young people of the South Beach community
*progress of the new staff cottage (with pictures)
Prayer requests can be accessed by clicking the prayer request tab above.
*progress and pictures of the work on the staff cottage is under the “What’s New” tab above
We all are on this earth to live lives that bring glory to God. We serve Him in everything we do, and that includes in what occupies our time. For us, our occupation is full time ministry to others in a country that is not our passport country.
Our days are spent serving at the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp in Nassau, Bahamas, but did you know that we are not actually employed by Adventure Learning Centre and Camp? Lately, this has come up in conversations, and many do not know that we are not employed nor do we receive monetary compensation from the ALC&C for the work we do here. Like many missionaries, we raise our support in the United States and rely on faith that God will provide us with the money we need through the generous giving of others who have committed to support us in the work we do. We ultimately work for God, but in a sense one can say we work for those who faithfully support us. We are the hands and feet of the many would-be missionaries who are unable to be out doing the work we are called to do.
Fall Travel Plans
We are very aware, humbled and appreciative of all support entrusted to us through the generosity of others, and we diligently try to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. At no time do we pause and take notice of how we are spending our time and money more than when it comes time to travel.
When it comes time to spend time and money to travel, not only are we concerned about whether we can afford the expense, we are very reluctant to share news of our travels. Past trips we have announced provoked some rather insensitive remarks from people who don’t understand what we do. Some people do not seem to understand that a trip back to the United States is not necessarily a vacation. Like trips made by other missionaries, our trips back are rarely restful and relaxing. It is a necessary part of what we do. Generally most of our time is spent visiting with family/friends/supporters, planning and preparing reports and updates, speaking at churches, and staying connected with the job on the field via phone and internet.
With this said, after much prayer, we have decided that we will be taking a ministry-related trip this fall. It will be during a time that is considered relative “down time” here at Adventure Learning Camp. Traditionally during the months of later October to early December, only a few guest groups come and use Camp; therefore, we have decided mid October-December 1st is the best time to leave the island. The trip will serve several purposes.
First, we hope to find some time to rest and be rejuvenated in body and soul. Our plan is to attend a pastor’s conference at the front end of the trip. The goal is to be fed spiritually and rest while spending time with our current Pastor and his wife Alexine Moss and our friends (and former pastor) Keith and Kristin Bunting. We are hoping it is just what we need to get us ready for the 6 weeks of travel we have planned.
Second, we plan to connect with churches and groups that have recently been to the Bahamas and stayed at the Camp as well as with others that have either never been here or have not been here in many years. We are also hoping to let people know about the ministry, promote the Camp for future mission teams, and recruit missionary facilitator staff for the Centre.
Finally, we will be visiting current and prospective supporters to increase our support base and maintain relationships with those who already support us. God has always faithfully supplied our needs, and we have no reason to doubt He won’t continue. However, we realize we need to work to maintain our current support base and gain new support as the Lord guides and directs.
We will not post a detailed itinerary on this blog for safety reasons, but we will private message the itinerary in the email that we send out to announce this blog post. If you don’t get our emails, you may be added to the list to receive the emails by signing up through the “newsletter sign-up” link above or in the side bar.
Now for the picture update
In our last update, we finished off in early June. Logan was already gone, Zachary had just left for his 5 week trip to the states, and preparations were being made at the Centre for Summer Day Camp and at the Camp for summer mission teams.
Thank you for taking the time to get caught up on what is going on around here!
Tim, Mindy and Zachary Seeley