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January 2013-August 2018
Since January 2013, we have had the awesome opportunity to serve at Adventure Learning Centre and Camp. As we look back, we can’t help but see the hand of God in so many things. It humbles us as we think how God has allowed us to be a part of what He is doing here. We praise Him for the opportunities He has given us to serve, lead, learn and grow.
Our goal all along had been to mentor a Bahamian to take over for us. We feel strongly that foreign missions is not permanent. Nationals are better at reaching their own people, and as such, we feel foreign missionaries should strive to mentor and come alongside national workers to work themselves out of a “job.” Of course time and service varies for each individual and situation. Only God knows what each case looks like.
Next month, ALC will be 25 years old. A lot of missionaries have come and gone. Along with some paid Bahamian/Haitian staff, It has received the ground work and support from foreign supported missionary staff for many years. With the departure of 5 missionary staff (and arrival of only 1) and the hiring of a paid executive director and support staff, that seems to be changing. We feel, as we leave, that we have done what we were called to do here, and we have tried to pass on what we know to the team (comprised of mostly Bahamian young people and a young man from the USA) that Kenneth Romer, ALC Executive Director, has put together. We are excited to see so many Bahamian staff at ALC&C!
What happens here on out continues to be in God’s hands. We have loved and will continue to love the Bahamas, her people and the beloved ALC&C ministry. God has a divine plan for ALC&C. We leave with our heads held high knowing that we did what we could, and God’s will for this ministry will endure.
The Camp Management Hand-off
We are still unclear of Kenneth’s plans for the Camp, but what we do know is the Camp is going to be managed by Logan Mungillo (left) and Vonette Jean (right). They are very bright young people, and they seemed to catch on to a lot of what we told them in the day we spent orientating them to Camp. If the systems we implemented are continued, Vonette has a jump on learning Camp management as she spent time cooking for groups in the Camp kitchen for 3 weeks in July. Logan arrived August 20th, but he was part of a mission team that we served here at Camp last summer. We are anxious to hear about what new and exciting things will be coming to ALCamp under Logan and Vonette’s leadership and how God provides for the implementation of the new ideas.
We hosted Young Life Youth Camp again this year at ALCamp July 27-August 4. What a fun week it was hearing and seeing Bahamian Youth using the Camp for what it was created for: youth camp ministry. A group of 22 American Young Life members were part of the leadership/service of the Camp, and it felt like we were hosting not only the youth camp but also a mission team. What a great week it was! We also got to drive the group every afternoon in our buses to their outing destinations. Their last day of outings was our last day of driving our buses: bittersweet. Ricky Pearce and Schell Stubbs are the local Young Life leaders in charge of the Camp, and they did a fantastic job.
Bahamas Youth Network (BYN) Leadership Retreat was held at ALCamp August 24-26. It was the last group we hosted in our tenure as Camp Director. It was also time for us to be present and a support to the “new” leadership as they hosted the group. This group does a great work with Bahamian youth, both college/young adult groups and high school groups. It is lead by Dan and Kelly Weightman, 20 year Bahamian missionary veterans.
It seems to happen anytime you relocate. We also have seen it by others who have been on island for a while but then leave. It is the tiring, yet necessary good-bye tour that takes place in the weeks and days leading up to a departure. There are so many people to talk to, to see, to greet one last time.
The Last week in the Bahamas Begins
The hard part of moving, sorting/discarding/selling/giving-away/packing our earthly possessions, was completed Monday, and our last week in the Bahamas began Tuesday with us moving out of the Camp house and handing over our duties and keys to the new staff. A missionary once told us that they regretted not taking some time to retreat and rest before leaving their field of ministry. We have taken that advice and are now taking a few days to unwind, reflect, contemplate and pray in a place away from Nassau. This gives us time to collect our emotions and seek wisdom before actually saying the final good-byes to those we served with. For some of the young people we have mentored, this gives them a week to get used to us being gone while still getting another opportunity to see us before we depart. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time alone to reflect and have had time to pray and seek God.
Youth Night Will Continue
One of the questions we have been getting since we announced our departure is, “Will Friday night Youth Night continue?” We met with the staff/leaders from Joy Bible Camp that have been helping us with the outreach for 4 years now, and have discussed the upcoming year and how important we all feel that this ministry continues. We have received commitment from Kenneth that it will continue. We are so excited to hear this news and look forward to progress reports from this team. Please pray for this outreach. This outreach is very valuable to a lot of young people.
Adventure Learning Centre
A couple of big events, tours and remodeling going on at the Centre. Earlier this month the Centre hosted some big events sponsored by organizations on the island. Another new activity implemented this year is the Centre is now open for walk-in tours. For a $6 admission fee people can come and receive a tour of the ALC. Aaron and other staff have been busy painting and decorating the Media Centre (see pictures above). Other projects have included new signs around the Centre, staff bathroom complete make over, painting of the roundabout wall, remodel of the barn loft, and other projects.
What is Next
Tomorrow (September 1st) we travel back to Nassau, and we will be staying with our pastor and his family until we fly to South Carolina on Wednesday morning. We will be attending our church one last time on Sunday, and we have a few more “good-byes” to make Monday and Tuesday. We appreciate your prayers for us as we tie up the loose ends, travel, and start the process of re-entry into the USA.
I Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” We are confident in God’s calling on our lives and trust Him to lead and guide us in this transition, move, and even to guide us into what He would have us do next. We are excited to see what God has in store for us next.
Thank you again for your interest in our lives and ministry and for your prayer and financial support.
May God bless you!
Tim and Mindy Seeley