Monday, November 22, 2010

In Transit...

As I write this I'm a mile high in the air somewhere between Atlanta and Kansas City International Airport. Praise the Lord for free in-flight Wi-Fi. :]

This post is a tad overdue, but what's new or surprising about that?

On November 5th we welcomed our last team of the year from the New Jersey Homeschool Association. They were an absolutely fantastic group who I found myself missing after they left. They worked hard to finish grouting the tiling in the bathrooms of the cabins, mixing concrete and pouring concrete slabs among other things.

As I mentioned I am currently on my way home for the holiday season. I left the Bahamas on November 16th and after a week pit-stop in Texas I'm almost back to the freezing temperatures of home. I am excited to spend some time with family and friends, and I am hoping to get to see many of you! I will be in Iowa until December 30th and will be back in the Bahamas on January 5th where we will start the year off with several mission teams.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Updates, Musings, and an Overabundance of Links

I continue to prove my own statement that I'm a horrible blogger. So over a month after my last post I will update those who have perserved through the lack of updates. :]

Since my last post we have left Nassau -- on September 23rd to be exact -- and spent some time on Spanish Wells, another island that some of our campers live on. After that we settled back into life on Eleuthera continuing office work and preparing for our next mission team.

On October 12th we welcomed a team of 5 from Auke Bay Bible Church in Juneau, Alaska. They were a fantastic team that worked like 20 people instead of 5. While they were here they finished prepping the two freshwater tanks for a concrete pour, set forms for the concrete slabs the cabin air conditioners along with a number of smaller projects. They also brought several bags of hooded sweatshirts, jackets, and baseball caps that they distrubuted in several of the poorer communities here. They were here for almost two weeks and will be missed!

Things are moving right along on the camp property. The two freshwater tanks are expected to be done this week, post holes are being dug for the next set of cabins, air conditioners are being installed, and thanks to a substantial donation Richard was able to completely pay for electricity to be brought out to the property and the digging for the poles will being within the next week. It is really great to be able to see so much progress happening!

If you would like to see some of the happenings from this summer at Camp Bahamas check out Camp Bahamas Ministries YouTube page

It is crazy to think that in a month I will be back in Iowa. I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends, but not looking forward to the temperature shock I'm sure I will be experiencing. I know I've become a little bit spoiled when I feel chilly when the temperature drops below 80.

This week while sitting outside of a local restaurant/bar with a friend waiting for our 6 orders of french fries--it happens when you live with 5 kids :]-- I was reminded of why I'm here and the burden God has given me for the people here. A local homeless man, some fishermen who so graciously informed us that they had been drinking all day and after eating their burgers were going to go smoke a few joints, mothers waiting on food to take home to their children, teenagers and kids with nothing better to do than to try and be just like the older boys who were smoking weed on the other side of the building. There is much hurt, much confusion, much wanting and not a lot of truth or pursuit of truth. I'm reminded that these are beautiful people in a beautiful place that are in desperate need of a beautiful love.

Constant - Charlie Hall

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:58

If you find yourself with some time (even if you don't have time...make some)
Radical by David Platt

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Bit Overdue...

It's official.

I am a horrible blogger.

It's been about two months since I lasted posted about my time in the Bahamas. In my defense it doesn't feel like it's been that long. The fast pace and busyness that consumed my summer made it easy for a week to feel like a day and on some of the more tired days, a day to feel like a week. So I suppose it's time to update those interested on life here in the Bahamas.

During the month of July and the first week in August was camp. Five crazy, tiring, and fun-fiilled weeks of camp. The theme this year was Red@Night. In Matthew 16 the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven. Jesus replies with what has become a common saying (at least for those not landlocked and surrounded by corn :] ) "Red at night, sailor's delight. Red in the morning, sailor's take warning." We discussed how we do not need a sign from God about how to live upright and Godly lives, His word contains all we need. We discussed spiritual adultery and what it means to "cheat on God with the world".
Camp was an overall fantastic success. We were blessed with a phenomenal staff and tremendous campers. With many former campers returning as junior staff members I had the opportunity to disciple them by leading a Bible study two times a week. During the day I worked at the zip line, harnessing kids in and trying to convince them they weren't going to plunge to their death.

The day after camp ended we welcomed a mission team from Fellowship Orlando in Florida. The spent the week working on water storage containers and painting cabins (as you can see from the picture). We also spent the week packing up our things and cleaning the hotel we currently rent out for camp. The day the team left we moved out of the hotel and back to where we stayed during June. The next day saw us welcoming another team from Grace Community Church in Nassau. This team continued painting cabins and began tiling in the bathrooms of the cabins.

About five days after the last team left we made our way over to Nassau. My time in Nassau has been a relaxing one and has offered a much needed break after the hectic summer. I've had the opportunity to spend time with my aunt and uncle, spent time with friends, visited youth groups, visited an orphange and even met Sean Connery. :]
Yesterday I began work on the expense report for the summer, and will continue working on that for the next few days.

In a week or so we will head back to Eleuthera and begin work on the office type work that will help prepare us for next summer. In October we will be hosting another team as well as one in November.

I apologize for my lack of blogging skills, but hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea of what that last two months have looked like for me. If you have any questions feel free to email me!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tomorrow!...errr Today!

Since it is no longer Saturday that means the first week of Camp Bahamas 2010 starts today! We are expecting a week of 90 campers. We will have a group of kids from Long Island, Bahamas, but most of the students will be from the orphanages in Nassau. It will be a crazy and even difficult first week, but I am SO excited for it to start.
This past week we have had two mission teams in. We made the move to the hotel where we host camp, and started prepping for camp.
I spent the majority of this past week in the kitchen. I am becoming a pro at feeding 50+ people :)The the majority of our counselors and jr. counselors also came in this week. God has certainly blessed us with an outstanding group of people and I'm excited to see what God has in store for us this summer!

Prayer requests:

- the first week of campers
- the staff...most of them are here for the first time so this first week will be a lot of firsts for them
- all of your equipment...sound equipment, vehicles, boats, etc
- safety

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

right around the corner...

Camp is quickly approaching, and I know I'm continually saying this, but it is hard to believe that it is so close. We had two more staff members come already this week and starting Thursday we have at least two staff members coming every day until camp. The arrival of staff is always an exciting time. Things for camp start getting done and it means camp is right around the corner. On Saturday we make the move to the hotel where we will be having camp and where we will be until August 15ish.

Tomorrow afternoon another mission team arrives. It is a team of 30 from North Carolina that we are definitely excited about and then on Saturday we get another team of 18 from Virginia Beach. They will be continuing work on the camp property.

This past week we have continued work on the property and continued camp prep. On Thusday, Andrea, the Camp Director's wife and I went to Nassau to attend the high school graduation of about 10 of our campers. It was a quick trip, as we left the next day, but we were really glad we went. All of the campers were very appreciative and happy that we were there. Most of them will be Team Leaders and Junior Counselors this year so we will see them again soon. We also had the mastermind behind our zipline down this week for some upgrading and maintenance of the zip line. He made several improvements that are greatly appreciated and much needed.

I am really looking forward to camp and can't wait for it to get here. It has been so interesting helping plan everything, so I'm excited to see it all put into action.

Please pray:
- for our new staff arriving
- for the planning that is left to be done
- for both of the mission teams coming in this week
- and as always, for the campers that will be at Camp Bahamas this summer

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On Monday we sent the team from Master's Academy off and started our week without a team. The 3 on 3 tournament went well with 4 Bahamian teams participating and 4 teams from the Master's Academy. Before the championship game a few of the students from the team shared their testimony. It was a fun night and they were a great team that we will miss.

This week we have had a little bit of a break, as we haven't had a team, but camp prep has gone into full swing. We took a day off on Tuesday and visited a coffee shop in another settlement where by my own doing/will swam with 12-15 sharks near the dock in front of the coffee shop. I questioned my sanity a few times, but I'm here typing this so all is well :)

Aside from the shark encounter...I have spent the week creating budget and expense reports (never thought I'd say this but...thank you Principles of Marketing), logging staff arrivals and departures, and re-doing the staff manual among other things. Some of the other staff members have been out at the property all week doing work that needs to be done and preping the property so the next mission team can get right to work.

We have two counselors coming in on Monday and on Thursday I will be heading to Nassau to watch some campers graduate from high school on Friday morning.

It's hard to believe that camp is right around the corner when it feels like there is so much left to do, but it will be here before we know it ready or not!

Prayer requests:
- camp...incoming staff, campers, day to day operations
- camp preparation
- that I and the rest of the staff would be constantly seeking God and His glory

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And so it begins...

For those still on the edge of your seat...I made it safely to the Bahamas. I arrived in Nassau on May 26, took the ferry to Spanish Wells on the 27th, and remained in Spanish Wells with the Albury family until Saturday when we made the move to Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera where we will be staying for the rest of the summer.
On Monday we welcomed our first mission team of the summer. A team of 19 highschool aged guys and girls from the Master's Academy in Orlando, FL. They have been painting one of our new buses and working on the property. Along with that in the afternoons they have been doing basketball clinics for the youth in the community. At night they have played basketball games against the local guys and girls their age. On Friday they will host a 3 on 3 tournament for the island.

So far, my summer has started out just as the last two have. It is crazy to think that when August comes I won't be hoping on a plane that takes me back to fast food, my cell phone, and temperatures below 90. But it is a good feeling. Even in my times of doubt God is patient with me and reveals to me over and over again why He has me here.

We are getting ready to throw the camp prep into high gear; putting the last things together as camp quickly approaches. It is an exciting time and a time of anticipation for camp.

Please pray:
- for the mission team that is here now and the others that will be coming
- for the CB staff
- for camp that is quickly approaching

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One Month...

In less than a month I will be heading back to the Bahamas to join the Camp Bahamas Ministries Staff as a full-time staff member. It has been amazing to see God lead me to this point and to this decision. What seemingly should have been one of the harder decisions I've made was made virtually effortlessly thanks to God's perfect guidance.

This journey that I'm beginning is one that has already tested my faith in countless ways. I have been reminded over and over again that the one who doubts is like the wave tossed back and forth by the wind...unstable. (James 1:6-8) I'm grateful for God's paitence with me as I am learning these lessons of faith every day.

I will leave May 26 and return to Iowa on November 22 to spend the holidays with my family before heading back down in January. Once I leave I will do my best to update this blog weekly, but no promises. :)

I'm not sure I can put into words just how excited I am to join the Camp Bahamas staff and their efforts to serve the youth of the Bahamas by showing them the love of Christ. So it is with a humble heart and much excitement that I begin this journey. I appreciate any and all prayers, because it is clear that I cannot do this alone. Thank you for your support! I am eager to see what God has in store!