Day 7 – Self-control

Well today Raoul had planned our God & nature day but God had other plans for us.  When we woke up today it was raining & the weather forecast for the day was for showers, some heavy, in the morning & scattered storms in the afternoon with thunderstorms in the evening.  Not a day to be on the open seas!

after we finished breakfast Raoul spoke to me about the plans for the day.  He told me that any projects they had were outdoor projects & it would not be safe for us to work outside today.  He asked if we minded spending the day back at the hotel.  I told him we were fine with a down day as we had worked very hard all week & could use a little time of rest.  Raoul talked to our group and thanked us for understanding that the work we did at the feeding center was just as important as work done in the villages as if the feeding center is not kept up to code, there would be no ministry to the villages because they would be shut down.

So what do you think the first thing the group did when we got back to the hotel, and after we packed to come home? They played tollyball in the light rain until about 1 when we ate our lunch.

the afternoon was spent reading & playing games until dinner.  Raoul & Karen delivered our dinner & we ate in our rooms.

after dinner we gathered in the girls room for worship & devotions. We discussed where we saw self-control today.  At first we had trouble thinking of a place but eventually we were all able to tell the group where we saw self-control today. Before our closing prayer time we wrote a note of encouragement in each persons devotions book.  We also jotted prayer requests for the Bahamas on post-it notes which we will take home and put on a poster board in the youth room that will be a reminder of our time on the island & of the thing we need to be praying for.

For prayer time this evening Mike broke us into our prayer partner groups & asked us to share one God moment we experienced this week & to share what we are taking away from this week.

As I am writing this, the thunder & lightening has started.

please pray that this storm clears out quickly & that our flight tomorrow is not delayed by weather either here or in the Philadelphia area.

this week has flown by.  We are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow & sharing about our week!

Day 6 – Gentleness

Today was our last day of working on the island as tomorrow is our God & nature day.  Today after breakfast we continued painting the fence at the feeding center.  We painted until about 12:40, cleaned up our painting supplies then had lunch.  After lunch Raoul & Karen took us to several villages where we had worked or visited in the past.  It was nice to see some areas that had improved from last year.  We went to areas that are impoverished & most people live in shacks.  we gave the kids foam crosses & stickers & they decorated their crosses with the stickers.  when we were leaving one of the villages one of the little boys ran after our bus.  Raoul & Karen talked to some of the moms about school supplies for the kids & got the ages of the children so they can bring them backpacks filled with the age appropriate supplies.  Karen is also going to take them new flip flops at the same time (we actually brought 56 adult flip flops and 116 youth).  We got back to the hotel around 3:15 and got changed & ready to catch the 4:00 ferry to Port Lucaya to do a little shopping, have some ice cream & just to see all the various vendors and their wares.

we took the 6:10 ferry back to our hotel & picked up our dinner & ate over by the pool/beach.  After dinner we had devotions & during prayer time we broke into our prayer teams to pray.

i have many pictures of your kids with the kids in the villages.  They all had a great time!

i just saw on the weather channel that there is a 60% chance of showers tomorrow…and they are going to be thunder storms.  If that’s the case our God & nature day will look different than we think.

please keep us in prayer for travel mercies as we travel home in two days.  We can’t believe how quickly the week has gone by!

Day 5 – Faithfulness

Today we had a blessed day with 45 youth from Eight Mile Rock at Heavenly View Ministries.  We  sang a few songs, put on a skit about Moses & the 10 Commandments, then did crafts with the group.  After crafts we had a skit about Jesus telling the disciples to Go Tell It On The Mountain!  We sang a closing song & played a game of Simon Says.  The women from Heavenly View made sandwiches, corn fritters & a cake for the youth & we shared a little with them.

after VBS we went back to the feeding center to continue working on the painting of the front fence.

When we returned to the hotel, and before dinner, the youthful members of the mission team played tollyball.  We ate dinner in our rooms and when we finished we went to the beach for our mid-week worship service.  This service is not like our regular devotions time — it is one where we spend a lot of time in song, personal prayer time, as well as corporate prayer.  We get a chance to talk to God near the vast ocean He created as we are listening to the sound of the surf.  What a peaceful prayer time!

At the end of the service, as with every other night, Mike asked us where we saw the Fruit of the Spirit today.  Many spoke of the faithfulness of Karen & Raoul, Lolita & Mervin and of the kids from Heavenly View — ask us to tell you some stories of our experiences today.

We had our picture taken with some of the VBS youth right before we left.  If you use Facebook you can see it on the Titusville Presbyterian page or on Barbara’s page.  You will see smiles on everyone’s faces.

Tomorrow we will visit one of the villages and around dinner time will go to Port Lucaya.

thank you all for sharing your children with me this week.  They are an awesome group!

Day 4 – Kindness & Goodness

Today we spent the day working at the Feeding Center — it was a very hot day!   Andrew finished painting the last little piece of the storage unit, with Maria as his “spotter”.  The rest of us worked out front on the fence – some painting & some finishing the scrapping.  As we were working, around 10:30 a.m., our friends from Woodside asked us if we could help them with their landscaping project as they were only working a half a day today & the stones that got delivered for their rock gardens was starting to turn to cement in the heat & humidity & would not be in usable form tomorrow.  We split into two groups with the girls continuing painting and the guys clearing a grassy area where they would lay down black paper to keep weeds down and later put the stone to spread..

After lunch we all worked on the landscaping project…the guys shoveling the stone into wheelbarrows and Caroline, Leah & Maria spreading the stone in the garden.  They accomplished so much!  They actually completed the project & we were able to finish our work day at 4:15!  Everyone is sore & tired but feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Today our Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness & Goodness.  As we do each night during devotions we discuss where we saw the Fruit of the Spirit today.  We had many God moments today that were mentioned.  Some happened while we were painting the fence — many people walked by as we were out there. We were treated with kindness & with kind words by many that passed.  comments we also made about the kindness that Karen of Karazim has shown us each day!   And after we finished dinner & before devotions two of the Woodside families walked by where we were seated & thanked us for helping them out (saving them as one man said) and they told us that during their devotions each night they talk about where they saw Jesus during their day & tonight they said they saw Jesus in the Titusville group.  We thanked them for their encouraging words and thanked God for the God moments we have each and every day!

i have many pictures of the projects we have worked on.  I can’t wait to share them when we get home.

Tomorrow after breakfast we are going to Heavenly View Ministries to conduct a VBS — not sure what the plans are for the afternoon, but God does.

please pray that we are bold in our words & deeds tomorrow when we are leading VBS and continue to pray for safety on the work sites & travel mercies as we are transported on the island.

Day 3 – Peace & Patience

Today after breakfast we were scheduled to put the last bit of primer on the storage bin before we began putting on the final coat of brown and starting the scrapping of the front iron fence.  We got the ladders out, put the scaffolds together, and got all the scrapers out & began to work.  We were only working for a short time when it started to drizzle.  We had to stop the painting but were able to continue scrapping until the rain really came down.  We took cover under an overhang outside & waited out the rain.  On the island these little rain storms come on quickly & clear up just as quick.

We worked till lunch — we had finished scrapping half the fence & after lunch our friends from Woodside picked up scrapping the fence while we all worked on the storage bin.

today, Karazim took custody of a small, 20 passenger van that was donated from a group in the US & shipped to Grand Bahama.  This van replaces one that served many years & transported many missionary teams.  We were the first group to ride in this van so before we got in we all put our hands on the van & prayed over it.  Karen from Karazim & Dan from Woodside joined us in prayer.

tonight we had dinner & devotions in our back yard at the marina.  Prayer partners went off to pray and after prayer we gathered in the girls room & planned our VBS day.  We had a fun time planning & singing songs.

not sure what’s on the schedule for tomorrow but we’re sure it’s going to be awesome as its planned by God!

Day 2 – Joy

Today we went to St. Paul’s Methodist Church, which is across the street from the feeding center.  Worship was very much like how we worship at Titusville with one exception — worship began at 10 a.m and finished at around noon.  Our group and the group from Woodside were recognized during worship and Mike was called up to say a word from the Titusville group.  They also held a reception in our honor after worship.  We were warmly welcomed by all and during the passing of the peace were hugged more times than I can count and told how glad they were to have us worship with them.

after church we returned to our hotel to change into our work clothes and quickly return to the feeding center for lunch.  After lunch we began our first work assignment which was the painting of a metal, second story storage unit.  Everyone did a wonderful job even though there was plenty of opportunities to complain as we were working in the sun from around 1:30 to 5:00.  When we finished we brought our dinner back to the hotel, changed into our swim suits and went to the beach for dinner & devotions.

today the Fruit of the Spirit we were talking about was joy.  We talked about where we saw joy today and many in the group pointed to various times during this mornings worship.

today during worship there were several times references were made to scripture we are using for our devotions or themes we are using for the VBS we are holding on Wednesday. This is confirmation from God that we have heard what He was calling us to study & share on this trip.

We are all tired tonight and have an early day tomorrow.  Each day we are picked up at 8:15 to go to breakfast and begin our work day around 9:30.  

Tomorrow we are putting the second coat of paint on the storage bin and scrapping the pealing paint off the fence in the front of feeding center so the other team can paint it later this week.  We will be going to VBS on Wednesday and hopefully to one of the villages on Thursday.

Please continue to hold us up in prayer.  Your prayers are much appreciated.

The Word of The Lord is mightier than a hammer!

Day 1 and we gathered at Titusville Presbyterian at 6 a.m. to begin our week-long mission trip to Grand Bahama island.  We had collected about 200 pairs of flip flops that we planned to take with us to give to children and adults who go barefoot because they can not afford shoes.  This meant that we had an extra suitcase to take & an extra one to pay for. In an effort to save money, we moved some items from one bag that was going to be checked into another bag — items like lotions and sprays that could not be in carry on bag. That worked and we did not have to pay the additional fee for an extra bag.

we arrive at the airport, get our bags checked, get through security without problems — which is a feat in itself as we are traveling with 4 minors without their parents!  We put our bags on the belt and several of us make it through w/out a hitch.  Then I hear my name being called and I have to go back as one of the minors, the one who so graciously offered to carry on the bag they thought they were checking, had to have their bags checked.  Next thing I know, the TSA agent is pulling a hammer & paint scrapper from the bag.  We were so concerned about lotions & sprays we completely forgot about the tools.   Just at that moment a TSA agent said “what were you planning to do with the hammer.”  I explained that we are on a mission trip & we would use it on our job sites.  He said, “you’re on a mission trip, you don’t need a hammer, you have the Word!”  right after that encounter another TSA Agent comes up & asked the same question & gave us the same answer.  We took that as a message from God reinforcing that the hammer is a good tool but we have the Word of God and we are to share that.

At the airport we meet friends from Woodside Church who are on a family mission trip here on Grand Bahama island.  When we arrived in Freeport we saw more of our Woodside friends but this time they were leaving the island after their week-long trip.    We had lunch at the Feeding Center with the members of the family mission trip then went to our hotel, explored the area, checked into our rooms and had a few minutes to go to the beach before dinner.  We ate dinner and had our evening devotions on the beach.  each day this week we are looking at one of the Fruits of the Spirit.  Today was love.  each of us shared with the group where we saw love today.  We ended our evening devotions and were assigned prayer partners.  Each set of prayer partners shared their prayer requests and closed in prayer.  Prayer partners will be sharing thoughts and prayer requests and praying together throughout the week.

Tomorrow we are going to church then beginning our work week by painting & weeding & landscaping.

please keep us in prayer for travel mercies as we are transported to & from the work sites, for safety wherever we are and for the group to be filled with the Spirit and be bold in our words to share the Gospel wherever we are!