We traveled to BWI airport this morning with 19 members from our church. We flew to Nassau in the Bahamas, then we took a small puddle jumper airplane to the island of the Eleuthera. Once we got there we rode a school bus to Bahamas Methodist Habitat. We are staying in what is similar to dorm rooms. We had a great dinner of barbecue chicken and pineapple upside down cake. Afterward, we all pitched in with the chores. Then we had devotions. Then we took a dip in the Caribbean Sea. We will be up by 6 AMtomorrow for half of us to work construction and the other half to put on a Bible school program for the local kids. Thanks for all the prayers!
June 19, 2017 – day two
Today we woke up to a hearty breakfast of pancakes and bacon and then did our chores. We were then divided into different construction groups and a Bible school group. Those of us working construction did painting, concrete, and electric work. Bible school consisted of almost 30 local children who learned about the parable of the lost coin and did crafts games and snacks. After our workday was over we all got to enjoy some beach time. The white sandy beaches with turquoise water were absolutely breathtaking. At Navy Beach we had the pleasure of swimming with dolphins. This evening we had a delicious spaghetti meal for dinner. Afterwards we had devotions and all members of our crew described their highs and lows of the day. The general consensus was we barely had any lows because we all had such rewarding and fulfilling days.
June 20, 2017 day three of mission trip
This morning we had a breakfast of eggs, sausage, cheese biscuits, and fresh watermelon. We found out at breakfast that four crew members (one person from ours and three people from the other team) were sick with a stomach virus. We then split up into crews for Bible school, concrete, and painting. The Bible school group got to visit a few places in town and see the local library and also visit a few local markets and see how pricey the items were. Our work crews were very productive and had breaks for Popsicles and Gatorade. Quite a few of us got sunburnt today 🙁 We went to a different beach today that was exactly what you would imagine a Caribbean beach to be like. The beach had beautiful clear water, and was very calm. We found many sand dollars and starfish. When we got back to camp for the day we found out the sickness was progressing and many additional members from the other church had come down with the stomach bug. We had a delicious dinner of pork chops, Bahamian macaroni and cheese (spices), and vegetables this evening. After dinner we walked about 10 minutes down the road to a local church. It is always fun walking places around here. As everyone is so friendly that honk at you just to say hi. You have to respond so as not to be thought of as rude. We were treated to some very lovely praise music at the church which we all enjoyed. There was a young man approximately 10 years old who was phenomenal on the drums. We all enjoyed it very much! Afterwards we had a Bible study about forgiveness. We learned that God wants us to forgive others and to turn the other cheek. This evening we went up to the patio roof top and took in the beauty of the stars while enjoying sharing stories with one another.
June 21, 2017 – Mission Trip Day Four
Today we woke up to a wonderful breakfast of French toast, bacon, and honey dew. Everyone loved it! We have a couple of our crewmembers not feeling 100% but generally it seems like both churches have less illness today than yesterday. We had two work crews doing concrete and one work crew painting. All three crews were very productive and got a lot of work accomplished today. Vacation Bible school crew had one of their more challenging days today. There were many pre-teens in today’s group and the lessons we had prepared were more geared to younger children. After work and bible school was complete today we all went to the beach together. We must have found at least 20 live sand dollars, it was amazing! We had a delicious dinner as usual, did our chores, and then took a walk into town. We stopped at a little market and got ice cream, picked up some snacks and sodas at the local grocery store, and watched fishermen fish with no pole on the dock. We all thoroughly enjoy our evening devotion time when we also share our highs and lows. It seems the general consensus is we are all learning a lot from the local Bahamian tradesmen. We are all very thankful and blessed to be here. And enjoying every minute of it!
June 22, 2017 – Day Five Mission Trip
Today was our last work day. All of the work crews finished their respective projects and the Bible school crew finished up their second phase of VBS. Everyone very much enjoyed their week of service projects and making new friends with the locals. We are sad to be finishing up and leaving soon. After work today we visited the beach Co Co de Mama for the second time. The water was crystal clear, shallow, and there weren’t any waves. It was perfect for exploring and we found many starfish. This evening after dinner we had Culture Night. This was by far the evening highlight of our week. We enjoying hearing our sister church sing ad well as some local young ladies. Wade, the construction leader made us conch salad and everyone had a taste. He put on a great show chopping the fruit and veggies super fast. There was a lady Sheila who was here braiding all the girls’ hair for several hours. Tomorrow is our excursion day which we are all looking forward to!
June 23, 2017 – Day Six Mission Trip
Today was our “free” day, our excursion day as they call it here at BMH. We chose to go to the North end of Eleuthera and cross over the “Glass Window”. This is about a 30 ft wide bridge where you have the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It was an awesome sight! Then we went to a couple sightseeing places. The first stop was Blue Hole which was a very deep cavernous hole that was a deep, dark blue. Then we went to Preachers Cave which was where settlers first came ashore. Our best part of the day was traveling around the island, Spanish Wells. We got there by Ferry Boat and we spent the day exploring in golf carts. It was loads of fun! Tomorrow we leave BMH around 11am and return to BWI around 7pm. We sure are going to miss it here. It feels bittersweet….just like leaving summer camp.