Nassau, Bahamas, 2017
Yes, it is true, we are following the Lord's leading to Nassau. The Bahamas, you say, "tough mission", you say! Suffering for Jesus? There is suffering when seperated from your family and those you love. As shared by a fellow missionary "We will be living in a poverty stricken country away from the "brochure" Bahamas, where the cost of food is double the US cost. We have already experienced being approached often by beggars and traveling in areas where it is unsafe". Visitors buy in to the tourist industry marketing that "Its better in the Bahamas". But, not for the Bahamian people! Bob and I will be working in the areas that the tourist industry is trying to hide from those visiting Nassau. We are looking forward to how God will stretch us in the coming months and years. "A God who loves us, who is with us and who is continuing to bless us. We are His and He is ours!"
As you probably know, Bob has been working as a youth pastor in Camden, NY for the last 14 years and I have been working as an RN in various positions, the most recent with Jefferson-Lewis BOCES in Watertown, NY, as their Health Occupations Coordinator. Both of us have been very fulfilled in the places that God has us.
Throughout the time that Bob has been ministering to at- risk youth in Camden, his passion for Christ and his giftings of evangelism and teaching & preaching have allowed him to continue God's calling to show love to youth and their families. It is with the same passion that he is continuing to follow the call to serve the people of the Bahamas!
Our son, Jesse, is currently living in the Syracuse area working in an Assisted Living Facility for Dementia and Alzheimers residents. Kelsey is at Emory University getting her Masters in Midwifery and Taylor is finishing her final year at Liberty University, where she is studying Athletic Training. Both Kelsey & Taylor are planning to follow their hearts to serve in a missional capacity wherever God leads them. God continues to shower His blessings on us with each day that passes.
Over the last 4 years, we have been leading short-term missions teams to Nassau for a soccer camp during the week following Easter. This past April, there were 6 on our team and with the help of a local CYN Missionary, we were able to manage 100+ kids. Each day consisted of soccer, a devotional time and of course, lunch. We even finished the week with a picnic and swim at a local beach. These camps have caused our hearts to connect with the Bahamian youth and nationals that we have met.
Why the Bahamas?
Here is a list of things you probably don't know about the Bahamas:
- 31% of the population is under the age of 15 (with only 4% over the age of 65
- within the Bahamas, there is an estimated 40,000 undocumented immigrants, mostly Haitian, living on the margins of soceity
- The Bahamas has one of the highest rates of violent crime and murder per capita in the region
- 92% of Bahamians consider themselves Christian, but within Bahamian culture
religion is generally seen as little more than a system of good works or a
means to obtain outward prosperity, with little emphasis on saving work of Jesus Christ and the genuine pursuit of Christlikeness
- with the closest Bahamian island only 45 miles from the coast of Florida,
the Bahamas is a gateway for drugs, weapons, and human trafficking bound for
the United States