One day during
our opening Praise & Worship session I
noticed a young boy holding his head and
crying. When I asked
what was wrong, he said he had a headache.
I offered him some Gatorade, because it
often helps headaches when people have
been playing and sweating a lot. While he
was drinking it, I asked him if he had
eaten breakfast. He hadn't. It turns out
that he had not eaten since we gave him
lunch the day before. Very sad. Apparently
that is typical for many of these kids.
During lunch, he was sleeping on the
chairs in the ministry center, so we let
him sleep and fed him lunch later when he
When people are hungry, it is hard for
them to focus. No wonder Jesus fed
thousands. Many of these children can't
stay focused, and they break into a fight
easily. They are fighting to stay alive.
Not all of them are like that, but it is
tough for some of them. They may have only one parent, and that parent is
out working, earning very little because
they are not legal in the country. The
only supervision the kids have during the
day is from siblings. Some as young as 10
years have jobs to help support the
The day after we
arrived in Bahamas I was sitting in church
and I thought I recognized a young boy
across the isle from me. He turned
and gave me a big smile and I realized who
he was. It was Chadlin who I'd given
the gatorade to the year before.
He's the one on
the left with the big smile. The
following week I asked him if I could come
to the Haitian village where he
lived. He was so happy that I had asked
and even though there was a big group of
us walking, he stayed beside me all the
way there and back. He was so happy
to have someone show him some attention.
baptized this year!
I LIKED MOST.....
think what I liked most about the mission
trip was that many times I was pushed out
of my comfort zone and had to do things
that I wouldn't normally enjoy or be
comfortable doing. This brought me closer
to God because I had to rely on Him to
give me the courage /strength to do those
(Summer 2009, 2010 &
in the picture above left (2009),
standing on two chairs demonstrating
how we need to make a choice between
the "Jesus" way or the "Me"
way. As the "Me" chair is
being pulled further away from
"Jesus" she is forced to make a
choice. Should she put both feet on
the steady "Jesus" chair or on the
unpredictable "Me" chair? She
is asking the children what she
the things I will never forget about the
Bahamas is bonding with my Haitian girls.
When I first met them they were all so
quiet as if they were observing me
wondering to themselves, "Who is this
little Asian girl?" Then as the week went
on they started opening up to me. There
was one particular girl named Djuline who
was 15 years old who could barely speak
any English. During lunch time we would
all sit together and she would teach me
Haitian Creole. She enjoyed doing it so
much that she would teach me at lightning
speed so that I couldn't keep up.
the hardships these children have to face
everyday was so heartbreaking. But when I
got to hear them laugh and see them smile
it gave me hope that Jesus is a good and
loving God that he is taking care of them
even when the world seems like its
crashing down all around them. The last
day of the V.B.S. was so difficult for me
because as Djuline was leaving to say good
bye to me she was crying and saying to me,
"Mm re mo." Which means, "I love you."
Being in the Bahamas was definitely no
vacation but it was an experience I would
never want to trade for anything else.
Carmel (Summer 2009 missionary)
I had the privilege of working
with the 4-5 year old Bahamian and Haitian
children. This was an honor as well as a
challenge. After adjusting to the first
couple of days and knowing what to expect,
it got a lot easier. I woke up every
morning mentally prepared for the massive
amount of energy I knew would hit me for
the hours to come.
responded extremely well to physical touch
and attention. To get down at their level
and physically direct them to different
activities was both what they wanted and
what worked. I spent most of the time
having children piled on top of my lap, in
my arms being carried, or on my back. It
was tiring and not always completely
necessary, but I wanted to truly connect
By the middle of the week I had
made bonds with several of the most unruly
children and they loved sitting with me
and on me. At one point I had three of
them on my lap at once and tears came to
my eyes as I thought about Jesus and the
little children coming to him. It taught
me how to show Jesus
not just speak about Jesus. With an age
group that didn't always know how to
communicate, or that simply chose not to,
this was a very important lesson to learn.
The children were all over the place.
I learned how to keep going on
pure love. It was wonderful and I miss
their shining faces.
- Alisha (Summer 2009 missionary)
BAHAMIAN & HAITIAN FRIENDS
These are some of the Bahamian
and Haitian staff that we worked with in
2009 (The Naval family of 5 flew in
from Haiti to help with the V.B.S.)
On the last day we told them we had a
special gift for them and had them pose
for this picture. Meanwhile we secretly
brought two big tubs of water balloons up
a very sincere speech about how much we
enjoyed working with them and getting to
know them. Then they were each presented
with a paper bag and told not to open it
Amelio just had to look!
Upon finding water balloons in
his bag he knew just what to do!
Here we are together after the
water balloon fight. (2009) Now we are
Face Book friends and are looking forward
to seeing each other again next year!
UPDATE 2010: The
staff made a surprise attack on us with
water balloons this year. It seems a
tradition has been started.
balloons fights have become a tradition!
YOU DO THIS AGAIN?
Yes. I will be a missionary
everywhere I go; and if God opens the door
for me to go back to the Bahamas again,
then I’m there! It will be great to see
the same people again, seeing what God has
done in their lives and building on the
foundation we have already made with the
church in the Bahamas.
I highly encourage you (the reader, yes
you! ) to come as well.
- Deanna (Summer 2009 & 2010
Yesterday was the first difficult
day I have had during the VBS. There was a
young man who I was just so frustrated
with because he was just acting up all
day. It caught me a bit off guard since
the day before he was one of the most well
behaved of all the kids. I talked to Mrs.
Curling about it in the evening and she
said if there is anyone she doesn’t want
to kick out of the camp it’s him, and she
wanted him in my group. Then she began to
tell me how hard this young mans life is
and just how poor his family is. She also
told me that she knows he never hears
positive words from anyone. Everyone is
always telling him that he is worthless
and good for nothing. So today I prayed
that God would give me patience and
compassion for this little guy. And I did
have a few moments that I could tell him
he was doing a good job at playing
volleyball and I tried to find the good
things I could tell him all day. And there
was such a difference in his attitude and
everything. I am really learning that when
we come into another culture we cannot
expect all things to just go smoothly. We
have to be willing to deal with some of
the mess that the sin of this world causes
and have compassion on people even if they
don’t treat us with very much respect at
first. Like this young man who just wants
to hear so badly that he is a good boy and
that he is wanted and valuable. I don’t
think I came here to teach these boys how
to know Jesus as much as I think God
brought me out here to learn how to love
- Larry (Summer 2009 & 2010