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Bahamas Mission Trip

Preparing VBS for Yellow Elder Gardens

Posted by Kristin Guzak on

After our first real day of the mission trip – a day with the kids of Yellow Elder – I thought I would try to capture a few of my thoughts to share with the rest of the mission team back at home at C3.

We arrived Nassau on schedule early Saturday afternoon.  The flight was smooth and uneventful (the kind you like!).  The Russells (along with Kristin who came early to help with the first week of the VBS program) were waiting for us as we cleared through a looooong line of people at immigration/passport control.  Before long we had our bags loaded and started our ride across Nassau to the Russell’s home.  Nassau is an interesting place. 

Nassau is a place of contrasts.  On the one hand, you see these beautiful and most imposing resort hotels along the beach.  On the other, you see the very plain small businesses and the relatively narrow streets (and people driving on the left side of the road!) that are, mostly, poorly maintained and crowded.  There are no real highways here – just streets that wind through the city and the many roundabouts that all seem to be going the wrong way.  Unlike in the UK, the cars here are mixed with some having the driving position on the right side (which fits with driving on the left side) and others having the driving position on the left as in the US.  Our rented vans are from the US, so the driving position seems “wrong” for driving on the “other side” of the road here in Nassau!  The Florida team arrived later in the afternoon, so we were all together for our first dinner together at the Russell’s home Saturday evening.  After dinner we had our first team meeting together to begin talking through some of the specifics for our week together with the Russells. 

Our teams have “gelled” together wonderfully!  Altogether we have one team of 19 persons dedicated to serving the Lord together.  Sunday morning we were able to worship with Covenant Life Presbyterian Church (CLPC) here in Nassau.  We had a wonderful time of worship together, followed by lunch at the church.  It was a great time of fellowship and getting to know many of the members of CLPC.

Sunday afternoon and evening were filled with more team meetings and preparation for Monday morning with the VBS kids.  However, we did take a little time out for a drive to “Jaws Bay” (where the movies Jaws I and II were filmed) and then to a local roadside café for Bahamian Conch salad and Conch fitters.  Everyone loved getting to experience some truly representative Bahamian food.  This food is GREAT!

After a great pancake breakfast prepared by the Monday AM breakfast crew we loaded up and headed over to CW Sawyer elementary school.  We had 47 eager and anxious 1st through 6th graders in the program for this, our first day but actually the beginning of the second week of VBS for the kids.  Our VBS program is titled and themed, “The Great Race.”  In addition to the VBS program we included programs of reading, writing, chess and recorder.  We want to provide a program that is fun, provides inspiration and hope for the kids, and, most importantly, clearly conveys the gospel of Jesus.  At the end of the day (1PM) we were all pooped but the children all seemed to have had a great time.  Tomorrow we begin day 2 of their second week.

On our way to the school we drive through the community of Yellow Elder, where these kids all live.  This community is obviously very poor and economically depressed.  The people, on the other hand, show a lot of personal pride.  The kids coming to VBS are dressed in some of their best clothes.  Most of them (or their parents) realize that the VBS program is something special – not just something being put on by the government or the school.  I pray that some of them will be impacted by the gospel we share and will come to know Christ – either this week or later - as the Holy Spirit impacts them and changes their hearts to faith!  May we be faithful stewards this week to share the gospel and show them all the love of Christ.

Prayer Points
  • That the older kids would find substance in what we are teaching them. Let them to soften their hearts and that the Holy Spirit would reveal to them the weight of faith.
  • Rest for the team. This will be an exhausting week. Allow the Lord to give us strength to get through the week as well as peaceful times of rest
  • The new kids coming, that the Lord would soften their hearts, and for the kids returning, that He would continue to work in their hearts
  • Patience in the leaders. These kids WILL test their patience. Ask the Lord to grant us patience when disciplining the kids, patience when working with them, and patience when loving them
  • To God be the glory. Let in everything that we do, we remember the purpose of this is the gospel. Allow us to return to that at every moment of the day.