Today my heart is overflowing. It was our first morning waking up in the Bahamas and I was brought to tears by the majestic beauty of the wind and waves as I sat on the sea wall looking out at the sunset. God’s favor is nothing short of incredible. The past few weeks have been so emotional; filled with so many highs and lows. We stayed faithful and reminded ourselves that His promise is always. That obedience led to the reward of a quaint oceanfront cottage on the east side of the island. It’s been a safe haven for us; a place of solace and unification. How blessed we are to call this place “home” for the next 4 days.
We began our day worshipping along side our brothers and sisters at the Southland Church of God. The church is a lively Pentecostal congregation. The Word was powerfully given and the worship so incredibly spirit filled. If you’ve never lifted your hands to praise in a demonstrative way before, you would in this place. No doubt.
We attended 8am service and were welcomed in as family. Our group was warmly introduced to the congregation and Andrew was asked to provide a word of encouragement. Proud wife moment if I may say so. Short. Sweet. But so in love with Jesus. He represented our group so well and it is my honor to be his wife.
After service we were invited to breakfast in the church where we were treated with more food than we could imagine, all prepared with Bahamaian flair! So delicious. And so unexpected.
We then attended their “Sunday School” for adults that were recently saved. This was such a cool experience for us because we’d equate it to one of our own life group series back home in our own church. I was so humbled and in awe of our team during this time that boldly spoke the Truth and shared their belief with new Christians that were filled with questions. What a team! Thank you, Lord.
After this we attended the second service. We were introduced again to the congregation as a whole and then broke off into two smaller groups. Andrew stayed in the service with half the team and I took the other half with me to the children’s church. There, we ministered to the kids and they ministered to us! Their spiritual maturity and biblical knowledge was astonishing! We also played some fun games out on the basketball courts and made lots of new friends among the children. It really is a blessing to be a blessing.
Once service wrapped up we headed to the Children’s Emergency Hostel, a home housing existing and recently displaced youth from birth-fourteen. When we walked through the door immediately we were greeted by the hugs of the children. The opportunity to love on them was so pure and special. From playing basketball, to pushing them on the swings, to picking berries, each moment with them was incredible. And to be able to love on the staff worker and listen to her was so eyeopening. It’s a hard job. She was very exhausted and even a bit hardened by her experiences there. We pray this few hours was a welcomed respite for her soul.
Serving in an orphanage is difficult. It is. The perspective I have has grown immensely even from the few hours there. The older children crave adult interaction. I loved laughing with them and racing them around the yard. Others enjoyed shooting hoops with them and chatting with them as they bounced on the trampoline. The younger children don’t hug you and then move on in play. They clench to you. I carried small boy around on my hip for over an hour. Every time I tried to put him down to play he’d wrap his legs tighter around my body and hug my neck. His sweetness was so pure and it was clear that he, and the other children, could feel Jesus’ loving embrace through our teams words and actions.
When we arrived back at the cottage we took some down time to process and decompress. We read and journaled during this time. We even walk down to the beach and took a refreshing dip in the salty turquoise sea. A true blessing.
Our team prepared dinner, spent time in devotion, worshipped, and enjoyed fellowship together for the rest of the evening. When recapping our day, I loved hearing from the team all the ways in which the Lord was speaking to each of us. He is profoundly moving on this trip and growing our hearts a spiritual maturity.
Lord, thank you for this team. Thank you for picking each of them by hand to serve alongside us. Thank you for their childlike faith to put their complete trust in You alone. Thank you for their hearts of worship and service. Lord, thank you for bringing us to the Bahamas to do Your work. May we glorify you in all we do. May those we meet, encounter You through us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
*please note- photography was prohibited in the Children’s Emergency Hostel. The photos of children share above are from the church, taken with permission.