'shine your eyes’ is a phrase that I picked up in liberia, west africa. it means to open your eyes and see the Truth. this is my hope for people everywhere, myself included, that we will continually be transformed to see and be the ideals God has set forth as the Kingdom. the book of isaiah says it this way:

'see, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. the mind of the rash will understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.’ isaiah 32:1-4

currently this is taking shape in my life working with bahamas habitat. we are working to provide aviation support to bahamas methodist habitat, a hurricane relief/sub-standard housing repair organization based in the bahamas. know that we would love for you to come spend some time with us as we take part in all the beautiful ways that God is loving His creation.

in the words of mother teresa, “pray for me that i not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.” and i pray that in all that you do, whether coming to the bahamas, serving in haiti or celebrating life in your part of the world that you will simply love and come and see all that God has for us. let this place be a place of celebration and conversation for us to greater understand life with one another.

‘and because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand. and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has in mind for us to be.’ –romans 5:2



why does everyone in the bahamas walk around in their boxers?

this week we're getting ready for this year's second fly-in.  about 20 people will be at camp, most of whom are pilots, and then it's their wives.  and....the baron will be here!! it'll be great.  we also have 2 pastors from knoxville (shout out to home!) here on an exploratory trip.  they're planning to bring 50 youth in the spring...incredible.

we've been without internet at camp since thursday with no sign of it coming back anytime soon.  i apologize if i haven't responded to an email/facebook message; im working on it!  the bible training center is letting me hang out and write today.  they're nice, and so is their facility.

recap of the weekend: it included birthday party, governor's harbour, hundreds of marching band kids and instruments, sailing club, the beast bus, church church church (with free cake!) and surfer's beach.  we decided to play this weekend in anticipation of a busy week this week and weekend with the fly-in.  more than playing, it was great to meet people in the community and take part in a normal day on eleuthera.

abe and kp's birthday was this weekend.  we had a cookout on friday night, chicken, steak for the birthday guys, veggies and carrot cake from billy who is a local.  billy has a catering business among other ones that feeds the groups who come to camp and has a cookout every friday and saturday in his front yard.  his lawn is decorated with picnic tables for his weekly tradition.  funny story:  i took billy some money for the cake when i went running on saturday.  he answered the door in his boxers.  this isn't the first time this has happened.  

brain is a local guy too in a sad situation.  he lives right across the street from billy but it looks like they live in two different worlds.  billy does well for himself and brain's house is doing well to keep the walls from caving in.  when i met him, my third day in town, he had been drunk for about 4 days probably.  i am excited to know brain better and understand his situation.  maybe, just maybe, we can work on his house too.

the second time i met brain was to give the cake order to billy.  brain made sure i took a tour of his house in hopes i would put a word in for us to help out.  during the tour i learned that brain had about 3 pairs of pants on and was trying on others while i was inside looking around the house.  don't worry, i know that the situation could be imagined in a wrong way pretty easily but it wasn't a bad situation.  when i came out of the house he was just standing there, in his boxers and a shirt.  no problem.

back to billy answering the door when i went to pay him.  he opens the door wearing a polo and....boxers.  we had about a 10 minute conversation about cops, america's most wanted and other tv shows of the like that are all apart of billy's saturday night routine to relax after having two days of cooking out.   i found out the answer to why everyone in the bahamas wears their boxers.  it's because mommas let their kids play in the front yard and make them take off their britches as a safety measure.  the mommas say that they won't leave the yard without their pants so they won't ever lose them.  i guess it carried on in men like brain and billy.

we spent sunday in governor's harbour, the hub of activity on the island.  every wednesday there is sailing lessons through the sailing club.  anyone ages 8+ can come to learn on a one-person sized sail boat.  on saturday, the advanced students race in the harbor.  it's really fun to watch the kids set up their boat and sail.  they take a lot of pride in it and you can see how much they love it.  because of how the logistics of camp vehicles worked out, the uricks (4) and i, totaling 5 people, had the beast as our transportation.  the beast is a green and yellow school bus with the words 'boy scouts' painted on the side.  talk about an entrance!  toot toot!  as we watched the sailing club in the bay, we saw hundreds of kids marching off the high speed taxi from nassau straight to the baseball field in the middle of the town.  there was a marching band competition!  so each band had their time to perform in the field.  that was fun...all the uniforms, instruments and routines.  it looked like a mixture of army ants and a scene from that teen movie 'bring it on'.  

sunday was spent mostly at church.  we had a hefty one this week and a good one.  you know those sundays when you feel like you taste Heaven in the singing and speaking?  this was one of those and i am thankful for it.  we sang a beautiful song and the pastor didn't feel right preaching without first getting everyone up and hugging each other.  it might've been so that we didn't fall asleep during his sermon but regardless, i loved taking about 5-10 minutes of the service to hug everyone.  the meet-and-greet here is a little different than the 360 degree pew rotation we do in the States.

the filipinos left on sunday to live at their worksite.  it was sad to see them go..we really bonded over them laughing at me burning rice and using a recipe to cook.  one of them said when he saw me reading a recipe, 'would you like me to show you how to cook??'

the afternoon was spent at surfer's beach which has a crazy path to get to the beach.  we barely made it out with the steepness of the road and rugged pavement.  we finally made it down and found crazy curling waves crashing on the shore.  i got to read a book by mother teresa explaining the foundations of missionaries of charity.  she was a beautiful lady of God.  the part that made me think the most was when she explained the vow of poverty that each missionary of charity took.  she explains that freedom and the opportunity to throw things away is what keeps us from poverty, but also that poverty is our freedom.  i think i understand both of these ideas separately but not quite together yet.  quoting the book, "nowadays people want to be poor and live with the poor, but they want to be free to dispose of things as they wish.  to have this freedom is to be rich.  they want both and they cannot have both.  this is another kind of contradiction.  our poverty is our freedom.  this is our poverty-the giving up of our freedom to dispose of things, to choose, to possess.  the moment i use and dispose of things as mine, that moment I cease to be poor."  she explains that having an 'out' in the back of your mind as an option is an obstacle to truly being with the poor.  i.e. if it doesn't work out here in the bahamas, i have a wonderful family and friends to go home to and even opportunities for employment and a good, solid life.  in order to truly be with the poor, we must count this 'out' out.  be fully present as those who are poor are present.

question:  a window a/c unit was installed in my room when i got here.  i haven't oriented the extension cord to connect to electricity (a luxury here) yet and honestly haven't been too hot yet; the temperature on my alarm clock hasn't left the low 80's since i've been here.  regardless, i have the freedom to 'throw it away' or go without it as most do here on the island, but as i do that, that's the 'moment i cease to be poor.'  do i get rid of the a/c unit?

i think richard foster and mother teresa would say yes for the sake of simplicity and since i'm not disposing of it, just moving it somewhere else, to get rid of it, i don't need it.  the church here is on a $20,000 campaign for a/c in the church.  o.j. is a little boy who's mom is marrying kp in december.  he fell asleep on my lap on sunday and woke up sweating so much.

it's tuesday, two days before the fly-in and delivery of the airplane.  i wonder, based on faith in Christ who became poor for our sake to be reconciled with the Father, about what to do with challenges like no internet and how to graciously accept and use an airplane in the heart of service on behalf of and with the poor.  i pray that we may all choose to be meek and poor in spirit, for there we will have eyes to see and understand the Kingdom.



Spearfishing, Airplanes and Rainbows


everyday brings something new.  the new bit on sunday was spear fishing!!  manex works here at camp too and showed us how it's done.  right when you look into the water you immediately see hundreds, maybe thousands, of fish.  at some points you couldn't even see the bottom of the water even though the water is perfectly clear and about 8' deep because of the density of fish.  i heard there is a bottomless pit of water here on the island too.  no one has ever seen the bottom.  crazy.  anyway, the spears where essentially 1/4" rods with a sling shot attached to the end.  i tried shooting a lobster but missed...practice practice practice.  manex got two lobster.  we all had them for dinner and it was really good.

big news:: we have an airplane!!!  a for sure, no turning back kind of deal!  a pediatrician heard about this ministry and decided to donate his beech baron b55 straight-up, great condition signed, sealed delivered.  In non-pilot words, this is a 6 seater twin engine airplane with a lot of muscle, perfect for our needs to carry heavy cargo and travel to-and-from the states (over water, really).  the plane will be here halloween weekend ready to fly.  if you're wondering, we scrapped the deal on the 44 year old plane that was still needing repair and money and sticking with the bird in the hand (the pun may or may not be intended).  this is great!!!  and then...another guy called asking if we would submit a proposal for a donation of a glastar kit plane.  this would be great for our short haul trips and save a lot of money that the baron would require for short, light trips.  God is good always, and this time decided to throw an airplane in for good measure...and we are thankful.

one of my favorite bits that I've gotten to experience down here so far is...get ready...it's the big word:  community.  yes.  preparing myself to come down, loneliness was not far from my mind when imagining life here in the bahamas being far away from family, friends and what i know.  i am thankful for an already strong community among the staff and those from this area.  we cook together, ride around town together, work together and already take care of each other.  also, i love how the conversation shifts when talking to people around town when they realize we're here for awhile.  it goes something like this:  someone will say, 'this is cameron' they'll be cordial and nice and then whoever introduced me follows it up saying, 'she's going to be sticking around for about a year so you'll see her around quite a bit!'  and goodness, the conversation then switches to, 'oh! hello!  my name's so and so!' i really think there's a whole theology on presence and it's role in wholesome community and relationship.  without commitment and learning each other by just running in the same area of the world, we miss so much of the goodness we can learn from one another.  i am thankful to see the effects of presence and look forward to how being aware of its role in relationship will lead to some pretty incredible moments.  an african proverb goes like this, 'if you want to go fast, go alone.  if you want to go far, go with someone.'

The community here is very open and it's really warm.  Last night I went for a run around town.  i passed a house with kids in the front yard.  we greeted each other and they ran to give hugs and simply say hello.  this happens all the time.  many people are out from inside the house and i've loved seeing already how this fact changes the familiarity and relationships around town.  presence.

next week i plan to start reading with the kids at the school down the road.  im thinking about reading the hobbit to them.  i'm looking for ideas for other books to bring down when i'm back in the states for thanksgiving.  ideas??

sprinkles of rain came enough tonight for one full rainbow stretching over camp and half of a second just above the full one.  it was beautiful.  i'll try to upload pictures soon.  one of the girls here at camp, emma (7), said, 'it looks like the ark!'  i agreed.

last story for now...ledonna cooked lasagna rolls tonight, they are about what you'd imagine them to be.  pouring the noodles in the water to boil, not only did the noodles come out but so did a good number of weevel/maggot/nasty bugs!  sick!  we decided that boiling water does wonders, at least we hoped, and pressed on after picking out all the bugs.  keeping with a theme we have here, 'it is what it is.'

good things and we are thankful.

peace to you.


the bahamas welcomed my new life here pretty well.  the journey down was a good kind of eventful.  i fell asleep at push back from knoxville-charlotte and woke up at touchdown, from charlotte to ft. lauderdale i sat next to sunnie, a young pakistanie toronto cop.  he told me he was on his way to ft. lauderdale for a vacation, a vacation that he decided on no more than 24 hrs before this conversation.  he told me a story of the most traumatic day as a cop.  short version: day 2 on the job he and his mentor responded to a car crash.  they showed up and saw three men ejected from the car and smashed like a pancake, like how a wrecker does a car (he went on with lots more description).  then, he told me the traumatic part: the back seat passenger was ejected, but his foot got caught by the seat belt and...then there were two from the back seat.  sick.  then he told me about the remains, specifically the eyeballs that he kept trying to imitate.  imagine sunni bugging his eyes out and his tongue out the side of his mouth.  i tried to not laugh but...  as we landed in ft. lauderdale, i saw in sunnie's still bugged out eyes that he was regretting his impulse decision for a vacation spot when he 'whispered' to me, "cameron, i heard that ft. lauderdale is full of old people.  is this true?!?!"  i smiled and suggested he rent a car to miami if he was wanting something besides sitting on the beach.  just for your information since i had to find this out the hard way, us air only does plane-side carry on service for first class passengers.  if you find this out the hard way, you will have to claim your bag, switch terminals via the rental car shuttle, go back through security, get to your gate all in an hour.  just fyi.  as i told the flight attendant, that information would've been super helpful to have known before i stranded my bag plane-side.  (holls and j: i think moe's knows us air's style)

my flight got in about 30 min early and i was picked up by ladonna.  there is a family of four here and she is the mom, but..in her early 30s.  the family is great.  we share the cottage together.  i have plenty of space.  imagine a dorm room and and that's about what i live in.  the bathroom is there too, equipped with a toilet, sink, shower and a wrench.  a wrench?  yes, that is because we haven't put the knobs on the shower yet.

when i got here there were two small teams here already.  we spent the evening at the church down the road for dinner and music.  a lady with 9 children and 42 grandchildren came and played guitar.  we were curious how it would turn out but she was great..played the guitar like a slide guitar and wailed.  bahamian church music is going to be a challenge to describe because it is like no other.  joyful is how i'll describe it and really spontaneous.  they had methodist hymnal drills to pass time, that was funny.  similar to sword drills if you did those in sunday school, but with the hymnal.  they knew them too!  walking back to camp we saw a silhouette of a wild hog hanging around a few dogs.  we also saw one of eleuthera's treasures:  stars bunched into every square inch of the sky.  it's beautiful.

let's talk about palm trees.  they're everywhere of course.  but there is one that stands taller than the rest.  it's a cell phone tower.  last night we were driving back from our really long day around the island and saw a glow on the horizon.  kp told us that the glow was nassau, it's 60 miles away.  kp is a local bahamian and the construction guy.  he loves the 'charlie' youtube clip.  a big guy in his 40s, about 6'4" and quotes the clip all the time.  in his suedo-british/bahamian accent he says, "charlie, that really hurt.  charlie..."

today i feel like i can officially get started and settled.  the bigger of the two teams just left and today will be spent working through a to-do list of cleaning and organizing.  hopefully a trip to the grocery store is in there too.  i am excited to dig in and all has been good so far.

love you all. thanks for the emails and facebook messages.  peace.

oh, and how could i forget the 30-40 philippineo men. staying here at camp?  that's right, and they'll be here for awhile.  i'm glad they're here.  this group works here on the island on a 5 yr contract.  i'm not sure how good of a situation they're in but i'm glad they are living here.

tonight:  island cookout on the dock