'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



work permit and "owey owey owey"

there are three islands just off the north tip of eleuthera:  harbour island, spanish wells and current island.  let's be stereotypical.  harbour is for the tourists and rich folk, spanish wells is where the white bahamians live and current is where 20 people settled and the future site of the zion children's home.  just about two weeks ago the methodist conference approved us to be the project leaders to build a children's home on current island.  two women from current have a vision from God that began about 2 years ago to build the home.  here we go!  it's an incredible blessing and plan to start on the cleared ground with the teams in march if all goes as planned.

i've been awake since 4:45 this morning because!!!  we went surfing at sunrise at surfers beach this morning!  the waves were monstrous..too much for surfing even.  besides not having surf boards, the waves were killer.  abe tried surfing and gave a quick surfing lesson and demo:

 lesson 1: "play the tide, don't let the tide play you" after trying to paddle out and getting tossed back on shore.
lesson 2: "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" after being owned by the waves
lesson 3: "if surfing doesn't work out, you get good exercise!"

then, abe, matt and i decided to get owned by the waves for the next 2 hours.  video is attached.  see, the sand just before the tide line has sinking sand (caedmon's call anyone?) that you'll be running running running and then drop down in knee-deep sand.  so my goal was just to make it to the water before getting knocked down like a bowling pin, the waves being the bowling ball that is.  if you need an image in your head, imagine me literally rolling like a rag doll in the waves being tossed on shore screaming like the 'grape lady': "owey owey owey!"  if you do not know this reference, search "grape lady" on youtube.  at one point i was washing off the sand from my bathing suit and looked up, saw literally a 10 foot + wave, turned around to accept my fate and was swept off my feet to be parallel with the water and crashing down.  it was hilarious.

my work permit was approved this week too!  good news!

we had our first community meal this past thursday.  my hope is that we will intentionally eat together with semi-guided conversation that invites those in the community into camp and know that it is a place of genuine hospitality.  i'm excited for this to become regular and the conversation that comes from us being together.  we have it in mind to be a potluck and open ended conversation starters for people in the community, and each other, to get to know each other.  dreams are dreams right now but i feel God is calling us to something more than a meal.  we'll see.

lenny kravitz lives here on the island and has a big recording studie.  last night we went to a local place where his bass player and band manager were playing with i'm pretty sure james taylor under the cover as a guy named maurice.  i'm on to his game..

there is a lot happening.  a lot of wonderfully blessed elements going on.  i'm learning a great deal about living, eating, working, worshipping, and playing with the same group of people..and all that that entails.  that's for another day because i'm still learning so much.

mother teresa quoted thomas a kempis in his writing, the imitation of Christ: "Love feels no burden, values no labours, would willingly do more than it can, complains not of impossibility because it conceives that it may and can do all things; when weary is not tired; when straightened is not constrained, when frightened is not disturbed; but like a lively flame and a torch all on fire, it mounts upwards and securely passes through all oppositions."



peter just got served!

last sunday was the cap of the mission train (choo choo!).  bill higgs is the president of the methodist conference and preached the sermon.  i am thankful for his words, and i love when God shows his humor in themes.  bill spoke about what God has been teaching me over the last year or so, and that is service.  one theme in the idea of service is that it is not about you and it's not about me, it's about being in rhythm with God.  simple.  right?  this theme has revealed itself to me in reading mother teresa, living in the bahamas, talking with friends and in going to the grocery store.  these places are just the venue from which God's love illuminates.  it does not matter what 'good' we do or where we are, it is allowing God to be through you, and this is service.  i read an article talking about the difference between fixing, helping and serving.  fixing implies what i want you to become or be (unfair).  helping is just a soothing coat for my conscience.  service, though.  service takes time, presence, understanding, prayer and love.  this should be our agenda.  not our fabricated ideals, but to truly submit to letting earth be as it is in Heaven and participate.

take this perspective and read everything that Christ said while on earth.  Christ is the gatekeeper through whom we are escorted into the Kingdom and united with the Father.  Praise the Lord for that sure promise.  as ministers and shepherds we escort our Church into the Kingdom that is already active in the places we call home.  when Jesus tried to prepare Peter for Jesus's coming death, resurrection and ascension, heartbroken Peter tried to 'help' or 'fix' the situation.  he said no Lord! it cannot be!  Jesus's strong response was 'get thee behind me satan!'  yikes.  satan??  my understanding of this exchange is couched in the difference between infatuation and love.  too often we as believers are infatuated with the romance of Jesus coming to die on a cross to save our sins.  yes.  this is Truth and is beautiful.  peter did not understand that to Love Christ means understanding that Christ was given as God's only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  this is Love.  he was infatuated with Jesus thus, making him selfish and unable to bear the idea of sacrifice and suffering, the very calling that Christ had.  his infatuation of Jesus blinded his love for Jesus. 

how hilarious is Jesus after He rose from the dead and talks with peter asking him, "peter, do you love me?" 3 times!  yes, Lord, you know that i love you!  3 times.  fragile peter's impatience is tangible in this picture.  here is Jesus's response to peter all three times:  feed my sheep.  service. shepherd those into the Kingdom.  peter just got served with Love.

check out the prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden before being arrested in john chapter 15 as it echos this Truth.  the unity of Jesus and the Father is possible for us as His creation through His death and resurrection, this being the point of the Cross.  Jesus's final words: "it is finished": we can do no more and no more needs to be done for us to be reconciled to the Father.  let's us praise Him as we join this love to God and to our neighbors alike.  service, feeding His sheep, is celebration of this Truth.

the beginning of john tells the story of two disciples following Jesus as He was walking.  the picture i have in my head as i read this story is them awkwardly following Him and Jesus turns around and says something to the effect of what do you want?  the disciples scramble, probably stutter, and say uh uh where are you staying tonight?  gracefully Jesus replies, "come and see."  the disciples simply wanted to be in His presence (see, it is a theme) and sit at His feet.  and this is what we are about here at methodist habitat. in the words of Jesus and mother teresa:: come and see.  we do hope that you come down to see this place and the people here and our larger prayer is that our eyes are continually opened and transformed to see and participate in the Kingdom.  let not our eyes be blinded with infatuation with the beauty of a place or the Love that is poured out in sacrifice, let us serve and here we will know and be peace and Love.

peace to you.

"Yesterday is gone. Tommorow has not yet come. We have only today. So let us begin."-mother teresa

we remembered remembered the 5th of november(ed?)

yesterday was guy fawkes day.  who knew that the bahamians celebrated this day in good fashion?  the tradition here is to make scarecrow looking creations, called guy fawkeses, that they burn on the night of nov. 5th.  they even have a song!  so the third annual guy fawkes party gained momentum this year.  it was fantastic.  the party included a bonfire, fireworks!, and the movie projected on a wall outside.  not many were able to come but the rain made an appearance..right when we got the fire lit, projector up via a laptop and our seats were taken for the show.  ah well, we went inside and our party did not include disappointment.  so!  always,
Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.  Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent to blow up the King and Parli'ment.  Three-score barrels of powder below to prove old England's overthrow; by God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*) with a dark lantern and burning match. Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. (Holla*) Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King! And what should we do with him? Burn him!

we got to be involved with the youth on wednesday.  a little bit of miscommunication on the church's schedule but i'm excited to get involved more regularly.  they are on a rotation to have nights devoted to nutrition, games, movies and a 'general' week as they call it.  my hope is for us to get some of the local youth involved when the mission teams come.  another american here has a Bible study for teenage girls every other tuesday and it'll be great to get involved with that too.


Mission Train

This week was the Methodist church's mission train, a week long mission revival.  We went three times.  Choo Choo!!  The 2009 Mission Train chugged through Eleuthera this past week.  It’s basically a revival at each of the 4 churches in central Eleuthera.  Overlapping on the weekend was our biannual Fly-In and Help Out event.  We had 20 volunteers come in, most of whom were pilots.  Thursday they arrived, Friday and half day Saturday they worked on Mrs. Bertha Petty and Charlie’s houses, tourists on Saturday afternoon and out on Sunday morning.  A whirlwind.  The Baron came down with the group!  I got to fly it on Friday as we went to Cat Island, about 30 min/50 nm away, then to Norman’s Cay (pronounced: key) where you can only get there by small airplane or boat and there are the world’s best conch fritters you’ll ever find, and finally back home to Governor’s Harbour.  Fun.  It’s a whole lot o’ airplane, but once I get a little booster seat and some practice via Steve, I will be ready.  Quick story on the Baron:  Dr. Quinn of Charleston heard about us, Bahamas Habitat, through AOPA magazine.  Called on Monday about two weeks ago asking if we would accept the airplane as a complete donation and by Friday the airplane was titled in our name: Incredible blessing and completely a work of God.  We are grateful and are right now deciding how to best be stewards of this gift and opportunity.

One of the pilots brought down some supplies for us.  Among the loot we were given pots and pans.  Reference the story about my burned rice and how hilarious the Filipinos thought it was and you’ll know how excited I was to get pots for personal use.

Internet is fickle with power surges on the island.  More to come soon.