Wednesday, 19 December 2012

life with Kingdom Life

Seems like birthday parties kind of mark out the year for us.  It was a birthday party early in July where we got together with several of the ladies and children from Kingdom Life.  And again, this past Sunday, we celebrated another birthday among the children of our church.  Andre was turning 5.  and there must have been at least 20 children and their corresponding parents all under one roof to eat, fellowship and sing a Bahamian-style Happy Birthday to this little guy.  On the menu was chicken curry (A Bahamian staple), conch fritters, steam conch, steam fish, rice, coleslaw, corn, and or course, cake and ice cream.  We provided drinks.  (I try not to take it personally that they don't ask me to bring an entree!)  I really wish I could have recorded the Bahamian style Happy Birthday...just picture EVERYONE...adults and children, drumming on the table, and in a syncopated rhythm singing "Happy Birthday (Da da Da) to you (Da da Da) Happy Birthday (Da da Da) to you, ...."  I think you get the jist of it.  So cool.  Way cooler than the American style!!


Kara and Katie


Andre the birthday boy


some of the crew...
Ve'ondre, Keaton, Darnell

Doni and Ve' ondre


Kendall and the litte chicks she mothers...Darnell and Aniah
Here are some pictures to document the event.  Sorry they aren't clearer.  I was using Kendall's camera, and I think she had it on a setting that didn't fit the indoors.  Enjoy.

Friday, 14 December 2012

all is well...even when it isn't

In the Bahamas, it is very common to be asked, "All is well?"  And then you can nod and affirm, "All is well."  I love this.  It asks so much more than the usual, "How are you?" which people often quickly rush through with a "Fine, thanks...and you?" 

All is well with us.  Even though outwardly there is news we are not rejoicing over...  Keith's mom is being sent home from the hospital, possibly today, but not because she is all better.   Her leaking gallbladder issues are not going to be fixed by man's abilities.  Perhaps God will miraculously intervene and heal.  A nurse will be at the house on a daily basis to care for mom.  Chemo has ceased due to the gallbladder issues.  And her inner state?  All is well.  She knows the Savior.  She's walked with him all her life.

Last night at choir practice we rehearsed with gusto.  This little choir of 18 or so, singing to their fullest ability, was singing the praises of God as we reflect on Christ's nativity.  One of the songs we're singing is a modern, somewhat somber version of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  I've only ever heard this song done the old way, Bing Crosby style.  But read the words and see their beauty:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth good will to men."

Chorus:
But the bells are ringing, Peace on Earth
Like a choir they're singing, "Peace on Earth"
Does anybody hear them? "Peace on Earth...
Goodwill to men."

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!...
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on Earth, good will to men."

Then ringing, singing on its way
The night revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men."    poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In our presentation, this song will be packed in between a dramatic monologue of a modern-day believer questioning the world he sees around him.  This song is a bit veiled in it's gospel proclamation, but the truth is there in the next to last stanza.  "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men."  This is a summation of redemption's plan.  We find these words echoing the angels announcement to the shepherds in the field, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased."  Luke 2:14

Peace on earth, among those with whom God is pleased.  And with whom is He pleased?  All those who take refuge under the cross of His Son, Jesus.  All those who believe that salvation is found in Him alone.  It is with them that there is peace, with whom "All is Well." 

Friday, 7 December 2012

some improvement and...perspective

Now it's Friday and we have heard there is a measure of improvement with Mom B.  On Wednesday afternoon the doctors were able to put in a better drain.  This seemed to help with some of the pain Mom has been going through.  This is only a temporary fix, but at least it's an improvement.    We thank God for it.  And we thank you for praying!  We know we have felt buoyed up the last few days, and we trust our Florida family has as well. 

Perhaps one of the best lessons we have learned in our 6 months here has been the impact of the prayers of the saints.  Many times, amidst a problem, "road block" or other form of discouragement, we will suddenly feel a shift in our hearts...a measure of faith gets added to our overall perspective, and we are able to move forward as we look to Christ.  This makes all the difference!  Thank you.

As we look forward to this Christmas season, we realize we will be missing family and friends, the Crossway Christmas Eve Service, and the cold temperatures and snow that help to signal the onset of the holiday season.  We spent last Christmas in Orlando with Keith's family, which helped to prepapre us for a "tropical" Christmas.  Looking back, we are glad we did that for several reasons!!
But as we continually remind the girls, Christmas is not about the "feeling" we get by seeing the snow or spending time with close friends and family.  It is about our Savior, who is ever near us.  He more than anyone, knows what it is like to leave his home, enter into another "world" and live apart from all He had known in heaven.  It is because He left his heavenly home and entered our world that we can now go to another land and tell His story.  He is our example.  And whatever we left behind is not even a drop in the bucket compared to what He left. 

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown
When thou camest to earth for me
But in Bethlehem's town there was found no room
For thy holy nativity

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for thee.

Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang
Proclaiming thy royal degree
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth
And in great humility

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee

Thou camest O Lord, with the Living Word
That should set thy people free
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn
They bore Thee to Calvary

O come to my heart Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heav'ns shall ring and her choirs sing
At thy coming to victory
Let Thy voice call me home, saying "Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee."

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus
When thou comest and callest for me."
                                                                              Thou didst leave thy throne by Emily E.S. Elliot

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

update on Mom B.

Yesterday Mom B. was scheduled to have attempt #2 at inserting a much needed stent in her gall bladder connector tube (I really need the term for that!).  But it couldn't happen, again.  And this morning, Keith has already been on the phone with his mom finding out that they also cannot put in a second drain, which was at least a temporary fix.  A "No" on all sides?  And what is this lady's attitude in the midst of all the "not possibles?"  She is at peace, greeting people warmly on the phone and speaking of how she must just take one day at a time, one hour at a time.  This is all of grace.  When she, Dad B., and our nephew Jesse visited here in July, we were amazed at her energy and resolve to make that trip happen, no matter what.  She wanted to make sure she made it to Nassau before any resurgence of the cancer came.  God was giving her that desire.  As the old saying goes, "Mama knows."  And what else does "mama know?"  She knows her Savior will be with her every step of this journey, and has been there for the 74 years of her life.  She knows life is precious and short.  She knows that family is priceless.  She knows that keeping a good attitude in the midst of trials is crucial.  She knows that there is a purpose in our suffering, even though we can't see it clearly.  She knows God is sovereign.

And with that, I'll close for now.  Please continue to pray for Jackie, Paul, and all of the Buntings.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

a time for prayer

Hello friends.  This post is made with heavy hearts.  We've been watching and waiting the last few weeks as both sets of our parents have gone through some alarming heath trials.  Kristin's dad is now doing well after being taken by ambulance to the hospital and having his gall bladder removed.  The scare at first was that it might be his heart.  We are thanking God for sparing him any more trauma in that area. 

But the much heavier concern right now is for Keith's mom, Jackie.  Please pray for her today if you are reading this.  After many, many issues with HER gall bladder over the last 18 months or so (which they've been unable to remove due to it's extremely inflamed and unhealthy state), she underwent surgery yesterday to have a stent put into one of the connecting tubes from gall bladder to ....?  that was leaking toxins into her body.  But when the surgeon went in, he found a tumor and could not put the stent in.  Today they will try again to insert the much-needed stent.  Jackie is in an incredible amount of pain right now, and this is in the midst of  enduring 7 years of ovarian cancer, innumerable surgeries and procedures, several rounds of chemo and the resulting effects it takes on her body: hair loss, weight loss, extreme fatigue, nausea, the list goes on.  Pray today that Jackie will know the peace of God, the love of God in the midst of yet another major setback.  Pray for the surgeons to "find a way where there seems to be no way."  We serve a God who does the impossible.
Pray for Keith's dad, Paul, as he watches his life-long sweetheart undergo further pain and trial.  Pray that God will encourage his heart, and fill him with peace.

Thank you, dear readers and friends.  We thank God for the benefits of things like the internet, where we can share a prayer request from as far as another country and know many will see it and pray. We will post here again when we know more results.  To God be the glory.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

under the mighty hand of God

Today's meeting at Kingdom Life Church was EXCEPTIONAL!!  From our time of singing to the fellowship to the preaching, we basked in the glow of God's presence with us.  We have been in the book of I Peter ("One Peter," I can just hear Pete Privitera say!) and today we were taught from chapter 5, verses 8-11.  Wow.  If you have 40-45 minutes and want to hear a great message on trials, go to www.kingdomlifemedia.org and look for the Nov. 25th, 2012 message by Cedric Moss.  I was so affected by this message, I want to share it with those I love the most.  Cedric's three points were so well laid-out, "Our view of God in our trials," "Our view of the devil in our trials," and "Our view of trials in our trials."  We live on an island where many churches are teaching the "Name it, Claim it" gospel or the "Health, Wealth, and Prosperity" gospel.   Many people here are firm believers that any and all trying times are strictly Satan's designs to harm and rob us.  They believe they must "pray him away" or "claim victory" in loud and heated tones. 

But this morning, we began with the truth that we are to "Humble (our)selves under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (us), casting all your (our) anxieties on him, because he cares for you."  Ah....the Mighty Hand of God.  That's where we begin.  Our trials our always "under the mighty hand of God."  So what of Satan?  We saw that Peter's admonition to us was to "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world."   These trials are first and foremost under the mighty hand of God.  And in these trials, we must resist the devil's ploys to lie and tell us we are alone in our trial, and that no one is suffering like us.  He wants our faith in God to slip.  But God is greater, and Peter finishes by telling us, "And after you have suffered a little while (even if it's a lifetime, it is but a breath compared to eternity), the God of ALL GRACE, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

WOW.  I am refreshed in my view of the Mighty Hand of God today!  He is not feebly allowing Satan to run me over day in, day out, with trials of many kinds.  Rather, these very trials are under that mighty hand of God, used by God to strenthen and develop my faith to make it robust.  And after a little while (which may even mean a lifetime here on earth) God will restore me again.  Trials don't last forever, but our God does.  Oh Happy Thought!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

make the connection...

Keith and Kristin with Anaya (if she didn't already have a great set of parents, we'd take her!)
Kendall and Kristin with Kingdom Life Ladies: Jan, Karen, Demetria, Keisha, and Shelly
Little Ones: Ethan and Anaya
 
For a post on our bowling night from this past summer...check out Kristin's blog at www.buntingnest.blogspot.com   Enjoy!

Monday, 12 November 2012

there and back again

Well, we did it.  We made our first trip back to the U.S. since moving to Nassau.  Two weeks ago we kissed our girls goodbye, picked up the Mosses, and headed off to the Nassau airport.  One interesting moment was upon entering the US Customs room (still in Nassau airport). Cedric turned to us and said, "You know, in here, you're really already back in the USA."  And soon we saw what he meant.  It took the Buntings about 5 seconds to clear US Customs, ending with "Have a nice flight!"  from our friendly officer.  The Mosses, on the other hand, had a much longer "interview," including finger-print verification for each of them.  We stood watching, realizing this was a little like how it is for us when we try to come INTO Nassau.  Our home country recognizes us as its citizens, and welcomes us back warmly.  Foreigners, however, even Bahamians, must go through a much more intricate process to prove their intentions and motives for entering US soil are above-board.  The line is drawn pretty clearly on this.  It's hard not to feel relieved when you realize you're safe within the jurisdiction of your homeland.  And opposingly, to NOT feel safe when you realize you're NOT within the jurisdiction of your homeland.  (I'm seeing some spiritual parallels here, are you?)

Our time in Orlando was a whirlwind.  Sovereign Grace Pastors' Conference kept us hoppin' Tuesday through Thursday, with lots of food for thought.  We incorporated many mini-reunions with our Pastors' College Class from last year in between conference sessions.  How good it was to see our friends from PC!!  We stayed up way too late (2 am) Tuesday night reminiscing with each other, holding the new baby born since we all graduated, and talking about the past 6 months in every one's lives.  It was good to feel part of such a connected group.  It has been said that our PC class was quite unusual in its love and comraderie for one another.  The plan is to continue hanging out like this at each Pastors' Conference.  

Other great moments in Orlando included getting to have dinner with Keith's parents and family for two of the nights.  It was so good to see them all again, eat together, and laugh the way we always do when we're together.  A highlight was hearing how the Lord has opened doors to enable Keith's sister Kathy, and her family, to host a very special exchange student this year, Imran.  We find it so exciting that while part of the Bunting family has gone to another nation to share the gospel, another part is welcoming the nations into their home!

Before we made our trip back to the airport, we crammed in some shopping. We mainly bought snacks, nuts, candy and hygiene products, which are all about twice the cost here in Nassau.   Each person is allowed to bring back to The Bahamas $300 worth of merchandise twice yearly.  This is how many people in Nassau deal with the high prices of goods here.  We have one friend in our church who spends 2 months a year in the US, doing enough shopping to last the rest of the year.

 One funny moment for us was racing through The Florida Mall, trying to find Build-a-Bear, get the toy, stuff the toy, and dress it, then race back to the car in time to still fill up the rental car with gas, make it to the airport, and be on time for check-in.  One not-so-funny moment is when we finally reached our gate, only to hear the lady at the desk ask to see everyone's return flight ticket to the U.S. or their Bahamian passoport/visa.  Guess what?  Those immigration issues.... are still not worked out for me.  I was so grateful when I realized I did have proof of a return ticket, since my parents are flying the girls and I (Kristin) back to Pittsburgh for two weeks after Christmas.  Without that ticket confirmation, I would not have been allowed to board the Nassau-bound plane.  Again I was reminded of the unwelcome one can experience when not in or headed to their homeland. 

Pray that we can get the immigration issues worked out.  It just seems like there are many roadblocks in this area.  Most likely, we will need to ask for another extension, as the original extension ends on Nov. 25th and we still have paperwork that cannot be tracked down.  We know God has a plan, but as we enter our sixth month here, it would be good to have finality on this.  Thank you!  We know that your prayers are what support us in those moments when we can be tempted to anxiety over big and small issues, when we are tempted to doubt in so many ways, and when we may be in harm's way without being aware.  God uses you to bless us!  You are part of this gospel mission with us.

Friday, 26 October 2012

the day before and the day after...

As most of you know, we lived through our first hurricane last night.  Posted are some photos of the day before the storm (the sunset...taken from our front yard) and some photos and video of this morning as we attempt do som clean up from the storm.  Thankfully, there was no major damage to our home, we now have our power back, and it looks like our island and church building fared well.  For those of you that prayed, thank you.  Of course, our Bahamian friends act like this is no big deal!

Going through this last night reminds me of God's promises all throughout scripture, particularly the Psalms, to protect His children.  The fact that we were inside our home with canned goods and bottled water, protected by windows, a roof and walls, gives us a vivid illustration of God's protection over us in the midst storms that come in and out in our lives.  Some, like this one, come in and out quickly.  Others beat down for extended periods and can tend to ravage our souls.  In all of them, God's promises are true for His redeemed!

Psalm 18:2 - "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my Rock, in Whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

Psalm 46:1 - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear..."

Psalm 62:5-7 - "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my might Rock, my refuge is from God."

Thank you for praying for us!

The night before the storm. These photos were taken from our front yard...



 
 
 
Today, the day after.  Pictures of our backyard (only minor damage).  The bamboo roof blew off our back porch and lots of branches down.  God knew what trees to plant on a tropical island where storms come in and out!  It is amazing what these trees are able to withstand.  The trees in PA wouldn't last long!


 
 
 
Brief video of clean-up.
 

video

Thursday, 18 October 2012

new mercies I see

This past Sunday, Kingdom Life Church had "Friends and Family Sunday," which is an ongoing (quarterly) event.  The church is asked to invite as many people as possible: friends, co-workers, neighbors, and of course, family.  This week we had 23 visitors.  We had hoped for 50, but still 23 visitors makes a wonderful turnout.  And even though this number was reduced quite a bit from our last quarter's event, there was something special about it.  At Care Group last night we all agreed that the Spirit of God seemed more obviously at work this past Sunday; in the music, in the preaching, in the fellowship. 

Before our meeting, at prayer, one person prayed specifically that the music would affect hearts, and that phrases from songs would linger in peoples' hearts, drawing them to the gospel.  Later, we heard from one member that a friend who attended Sunday called her on Monday to ask for the words of a song we used in our worship.  She said she couldn't get one of the phrases out of her head and she'd like to have all the words to look at.  God is faithful! 

Another visiting friend mentioned that he was affected by the fact that we have children playing instruments in the service, and that he'll be back.  This man in not a Christian.  We wonder why seeing children up front made such an impact on him, yet we know the Father works through many means to draw us...

As the visitors' reception was coming to a close, I was talking with a visiting family.  I mentioned that we'd only been here a few months.  "Really? (the wife asked, shocked) You look as if you'd been here for years.  You fit right in and look so comfortable among the people here."  WOW!  God is truly aiding and assisting us!  As the only white family in the church, it is hard to imagine how we look as if we "fit right in," but God can do that!  Amazing grace.

Friends, God is at work here in Kingdom Life Church, Nassau.  The gospel is going forth.  Hearts are being pricked on many levels.  Including ours.  Living in a new country and culture is very disarming.  We see God at work despite our weaknesses.  In our weaknesses.  Please continue to pray that these contacts with visitors will bear fruit.  That many will return in subsequent weeks and be drawn not just to Kingdom Life, but to Christ, ultimately.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

unrelenting

Good afternoon...or Gudaftanoon (say that with a bit of a British accent and you'll have it about right!)  Greetings from Nassau.  Sorry for the "grand pause" in our posts, but life is chugging along here at a much brisker pace than it did this summer.  Blogging is back-burnered at times!

Unrelenting...that's the title for this post...  And what is unrelenting, you may ask?  For starters, THE HEAT!  It is just plain hot here.  Currently, it is 88 degrees, with a relative humidity of 70%.  Maybe that's why I can't get my laundry to dry?  The short little rain shower we had around lunchtime provided a few minutes of relief.  But "out came the sun and dried up all the rain," leaving it hotter than it was.  For this Pennsylvania born and bred family, a constant high 80's climate is taking alot of getting used to!

But perhaps what strikes me in the midst of this unrelenting heat is that God is far more unrelenting in his love and grace for me.  He is far more steadfast, far more holy, far more faithful, far more generous, and far more powerful than the heat of the sun, which is a mere creation of His.  This is intense.  When I am tempted to complain about the heat or the striking rays of the sun, I can remember God's unrelenting love and faithfulness to me...a sinner.  Here in Nassau we may at times miss the changing seasons, but we live with an ever-present reminder that God never changes.  He does not age and grow weary as a man, but remains steadfast in His character and attributes at all times.

 "Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been , thou forvever wilt be.  Great is thy faithfulness...Lord, unto me."

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

christmas is coming...

Last night we hosted our first planning meeting for our Christmas season presentation.  We will, Lord willing, present a night of gospel-centered choral music, worshipful dance, and carol singing on Saturday Dec. 22nd and Sunday Dec. 23rd this Christmas season.  We are gaining excitement as we think of the ways Kingdom Life can impact the Nassau community evangelistically throughout the year.  Music is always a draw at Christmas, and our prayer is that God will use these two nights of presentation to bring people from the community who need to hear the gospel.

Though the Christmas presentation will be fairly involved, the bigger thrust for us in the area of music and arts will be at Easter time.  Our goal is to write our own Easter musical, including all original drama as well as the music and or/musical arragements.  We have one couple at Kingdom Life who is gifted in the area of script-writing and drama,  Clarence and Demetria Rolle.  (Clarence is the man who put together our update video last month.)  For a small church, the Lord has blessed Kingdom Life with various gifted individuals.  The Dance Ministry, under the direction of two ladies, begins rehearsing this Saturday.   This is a ministry that has held a place at Kingdom Life for many years, and we are excited to see young ladies in the church use their gifts to augment our worship through dance. 

As soon as things are reasonably in place for Christmas, hopefully by October, we will begin the writing for the Easter presentation.  We appreciate your prayers as we seek to rightly present  the gospel through music, drama, and dance to the best of our little church's ability! 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

small churches stay busy!

Good morning friends...Kristin again.  As I wake to the sounds of dogs barking, birds calling, and the whirring of the ceiling fan, I recount our busy schedule for the week.  For a small church, Kingdom Life stays very active!  I'll give you a window into what is packed into this week.
  • Sunday past, we had 20 or so students from The College of the Bahamas at our meeting.  We prepared and served them dinner directly after the meeting. I know it's unfathomable from a U.S. perspective, but the expectation in the Bahamas for these students, who are from the "Family Islands" (aka the other islands of the Bahamas) is that they at least attend a local church once while they are here.  We were thrilled to be able to run a bus ministry to have them picked up from their dorms, have them at our meeting, and serve them a good meal. (There is no cafeteria at the college, and students must do all their own cooking!) Over our meal together, Cedric had strategically placed members of our leadership around the tables in order to make personal contact with these students.  We distributed a pamphlet about the Parable of the Seeds and had conversation with them about what they thought the different types of ground represented.  Their answers revealed that many of them had no true knowledge of God's Word or His gospel.  Pray for more gospel opportunities with these students.
  • Monday (yesterday) 7:30 pm was Corporate Prayer, a once a month occurrence.  Note here:  I was so affected by this prayer time last night.  No timid pray-ers here!  These dear saints pray with passion, armed with scripture that has been committed to memory.  We prayed for the lost, our need and desire to be more out-ward focused, healing for the sick, and for a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit on our people.
  • Tuesday: no meeting agenda
  • Wednesday: 7:30pm -Special class on how to personally study your bible.  Guest Speaker to address us. This class will alternate with Care Group Meetings, which also meet Wednesday nights.
  • Thursday: 7:30pm--Worship Team Practice  (for the Buntings, this is an all-family on deck night!)
  • Friday: 7:30pm--Counter Culture Youth Meeting
  • Saturday:  Dance Ministry Practice (This will at least involve our Kara, who is bursting with excitement at the opportunity to use her gifts in this way!)
  • Sunday: 10 am Morning Meeting
Well, as you can see there is not a dull moment in our church calendar.  We are feeling the fullness of our family schedule this week as we also dive back into homeschooling.  Pray for us and the church as our fall activities are back up and running...that we will meet and labor for the gospel, sustained by the strength God supplies us.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

our sunday morning...

We are having an interesting Sunday morning here in Nassau.  Isaac (though only a strong tropical storm) has hit, and church is cancelled!  This video was taken 1 mile and a half from our house...I know...crazy to go down there this morning, but I just had to!

video

We trust all family and friends are well and enjoying God's grace in a fresh way as you meet in your local churches.  More to come soon...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

baptism service

Goodman's Bay Beach

Yesterday, we participated in our first baptism service since our arrival in Nassau.  What a joy it was to be involved in such a significant event in the lives of these folks...including two Bunting's:  Keaton and Kara.  Kingdom Life's baptism services are held at Goodman's Bay Beach, one of the public beaches on the island.  It is a unique opportunity because there are people at the beach, and these people take notice of what we're doing as we sing and baptize.  It is a great evangelistic opportunity  Afterwards, those who attended lingered as we ate conch stew together.

Here is an chance to get to know a little about each of those baptized as well as others who partipated in the service.  They are as follows from left to right.


David Humes - David is a member of the Kingdom Life Church leadership team and has been for many years!  David assisted in the baptism.

Myrna Wilson - Myrna has been a Christian for most of her life, was baptized as an infant in the Anglican church here in Nassau, and had the desire to humble herself as an adult to participate in believer's baptism.  She is a prayer warrior in the church.

Cedric Moss - senior pastor

Joshua Bethel - Joshua is a humble, godly young man whom I have gotten to know since our arrival.  He is one of our youth and has now made a profession of faith.  He also plays drums on the worship team.

Vernika, Vernal, Janis and Levante Cox (all in the same family) have made professions of faith and desired to be baptized.  Vernal and Janis (husband and wife) have been believers for several years.  Vernal was never baptized, and Janis (like Myrna her mother) was baptized as an infant and wanted to follow through with adult baptism as well.

Me, Kara and Keaton.  One of my greatest joys in life so far was to baptize two of my daughters.  May God's grace rest on them as they continue to grow in becoming disciples of Christ.

Below are photos of Keaton and Kara getting baptized.

Kara getting baptized.






Keaton getting baptized.


video
Video of singing after baptism...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

no boat, but a "ship!"

Hello dear reader....Kristin here.  As I mentioned in the video update, fellowship is a strength of Kingdom Life Church.   This past Sunday we had yet another opportunity for fellowship with our church.  One of the ladies in the church had called last week and invited us for Sunday lunch, or "dinner" as they call it.  I told her we'd be glad to come, but that we had Keith's parents and nephew with us.  She said she knew we had extra family in town and to of course bring them...there'd be lots of people coming, and it would be a potluck.  After attending a few of these potlucks, I have a greater appreciation for what a massive amount of food can result with each family bringing only 1 or 2 dishes!  We had BBQ chicken, fried fish, mac and cheese, peas and rice, potato salad, veggie salad, and BBQ'd baked beans.  This was followed by pineapple upside down cake and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  There was plenty!

All in all, our hostess had 26 people.  This is common here at Kingdom Life.  As a hostess, I would be tempted to be nervous about having 26 people over for dinner, but when you divide it up potluck style, it becomes much less daunting.  Isn't this how all of life is meant to be lived in the kingdom of God?  Each of us, using our gifts, coming together to share what we can with the rest of God's people?...It's a beautiful thing.  God mysteriously works in our community, causing each of our small contributions to swell and multiply into something much greater than we could imagine.  I love having the resources of friends within the body of Christ to turn to for counsel, encouragement and help.  Whether I have questions about parenting, homeschooling, home-management or any other area of practical need, I am rich to have so many wise and godly people to turn to for help.  As the days, weeks, and months continue to add up here in Nassau, I am praying that God will cause our small contributions to this local church to mix with all the others already represented and multiply into something greater than we can imagine.  We pray the same for Crossway!  For God's Glory...

Friday, 10 August 2012

Keith's parents here from Florida

God has been very good to us!  As most of you know, my parents have had many health challenges over the past several years.  My mother has battled cancer for the past 7 years (currently in remission), and my dad currently battles Parkinson's Disease.  These two saints are faithful examples of steadfast, daily faith in God who live grateful for every day!

Last Saturday, they both boarded the plane along with my 18 year-old nephew and came to visit us.  This requires long lines, dealing with customs officers and putting up with us for ten days!  They are to be commended for their courage and young-heartedness as they are in their 70's.  It is amazing that they came to visit us already.  God is good!

We actually had them to the beach the other evening, and they seemed to have a great time.  We are hoping to make the most of it throughout the remaining time we have together.  Here are a few photos.


Please pray for them that God will continue to grant them good health.  Also, pray for their traveling safety as they head back to Orlando on Tuesday.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Mall Event in Nassau

The newly formed Kingdom Life Church Youth Choir

Our worship team vocalists

"Passers-by" got balloons, and so did the ceiling above us!

The worship pastor looks very unhappy, but this is NOT the case!

This past Saturday, we were asked by the local mall to sing as a church in the mall center.  What a gospel opportunity!  We are grateful that we can express the gospel so freely here.  We sang very deliberately and intentionally about Christ and the cross for one whole hour, and we had quite a gathering as the youth choir was singing.  We trust that the Lord will produce gospel fruit through this event.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A sobering interaction...

I (Keith here) was working in the yard a few days ago, and a Bahamian man riding a bike rode up to our gate.  Soliciting is not very common in the Bahamas for security reason, and most people live behind fences and gates.  So, it was odd to have someone show up at our doorstep in this manner.  The man, without going into detail, had a rough appearance with ragged clothes, a torn hat and holes in his shoes.  He proceeded to ask me if I had any work around my yard that I needed done.  He said, "I need work.  I got no nottin' to eat, mon."  The discomfort of the moment compelled me to reply with a quick "No sir, I'm sorry.  I have nothing for you."  He got on his bike and rode away.

Looking back, I think there were several reasons I gave this reply:  protection of my family (not a bad thing)...and, I really didn't have work for him, nor the money to pay him.  But, I am ashamed to admit, part of me just didn't want to be bothered.  Was there any way at all I could have responded better to this gospel opportunity...? 

Jesus' interaction with the rich young ruler gives us a staggering picture.  The young man asked what he must do to be a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus' response?  "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.  Then, you will have treasure in heaven."  While I don't think Jesus was expecting the rich young ruler to follow through on this, He was certainly speaking directly to the heart of this man who had everything.  Discipleship requires sacrifice.  And, part of our discipleship certainly requires having a gospel-centered view of the poor.  This reflects God's own heart towards poor and needy sinners like us.

This man has been on my mind ever since, and I have been praying for him as well as praying for new opportunities to meet the needs of the poor here in Nassau.  I'm attaching a few snapshots we've taken of some lower income areas.  They are all around us!  It would be easy to get overwhelmed, but we trust that God has a plan on how we are to be involved.  Please pray for us that we will take advantage of the gospel opportunities all around us!




Friday, 27 July 2012

evening in Nassau...




This week seems to have been beach week for us.  We've beach-hopped quite a bit.  There are several great places to enjoy the surf and sand, which we'd be happy to show you if you were to come for a visit!  But let me assure you that in our opinion, we've found there is no better time to be at the beach than after 6pm.  The heat is subsiding, the breeze is softly blowing, the sun is setting, and we become aware of perhaps why God chose to walk with Adam and Eve "in the cool of the day."  It is a stunning time to be in paradise!

However, tonight, we will experience a better piece of paradise as we join with our church family for a night of Prayer and Praise...7:30 pm.  Keith has planned about two hours of worship/singing, scripture reading, and times of prayer for the body to join in.  If this past Sunday's meeting is any indication of what awaits us tonight, we are in for a blessed time.  Can't quite describe the beauty in our worship time this past Sunday, but God was meeting us, just as he promises to do when we are gathered.  The church here was introduced to "Behold Our God" for the first time, and it was not only well-received, but sung with reverence and emotion.  I for one (Kristin here) am counting down the hours to our gathering tonight.  We'll let you know how it goes! 

One item of prayer would be for next Saturday, August 4th, as Kingdom Life Church will have a one-hour time slot of presenting the gospel through music at the local mall.  There will be other churches there as well, but Kingdom Life has its own time slot from 2-3pm.  Pray that God will enable us to make gospel contacts as people come by our booth, listen to our children's choir and worship team, and meet people from our body of believers.  There will be a team of people there to hand out fliers, tracts, and be ready to answer any questions.  All in all, we'll be there 3 hours, making ourselves accessible one hour before and after our 2:00 time slot.  Pray that God will give us strength, grace, and opportunities to share the gospel. 

'til next time....

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Welcome!

Many of you have been asking for a way to stay in touch with us as we re-locate to Nassau.  This is our attempt to deliver!  Our blog title, "life on 21/7," is a phrase Bahamians use to describe life here on their island which is 21 miles wide and 7 miles north to south.  As you can imagine, there are many limitations on such a small island with just over 250,000 people. 

One current issue you can be praying for is Kristin and the girls' immigration status.  Unbeknownst (is that a word?) to us, resident permits should have been secured before we arrived.  This is a lengthy process and will need approval from the Ministry of Immigration.  Please pray that God gives us favor and a speedy resolution.

Tonight we are just getting started, so stay tuned for regular updates!