Thursday, 28 February 2013

dance ministry  Another video taken by a faithful mom at Kingdom Life Church.  The girls really enjoy being able to continue "dancing" here in the Bahamas, even though it isn't the formal ballet instruction they once had.  This was their first attempt.  I love seeing the blend of colors...both in the costumes and the children!


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

a little taste of here....

If you'd like to see a piece of our church and culture, watch this!  Our youth choir is energetic and ranges from 5-16.  Love these kids!

why are we surprised?

This past Sunday (or "Sunday past" in Bahamian), we had two very wonderful things happen at Kingdom Life.  Both happenings were answers to prayers prayed for many months!

The first was our meeting of the Finleys, an American-Canadian couple newly moved to Nassau.  They are a young couple who have strong walks with God and have moved here for both job and gospel purposes.  It looks as if they will be making Kingdom Life their home church while living here!  When I first saw them at the back of the church, I assumed (as usual) that they were on a cruise and had decided to worship with us for Sunday morning.  What a surprise when I heard that they were not just visiting Nassau, but were residents as of a few weeks ago!  What's more, they had actually visited our church two years ago when the Buntings were here visting Nassau.  We remembered seeing each other that morning two years ago.  I couldn't believe that... how we both were at Kingdom Life the same Sunday two years ago for a visit, and now have both landed here.  There is no coincidence in this.  God is so kind. 

In response to this exciting and amazing answer to prayer (for God to bring more members to Kingdom Life...and on top of that, to broaden our church's "cultural diversity") I asked them if they could join us for lunch.  And so, we had a wonderful few hours together, getting to know as much as possible about them and what brought them our way.  What a delight. 

Our second delight was when we heard that our dear sister Keva, a core person at Kingdom Life, had been released from the hospital.  On and off (heavy on the "on"), Keva has been in the hosptial since the beginning of the year due to complications with her ongoing kidney disease.  There were moments when we wondered if her body could take any more hardship, but God has brought her through...again.  Please continue to pray for Keva...that God would strengthen her inner being, both physically and spiritually.  Pray with our church that God would do the miraculous and actually cause Keva's kidneys to be regenerated into healthy, functioning organs.  There is a large hole in our church when Keva is not with us.  She is an example of clinging to God for every moment, a prayer warrior, and a faithful servant.

In a way, my head is still spinning with these two amazing answers to prayer.  We are stirred up to pray more, pray for big things, pray tirelessly, pray for the miraculous.  God is a faithful God.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

grace (and pete)

We haven't blogged in over a week...  Busy, yes.  But also just overwhelmed with WHAT to say!  "Thank you" feels like a vast understatement for what is in our hearts.  If you're reading this and you're from Crossway Church in Lancaster, please hear us when we say the Buntings were overwhelmed by the love you expressed to us, both in your cards and gifts, and in sending the Priviteras here for a week.  They came bearing gifts such as Starbucks coffee (bags and bags of it!), chocolate chips (so expensive here!) and candy galore for our kiddos.   It was so great to spend time together as families, as well as introduce the Priviteras to our new church.  I think perhaps our friends from Lancaster left a piece of their hearts here!  It was wonderful to see Pete, Grace, and all their girls interacting with the dear people we've come to call friends in this new country.  And what a blessing for the Bunting and Privitera families to reconnect, bond, and laugh together in those 7 days!

Pete's message on leadership to the men gathered last Saturday was timely and well-received.  And in our eyes, his sermon on Sunday morning was gracious, yet full of helpful instruction and application. Hearing Pete and Grace's reactions and thoughts about the culture here, what they would perceive as difficulties and strengths in promoting gospel-living was so helpful to us as a couple.  All in all, God graciously gave us such good fellowship in the days they were here.  We are truly grateful and miss them so much already!  Thank you Crossway Church.  Thank you Priviteras.  Thank you, Heavenly Father, from whom all good and perfect gifts come.

Friday, 8 February 2013

guests of honor

the amazing 8

Woo-Hoo! We are having a terrific time with our guests of honor this week: THE PRIVITERAS! They arrived Wednesday afternoon and found blue skies, 80 degree temps and some very excited Buntings. Yesterday, Thursday, we spent the day together showing them around Nassau and exploring some sights neither of us had ever seen! What fun to have two sets of parents and 8 girls between us traipsing around the island! Here's some proof of the beauty of this place (just in case you doubted!)
Grace loved these doors...

the pool at Greystone Hotel, very historic

Christ Church, (Anglican) where the Queen attends on royal visits
Stained glass at it's best, Christ Church

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Who is Like Our God?

We're on the brink of finishing a new song we've written as a couple,  "Who is Like Our God?"  Last week, in the midst of a study on Exodus, I began to marvel at the excellencies of our holy, just, and compassionate God.  I asked prayerfully for Him to help me write something that would give words to the thoughts of praise and adoration circling in my mind in those moments.  And He answered.  The next day Keith put the words to music and last night he played it for me.  It still needs a bit of tweaking, but we think it's a keeper! 

For many years, one of our desires as a couple has been to write songs for the church.  Long before we ever heard of "Keith and Kristyn Getty" we were working on songs, but never seemed to carve out the time to be serious about it.  In moving to Nassau, Keith now has time (and it actually fits under his job description!) to write music.  In return, I sense the Lord stirring me up to craft my words, poems, etc. toward the goal of lyric-writing.  Pray for us in this!  We love working together in any capacity, but this is one endeavor that can directly use our individual gifts for the good of corporate worship.  May God give us the grace to be faithful to the task.  We'll keep you posted on the final draft of this new song and how it goes over at Kingdom Life Church!

Friday, 1 February 2013

holy discontent

Prayer.  Perhaps the singlemost important resource we most overlook is prayer.  John Piper defines prayer as "The heartfelt expression of holy discontent."  This strikes a chord.  If you've ever sat at the bedside of someone you deeply love and watched them suffer, you know that prayer for that one, in that moment, is a heartfelt expression of holy discontent.  Longing to see that dear one healed, free of suffering, propels you to cry out to God.

As we look around our church here in Nassau, we see deep needs.  Our dear Sister Keva, a single mom and caretaker of her extended family, only in her forties and dealing with severe kidney disease, has been very ill and in the hospital for some weeks now.  How we have cried out to God for her healing.  She has lost a tremendous amount of weight in a short time and has not eaten much since the New Year due to her sickness.  But yesterday, she got up from her hospital bed, got dressed, left in her car, went and got her hair done, returned to the hospital and began walking the female ward floor, greeting all the patients, and praying for them.  God is at work.

Today our Keaton was really struggling with her asthma.  After 4 days of flu-like symptoms, she's beaten down physically.  As I prayed for her today, I asked God to help us find relief for her.  Our dear pediatrician is actually a member of our church here.  I knew she was not officially in the office today, but I emailed her for advice.  A short while later, she called saying, come as soon as we could to the office.  She treated Keaton thoroughly and gave us a plan on how to watch her the next few days.  She ended the visit by giving us her cell number and telling us to call tonight if we were concerned.  God provided again.

God wants us to be content people because we trust his supreme rule in our lives.  So what is holy discontent?  Perhaps it is desiring to relieve the suffering of others, whether physically, financially, relationally, or spiritually.  And so, we pray.  Asking God to provide, to relieve their suffering.  I believe these are prayers that express the heart of God.  To rescue, to heal, to redeem, to restore.  As we pray along these lines, we acknowledge His perfect strength to do anything, to do above and beyond all that we can ask or expect.  May we avail ourselves of this effective tool, this gift he has given us to come to Him at any and for all time

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12 

"You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many."  2 Cor. 1:11

"For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance..." Phil. 1:19

"First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." 1 Tim. 2:1

"And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." (the parable of the persisistent widow)  Luke 18:1