Tuesday, 22 April 2014

8 weeks now

Eight weeks from yesterday the Buntings will board a plane that takes us home to the U.S.A.  This is a loaded thought!  So much emotion in the reality of that.  We will be leaving pieces of our hearts here, without a doubt.  We love our people.  But we believe the Lord has used us in these two years to help strengthen this church, and for that we are grateful and glad-hearted. 

We are forever changed by all we have seen and experienced here.  Our spoiled days of having everything at our fingertips ended the moment we landed here.  Compared to many countries of the world, the Bahamas has plenty.  But compared to the U.S.A, well...there's no comparison.  One trip to Wal-mart when we are back in the states and our entire family is in shock!  "When did they start making this?"  "Did you know they had THIS flavor now?"  "I didn't even know this many varieties existed!"  "Look at this price!  What a deal!  Let's get 10 to take back..."  We were recently in Florida and just didn't make it to Wal-mart until the day we had to head back to Nassau.  BIG MISTAKE.  Kendall and I (Kristin) were the only two who could go during that timeframe and we had only 30 minutes to shop.  Again, BIG MISTAKE.  We couldn't even get through the snack aisle in that time!  Not to mention, since our bags were already packed and Delta has a "No free checked bag" rule we couldn't get much to take back.  I just kept reminding Kendall that we would be flying back to the US permanently in 10 weeks.

Our girls have become very frugal since living here.  Their practical math skills have blossomed.  They can recall prices better than the top contestant on "The Price is Right."  They know a deal when they see it.  Wal-mart only gets the nod if Goodwill doesn't have it...on discount day.  This is all something that might have come much more slowly had we not lived in the Bahamas these last two years!  However, there are other effects too.  They wonder if they won't fit in well in the U.S.  They wonder if their friends here will be closer than any friends there.  They wonder if the U.S. kids will be laden with i-phones, the latest fashions, and heaps of friends that won't allow room for them.  They wonder if the church won't worship as vibrantly as they do here, that they won't be calling their parents' friends "Auntie" and "Uncle" or "Sister...." and "Brother..."  They wonder what homeschooling co-ops will be like.  They wonder where, for sure, we will live.

And so each day is usually filled with some questions and answers.  So in this, you can be praying.  That God will quiet hearts.  That God will make clear and straight paths.  That God will provide for every need and beyond.  That God will be glorified in the way we finish our time here.  We covet your prayers.  We feel them.  Thank you for every thought, word, and prayer you've made to bring encouragement to us.  God has seen and He will bless.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Francis Chan

Keith leading.  Me on violin, Chris Pinder on bass, Joshua on drums, Clarence and Logan on guitar, Faye on vocals
Friday Night  Francis Chan "The Holiness of God"
Well, the Francis Chan "Revive Bahamas" event is now over.  Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 pm we gathered for worship, led so well by Keith (and members of our Kingdom Life team), and then were blessed to hear Francis Chan speak.  Friday evening's effect was to lead us to a more accurate view of how holy and mighty God really is.  Francis called us to look at Scripture again, through the words of Isaiah 6, and "see" who this God actually is.  Holy.  Terrifying.  Not to be trifled with.  "And the train of his robe filled the temple."  Francis is gifted at portraying a fluid storyline.  And he captured the audience's attention with his description of what Isaiah must have seen in his revelation.

Night Two  Francis challenged us with "What is your happy ever after?"
Night two, last night, was a more challenging night.  We were called to consider "What is my happy ever after?"  And to make sure we are not seeking it here on earth.  He challenged us to run hard in this race of bringing the gospel to the lost and needy, throwing off all hindrances, and then let our time of resting and celebration be saved for heaven.  He said to married couples, "If you find you spend a lot of time fighting, just stop.  You don't have time for that. Run the race." 

He talked about the needy places and people he has seen.  Women in the red light district who sell themselves for $1 per customer while their children, who have no place else to go at night, try to look away.  700 of these women were recently able to gather and receive a warm meal, hear the gospel, and be offered a chance to change their lives forever.  Many have.  Some are now following Jesus, employed in jobs that they can feel good about, and some have even become married to Christian men.  But this doesn't happen without sacrifice.  Ours.  Christians around the world who have the means to help.  With our prayers, our money, our lives...

But there is need right here.  And there are people here enough and means enough right here to meet those same needs.  He asked "Why does America have to send missionaries here?"  Francis challenged the Bahamas to become a nation known for something better than "Atlantis."  He said, "When Americans think of the Bahamas, wouldn't it be cool if one day, instead of thinking of Atlantis, they would think  'That's the country where the church has "been the church?"  Where the needy have been met....where the rich have shared what they have with the poor?  It could happen.  It can start tonight."  (Alright, I have taken some poetic license here and paraphrased quite a bit!)

All in all, it was a great two nights.  Compared to other speakers I would say Francis is like "the guy next door."  He doesn't preach like John Piper or master theology like D.A. Carson.  If you have the chance to hear him, don't go expecting to take lots of notes or have a clear outline.  But expect to be challenged. Francis does effect his hearers to consider how they can take steps toward deeper love for the lost.  And in this, God is glorified. 
Night two worship session

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Sunday comics

This church knows how to eat!
Sunday was a day of hilarity for Kingdom Life Church.   The church that plays together stays together!   We had a Family Fun Day out at Adventure Learning Camp, where the Crossway Church of Lancaster mission team will be staying.  We ate, talked, and played ridiculously together.  Keith represented our care group in the hula hoop contest and probably would have won if he hadn't looked down!  The Bunting girls did us proud as they competed in the teen and child age group hula hoop contest.  Kendall almost took it, but was beat by our favorite little man, CJ Dean!   Next came the hula hoop group game, which our care group won both times.  Next up:musical chairs!

Meals are always "served" at our church...no serving yourself!
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But the real fun began when the adults formed a game!  To see Pastor Moss competing was a riot! This by far will be a standout memory in our time here and we laughed more than we have in a good while.  Enjoy the pictures!