Wednesday, 25 June 2014

no more goodbyes, please

Keith and Doni
Nassau life is now a permanent part of Bunting history.  Less than 48 hours ago we said goodbye to our friends, our home and church, and our country of residence for the last two years.  To be sure, the last few weeks and days in Nassau were full, work-heavy, and emotionally draining.  But amidst it all, we felt God's love and provision.

Sunday past was filled with tearful good-byes, hugs, and photo moments. Faye Bascom, our resident photographer at Kingdom Life, snapped pictures of just about everyone embracing us as we said our individual good-byes.  These pictures document what words could not adequately say: You will be missed.  You are loved.  We are forever bound by God.  I hope to create a photo book of these cherished memories once we are settled. 

And as our life in Nassau came to a close, and each "last" was experienced: our last beach trip, our last swim in the pool, our last trip to the food store, our last supper with friends, our last time in church, we saw the grace of God in taking us to Nassau.  We are forever changed.  Forever aware of life beyond the 50 states.  Forever connected to a people we were not born into, but in being born-again through Christ, we have as an eternal family.  And these thoughts bring comfort and joy to us.

Cedric asked what will we do about blogging now that " will no longer be current.  That is still to be determined, we suppose.

So as we close this chapter of our Bahamian Bunting Life, know that for ever prayer you have prayed for us, every kind word said to us, and every gift you may have given us, God was at work in the midst of it.  He was faithful, just as He said He would be.  Enjoy some pictures of our last Sunday.  Godspeed.
Katie, Kristin, Keith, Alex Rolle, Vernika, Kara
The College of the Bahamas' Students
Hugging Demetria
The Rolles and Kristin (minus Andre!)
Charonzo and Keith
Alexine and the Girls
Patrice, Kristin, Shelly, and Faye
Pastor Moss and Alexine with us
Lyndon and Shelly Nairn with us
Keisha and Calvin Dean with us
Aniah, Alex N., Kara, Abby, and Kendall

Friday, 13 June 2014

awkward honor

It was a farewell for us.  But we were farewelling them too.  Tuesday June 3rd we experienced a night of being honored by our church of two years.  Three sets of people, representing different aspects of the church, spoke about what we will be leaving behind as a legacy when we go.  It was awkward.  It was humbling.  It was VERY encouraging.  Things we never knew people noticed were noticed.  Things we never thought were important were important.  Somehow our last 24 months of living impacted this little church of 75 or so.  We knew it wasn't us they were praising, it was God.  His work.  His goodness.  His legacy.  All we did was show up.  And even that was all His doing.

One sweet moment was the farewell portion for our daughters.  They were asked to go up on the platform and were each presented with gifts that will help them remember the Bahamas (as if they could ever not!).  Hats, fans, and purses woven in true Bahamian fashion by the ladies at the Straw Market were presented to them in their favorite colors.  But more than the gifts were the little poems written about the girls by our friend Demetria Rolle.  She and her husband lead Counter Culture, our youth ministry.
Clarence and Demetria Rolle, our youth leaders

Demetria hit the nail on the head with each of the girls' dispositions in their respective poems.  Thoughtful, loving...that's God's church in action.  Our Care Group Leaders, David and Antja Humes, similarly reflected upon our care group moments together and there were many laughs...and even a few tears as we remembered together our dear Keva, who the Lord took to heaven this past December. And finally, Cedric and Alexine honored us both with gift items and gift words.  They presented us with LAND leather bags, which apparently are all the rage here in Bahamaland.  Laughing, they said we will now be known in the airport as true Bahamians because we have the right bags!  This was a lovely gift to us; a briefcase and ipad case for Keith and a handbag for me.
Me with my new LAND bag. (A bit Vanna White-ish?)

Keith and me expressing our love and thanks

After meeting, we all adjourned to the fellowship room for food and drinks.  Several varieties of wings, appetizers and cake were served.  It was a good night.  Hard but good.  And now as the final ten days of life here roll to a close, we ask for continued prayers.  Finishing well is our desire...up to the last.  May God be glorified.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

moments of grace

I meant to get this post up before the last, but alas, I did not.  So here is a bit of backtracking from our Crossway E-team week!

What a joy to have 14 dear ones here from our sending church in Lancaster, PA!  When we told people here in Nassau they would be hard-working, we weren't kidding.  These folks are not only some of the hardest workers we know, but also express great joy in the midst of their work.  Clyde Erb is to be commended for his bright eyes and cheerful smiles each day!  I never for one moment felt anything but joy and gladness from this man, even though I knew the heat, climbing up and down on a hot roof, and many other factors had to be taking a toll on him.  Not only that, but Clyde really engaged our girls in conversation, drawing them out about the upcoming move and their faith for it.  He commended them for following their mom and dad and assured them it was no small thing before the Lord.  What a wonderful legacy he left here! 

And as for all the other dear is true of them too. You have left a legacy.  Kurt, Gary, John, Jared, Noah, Greg, Josh, Daniel, Joanne,  Lisa, Deborah, Carissa, Brianna: you all have earned your reward in heaven!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Your joyful attitudes, heart to serve, and warm hugs for us made it a week of "iron sharpening iron" for us as we finish out our time here in Nassau.  You helped us to remember there are brothers and sisters just a thousand miles away who are laboring for the gospel just as we are...and are willing to come alongside us, literally, to help.  Thank you.  May God's name be known wider and further because of you.  Enjoy the pictures!
Our humble dinner of spaghetti, bread, green beans and jello

I asked our former Care Group YA's "Wouldn't it have been nice to have all this space for Young Adult Care Group?"
Keith expressing our gratefulness for the team

Kurt looks confused and Clyde looks surprised
 (Do you like the moving boxes?)

Moving boxes, Chess, and Crossway

Greg Groff fixing Keith's power steering the first night...wouldn't eat dinner 'til it was done!