I just returned from a week in Nassau, and island of The Bahamas.
There will be much for me to personally unpack concerning the trip, but the obvious joys were the students, the residents, the work (yes, I’m saying the sweaty, heat-rash, exhausting work was a joy as well), and the community between us all.
There are viable highlights I would love to share about this experience. Yet I’ll have to do that in the next post. This is just a “I’ve been gone for a while, but I’m back and will be writing again” notice.
Basics: Four other leaders and I took our church’s youth group (Grace Community Church), partnering with two other local churches and their youth groups, and went to Nassau to work at the All Saint’s Camp. All Saint’s is a community of AIDS/HIV residents who live in one area together. Their living conditions aren’t great, and through Next Step Ministries, many crews have come in and have begun improving the Camp. Through building of new houses for residents, mixing and laying cement for sidewalks and a parking lot, digging posts for railings, to demolishing unlivable homes to make foundations for new ones…this camp is improving bit by bit to make residents have a home, not just a house.
I loved it all. The good experiences and the tougher ones. Next Step is a fantastic organization, laying the groundwork in many places around the US and abroad, becoming part of the communities they serve, not just showing up two months out of the year and then leaving flippantly. They care about the communities they serve, they invest time, energy, people, resources – just to show love to the people, to show God is who He says He is and that He genuinely cares for His people.
So soon, I’ll give more detail. But for now, I’m back in the States. I realize how blessed I am to have shade and air conditioning and fresh water showers instead of saltwater. And I’ve overcome with the revelations I experienced through the students, through the residents, and through the Spirit moving directly in my life.