As we were making preparations for leaving Dallas and relocating to Nassau, one of PCPC’s ruling elder told me, “You know we won’t let yo go alone.” Those words continue to mean so much to Christiana and me. Not only are we PCPC’s home church missionaries to the Bahamas, we are “family”.
That particular brother and I had served closely together for almost 10 years. Plans were quickly made, and wheels were set in motion. By mid-December, I found myself in the company of brothers with whom I have had the greatest experiences in pastoral ministry. That meeting was a visible assurance that Christiana and I will not be “alone”, as we shift our ministry focus from Dallas to the Bahamas. Twelve men made promises to us of their willingness to support the new work in the Bahamas. Hence, the Bahamas Reformed Mission.
This mission will serve the Russells in several capacities. First of all, these men will act as a temporary session for our future church plant, Covenant Life Commmunity Church, in an advisory capacity. This group will also serve as a means to help the Russells raise support for the overall project in the Bahamas. Most importantly, these men have agreed to serve us by providing “soul care”, while we are on the field. Take it from a former solo-pastor – this is the most critical need for Christians involved in “professional” ministry. And PCPC has done an excellent job of caring for me, and my family. We deeply appreciate your willingness to be the hands and feet of the Lover of our souls, even Jesus our Savior and King.
In mid-January, 10 of those men were able to take the time from their busy schedule and meet with me, and another Bahamian, Mr. Grafton Ifill III. Grafton is a perfect example of how the Lord has been working in the minds and hearts of young Bahamians. Grafton has joined this team and has promised to gather the forces of influential Bahamians who live in DFW, and within the region.
What is even more excitingfor Christiana and me is that our chairman-elect, Mr. Mike McMahon, travelled to Nassau in mid-April. Mike came to love on us, to pray with us, and to reassure us of PCPC’s relational support for us, through this group of 12. We had a most wonderful time together. We introduced Mike to several key persons, and Mike even prayed for the sick, Christiana’s mother. (She is 89, very strong and is doing a whole lot better. PTL!) Mike also joined us as we prayed for a young husband who had a crisis of which we became aware.
Christiana and I are looking forward to Mike’s return to Nassau on June 1. By the way, he is escorting his beautiful wife, Linda, along with 6 other brothers, four of them will be accompanied by their wives also. Mr. Jerry Gibson will lead this group on a 5-day vision-trip. Pray that our time together will be very fruitful for all involved.
Christiana and I “…give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”