Christiana and I will never forget Sarah Jane Francis’ challenge to us in early June – “watch the Lord turn Yellow Elder into “Golden Elder”. Usually summers in Nassau are hot and dry. The grass turns to gold and the heat and humidity chase you either to air-condition comfort or to the nearest beach. Thankfully, summertime has been bearable thus far. We have received a lot of rain – liquid sunshine – these past two months. Almost everywhere is green.
However, our team has begun to witness a slight change in this “goldenizing” of Yellow Elder, giving very slight indications that there is a color change taking place. We witnessed it with the deepening of our relationships with administrators, teachers, parents and students at CW Sawyer Primary School. We even attended a recent monthly community meeting. Admittedly, many in attendance were wondering who were these “strange people”.
We were present at the last day of school, signing youngsters up for our first Summer Reading Camp. We enlisted 43 students, and had numerous opportunities to speak with their parents and guardians. Due to heavy rains, and I guess the many options facing the students, about half of those enrolled showed up for three weeks of reading and writing. Our team was also able to solicit assistance from one of the Stodghill’s neighbors, one of my nieces, and our favorite (and only) daughter, Jamila. This camp afforded us the opportunity to get to know more people in our ministry focus area. The following week, our team accommodated a short term team from Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church for a week-long sports and Bible camp. This dedicated and flexible team worked in Bain Town during the morning hours, and spent the evenings in Yellow Elder. (This local congregation has been sending teams to Nassau since 2014, and has connected with the historic St. Andrew’s Kirk). They led the youngsters in basketball and tennis drills. They also held devotions. Both children and parents expressed their deep appreciation for the camp.
Thankfully, we met several parents who have expressed an interest in our plans for the Yellow Elder community. One gentleman has asked me to help him write better sermons. Pray for my time with this young man who has expressed his love for the Lord and His word. My wife got to meet a single parent who is still grieving the loss of her father. In the Lord’s good Providence, many people in that community are beginning to realize that we are here to stay. Pray that the Lord provides us an office space nearby. We could sure benefit from having a permanent place. We are committed to seeing that community transform, one person at a time.