Crossing Bridges and changing lives in the Bahamas
The Buford First United Methodist Church has had the privilege of working through the North Georgia Conference Bridge that connects us with Bahamas Methodist Habitat. We have had two trips, one in July 2012, and then again in February 2013. The trips were very different, but the work done and the blessings received were amazing both times.
The first was a youth trip to work in Nassau at the All Saints Camp. This settlement is a refuge for the very poor and sick. Most of the residents have HIV or AIDS. Their families are not able to care for them, and so they find shelter and food at All Saints. Bahamas Methodist Habitat supplies teams for All Saints two weeks each summer. The BMH staff plan for the construction to be done, purchase supplies, and then supervise the teams. They had us scraping and painting a home, repairing rotten siding, replacing toilets and countertops. BMH coordinates lodging and meals through a partnership with St. Michael’s Methodist Church, and their pastor, Rev. Phillip Stubbs. This church is a generous, loving congregation, welcoming mission teams in the name of Christ.
In February 2013, a team of nine adults went to Nassau through BMH and worked at All Saints. The group of seven men and two women tiled five floors, hung doors, trimmed windows, and repaired a ceiling. The women in the group helped with lunch and personal care for the residents, which gave them a chance to spend quality time with men and women. We also had a Valentine’s Day Party at the camp, which was the highlight of the week. Residents were thrilled to have pizza for lunch, receive cards, and a goodie bag full of candy.
On this trip we were able to attend two church services, one at St. Michael’s Methodist where we stayed, and an Ecumenical Ash Wednesday Service. The opportunity to worship with the Bahamians was a beautiful experience and strengthened our relationships with the people there. We were able to share, pray, sing, and praise God together in a different country, all believing, worshipping , and working together to serve others in Christ. It was miraculous.
Romans 15: 5-6 reminds us to join with others in serving and praising our God: May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have been blessed beyond measure by the experience of working with Bahamas Methodist Habitat, and look forward to joining with them again in 2014!