Monday, July 25, 2011


Day Three

I had the strangest feeling today. It was the opposite feeling as I did yesterday. Today when we pulled into port it was beautiful everywhere. The water was clear there were big buildings and hotels. I didn’t understand what was going on at first. Why were we having our work day here when yesterday we were clearly in a worst part of the islands? Everywhere you looked there was high end shops and tourist. It didn’t seem like it need much help anywhere. Than our bus arrived, our driver was Abraham he is the director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat which is the group we worked with. I was still really excited even with all the confusion, but after being in the bus for a few minutes and driving away from the port I realized why we were here. I hadn’t really seen anything like it. I didn’t understand how something so falling apart could be so close to something so put together. It seemed like we were only in the van for a few minutes when we got to our worksite. We pulled in between two businesses into what looked like an alleyway but turned out to be this little village looking area. There where people sitting outside and they all seemed excited to see us. I was a little overwhelmed but I didn’t want anyone to know. We got out and met everyone then we were put to work, this got me really excited. I love feeling like I’m helping people in any way I can. We cleaned out some trash so it would be easier to put up the walls of the house we were helping to build up. The little kids even came out to help they looked just as excited to help as I was. We all had work gloves but the little kids that had come to help didn’t so I gave mine to this little boy named Cecil. He was one of the best workers today so happy to help us in any way. He would refill our bottles of water for us, take buckets of trash to the trash pile, and made us laugh all day. I don’t think I’m ever going to forget him. He told us about how he wants to be a police officer and he does a mean impression of a police siren. He told us about how fighting is bad and how he gets beaten up by bullies sometimes. I noticed that he always had a smile on his face and you could tell that he was just a really good kid. I plan on keeping a picture of him to remind me to pray that he stays a good kid. We also met his cousin Lamar who is in my opinion is the cutest two year old I have ever met. I think he knew how cute he was too because anytime I had a camera on him he would smile big. I walked over when I saw Eric and Lamar having a conversation, they had made up their own language and were speaking to each other. It was adorable and I took a picture of Lamar and told him to smile big and he did so.

We had all been working hard. One of the things I was worried about was the heat I had put a weather bug for Nassau on my computer a week before we left so I could see how hot it was there. Nothing could have prepared me for that heat. The sun was coming straight down on us all morning and I felt like I was melting. Just then it started to rain we all got under a porch of one of the neighbors houses and waited it out. It didn’t rain long just long enough to get everything a little muddy. When it stopped raining we all got back to work now much cooler. We worked for a little while longer when another round of rain came. We all ran to cover the power tools and clean up the worksite. This time it didn’t seem like it was going to stop and the work site was starting to flood out a bit. I hated sitting on that porch in the rain waiting for it to stop in order to help everyone. We did get to take the time to get to know some of the other kids that lived in the area a little better. They told us about their schools and their plans for college. It was cool getting to hear their plans and what they think about school. After sitting on the porch for awhile we realized it wasn’t going to stop for awhile and we went back to work in the rain, that excited me. We were all in water past our ankles playing with power tools in the rain but it was a lot of fun. We started putting up the walls and it started looking like a house. By the end of the day all the walls were up and they had cut the windows and doors out. It was awesome getting to see it come alive and being able to help it come alive.

After we were done at that work site they took our group to All Saints Camp also known as Aids camp. When they told us we were going to an Aids camp and I’m not going to lie the idea freaked me out. I had never met anyone with Aids and I didn’t really know how it affected people in the long run. Then they explained that it was really a place where people who couldn’t really take are of themselves lived. It was kinds of like the Bahamians version of a nursing home. We got to meet a few of the people that lived in this village type of area. Francesa was one of the sweetest people I think I’ve ever met. She had this funny way of telling all of her stories and smiled when she didn’t know what to say. Betty seemed like someone you didn’t want to mess with but had this very secret sweet side to her, She was also a very good cook. We think it’s because he name is Betty and anyone named Betty has to be a good cook. We also met Garvin, Seeing him broke my heart a little at first. But then I realized he has this joy about him that you don’t see in a lot of people. The kind of joy that makes you smile when you see it. He is this man that only has half a body but it looks like he’s never thought as himself as different. Just being around him made me happier, seeing his smile. If I could I would have go and visit with him everyday we need more people like Garvin in this world. We also met Rachel a little girl who really found us. She saw us walking along the path to Garvin's house and yelled out the window “Hello Americans!” She followed us into Garvin's house and even prayed with us. It surprised me how fast the children in the Bahamas trust you. I had never met this little girl and she ran right up to me and held my hand. I was amazed by everything I saw in Nassau and humbled by the people there. I have pictures and memories that are going to last forever and I can't wait to go back there one day!


Friday, July 22, 2011


Day two

I started the day with Dori and Ashley on the top deck of the boat. We watched excitedly as the ship pulled into port. I have this list of things I want to do before I die and one of the things on it is to see as much of the world as I can. This trip was getting me a little closer to that goal. I watched as we pulled in and I looked around at the island. I was surprised at how dirty and unbeautiful it all looked. I had had this idea in my head of how everything was going to be and it wasn’t living up to the image. I started to worry a little at that point. Were we really going to have fun here?

We all met up as a group to catch our taxi it felt like there was some tension in the group but we all seemed to brush it off when Nathan showed up. He was our taxi driver and had grown up on the island. It was pretty hard to hear Nathan from where I was sitting but he was telling us about the island and his family. We past a beautiful church that Nathan told us was his mother’s. He went on to tell us that her 96th birthday was coming this Sunday. I couldn’t even image living that long and from what it sounded like she still loved every minute of it. He went on to say that he wouldn’t be able to go to his mother’s birthday party that they were having at her church because he would be working. Cindy and I made it a point to talk to his boss to try and get the day off. I’m not sure it helped any but we had to try.

We reached Paradise Cove for a day of snorkeling. I was surprised at how different it looked against everything else we had seen at Freeport. The water was beautiful and clear and the sand was so white. I didn’t expect it but it lived up to my initial thoughts of what the Bahamas would look like to me. It was a shock that something so beautiful could be hidden away amongst all the falling down buildings and rocks.

Before we could go into the water we had to have safety training. I clearly should have paid closer attention because the fire coral we had been warned about still ended up getting me in the shin. But at least it wasn’t a shark! I loved getting to see this part of the earth it was an eye opener to me. I watched the fish swimming by they looked like birds flying across the sky. There were all kinds of fish large, small, scary, funny, colorful, and dull. I couldn’t help feeling small myself being in that water and seeing all those fish. I didn’t know how far they had been in the ocean or all the things they had seen, but I’m sure they didn’t have a list they wanted to check off of the things they wanted to see. I thought about how much I worry about things that are out of my hands. I saw the fish and I thought about their lives. They live in this big ocean and they are most likely not even going to see one percent of the ocean no matter how long they live. I looked at all the colors and sizes they are all designed in a way to keep them alive. Their bright colors keep away prey their size makes it possible to survive. All of them were made by God and all of them were made for a reason. I watched them swimming around and I thought about my worries. I thought about how I’ve got to trust God with all of them. These fish swim around with bright colors trusting that those colors will save them from any danger. Meanwhile I worry about things out of my control. If a fish can trust in God and his design I’ve got to be capable of the same.

Freeport was much more than I ever expected or could even image. It wasn’t so pretty on the outside it was dirty and falling apart even, but it had this place hidden inside it. I’ve learned that I still judge a book by its cover sometimes but that doesn’t mean that the stories inside aren’t worth reading.


I'm sailing away

Day One

Today I woke up so excited! I don't think I've been this excited in awhile and now I'm on the way to the Bahamas! I have no idea what to expect or if I even have the right to be this excited but I love the people that I'm here with and they always seem to make me feel better without even knowing they'r doing so.

Today I'm thinking about our trip but I'm also finding myself thinking about all the worries I'm leaving behind. I shouldn't be worried because that's what my devotion book tells me not to. And they are all going to be waiting for me when I get back. So I may as well give them up for a few days.

The truth is I find myself worrying a lot lately, I worry about silly things too. Kelly spent all this time making these devotions and I can tell there already starting to work. She had us write down our worries then we had to get rid of 92% of them. I looked at my list and it was one of the hardest things ever. To not worry about the things I had been worrying about? What is she trying to do to me? I took my list and I did as I was told. I realized the the only thing remaining on my list was the only real thing I could control. I couldn't worry about my brother, my mother, or my dog. The only real thing I could worry about was myself. At first I thought it would be the hardest thing ever, then I realized what a relief it was to not worry as much. I got to enjoy myself for the first time in a really long time. I thought that I was being selfish at first. But then I realized how exhausted I had been. Pretending to be okay all the time had taken a toll on me that I didn't even know. I know I'm not perfect and I have no idea why I try to be. I know it's pointless and unreachable goal. But it's funny because when I stopped worrying and took the time to relax and reflect it felt like I got a lot closer to that pointless and unreachable goal.

As hard as it is for me to admit it, I think I may just need to start taking some time to relax and maybe just maybe not worry so much.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sometimes I feel like my knees will forever be part of the ground I lay here on. It's then that you pick me up and hold me tight so I can hear your heartbeat. I see myself as weak in all of their eyes, but you see my strength. I seem cold to them all. But you know it's my hurt that goes so deep I can't see the light at the end of the hole I’ve dug myself in. I hold back feelings as to not let them all see. That I'm so broken inside I can't even see me. But you tell me I have purpose a reason for this life. My tongue is sore from biting my word, because I can't seem to use the ones you do to describe me. Beautiful, wonderful, and amazing. Caring and strong. These words that you use make me come undone. You speak like I am worth a place on this earth and watch me like I am a gift. You are my God and I am your child and I will forever love you.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I've noticed that a lot of my friends have been getting married and a lot of them talk about what will happen if they don't ever find "the one". I've never been one to give much thought to this kind of thing. In my eyes God has a plan and I'm just trying to follow that path. If I met someone that's great if I don't that's okay too. I know that God's got amazing plans for me no matter what and I can't wait to see where he takes me. But I still have these friends. I won't name names but it’s not just my girlfriends that are obsessed with this love story.

I've been thinking. As woman we are taught from a very young age about love. It's everywhere. We see it in TV shows, magazines, and even children’s movies. So I don't blame anyone for getting the idea that that's what the key to happiness is or anything. But I got to thinking about it more and it kind of started driving me a little crazy. We can spend our whole lives looking for "the one" our prince charming or lady in waiting. We can spend all this time running around like our lives our some kind of fairy tale and we won't get our happy ending without that last kiss from our true love. I think we've seem to forgotten something. We've already been part of the most epic love story ever. It's not some boy meets girl falls in love and does anything and everything he can to get this girl. Our story is about a man who was born here for a reason. To save us he gave his life because he loved you so much. He was tortured and embarrassed and killed on a cross, all this without ever even meeting you. He did this because he knew what your life was going to be. He knew all the things you were going to do and he loved you no matter what you turned out to be. He never met me, never heard my voice, and I never once said I loved him to his face. But he gladly took my place on that cross. He did it all so that one day I would be able to see him, and I would be able to tell him I love him. He did this so that one day when my life here is over I can have my happy ending.

If that's not the most beautiful love story ever I don't know what is.