Last night, the church here at Marsh Harbour officially asked me to stay on as their permanent Minister/Missionary.
I have been considering the possibility that this might happen and have been praying about it and seeking God's will regarding the matter. I have counseled with many of my supporters, including churches, individuals, family members, as well as Minister friends, and without exception, all of them agreed that under the circumstances, this appears to be where God wants me to be.
The circumstances that brought me to Abaco were unique to say the least. Originally, I had planned to sail straight to Saint Lucia and plant a church there. The sail would have taken between 25-35 days depending on wind and weather. Because I had/have limited sailing experience, I had to recruit the help of a sailor with extensive experience for such a long and potentially dangerous passage. I did so, but he informed me that he would not sail into the Lesser Antilles during hurricane season and would only take me as far as Marsh Harbour. (He was right, we would have run close to Hurricane Don and dangerous seas due to that storm). The plan was for my pilot to return after the 2017 hurricane season and then continue the sail to Saint Lucia.
I contacted some old friends who just happened to be working as missionaries here at Marsh Harbour. I offered to help with their work during my layover and they thought it was a great idea. They and the church welcomed me and I began my layover and temporary missionary work with the church here on July 1st.
After being here about six weeks, my missionary friends decided they would be better suited for another mission work and they, as well as the church, asked me to step in and fill the missionary position until the end of the hurricane season. I agreed. There are many other "coincidences" that played their part in my ending up here in Marsh Harbour, but to make a long story short, I believe God led me here and wanted me here.
When I talked with three of my Minister friends and individual preachers who support my mission work monthly, (George Forbes, Jeff Gardner, and Bill Moody), they all reminded me that Paul wanted to go to Asia but God had different plans, (Acts 16:6-10). All three of these godly men said the same thing almost verbatim... it appears God wants you preaching in Marsh Harbour. Obviously, I now agree.
So... Mission Saint Lucia is now officially Mission Marsh Harbour.
This Saturday, we will be at the local Supermarket passing out brochures, tracts, and invitations to worship and Home Bible Studies. There is a baptism planned that morning... possibly two. We have discussed, as a church, a Spring Revival with Stateside Church Campaigners coming to help in that event. We have already been noticed and praised in the local paper for our benevolence, (though that is not what we sought in reaching out to help a local young lady who was/is in great need). And almost every Sunday we have new visitors.
It is truly exciting to be at a church that is willing and wanting to reach out to their community with the Gospel of Christ. They are eager to learn, to grow, and to become the people that God has called them to be. It is thrilling to watch God work in and through His people!
To the members of the Marsh Harbour Church of Christ... Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you in God's Kingdom. I have already grown to love you and I know that as time goes by, my love for you will only grow. You are a breath of fresh air to me and a blessing to my heart and soul. I promise to devote myself to this mission and this ministry. Thank you.
I ask for your prayers as I preach and teach in this place, that I will fulfill my ministry and God will be glorified here at Marsh Harbour.