Summertime brings hundreds of tourists to the Abacos each year. This July a group of a different kind of visitors flocked here from all over the United States. This group consisted of folks from Arizona, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Of course, this is nothing new. The beauty of these islands has always brought adventurers from every corner of the globe.
But this group came with different mission.
The Bahamas Youth Network invited this team to lead a four-day summer camp for the children of Marsh Harbour. The Bahamas Youth Network may be relatively new to the Abaco Islands, but the mission has a long legacy of ministry in The Bahamas dating back to its beginning on Long Island in the year 2000.
Since that time, the BYN has expanded to include Nassau and now Abaco. On Long Island the BYN reaches teenagers from the north and south with weekly events. In Nassau BYN has focused on outreach to students at the University of The Bahamas and C.R. Walker High School. BYN seeks to partner with local churches, ministries, youth organizations and schools to develop a strong Christian outreach, Bible studies and leadership development programs for teenagers and young adults in The Bahamas.
The July summer day camp was a perfect example of this. The BYN was able to host this camp with the help of many congregations: The International Gospel Chapel provided an excellent space for hosting the event. Berea Baptist Church and New Vision Ministries helped with transportation. Kirk of the Pines provided volunteers and food for the team. Third Space Church assisted in leading worship for the team.
Rev. Gabe Swing, Pastor of Kirk of the Pines and Family Island Coordinator for The BYN, commented, “This was a beautiful picture of Christians from different countries, all walks of life, from many denominational backgrounds coming together to focus on one thing, demonstrating the love of Jesus. Children were able learn about and sense God’s love in a very real and tangible way. It was amazing.”
Over all, it was estimated that two hundred plus children and teenagers attended camp. The students were able to have a beach party, worship through music and dance, create meaningful crafts, play crazy interactive games and hear a clear message of God’s love based on the theme Scripture, 1 John 3:1.
Jan Swing, BYN’s Mission Team Coordinator said, “I believe this week was a tremendous success! We have hosted mission teams on Long Island for over six years, seven teams alone in response to the tragedy of Hurricane Joaquin. The BYN will continue to lead teams to Long Island, but now we are very excited about the opportunity to bring new groups to serve the people of Abaco.”