From June 22 through July 2, 2017, FoNA embarked on its inaugural service mission. Thirty-two eager participants spent 10 days in North Andros.
Day One – Arrival
We arrived in the late afternoon and were hosted to a Welcome Reception at the Nicholl’s Town Church of Christ. For some of our team, this was their first time flying and for others the first time seeing the ocean.
Day Two – Organization & Acclimation
We spent the morning outlining goals and tasks for each day. We also spent time meeting with the Huntley Christie High School Administration and Staff. Later in the afternoon we cleaned up and enjoyed Nicholl’s Town Beach.
Day Three – Career & Life Skills Seminar
We hosted an all day Career & Life Skills seminar at the Huntley Christie High School. Fifteen presenters shared their knowledge and enthusiasm about their careers or interests. Though attendance was light, those who participated truly enjoyed themselves.
Day Four – Worship & Exploration
FoNA worshiped at the Nicholl’s Town Church of Christ followed by a delicious luncheon of traditional Bahamian fare. In the afternoon we toured the devastation of Lowe Sound. It was a sobering and touching experience.
Day Five – Service in Lowe Sound
We were hosted by Mt. Freedom Baptist Church for our Vacation Bible School venue. They opened their doors with warmth and generosity. We shared traditional vacation bible school programming with over 30 children.
Our Restoration Team led a community walk-about. We were delighted to meet (revisit) the residents of Lowe Sound and listen with open hearts as they shared their Hurricane Matthew survival experiences. The team also led a clean up campaign on the coastline.
Day Six – Service in Mastic Point
We were hosted by the delightful Administration, Ms. A. Rolle, and her staff of Mastic Point Primary. Mastic Point was the most well attended VBS session, with over 40 children present! The music, craft, Bible lesson, and recreation were enjoyed by all! The Restoration Team was able to walk about in the Settlements of North and South Mastic Point. It was a pleasure to meet all the smiling faces in Mastic Point.
Day Seven – Service in Red Bays
In Red Bays we were hosted by the dynamic Ms. K. Curtis and her special staff. We were excited to share VBS with participants ranging in age from 2 to 21. The Restoration Team walked about and were educated by Red Bays community members about straw work, boar hunting, wood carving, fishing, and local fruits. Following VBS, our entire team was treated to a drumming exposition led by some young people of Red Bays. (Their music is featured in the video clip on our Home Page.) Before leaving, the group was also treated to a visit to the Marshall Homestead to see a traditional three-rock oven, crab pen, a natural spring-water well, and beautiful straw work in progress!
Day Eight – Service in Nicholl’s Town
We were hosted by the ever-friendly Nicholl’s Town Primary support staff. The VBS crew led their final session with great enthusiasm. The Restoration Team walked about meeting and greeting the lovely people of Nicholl’s Town. The Restoration Team was able to provide service and support to the soon to launch Nicholl’s Town Community Center-directed by Pastor Vanda Rahming. The provided organizational and cleaning support. By putting the bookshelves in place and unpacking the boxes, the center had a refreshed spirit when we left. The Restoration Team also cleaned up the beach in Nicholl’s Town.
Day Nine – BAMSI Tour & Beach Day
Our tour of BAMSI-Bahamas Agricultural & Marine Science Institute provided us with a wealth of new knowledge about farming techniques and potential in Andros. The livestock barn was a huge favorite with the youth, while the banana and papaya groves fascinated the adult members.
Day Ten – Central Andros Tour
We boarded MarKerr Bus Service with driver extraordinaire Mr. Barry Hall at the helm. He narrated the entire trip about the individuality of each Settlement on our way to Central Andros. We drove through Stafford and Stanyard Creek and came to understand their identities within the Central Andros region. We toured Small Hope Bay, Love Hill, and Calabash Bay.
Shopping at and touring the Androsia Batik Factory enabled us to take a tangible part of Andros back to Ohio with us. What fun we had selecting brightly colored pieces of Androsia to wear! Lunch at Brigadier’s provided breathtaking views and delicious food!
Day Eleven – Departure
Many tears were shed as we prepared to return to Ohio. Many new North Androsian friends came to Pineville to see us off and share one last hug. We were sad to leave Eugene & Joe and the fabulous housekeeping staff, who keep us cool, clean, comfortable, and thoroughly ENTERTAINED during every moment of our stay!