Rise and shine "Awake"
30 April 2021 | Murphy Town
Arriving Marsh Harbor is a mix of memories and emotions. We are in world wind of events of preparation while visiting communities and churches to bring forth the event Awake. The island here since Dorian has been busy working hard under adverse conditions. Many homes are rebuilt and we are able to see life is returning to the island. Maxwells the local grocery and hardware store is bustling. Colors has reopened on the water front filled with people enjoying lunch and the view. Sail boats are in the harbor and visitors are starting to return to the island which in the past has been a large source of the economy here in the Abacos. The beaches and colorful waters are irresistible along with warm hearted welcoming people of the Bahamas.
The joy and life on the island is wonderful and only part of the picture The island still remains in great need. Commerce building and homes remain destroyed. The rebuilding is a monumental task. A shortage of building supplies at escalated prices increases the challenge. We were made aware that rent for a 1 bedroom apt is $ 2,700 . All of this combined with covid on top is a heavy weight.
We have been spending time returning to previously visited tent camps. Many people are still living in temporary structures donated by large NGO's since the storm. Others on the island are less fortunate finding shelter in camping tents and cars. Driving though many areas in town it still look like a war zone. When you drive past town acres and acres of dead trees remain standing for miles and miles. This was once a thriving pine forest home to many creatures. Now it houses mounds of wrecked cars.
The purpose of our return visit to Marsh Harbor is to bring encouragement to the heart. Living in the Florida Keys for over 30 years we know first hand the aftermath of a storm, none to the degree of destruction as Dorian. If any of you remember Andrew and Irma , amplify them.The people in Abaco heard the sound of their ones ones crying out for help as they vanished from the storm, either swept away by the sea of crushed beneath their homes. Behind the joyful smiles of many remains pain and trauma. One of the greatest heart aches is the still separation from family. To look into the eyes of a weeping mother as she starts to open up, you feel the once hidden desperation. To God we pray, believing he is the way maker and miracle worker today. He is the one able to open doors, to bring peace and heal hearts.
I met a woman in our visit to Spring City where the government has erected igloo looking dwellings. She shared her storm experience. A tornado came through the window she had minutes prior boarded up. She stood holding hands with her children as the tornado swirled a few feet away from her. The blessing of God is, after a few second which seemed as hours, it went directly up tearing apart the roof. She remains today with her family, with great faith knowing the love and protection of the Lord.
Awake is a three day revival event bringing hope and healing by the spirit of our God who is alive and the same today as yesterday. " Arise , shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you Isaiah 60: 1) We are believing for many hearts to come back to our heavenly Father though the saving grace and love of Jesus.
Last night was our first night. People attended in person adhering to strictly enforced covid protocol . The event is being held at Murphy town Park which is in the Marsh Harbor area. We are in the middle of a very active running track and soccer field The basketball court in an ear shot away along with the liquor store directly across the street. Many drive up in cars as if you were at a drive in movie. This is common on the island. The event was also live streamed though individual accounts on Facebook sending the word of God out and into homes.
The many challenges have not stopped us . It has made us to think more creatively and caused us to persevere though pressure and adversity but our God is more than able . The kingdom of God is unstoppable, so get out there today and love someone, you just may save their life.
Arrived in the Harbor!
27 April 2021 | Marsh Harbor
Gail Gordon | Sunny
4-26-21 Marsh Harbor Abaco
Rocking under the stars with a cool breeze. It is one of those nights you dream of , peace and quiet dreaming away. Then the sound of the whipping wind causes you to stir . As the wind continues to barrel down the rain and lightening flash and the boat is jumping around turning with the wind. Peaceful sleep becomes watch, as you question and check to see if your anchor is holding, watching til the storm will pass. Eventually all is well and the night passes into day.
Morning comes and it's time to move on. Marsh Harbor our final destination a short 30 minute sail way. Entering the harbor a few sunken vessels remain but it is well populated with cruising boats. We can see the progress of many docks being rebuilt and roofs on the shore line buildings. Going ashore the ruins from Dorian sit as a reminder as the Abacos continue to rebuild .
Our faithful friend Amos meets us at Union Jack dock which is said by the cruisers, to be the best dock in the islands. That is a very high rating and I agree it is quite fine with sturdy ladders to climb, when landing with your dingy on low tide. Last year this time was a different story. We were climbing over debris with pieces of the dock here and there. Amos drove us to pick up two rental vans to use for transportation this week,. The windshields were in place. Last year if a vehicle was running it probably had a busted our windshield or was severely cracked.
Our first mission today is to be compliant with the local government covid protocol. All 21 of us pile in to the vehicles to head off to the clinic. After being in the Bahamas for 5 days you need to have a rapid test. I wonder how much one nose can take? Again, what a pleasant surprise. I secretly rate testers on who much pain they inflict to your poor nose. This lady here is an expert , as good as Guatemala , no pain what a blessing.
Our purpose here is Awake a revival event we have been planing over the last year with the local churches and a team from the states. Sailing over from the Florida Keys our vessel Viento Azul has been carrying supplies along with our team of now 9 . Joining us Aboard s/v Adonai is Global Love Initiative with a team of 12 and more supplies.
Today we unpacked our vessels with countless trips ashore. Loading and unloading becomes an event when it's windy. It is a-lot of work when you are tied up to a dock . When you are anchored out it becomes even more fun. Try putting a 150 pound playground set in your 12 foot dingy plus the people to carry it. It is almost as fun as a washing machine in your dingy. With all items secure on the dock it is time to load it all into the vehicles and head of to Pastor Baillou's church. Here we start the preparation to organize for the days ahead.
Returning to the boat on the water front the restaurant Colors was open along with Fatty's conch bar. We bought the rest of the conch salad which was fresh and delicious. The day was ending with the sunset over the harbor in the same time the moon was rosing above. We all met aboard Adonai to grill some burgers. As the night grows dark and the wind howls on it is rocking us all away.