David wraps up his experiences in Eluethera

Well I can definitely say this summer went by way too fast. Even though it felt like I hadn’t seen Greenville in a LONG time by the time I got back home it felt like such a short time in the Bahamas. The clearest way I could describe this summer is that it was worth it. I feel as if through the fun, easy parts, and the uncomfortable parts I learned a great deal about myself, and I learned a great deal about how God operates.

I don’t know whether he used my location to deal with me this summer, or some other means. However, I do know that he was gracious to show me how weak I am in the face of adversity. Despite the amount of valuable things I had the opportunity to experience this summer, I want to focus on one specific, stand-out moment that God allowed me to experience this summer.

At the beginning of the summer I was told that the relationships being built through EBTC was the most important thing that would happen this summer. However, up until the last week of my trip, this was shallow head-knowledge. This concept was truly made clear to me when Global Outreach Ministries, a church in James’ Cistern. Came to have dinner with the Grace team and allow their chorale to perform some songs for them. Going into the night I was just looking for some fun and some “Bahamian” style worship. It was extremely rewarding to see my church step it up mingle with a church that I had gotten to be around this summer.

The whole experience really hit home when Matt Williams, while speaking in between songs said something close to. “What can’t be explained is why a group of 30 people from 1,000 miles away can come and worship with people from a completely different culture.” When he said that, I realized that now somebody from both church groups represented that night had participated in “the program”. Now in most cases, that really isn’t that big of a deal. But here, there was something unique about the experience that I still can’t quite put my finger on. I remembered places in Paul’s letters in which he refers the people in those churches as “brothers” and for some reason that has resonated with me more ever since.

In wrapping up this summer I am going to have to say I learned that relationships is not just a part of missions, but it is the glue that holds it together. The Gospel is going to take root in that context and if it is not a part of what you are doing. No amount of construction success, preaching, or discipleship of any kind will have as strong of an effect on either person in the situation.

David Vaughan