Yep, you read that right. Ten Eighteen, up til now focusing on Uganda, is taking a missions trip to Andros, Bahamas. We have spent Easter weekend in Andros, trying to listen to the Lord about why He sent us there (and he very clearly did). We don’t know everything yet, but what we do know is that we will be doing a youth camp at the National Church of God in Mastic Point, North Andros. Here are the details (as we know them at this early date), as well as pictures and some information on Andros.

WHEN:  August 10-17, 2013

WHERE: Mastic Point, North Andros, Bahamas

WHAT:  Youth Camp for kids 5-18, at National Church of God

WHO:  We can sleep 13 at Beneby’s Bayside Motel (a 5 room guest house). It is possible we can fit in a few air mattresses, but I’d need to confirm that with Mrs. Beneby.

COST:  My estimate right now is $900, depending on airfare. It shouldn’t be more than $1,000

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO IF YOU WANT TO GO?

Time is short, but God knew that when He laid this on my heart. Right now, a quick check of Orbitz shows the airfare at $400. We’ve paid as low as $350. Booking the flights as soon as we can is going to be key to locking in our costs, as will working with a consolidator. I know you will need to raise the funds, and the funds other than the airfare won’t be needed until we go. But we will need to get those tickets as soon as possible. Tentatively, I’m hoping we can do that NO LATER THAN MAY 15 or (latest) JUNE 1.  That will give you time to raise the additional money.

Let me know via email or Facebook if you want to go, and I’ll add you to the list. I’m taking people on a first-to-reply basis. We’ll be having a meeting for those interested in going in April, probably the weekend of the 19th – I’ll know more on that once I get back to the States.

INFO ON ANDROS:

Andros is the largest island of the 700 that make up the nation of the Bahamas, and the 5th largest Caribbean island. Andros is the least explored island of the Bahamas. It is HUGE, but only has 8,000 people living on it. The people are divided between South Andros, which is cut off from the rest of the island by bytes, creeks and mangrove swamps, Central Andros, and North Andros. Farming and fishing bring in income, but most people only do the bare minimum to get by. The Navy base at Fresh Creek employs 300 Androsians and is by far the biggest employer. The next biggest is the Bahamian government. The island is shockingly poor, especially when you arrive from Nassau. The other thing you notice is that there is, literally, NOTHING there. There are vast square miles of forest, with settlements dotted along the eastern coast, but mostly it’s just a whole lot of nothing in terms of businesses, infrastructure, commercial enterprises, etc.

95% of the houses are in disrepair. Many people have little to no food on hand. (Mrs. Beneby, who owns the guest house, is retired, and spends a lot of her time distributing food around the island.) Almost no one has internet, although it’s available on the island. Most people are simply unemployed.

But it’s beautiful! It has the largest number of blue holes of anywhere in the world (we saw 2, one just offshore and the other in the middle of the woods). The water and beaches are just as pretty as anywhere else in the country. It has the 3rd longest coral reef in the world, and the best bonefishing on the planet (literally). There is a 6,000 foot drop off to the east of the reef that forms the Tongue of the Ocean. There are caves, including Henry Morgan’s cave, where the famous pirate is said to have buried treasure. The potential is just massive – and yet, there’s nothing but poverty. And the island is only 13 miles from Nassau at the closest point.

To get to Andros, you can take a small (6 seat) charter plane, a larger (30 seat) commercial plane, the “fast” ferry (2 hours, on Mon/Wed/Sun), or the mail ferry (4+ hours, twice a week). The charter is $60 each way and the best way to go – it only takes 15 minutes! (To get from North Andros to South Andros by plane is $400-500, crazily – you have to go to Nassau, then an island in the middle of Andros, then South Andros.) It’s a beautiful trip, up over Nassau’s west coast, across the narrow bit of ocean, across the reef, and then the swaths of forest.

PICTURES:

I haven’t gotten the pictures from the family from their phones yet, but here is a good overview. I’ll add the ones of the caves, a gorgeous cove we went to at Morgan’s Bluff, and others, once we get home!

heading to Andros in the charter plane. It's really fun!
heading to Andros in the charter plane. It’s really fun!
The road to Uncle Charlie's blue hole
The road to Uncle Charlie’s blue hole
Yep! That's a BLUE HOLE! I can cross that off my bucket list!
Yep! That’s a BLUE HOLE! I can cross that off my bucket list!
You can swim in the blue hole... YES PLEASE!
You can swim in the blue hole… YES PLEASE!
Rope swing...
Rope swing…
The water is crystal clear but the hole is dark because it is so deep. You can see something you drop for at least 30-40', and bubbles will come up from a rock for a long time
The water is crystal clear but the hole is dark because it is so deep. You can see something you drop for at least 30-40′, and bubbles will come up from a rock for a long time
Fishing boats at Red Bays, the only settlement on the west side of the island.
Fishing boats at Red Bays, the only settlement on the west side of the island.
This house is in pretty good shape by comparison to most.
This house is in pretty good shape by comparison to most.
The house Mrs. Beneby was born in
The house Mrs. Beneby was born in
The view from the back balcony of Beneby's Bayside Motel
The view from the back balcony of Beneby’s Bayside Motel
The mangroves behind Beneby's (and most of Mastic Point)
The mangroves behind Beneby’s (and most of Mastic Point)
One of the many gorgeous beaches on Andros. With NOTHING on it...
One of the many gorgeous beaches on Andros. With NOTHING on it…
See? nothing!!
See? nothing!!
Walking back to Beneby's from our dinner at Murphy's Chill and Grill (Delicious!)
Walking back to Beneby’s from our dinner at Murphy’s Chill and Grill (Delicious!)
Almost there!
Almost there!
Beneby's!
Beneby’s!
Just for comparison, this is the Sheraton in Nassau... Notice a difference?
Just for comparison, this is the Sheraton in Nassau… Notice a difference?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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