It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it—so we volunteered to preach in the Bahamas. It all began several years ago when our family was vacationing in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island over Easter break. On the Saturday evening before Easter, Delron was in the grocery store picking up some supplies. As he checked out, he asked the cashier if she could recommend a good church for the next morning’s Easter service. A lady two aisles over came up and volunteered to pick us up and take us to the service the at her church. On Eater Sunday morning, we awoke to a tropical rainstorm that made us wonder if it were hurricane season, but we readied ourselves for church anyway. We must have made quite a spectacle of ourselves as we hurried across the parking lot using a beach giant umbrella to try to protect ourselves from the torrential rain. After the service, we were invited to join the congregation for a big Easter banquet that one of the elders, who runs a catering business on the island, had prepared for the church. Through that afternoon together, we became acquainted with the pastor and some of the church leaders.
On our next visit to the Bahamas, we again attended the church. This time there was a new associate pastor, whom we had not previously met, serving with the pastor. After praise and worship, the associate stepped up to the microphone to say, “I know that we will greet all our visitors in a few minutes, but first I have a word from the Lord for this couple,” as he pointed to us. Immediately, he began to prophesy to Delron, saying that he was a writer and that his books would impact nations all around the world. He then turned to Peggy and prophesied that her ministry would be even more impactful than Delron’s. Of course, there was no way that he even knew that we are ministers, much less writers, and even more that our ministry has an international focus! After we returned home, we sent him a box of all our books just to let him see physical proof of the accuracy of his prophecy.
When we again had an occasion to have a few days of vacation in the Bahamas, we emailed the pastor to say that we were looking forward to seeing him again. Almost instantly, he responded with an invitation for us to minster in a series of special meetings while in town. The result was that Pastor Allen Albury hosted us at Kingdom Encounter Tabernacle for a two-night seminar, a one-day women’s conference, a radio interview, an appearance on a nationally televised panel discussion, and the Sunday service. And, we did manage to still get in a couple days of beach time!
The plane we were to leave Colorado Springs on was late arriving because it had a number of disabled passengers who were coming into town for the wheelchair basketball championship. Apparently it took longer to board, and it definitely took longer to deplane because they had to bring up all the wheelchairs and then escort all the passengers off the plane. Once we did finally get to Dallas, we had to wait to park at the gate because our plane had to cross an active taxiway that a number of aircraft were using. We were seated at the back of the plane, so it took a while for us to get off. Then we had to change terminals, and our gate was the farthest one away from the stop for inter-terminal train. All said, we made it to our connection at just the last second. The attendant at the gate saw us coming halfway down the corridor and greeted us by name because we were the last ones she was waiting before closing the door. When we arrived in the Bahamas, one of our suitcases was missing. It had not made the connection in Dallas. When they assured me that it was coming in on the next flight that would arrive at 5 PM, Delron explained that he needed the clothes before 7:30 PM because he had to preach that night. The young lady promised that she would rush it to the hotel as soon as it arrived. Well, 7:30 PM came and went, but not the suitcase. It had arrived, but the delivery service was slow. Finally, we had to leave for the church with Delron in jeans and a pullover shirt. We left the church number and instructions to call as soon as the bag arrived. Almost as soon as the service started, the hotel called and the pastor sent someone to pick it up. Delron was able to get changed in just in time to step up to speak.
Since the Bahamas are in the midst of national election campaigns, a representative from each of the three leading political parties was invited to address the conference on the opening night. After the candidates spoke, the host pastor gave a moving address on the role of the church in politics, cautioning the candidates that they must have “prophets” to speak into the lives of the “kings” no matter who gains power. The theme of the conference was “Becoming the Church, Completing the Mission, Going Beyond the Four Walls,” and it focused on laymen as well as church leadership. The foundation was laid to help every member discover how he is to find his individual ministry within the Body of Christ and also for the church leadership to understand how to best coordinate the individual giftings into one united operation.
The women’s conference turned out to be open to the general pubic, and a number of gentlemen joined the ladies for Peggy’s ministry. Most of those in attendance were in ministry, with some having come from the far ends of the island to be present. The main focus of Peggy’s ministry was on getting free from bondages that hinder advancement in ministry and personal life. In one story she shared about having received a very critical letter that she had to literally burn in order to break the control that the accusations in the letter were having over her. One of the leaders of the congregation came up after the meeting to say that the exact thing was going on in her life. Her husband added that he had advised her to burn the letter, but found out later that she had not done so. Instead of destroying it, she had hidden it and would occasionally reread it, allowing its scathing contents to again send her into an emotional and spiritual tailspin. After prayer and counsel, she went home and took care of the letter and its destructive power. Even though we had to leave the island after just a short visit, the impact of Peggy’s ministry will live on not only in the hearts of the women who attended the conference but in many more women who will attend a future conference in which the pastor’s wife will be teaching the principles from her Women for the Harvest book.
One thing that had been spoken in the prophecy on our previous visit was that our books would open doors for us in many nations around the world and that we would be making television appearances when we came to the various countries because of the impact of the books. In the unique way that God has of fulfilling His word, He allowed the very country where that prophecy was given to be the first place where it was to be fulfilled. The president of Bahamas Christian Network flew in from one of the other islands for a special taping of a panel discussion featuring Delron, the host pastor, and the president of the Grand Bahama Ministerial Fellowship, addressing current issues facing the church in the Bahamas and worldwide. The discussion covered many aspects of church-state relations, internal governance within the church, local outreach, and world missions. The program was aired nationally several times over the following couple days.
We concluded our ministry in the Bahamas by ministering in the Sunday morning service at the church that hosted the seminar and women’s conference. It was a real blessing to see most of the congregation respond to the altar call for prayer and special ministry. One young man who came forward for salvation told us that he was a regular attender at the church but had never actually asked the Lord into his life. The pastor later confirmed that they had been praying for him for quite a while but that he had never responded until that service. As we bade farewell to the tropic wonderland, we were happy that on this visit we had been permitted to help establish the kingdom of heaven in this corner of paradise.