So, I am about a month away from my adventures in the Bahamas, so I thought that I would give you all an update.
First, some background for first time readers: There is a discipleship program based in Nassau, Bahamas, called Patmos: Reality Discipleship, that I am planning to attend for their sixteen-week course. It is a program of Calvary Chapel Ft Lauderdale (FL) and was recommended to me by Paul Cowley, a missionary in Kenya, when I emailed him about preparation for missions. It is my intention to join Paul in his ministry shortly after my time in the Bahamas is complete.
As with most missionaries and some missionary trainees, this will involve donated finances. The cost of the school overall is $3950, which includes all the fees, but does not include transportation, which is only about $225 roundtrip from Ft Lauderdale—but I have to get there from St Petersburg and back, which raises that cost, but not by much.
So far, $1650 has been raised, leaving about $2300 with four weeks to go. I am intending to cover the flight costs myself, and I do intend to contribute to my own fund. I had thought that $500 would be possible, and I still hope to make that work, but the deadline for fund-raising is the 15th of August, and I won't have all of that by then (because of the flight).
If the Lord leads you to donate to this cause above or in addition to many other worthy causes out there, please make the check payable to The Adventure Learning Centre (which administers the Patmos program) and please do not put anything in the memo. Those of you accustomed to supporting missionaries will say, "Why not? How can they track the donations that are for you?" Because you send the donations to me but made payable to them. Whatever I send them, they know is for me.
What is my address? Please send any correspondence to me c/o Calvary Chapel St. Pete 8900 US Hwy 19 N, Pinellas Park, FL 33782, because I do not have a personal mail box at my residence, and I work at the church (and, yes, the church has contributed to my fund).
Please don't feel guilty if you are not led to or able to contribute to this cause. Please just pray for me, that I will get the funds, and that I will be up to whatever tasks lie ahead of me (they won't tell me what's up, just that it's going to "stretch" me, whatever that means), and that I will be obedient to the Lord in all things.
Thanks and God bless,
Joshua S Black
P.S. I will be attending the school from August 25 until December 13th this year.