My name is Carly and I’ve been working with the children of the Dutch Island of Saba since 2012. I started going there as a nanny for a couple from church, who led a team from Lipscomb University on this mission trip. After getting to see and experience what God was doing in the lives of the people there, I knew that I’d have to come back. Year after year, spring and summer trips, I was there.
Teaching Young People About Jesus
In the spring, our team is allowed to go into the classrooms of the elementary and high schools. We do what we could never do here, which is teach Jesus during school. With the little ones we mainly focus on the story of who Jesus is and who he wants us to be, as well as learning a song and dance. In the high school, we split the boys and girls up and talk about real issues that they deal with: bullying, sex, or depression. We work on teaching them Christ minded solutions, we share our own struggles, and we show that life isn’t perfect just because we are Christians, but we do serve a perfect loving God. We also hold after school activities and nightly singing and devotionals.
In the summer, we work with the Child Focus Foundation on the island and hold a day camp for two weeks. Two weeks filled with event after event for children ranging from 5-16. Every morning begins with songs, stretches, and a short devotional. After that we have a day full of hiking, swimming, crafts, music, cooking, scavenger hunts, and much more. From 8am until 12pm, we are working to have fun and learn. The afternoons are spent having down time and continuing to build the relationships we’ve grown over previous trips. And every evening ends with singing and a devotional.
Beautiful Island, Beautiful People
This beautiful five square mile island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea is one of the dearest places to my heart. Not because the island itself is beautiful, but rather the people who live there are so loving and in want of love. The friendships formed over the past five years will last, I pray, for many more to come. They have inspired me to return to school and become a teacher in 2016. They made me see the importance of investing in the lives of young people.
Five Mile Island
The Bruce Gilley Foundation allowed me to continue my work on this beautiful island when I was tight on funds due to my returning to school. Saba Spring Break 2017 was an amazing time for me, and I want to thank the Bruce Gilley Foundation for giving me the opportunity to return to the places and the faces that I love to the depth of my heart. It allowed me to teach my 5th grade students, whom I have worked with since they were in Kindergarten. If there was one thing I could say about this foundation it is this: You have no idea the impact you are making, not only in the lives of the people you donate to, but also to the people they are coming in contact with and spreading the love of Jesus.