A Modern-day Abraham
A Modern-day Abraham Communication Department, ATCU
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place, which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8.)
This is the story of Bernard and Andréa Linden, husband and wife, parents, and lay members of the South Bahamas Conference. Andréa is a nurse by profession, and Bernard is a construction professional by trade. But, besides having professional careers, they consider themselves local missionaries and are passionate about building up the kingdom of God in the many islands of The Bahamas, the place they call home.
In the early years of their marriage, this God-fearing couple, with two young children, felt the call of God on their lives to leave the busy and crowded capital city of Nassau on the island of New Providence to work and live in the less populated islands of The Bahamas. For more than 22 years, their extraordinary journey of faith would take them to five of these islands, known as family islands, where they shared the gospel, built and renovated churches, and positively impacted the communities.
It began in 1992, when Andrea made a decision to trust God as she accompanied her husband to the island of San Salvador. Without receiving a transfer or submitting a request for unpaid leave from the Bahamas government with whom she was employed, she essentially left her job to follow the call of God. She recalled that her family had to depend totally on Him to supply all of their needs.
The work on San Salvador was difficult and rough at times, but it was a rewarding experience. Under the power of the Holy Spirit and through their efforts, the church expanded. They convinced other missionary couples from Nassau to join them.
Over time, they would live and work in Cat Island, South Andros, Acklins, Crooked Islands, and a few others with Bernard using his construction skills to assist in erecting new church buildings and renovating old ones. He would also use his God-given talents to preach and assist in the leadership of the church.
Amazingly, even though Andréa initially left her job as a nurse to engage in missionary work, God impressed upon the Bahamas government to rehire her and grant her two scholarships (one for each year she was off) to pursue Midwifery and Community Health Nursing. Referencing Philippians 4:19, Andrea admits that God used the government to supply their needs so that they could do His work.
Their test of faith and at the same time a confirmation of God’s answer to prayer came when on their last missionary journey to the island of Acklins, Andrea became sick unto death. It was this experience that took her to Uchee Pines, Seal, Alabama where God miraculously healed her through the use of natural herbs and green vegetables. However, the story took another twist when on the day prior to her returning home she was involved in a traffic accident in Alabama. She sustained a fractured pelvic; broken ribs and shoulder; a mandible laceration of the spleen; and lost consciousness for eight days. Again, God miraculously healed her and gave her a new lease on life and a renewed passion.
Today, after 27 years of marriage and over 22 years on the mission field, the Lindens have returned to Nassau. Andrea is the coordinator for the Chronic, Non- Communicable Diseases Program (CNCD) for the Department of Public Health in The Bahamas. She believes that God strategically placed her in this position. Bernard travels occasionally to Acklins to assist with the work there. Their two children are now young adults who are also passionate about sharing the gospel in their own unique way.
Because of Bernard and Andrea’s experience, it is their desire to establish a health retreat center on one of the islands in the Bahamas. Just like God called them many years ago, they believe that when God is ready, He will call them for another exciting journey on the mission field. And they will always be ready. Will you?