Tuesday, 28 July 2009
OK as you are reading this I am in the Carribean (sp?) island of St.Vincent and the Grenadines-oh yes! Today I went to some waterfall which was pretty sweet and then visited the place were the film "Pirates of the Carribean" was actually filmed-lovely place didn't bump into Kiera Knightley though unfortunatly... So been here only 2 days and in 2 weeks I will be flying home-so you need not cry anymore!
The 2 weeks in Cork really flew by it was very enjoyable and encouraging at times but also very discouraging and boring at other times. At work I have bonded very well with most of my shift so it is great banter when I am working which is a real blessing because some days it is very hard to get out of bed at half 5 or to watch others go to play football knowing I have work to go to! My cabin also is still great entertainment with the 3 guys-pretty much every day is a new adventure with them and usually has some sort of comical outcome! Arran nearly got thrown off the ship because instead of going to work 1 day he went to a spa with his girlfriend and just left a note explaining himself-it was very very funny! Ministry wise I have had some really encouraging experiences in Cork- 1 involved me meeting this guy in the cafe onboard and chatting for a long time about his life and struggles, which ended with me eventually praying for him and encouraging him to look to Jesus- so I hope and pray for the best in that outcome. The other event was sharing my testimony with some youth guys in this youth-cafe-drop-in-centre-place. I hadn't planned to say it but after a time of other people in the ship team saying their own 1 of the youth turned to me and asked what my story was. So I was shocked but am also really happy he asked me-so again I hope and pray that some of the guys were impacted. Another cracking story from Cork is that I was asked out of the blue to act in a kids event as a pirate so after agreeing on the day of the drama I was standing there in my pirate gear and some woman tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to find Kyla and Tim (a legendary Canadian couple who served on the same mission team as me to Romania last summer and who I thought I'd never see again!) staring at me! It actually took me about 2 days to get over the shock (and slight embarrassment) but it was so amazing to be able to meet and speak with them again. They were on another mission trip in Ireland with OM so were getting trained on the ship for the few days before it, what are the chances! Finally in Cork played in the football tournament between all the ship people and the groups (called PST's) they came to the ship in (I was in the "leftover" team as I don't have a PST) which was great fun. We eventually got to the final which I am very proud of however lost which was disapointing. I got "male player of the tournament" though so I am honoured.
After Cork came a 12 day sail across the Atlantic which I was really dreading after the vomiting exploits of the last voyage but I "found my sea legs quickly" as us experienced sailors say so it turned out to be an amazing time. We were extremely blessed with calm seas pretty much all days so the journey was such a cool time. It sucked a bit that we couldn't go out to land or anything but stuff like sunbathing, working and having general bant kept me away from contracting cabin-fever. Also the stars at night were unlike anything I have seen without all that light pollution blocking it. We also saw dolphins-braaaap.
OK I've said a lot so you can digest that until my next entry.... But please continue to pray-especially for energy in the warm conditions and to adapt to this new culture and make connections with the people I meet.
Finally hope all is going well and tell me if any big transfers have happened- Adebyor to Man. City? Crouch to Spurs? Eh?!
Yeah so bye for now!
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Well on a slightly better note some of the highlights of London would have to include:
- seeing 4 Kornerz play amongst other bands onboard the ship (including a Christian rapper-always entertaining) on the 1st Saturday, and then seeing Hillsong London aswell the next week
- playing football for the ship against a team of homeless guys and then hosting them back on the ship for food and to talk (they ssemed to really enjoy it so that was brilliant)
- becoming a tour guide for the day for 2 Dutch guys and a German in London- it was funny because when I asked them what they wanted to see they were all really up for Big Ben and then we got there and they were totally unimpressed and left straight away!
They were main highlights but theres loads of smaller stuff like joining a study group on creation, meeting the public on the visitors deck and chatting with them and making friendships with other crew-members, which is all really great.
I am in an internet cafe and times up for me so I'm gonna have to run but hopefully I'll update this soon enough.... Yeah right! No but seriously prayer points would be:
- strength in work and stuff
- relationships with and attitudes towards other crew members
- safety and health
- to keep growing and trusting in God
So yeah, thanks for reading and I hope you will continue to pray for me. I'll leave you with this quote:
"I'm hitting the woods graet, its just getting out of them thats the problem"
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Apologies for the long period between this post and the last. The last few days the internets been broken and before that I didn't have any time to get my thoughts down! But here I am (now in London) and I am ready to tell all.
So, arrived on the 3rd at about 9pm (thanks to the quality Welsh bus system....) which put me officially in last place of all the STEPpers to arrive, even though most of them are from half-way around the planet! I should now explain that STEP stands for Short Term Exposure Programme, which is what I and 19 others are on for the next 10 weeks.
Yeah so I meet my "big brother" on the ship Kelon (he's from the Caribbean so we have plenty in common) who's a good guy and he gave me a cheaky tour of the ship. It's a good setup onboard- we've got a dining room, staff lounge, loads of meeting rooms and a TV room amongst other things- so its pretty sweet.
I then meet my 3 cabin-mates for the voyage- Iain from Scotland, Arran from England and Holger from Germany. Iain is pretty similar to myself I'd say and is really sound. The other 2 are also really dead on but are also both mental as well! Holger wants to be an American for some reason and ALWAYS laughs at whatever happens, and Arran is a complete basket-case, I can't even describe him! But we have all bonded really well and that is the main thing, so thats cool.
Ok so now I know I should describe exactly what I will be doing on the ship. It's pretty simple to be honest- we sail around the 7 seas and loot whatever we can. Then its a case of drinking all the gin you can handle and collapsing on the floor- its a comfy life. Yeah but seriously I am working on the ship 5 days a week in the Galley (thats kitchen to you unexperienced sailors like myself) on 8 hour shifts- either 6am til 2pm or 1pm to 8pm, and then 1 day a week I get to do ministry either onboard the ship on the visitors deck (it has exhibitions and a HUGE bookfair) or onshore with a church or other christian organisation. Then 1 day I get off to complete the week. During the week there are also other events like praise or prayer night and different ministry groups meet to practise as well. For example I went to the drama group last Thursday night and apparently they haven't seen a performance like mine since that guy in Balls of Fury did his stuff. So I'm on to a winner there. I've also played football a bit with some of the crew they have training every week which is cool.
Right so I can't think of much else to say at this present time. All you need to know is that I am doing well and have learned some new German card game called "Bohnanza." If I remember more I will keep you updated, so in the mean time thank you for your prayers and I hope you will continue to pray for me.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Cardiff, Wales- June 3rd to June 8th
London, England- June 11th to June 28th
Cork, ROI- July 1st to July 14th
Kingstown, St.Vincent (Caribbean!)- end of July to August 14th
So hopefully you will be able to follow my progress as I stop in each of these places.
OK so I'll stop with the rambling and get down to buisness- thanks to everyone for their support so far for my trip, and I hope you can continue to support me even as I am away. "But how do we do that?" I hear you ask- well if you can keep me in your prayers that would be class, and a real encouragement. Here are a few points I would love for you to especially think about:
- safety- by plane or ship
- creating friendships with the other crew-members, especially those who are on the boat for the same 10 week period I am
- remembering all the different nationalities and cultures on the boat and respecting them (ie. not saying something stupid which will offend most of them!)- hopefully learning more about these other cultures as well
- that I will cope with the early starts and the hard work on a daily basis
- that the ministry work, whether it be onboard the ship or off-shore, will encourage and help the people we engage with, and that my day-to-day actions will please the Lord
- hopefully I will also gain a lot of knowledge and encouragement from my experience onboard
Thanks a lot people hopefully you can remember some of those and bring them to God through prayer.
Hopefully I will update this sooner rather than later (can't promise anything though!) and you, the public, will read to your hearts content!