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!