Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't build your house on the sand... (even if you are in the Caribbean!)

Dear friends,

Would you please pray for me the next three days?  We are going out to build a house!  As 10 deckies, we are really excited about this opportunity to use our love of working with our hands to bless the people of Guyana in such a practical way!  We're not quite sure what to expect, but we do know one thing - without prayer, nothing will happen (except the enemy will win)! 

Today is our preparation day for this "Challenge Team" and we just finished watching several inspiring episodes of Tim Scott and Will Decker "Travel the Road" - with a purpose to share the gospel!  Watching them go into the slums of India and the warzones of Africa taking only the clothes on their back, a camera to document their journey, and a love for Jesus really motivated me.  They did what they could to help the people and preached wherever they went.  We're ON FIRE FOR JESUS! and boy, am I excited about this Help team!  "Jesus that is in me is greater than the devil that is in the world!"

You can pray for us by name -
Ryan (USA) - team leader
Daniel (Australia)
Adam (Australia)
Gabriel (Brazil)
Lydie (Switzerland)
Samy (Germany)
Ruben (Mexico)
Tim (N. Ireland)
Justin (USA)
and myself

->for teamwork, that we would be a great example of different cultures unified in Christ
->for safety and health (NO malaria or bad sunburn or food poisoning!)
->that we could really connect and share with the locals and have great opportunities to give out the gospels of John

On fire for Him!,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Logos Hope Adventure Nov. 24, 2009


MALARIA PILLS.  EXTRA SECURITY.  AIDS.  ...welcome to Guyana!

We're told lots of things sailing to this new and unknown and we're not quite sure what to expect in this first (and only at this time) port in South America.  Guyana has a population of 922,942. 43% of the population says they are Christian, 33% are Hindu and 8.7% Muslim.  The exciting thing in this port is that for the first time we are really bringing out the "Help" part of "Knowledge, Help, and Hope."  Almost half of ship's company has the opportunity to go on a Challenge Team or Help Team during our three weeks there, bringing practical aid to the people.  I will be part of a team that will be working with Habitat for Humanity to build houses!  I volunteered with Habitat for several days in the States last year, and now I get to do it in another country! :)

So, here we go, rocking and rolling a bit because the port (left side) stabilizer is not working, and taking our malaria tablets.  Gearing up for... [enter scary music] ...GUYANA!  We should arrive tomorrow in the capitol, Georgetown.

-God for a great Sabbath week where ship's company was able to rest and refocus on God and have good teaching sessions by pastor Gary Simons.  For me was a time to slow down and not think about my job, but focus on my life.  It was a good reminder that our LIVES are supposed to be worship. (Rom. 12:1)  Please pray that every aspect of my life would be pleasing to Jesus.  It's all to easy to compromise or think He doesn't care about [a certain aspect], but actually He has called us to live pure lives and we can always live to a higher standard.
-That I do not get seasick!  This is a BIG praise - I am so blessed!  Today is my off day and as soon as I finish this I'm running off to go take care of a bunch of the toddlers who's moms aren't feeling so hot.

-For the many who are seasick onboard.  There is also some kind of flu/virus going around, as well as side effects from the Malaria tablets we're all taking to keep us from dying (haha!), so put together, about 80% of us are sick.
-That the Challenge/Help teams would be able a blessing to the people of Guyana and a great way to share God's love.
-That I would stay safe and healthy while in Guyana.
-That no one would catch Malaria!
-That we could really reach out to the Hindu and Muslim population and that God would give us the right words to say so we wouldn't offend them

Off to take a Malaria pill and play with the kiddos!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The privilege to walk alone and Thoughts on ministry

I walked alone off the ship for the first time today in more than four months.  It was a glorious (and a bit scary!?) 10 minutes of freedom.  Normally it is unsafe - for girls especially - to go anywhere by yourself here in the Caribbean; we have to go in pairs or large groups.  But in this port we are allowed to go out alone on the main road during daylight.  =D

Here is a thought-provoking quote I read today:
"Ministry isn't about telling people what you think their problem is, or putting them in what you think is their place.  Ministry is making room in  your life -- and in your heart -- for people.
Many people have done a lot of talking at me, and a lot of them had some really good points.  Didn't matter.  I was only ever deeply changed by those who called me part of their family, despite the inconvenience, despite what anyone thought."  --

Ministry is caring about people.  The lost in a third world country, supporters back home, your family, the homeless, a hurting friend... it makes no difference.  If you take time to invest in them and encourage them, that is ministry.  Life is about relationships.  In the end, that's all that will matter.  Don't let it pass you by.

Logos Hope Adventure (e-mail update) Nov. 15, 2009


Hello from Logos Hope in Barbados!  Boy, am I glad to say "from Barbados" instead of from at anchor!  This port has definitely been a challenge.  We arrived in Barbados the end of October, but several days after arriving we had to move out to anchor because the swell (the sea was too rough) was making it unsafe for us to stay tied up alongside.  This was a disappointment for a lot of the crew, myself included, because we couldn't be open to the public doing ministry as we had hoped.  After the swell died down a grain ship came in to the berth to unload, so we stayed sitting at anchor for more than a week.  It's hard to see why God let this happen - us "losing" so many days that we weren't in port and no one could get books and having to cancel all the events that were planned for the people of Barbados.  However, we were able to lower several lifeboats during this time to shuttle people to land and God did some really great things through these teams that went out every day.

When we finally could come in from anchor, we had to shift berths several times to pick up our vans, load a container, get fresh water, and discharge used water.  (And moving the ship is not quite as simple as it sounds - we have to fire up our engines ahead of time, tie everything down ready to sail, and get everyone from on land back onboard, etc.).  For our whole time at anchor we had to conserve water; the last day we were so low the rule was "no laundry, no showers."  The latter not a very fun prospect after a hard day of work getting really dirty!  When our internet completely went out too, we felt like "real missionaries!"  After moving four times in two days, we are now in our proper berth again and open to the public for our last four days in this port!


One very exciting thing for me that happened while at anchor was Grandma and Grandpa Nelson coming to visit!  Despite some transportation complications - getting to a ship that's sitting in the middle of the sea - they made it and we had a fantastic time together!  Unfortunately they didn't get to see us actively in ministry because of being at anchor, but they did get to experience community life onboard.  It was a very special four days with them!!!


In the last port, St. Lucia, we presented "The Mark Drama" - a very powerful 75 min. presentation of the life and ministry of Jesus taken straight from the gospel of Mark and acted out in a "theater-in-the-round."  The doors opened... and we waited.  A few people trickled in - late, typical for Caribbean culture.  I noticed one interesting man come in.  He was older, with a big white beard and a very intricately carved cane.  I helped seat him and his wife, wondering who he was and where he was in his walk with Christ... if he even knew Jesus.  We started, with only 45 people in the audience instead of the up to 250 we could have had.  Though a bit disappointed there were only so few, we prayed that the people here were ones who really needed to hear what we were about to present.  Now, several others had noticed this man (he WAS a bit of a unique character!) and after the drama, when everyone else had left, he and his wife kept sitting there.  So I went to speak to them.  I asked them if they liked the drama and with tears in her eyes his wife said, "Yes, yes, thank you so much.  I brought my husband tonight to see what it is that I believe and it was just what he needed to hear.  He's a Muslim and I'm a Christian."  If we did the whole drama only for the Muslim man with a cane, it was worth it.

THANK the Lord:
-that we are back from anchor and can be open for the people of Barbados
-that Grandma and Grandpa could come visit!!!

-for the Muslim man with the cane, that he would come to know Jesus as the only way to be saved
-that many people would come visit these last few days in this port
-that the sea would stay calm so we could stay in port these last three days
-for the upcoming "Sabbath week" for ship's company; that we would rest and be refreshed and have good teaching times

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans!  I have LOTS to be thankful for, do you?