Friday, February 27, 2009
When I was younger I used to be exempted because of a hand skin condition.
Happy was I since I never really liked doing it anyway.
It's interesting then that when I joined the ship, I was assigned to the Galley, and more specifically, the Pantry.
What happens in the Pantry?
We wash cups dishes etc all day long EVERYDAY.
We're talking about 1200 each per day. And they never stop, cos they're like cups and plates - people need to keep using them. I think in my time there I've washed like millions.
And so you wake up 6am in the morning to this :
It takes a lot to run a ship.
And to feed the ship community - takes a lot too.
We have a designated 5 work day, 1 ministry day and 1 Off day. But most workdays, we have night time activities as well.
Which probably explains why I had been in Koge for more than a month, but have only really gone off ship less than 10 times?
But it's fine - it's been such a humbling,learning experience. And I've learnt how much I am not a fan of routine jobs. ( but more of that in another post ) . And if my two weeks as a DEEP volunteer on the Doulos has taught me how to make a toilet spick and span, the time here will definitely teach me about the washing of dishes, and the cutting of vegetables.
Yes, after about a month of washing plates, I got to move on to cutting vegetables ( and cheese and meat )
But again, more on that, in the next post!
( it's really late at night and i maybe shouldn't be doing this )
Just thought it would be good to let you in on my 'day job' here. :)
Note : The 'Galley' is what you call a ship's kitchen.
Friday, February 20, 2009
LOGOS HOPE LAUNCHES INTO MINISTRY SERVICE!
OM Ships International’s largest vessel sets sail from Denmark. Ports in Northern Europe are first on the schedule.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOSBACH, GERMANY – Logos Hope, OM’s newest vessel, launched into ministry service, departing from Køge, Denmark on Thursday, 19 February, following a massive project of conversion and outfitting. The ship’s first port of call will be Gothenburg, Sweden, then ports in the Netherlands, UK, Faroe Islands and Ireland.
International Co-ordinator for OM, Peter Maiden said: “As Logos Hope sails from Køge a great day has arrived in the history of OM Ships and, I believe, in the history of OM. It is both encouraging and challenging to think of the huge number of people who will meet with God on this vessel or through teams sent from this vessel in the years to come.”
The Faroe Islands-registered Logos Hope will ‘bring knowledge, help and hope’ to people in port cities all over the world. The ship carries vital literature resources, aid supplies and an all-volunteer crew and staff.
“This is a huge milestone and represents a great step forward in the fulfilment of our vision to impact the life of every visitor. Now it is up to us to fill what God and His people have entrusted to us with life and creative opportunities! The launch of Logos Hope moves us a step closer to ‘touching everyone in a million’. We are grateful for the prayers and practical participation of God's people worldwide!” said OM Ships International CEO Bernd Guelker.
The huge project to renovate and outfit the ship has included replacing and upgrading fire, safety, electrical, and ventilation systems, renewing accommodation and other community spaces, and installing a whole new deck for the ‘visitor experience’, including the world’s largest floating book fair. In recent months, enormous effort has gone into fulfilling all the requirements to obtain the vital Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, and ensuring that all the safety procedures and vessel documentation are in order.
Following initial rebuilding work in a Croatian shipyard, almost all the work has been completed by professional volunteers and other willing workers. Individuals, churches, trusts and other community groups have so far donated over €26,000,000 (£23,350,000 or $33,500,000 with current exchange rates) to make the ship ready for service. A final boost in donations is now needed to help complete remaining projects and cover ongoing operating costs. Work still to be done includes further outfitting in the visitor experience and the 450-seat Hope Theatre. This will be ongoing over the first months of ministry service.
“Momentum is building as Logos Hope sails,” said Logos Hope Director, Mike Hey. “We still have some more work to do to complete the project but we are thankful for the opportunities in the coming ports to welcome people into the unique Logos Hope experience and see the potential of this vessel develop. We start with lots of excitement and growing energy but with much need to see more people join the team.”
The schedule includes a short visit to Gothenburg, Sweden, followed by two ports in the Netherlands. The ship will visit ports in the UK, the Faroe Islands and Ireland, before setting sail for the West Indies, where Logos II—the ship Logos Hope replaces—was well known and much loved as ‘the book ship’. Logos Hope crew and staff are thrilled to be able to embark on this first ministry voyage and put the ship’s public ministry facilities into service. A number of events have already taken place on board as facilities have become available for use.
“We recognise that we would not be where we are today without the great efforts of skilled people—often accomplished ‘behind the scenes’ and with much sweat, pain and difficulty. We are grateful for their perseverance, patience and prayer in the face of many challenges. Their work has been a tremendous expression of personal faith and courage. Looking to the future, the investment made will result in millions of people experiencing the grace and love of God,” said Logos Hope Project Director Lloyd Nicholas, Australia.
Resources on board the much smaller Logos II were regularly overstretched in hosting the many thousands of people who visited each day. Once all facilities on board Logos Hope are completed, and as additional crew and staff join, Logos Hope will offer significantly larger capacity to serve port communities around the world.
The project to replace Logos II began in September 2001. It gathered momentum with the purchase of Logos Hope in 2004.
Now, after years of complex planning and hard work, the ship has reached the point of launch into operational ministry. Up to 400 volunteer crew and staff can live and work on board and many more people are still needed. There are also Short-Term Exposure Programme places available.
For the first time in the history of OM’s ship ministry, a significant number of cabins are set aside for teams from churches and other groups to join the ship and serve alongside the crew for one or more weeks. This is a unique short-term mission service opportunity, and one OM Ships International is looking forward to developing in the coming months.
Contributions towards Logos Hope can be made through OM offices around the world or online at: www.omships.org/donate.
We sailed and we've reached.
We even have our Maiden Voyage video up already, here :
SWEDEN, ho! :)
We're so excited for a change of scenery everyone's jittery and running about and it's crazy.
This is where we're at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothenburg
:) :) :)
It's all icy and cold and the prolific blue and yellow IKEA flag thing is everywhere.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Please direct them to the www.omships.org site for a live tracker and a link to the 4 webcams that are active on board.
So this is the link to check our sailing schedule : Click!
it's funny how yesterday, this was how it looked like :
and this morning :
but now, see for yourself. :) heh.
Expect the unexpected.
Excitement is in the air around the ship. Everyone's all nerves and laughter and hugs and anticipation.
( of course there are the usual "Thomas"s who need to see us leave dock before they will believe - and sometimes we need those sort ) , but I'm happy and excited and this will be a first time sailing and going into Sweden and God has answered 3 of my heartfelt prayers in 3 days and I'm glad that He's so big but still cares about the littlest of things.
It's a faith journey.
And God never fails. He is good all the time, even in times we don't yet understand.
Every beep every sound, we're not sure.
We keep getting false alarms, and good news when the sun's shining, not-so-good news when it's not.
But today, just 10mins ago - a miraculous breakthrough has happened.
Until this morning we didn't expect to sail tmr, as planned. A lot of things still needed to be done. Papers!~
But it has just been announced that through some divine intervention, what would've normally taken 2weeks or more to settle, has been settled, and ready for collection this afternoon.
And if all goes well, we'll sail tmr!
Tomorrow! into Sweden!
Oh joy. I'm excited i'm excited i'm excited.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Teenagers who think they-ah-so-cool ( and are whiney ).
Cleaning up huge kitchen tools (with a lot of small crevices ) that were never made to be cleaned up after.
They all have the same name.
She's called Patience.
And she gets on me nerves.
But I guess that's why she hovers over.
And that's also why if when you win her over, it's a half of godliness.
"Kesabaran itu separuh iman"
And Patience, together with Persistance, make a perfect pair.
A pair that I'm always doing the slow-dance with. No, this won't be your regular Swing dance partner.
But with the help of Persistance, i will Prevail.
And then maybe I can have a little bit more of that "God" stuff.
I've named many different things patience before.
My first desktop PC at the job I used to work in.
Some people I used to work with.
And as of this morning, Nilfisk the ship galley's Cheese&Ham slicer has now been christened the new Patience.
"Gimme a P!"
Monday, February 16, 2009
We keep singing the song that says, "Washed as white as snow"
I've always sang this song with conviction, but I've never really seen snow.
The snow fell like a blanket over everything.
And it kept falling.
Fast and slow, each dancing to its own rhythm.
It was beautiful, and hypnotic - and with Michael Buble crooning in the background, it felt like Christmas all over again. ( the TV sort, heh )
Apparently there is no single snowflake that looks like the other. That's flabbergasting news, if you know how snow falls - like rain, but it's ice. and it's soft.
And it's white. White! So white.
In fact, I won't stop at saying snow is white in colour.
I'd go as far as to say that White is the colour of snow.
"...though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." - (Isaiah 1:18)
"For we've been redeemed and we are washed as white as snow. "
Selah notes a break in the song and as such is similar in purpose to Amen in that it stresses the importance of the preceding passage.
Also : "to hang", "to reflect", "to meditate", "to rest", "to connect"
To be still.
Today as company of the Logos Hope, we take a Selah - to connect - to move from one season to another.
From Project Mode -> Ministry Mode.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
When Christoph Römhild, a Lutheran pastor in Hamburg, Germany, sent Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. student Chris Harrison a list of 63,779 cross-references between the Bible’s 1,189 chapters, the two became enthralled with elegantly showing the interconnected nature of Scripture.
The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc - the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.
Take note that the strand coming down right in the middle is the longest chapter in the Bible - Psalm 119 - which extols the riches of the Word of God, heh.
The rainbow is also the "sign of the Covenant"
Graphic by Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon University.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
We're still fixing up the bits and pieces, ticking off the list that will enable us to get the PSSC.
( it's the word that is SO on our minds that it literally roles off people's tongues ) Like, if you want to say "PST", it comes out "PSSC", and so on and so forth.
I hope we get it soon. And then we can finally move on!
For me it's been just a little over a month to wait, for some people, it's been 8months? And for others - this journey started 5 years ago.
So it HAS been a long wait, and the launching of Logos Hope into ministry would be much anticipated.
The good news is, this Saturday has ALREADY been 'ear-marked' as our PSSC Celebration. The announcement was, "We might not be able to sail immediately after the PSSC, but we will celebrate our PSSC." The PSSC would open doors to all the other documents necessary for sail, and optimistically, we'd sail as early as Thursday ( yes, next Thursday! ). It has been a long journey. Trying, needless to say. On many counts. Thank God for perseverence.
This weekend is expected to be our last weekend here in Koge, and we are already changing our schedules to prepare for ministry!
Notices like : "Make sure your cabin is ready to sail. Everything that needs to be bolted down should be, we don't want stuff falling all over your cabins and breaking. Pillows may be fine, but your mother's vase from home will not." "Make sure all vaccinations are present.", "You would be given seasick tablets when the time comes.", etc are being made so I guess the moment really IS coming.
I'm glad. It's about time. And I can see the community's hearts and minds being more focused on prayer and on God's purposes. There have been little ripples of prayer and worship and reverence here and there - and I really think - it's about time.
We are probably not totally ready for what is ahead, but at least we got our focuses right, and that is most important.
So yea, I will let you know when we sail. When it's finally confirmed.
And when that time comes then internet access may be not-so-present, and things like that.
I'm still reachable at Michelle.Ding@gbaships.org at all times though.
Our first journey will be a short one ( about a day ) and it should be to Sweden.
So yea, to HOPE.
We're all hoping very much now.
God, be our Peace-maker, but also be our Pace-maker.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
A voice and 'song' we will no longer hear.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sometimes we run after our dreams,
and sometimes our dreams find us.