Saturday, February 28, 2009


What is this?


Friday, February 27, 2009

6am coffee and cups and dishwashing liquid

My least favourite chore in all of chores is probably washing dishes.

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 :

In case you're wondering - no, it's not easy to wake up to do this.
And yes, the hours are long. Or it feels long.

8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Two shifts. 6am - 2pm / 1pm - 8pm

It takes a lot to run a ship.
And to feed the ship community - takes a lot too.

So our time IS pretty packed. We work full time on real jobs that keep the ship + ministry running, and then we also have all the extra activities like church and prayer meetings and devotion and street evangelism and youth conferences and visits to drug rehabs and shelters for homeless people and etc.

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

More pomp.. On this day in history..

PRESS RELEASE, 19 February 2009

OM Ships International’s largest vessel sets sail from Denmark. Ports in Northern Europe are first on the schedule.


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:

Swinging Sweden

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 :

:) :) :)

It's all icy and cold and the prolific blue and yellow IKEA flag thing is everywhere.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be the wind in these sails..

We sail 3pm Danish time.

10pm Malaysian time.

900hours/1000hours Swedish time

Logos Hope Voyage Dashboard

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hello everyone,

Greetings from the ILM (OM Internatinional Leaders Meeting) in Brazil. Here at the meetings we are following the developments surrounding the launch of Logos Hope closely. We rejoice with the announcement that preparations are going ahead for the ship to leave tomorrow.

I want to ask you, as a fellow OM'er, that as/when the ship sets sail use every opportunity to start calling your donors, you church, former workers, etc., to tell them "Logos Hope is sailing!" What a moment to rejoice and thank the Lord. If you are not in a position to call, send all your key contacts and supporters an email notifying them of the launch and ... THANKING also them for their prayers, support, help if appropriate!!

Please direct them to the site for a live tracker and a link to the 4 webcams that are active on board.
The communications team has prepared a press release which will be mailed out as soon as the ships sails. You can also send that as an attachment.

Your brother in Christ,
Hans van Baaren

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 :
Gothenburg was gone! We really didn't expect to go at 10am 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.

It's like

Being an expectant family, waiting for a baby to be born.

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

P for Patience

A computer that's running on not-enough-RAM.
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.

But today.
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. "


The Space in Between


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


We got it! :)

Thank YOU, thank you. 

Now let the voyage begin. :) weeehoo!

ETD Koege : 19th Feb.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm

it's probably a good time to give an update about the 'situation'.
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 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.

Mailing Information

This came in the internal mail :

With immediate effect, please do NOT send any more mail to our address here in Denmark. Anything arriving here after we leave may end up getting lost, or be returned to sender. Could you please therefore let all your supporters, friends and family members know, that as of today they must please NOT send anything else to this address, but start addressing your mail and packages as follows:
(Your Name)
Alte Neckarelzer Str 2
74821 Mosbach
- NB: they must CLEARLY INDICATE the name of the SHIP, otherwise your mail/packages could end up on the Doulos! :-(

Reason is : We're sailing soon! I'll update more on that soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Commercial Break

Where will you be this Valentine's Day?

If you're in the Klang Valley, go here! I would've.. :)

Dear members and friends of Bangsar Lutheran Church (BLC),

The BLC Learning Committee will be introducing a new class for those whom are interested.

It is called "Life Shapes: Living as Jesus Lived", based on a book with the same name authored by Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad, this interactive study course seeks to help us live lives of faith that can be more purposeful.

The details are as follows:

Format: Two 3-hour sessions spread over 2 Saturday mornings
Venue: BLC
Dates: 14th and 21st Feb 2009
Day: Saturday morning
Time: 9am - 12.30pm (Half hour break in between)
Facilitator: John Cheah (and guest appearance by Rev. Sivin Kit :-) )
Session types: Classroom presentation, interactive seminar, small group discussions
Target participants: Open to all (Natural next step for catechism class members) 
Rough guide:
Session 1
- Introduction
- Shape 1: Learning from Life
- Shape 2: Rhythm of Life
- Shape 3: Balancing the Relationships of Life
- Shape 4: Defining the Priorities of Life

Session 2

- Shape 5: Knowing Your Role in Life
- Shape 6: Praying as a Way of Life
- Shape 7: Practising the Principles of a Vital Life
- Shape 8: Living a Life with a Mission
- What next?

For more details about LifeShapes, visit
For some insights to the shapes we will be visiting, go to

If you are interested, kindly email your reply to John Cheah at latest by the 12th Feb 09 in order to facilitate preparation of materials and refreshments.
Hope to see you there!

Note 1: Refreshments will be provided during the break 
Note 2: A small handbook will be provided during the first session

Items to bring: A Bible, your own experiences and plenty of smiles.

God bless.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We live on borrowed time

A real audio song on a blog!
I don't think I've ever done this. 

but .. 

(1985 - 4th February 2009 ) 

A voice and 'song' we will no longer hear. 
A man of passion and vision. 
Too suddenly taken away. 
A great loss. 

How unreal. 
I always thought "There'd be time, there'd be time. I'd see him again."
So many conversations that were postponed to a more "convenient time" 
But now, time is no more.

Death always puts life into perspective. 

Are you ready?

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. 
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. 
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
-Elie Wiesel- 

In his life and now through his death, ( death! it's hard just stringing that sentence.. ) Markus certainly lived. May his heart and passions and the many causes he strongly believed in live on through the hearts of the many he's touched during his brief stay here. 

We will miss having you on this plane, Markus Ng. 

Sometimes you have to be broken
to know what it means to be full
Sometimes you gotta fall
to know what it means to stand up tall

So when you're ever there
when life seems unfair
when you've hit the floor
Remember, the only way to go is up
So grit your teeth
clench your fists
one thing for sure
You're gonna come out stronger

Fix your eyes on the hill
for wisdom, strength and will

- Strife, Markus Ng ( March 2005 ) 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Friends in the journey

Sometimes we run after our dreams,
and sometimes our dreams
find us.

Sometimes we stumble upon them, and they knock us off our 'chairs'.
We suddenly find an immense passion inside of us that we wonder how we'd ever live without it. 

Maybe it's like falling in love. 

Some people find it in politics, most in music, yet others traverse the world for the perfect shot, and for one particular person I've grown to love : it's photojournalism.  :)

This post is dedicated to that person, and also to the "chasing of our passions, living our dreams."

While I was "jumping" and finding myself ( it's a very bizarre feeling)  travelling across continents to a land I've only before this seen on postcards and TV, and finally made 'home' in a floating ship with 350 people from 40 different countries -- 
this person also had adventures of her own. Getting handpicked to attend a big photography festival, winning an award there, and finally - being featured in one of my favourite ( and i think best ) Malaysian magazines - it's been an amazing journey ( that I believe is just starting! ). We started talking because of the magazine anyway so it's been good to watch the things that have transpired over the past year & a half?  Divine appointments, oh how I love them! :) 

But more important for us, and many more young-ish adults like us - is the 'task' that looms ahead, the stories that need to be heard, the story that needs to be told. I believe ( with all my heart ) that our purpose in life is to be good stewards of the time, talent, treasure, and people that has been placed in our lives. If you think about it - none of those things are infinite, or constant. And it's up to you at any moment, to make the most and the best of what you have. 

And this story NEEDS to be told. If only to make us look beyond ourselves, to be thankful of what we have - and to realize that there's still so much that's lacking - and so much more need in the world. 

I have been to Cambodia once, back in 2005, and everytime I think about the place, I cry inside. It was my first ever trip out of Malaysia and it definitely set "things in perspective". It is a land that's still suffering heavily from its past, and you can almost feel the heaviness in the air. 
At least I did. 

So do get yourself a copy of the February issue of OffTheEdge. Read the article, "War,Food, Tourism" by Yong Yen Nie. At all good newsstands. Only RM6, it'll be worth every cent. I wish I could get me a copy here but everything's in a language I don't understand. @-@
I'll try attach the article here as well. Click! 

Thank you, Yen Nie, you're an inspiration. 
And definitely a great friend to have 'on the journey'.
Thanks for letting me be a part of it too. I'm so proud of you! :) 

To chasing our passions, living our dreams. 
To good stewardship. 
To fellow pilgrims in this thing called life. 

August Rush

"music is all around, all you have to do is listen."

we just watched the movie and it's beautiful.
it's the kind of movie that lifts up your spirits, and gives hope. :)
sometimes in the mess and confusion of our existence, it's good to dream a little, to hope, and to listen to the music that is life.
i recommend it. highly. :)