25 October 2007

In the Gulf ~ October 07

Captain Stan, 2nd Mate Danette and Chief Engineer Wally Barber. The two greatest guys a girl could ever want to be standing between.

Well, like I said in my previous post, we never made it to Nevis or Roatan. So instead of a mission trip it turned into more of a pleasure ride.

Pictured above are some of the crew tubing out in the gulf. It was so beautiful and so much fun! The Hope was still underway going about 2kts when we dropped the shore boat into the water. I never thought Captain Stan would let us swim while the ship was still moving, but after much begging, pleading and smiling he finally said yes. :D

(Tami, Capt Jake, Dan, Jordan and I)

Jake, Jordan and Dan, once known as the Black Ops were on the 12-04 watch, then myself, Tami and Shay (not pictured) were on the 04-08.

So it all started one morning about 0345. One never quite knew what to expect when coming up to the bridge after three guys had been together for 4 hours and had eaten every piece of sugar there was available. Well, our watch (the 04-08) came up to relieve the 12-04 watch and Jordan was somehow hanging in this rain jacket we kept on the bridge to scare us. ...It was kind of funny...

(Tami and Danette)

Tami and I decided to entertain the Black Ops guys one dark night by dressing up like pirates, rappelling off the flying bridge to the front of the bridge windows then sword fighting with each other like... ...well... pirates. I don't know how funny they thought it was, but Tami and I laughed about it for several days.

After our great display of skills and talent, the best the guys could come up with was locking them selves in the bridge for four hours while they proceeded to eat cans of bean and waited for us to come up to relieve them.

By the time we arrived, you can just imagine what it smelled like. It wasn't very pretty. They made the unfortunate mistake of taking a very unflattering picture with my camera. So the next morning I had the ships manager, Murray, show it to the entire crew and make an announcement about gas and needing to see the ships nurse.

It basically went straight downhill from there.

The next time we went up to the bridge, the guys, now known as the Black Oops, hauled 5gal buckets of salt water up to the flying bridge. As hard as we tried, there was no hope of escaping that one. I was drenched from head to toe when it was all over with!

I guess seeing us sopping wet wasn't good enough for them. So the rumor around the ship was that they would be doing their "victory" dance at 0500 the next morning. We assumed (which is never a good idea) that after they relieved us and left, that they would think we thought they went to bed and we'd let our guards down. Well, it was night so we were going to shrinkwrap everything leading up to the bridge so they couldn't come up very easily.

It didn't work as we hoped because when we showed up that night this is what the bridge looked like:

Every window had trash bags inside and out, there was line and tape on absolutely everything. Sticky side out. I mean they took light bulbs out of the sockets and covered up lights the size of a grain of sand. It must have taken them hours to set the whole thing up.

So we show up, it's pitch black, auto pilot's on so the helm looks like a ghost is steering and everything else on the bridge is shut off. There wasn't a soul in sight. We figured they must be outside watching us somehow. So after I finally weave my way through all the line and make it out to the bridge wing, there was still no one around. Of course the only place left to look was the flying bridge, I climb up the ladder only to be greeted with a bucket of flour in the face... I mean you would think blacking out the bridge would be enough, but no, they just had to add a nice little touch of flour.

I hate to say that the guys had the last prank, but we couldn't think of anything to get them back with.

What fun times at sea!

23 October 2007

To be at Sea! ~ October 07

Life still goes on…
…I’m in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico on the ship Hope with 35 other people. We got underway the 1st of October to sail to Nevis and then Roatan for medical and children’s ministry. Four days later and 55 miles from Cuba as we're about to go through the Yucatan Channel we lose our engines and the decision is made to return to Friend Ships in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We’re making 1.4kts through the water and know that God is still on the throne. Though we never made it to Nevis or Roatan there is such peace about going back. A lot of people have said they feel like the mission is over and that what was needing to be done was in fact completed. I don’t know why, but I feel the same way also…
Maybe I will never know the reason for being at sea without getting to see the beautiful souls on the islands we were going to, but I know that ALL is for the glory of God! I thank Him so much for His peace and for his timing for everything, even when we can’t see the end.
Trust… …God has said go, so I’m going. I’m not sure where to but I know that God has great plans ahead. Trust is always the word... My heart aches but I know that God is in control. I know that all is for His glory! I know that trials bring me closer to who I need to be in Him. I know trials give me strength that I will one day need. GOD LOVES ME SO MUCH and I’m so happy that He will never leave me.
My name means “God is my judge”. For as long as I can remember, I've always looked to others for my self worth. Depending on how well I’m liked or loved by others is how important I am. But what I have been realizing this past year is that God is my only judge. Yes, obviously people are going to judge me, but that’s not what’s important. God’s judgment is all I need to be concerned with. That I am worth so much more than what man says. God is enough!