Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Excellent Trainings

There have been many guests on board the Logos Hope in the past few weeks. With the completion of the ship in sight, many people from around the world are anxious to come see the ship and learn about it's great potential. When guests visit the ship, many offer their services to the ship in the form of giving trainings, workshops and seminars to the ship's company. We've had the opportunity to take part in many excellent trainings in the past few weeks. We attended a workshop last week about creative ways to reach out to kids and adults like through means such a balloon animals, magic tricks, etc. We also went to a class on dealing with broken and hurting relationships. We learned about forgiveness, both offering it and accepting it. Another workshop was about the religion of Islam, so we can become more familiar with the religion as we reach out to people all throughout the world. Another great class was about Jonah from the Bible. We gained great new wisdom and perspective about his life. There have also been a few business leaders on board that have talked about how business can be used in missions as a means to reaching more people for Christ. Lastly, we've been attending a series of classes this week about evangelism from a gentleman that's been a missionary with OM for 40 years! All the classes have been excellent. We feel so blessed to be able to sit under such wisdom.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Logos Hope Videos

We've added a new section to our blog! On the right blue column (under "About Me"), we added a spot to watch Logos Hope videos. Check them out! They are great videos to check out the ship and gain a better understanding of the ship ministry.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Danish Invitation

Yesterday we were part of a team that attended a local church just outside of Copenhagen. Many former OM missionaries are a part of the church, so it was great to meet so many OM'ers. Everyone at the church was very warm and welcoming and so glad to have "ship people" visiting their church. Of course the service was in Danish, but a very gracious gentleman translated for us. After the service, we set up a book table with books from our book fair and people were very excited to have the opportunity to purchase Christian literature. As the book fair was winding down, a former missionary with OM, Anita, invited our team to her home for the afternoon for lunch. A few of our team members had to get back to the ship for various commitments, but John and I and another friend took her up on her offer! We were so thrilled to receive our first invitation into a Danish home! Anita also invited her 26-year-old daughter, Deborah, to join us for lunch. Deborah actually served on another OM ship a few years back, so it was really neat to hear her stories. Anita had a very nice flat just outside of Copenhagen and made a fantastic lunch of ham, potatoes, salad and home made bread! What a treat!! After lunch, we fellowshiped in the living room with cake and coffee. What a wonderful afternoon.

Prepping to listen to the English translation at church

The church's sanctuary

John the cashier!

Jennifer the books salesmen!

Jennifer with Anita's daughter Deborah and ship friend Na Young (South Korea)

Enjoying coffee from Royal Copenhagen china and cake decorated with the Danish and American flag!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Ship Family

When we arrived on board six weeks ago, we were warmly greeted by our new "ship family." Each crew member is part of a ship family on board. We meet together at least once a week for fun, fellowship and community. Ship families exist to give crew members a place where they can belong and feel comfortable sharing their joys and struggles. Each ship family consists of "parents" (a married couple) and their "children." Our ship parents, Dave and Betty, are leaving the ship on Friday to head home, so John and I were asked to be the new ship parents! We are really excited! We'd like to introduce you to our seven new children! :)

Front Row: Our current parents: Betty and Dave (Canada)
Back Row (from left to right): Shama (Sri Lanka), Andrea (Switzerland), Lydia (USA), Jennifer, John, BK (India), Terrance (Jamaica), Marsha (Netherlands), Aaron (USA)

Last night, we had a farewell dinner party for our parents. BK (from India) made an amazing curry dish. John was able to help BK in the preparations and learned to make Indian Roti (bread). We LOVE Indian food, so we were in heaven! BK even asked one of his Indian friends to come to our dinner party and sing live Indian music for us! What a treat. We LOVE living in an international community!!!

BK and John in the kichen.

John with Aaron and BK.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another day trip to Copenhagen!

We had the day off on Monday (since we worked on Saturday), so decided to take another day trip up to Copenhagen. We are beginning to grow very fond of this wonderful city. We had a fabulous day strolling through the city enjoying the beautiful fall day. The highlight was watching the changing of the guards at the Queen's Palace. The ceremony takes place everyday at noon and it was a event to remember! Enjoy the pictures!

We savored a traditional Danish Grand Cru at the Danish Chocolatier Summerbird. What a treat!

What a gorgeous fall day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wonderful Sunday

We had such a fabulous Sunday. Our ship has a church service on board every Sunday at 10am. Many crew members attend local churches on Sunday mornings, but there is always a church service on board for crew members to attend as well as guests. Many locals are invited to attend the church service each week, so it's always a well attended, powerful church service. Each Sunday service, a crew member is asked to be the host for the service and MC the morning. John was asked earlier in the week to be the host for the service! He was so honored to be asked! He did a really fantastic job welcoming the attendees, leading them into worship, introducing the speaker and closing out the service. Many people complimented him on a job well done including the director who said, "Thanks for your leadership John. You should be the host again soon." What a blessing for us to be able to use our giftings and talents for the Lord.

Later in the day, John and I, along with two friends decided to bake cookies for our captain, director and all of the department heads on board as a way to thank them for all of their hard work and leadership. We spent several hours baking 100+ cookies! What fun. We were so happy to be able to bless them in this way. What a wonderful day to spend the Sabbath.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Masquerade Party

Last night we had a Masquerade Party on board! We were encouraged to be creative and arrive at the party wearing a homemade mask. John and I let our creative juices start to flow and came up with the idea to be the sun and the moon. I think our masks turned out really well! We found some cardboard scraps to build the masks and then decorated them with old towels! ha ha! We found it quite amazing how creative you really can be when there's not a Wal-Mart or Target around the corner to pick up supplies. We had super time creating the masks and then being able to show them off at the party. Enjoy the pictures!

The sun and the moon!

The moon with friends Sonia (Argentina) and Lillian (Chili).

The sun and moon with friend Shama (Sri Lanka).

The moon with friend Helene (Germany). She's wearing one of the masks our department wears when we use harsh chemicals! Yes, John and I really do where these to work many days!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Features of Blog

We've recently added a few features to our blog that we wanted to make you aware of! To the right of the postings, under the green "About Me" box, there is a blue box with lots of new info. The first section is for prayer requests. We'll be updating that on a regular basis with current prayer requests. We appreciate your prayers! Under that we added the web addresses for Logos Hope, OM International, OM Ships, and OM USA. Please check out the websites if you are interested in learning more about OM. Finally, we added a section where you can subscribe to our blog if you'd like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Work is Worship

As Jennifer mentioned in a posting below, every morning before we start work, our Accommodations Department has a short time of sharing to get us started for the day. Each of us take turns sharing in the morning. This morning was my (John) morning to share, so I decided to share about work as a form of worship to God. I wanted to share with all of you what I shared with them this morning. May it be an encouragement to you!

Psalm 147:11 "The LORD is pleased only with those who worship Him and trust His love."

Avodah is the transliteration of the Hebrew word for worship and work.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) Work is part of who we are, since God is with us and indwelling in us. Jesus points out: "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17)

Seven encouragements from scripture to help make work worship:

Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." God has given us work and it is for His glory that we do what we do the very best that we can.

Ecclesiastes 3:13: "Find satisfaction in all (your) toil — this is the gift of God." God wants us to be happy in our work and expects us to be joyful always including the dirty jobs.

Psalm 90:17: "And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do." God is in the routine of our work and when we let Him work through us, His beauty is made known.

Proverbs 22:29: "Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings." All work is blessed when we allow God to work through us to reach others

Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." We are to perform without emphasis on self, but with wholehearted focus on God.

Matthew 22:39: "Love your neighbor as yourself." How do you want your bathroom cleaned, hall vacuumed, or cloths folded?

Ecclesiastes 5:12: "The sleep of a laborer is sweet."

Sources: "Work/Worship" by William D. Bjoraker and "How to Worship God through Your Work" by Althea DeBrule

Monday, October 13, 2008

Urban Outreach Copenhgen

On Sunday night I (John) drove eight fellow ship dwellers into Copenhagen to meet new people, share our lives, and find out what people believe. We had coffee gratis and literature for people interested in who we are and what we are about. I had three conversations, one with a man from New York, one with a young Muslim Palestinian man, and a conversation with three partying teenagers. The man from NY carries a heavy burden of an identity rooted in "belief in nothing." I asked what he thought of reality and he gave the answer "life is tough; then you die." So contrary to his first statement, this man believes life is tough and that he will someday die. When challenged with the potential to thrive in the name of Jesus and have life for eternity, rather than merely surviving a number of years before experiencing true death, he balked at the possibility and stepped away.

The young Palestinian Muslim and I had a great conversation about the institution of church and mosque. He agreed that the rules established by the institution are well intentioned but lack spiritual power. I agreed and shared my belief that the lifestyle I live is an outpouring of the way, the truth, and the life Christ gave to me when I became a Christian. He suggested that he to was a Christian because Jesus is held by Muslims as a major Prophet. I shared the truth of the Bible that Jesus was not a prophet and was actually the only Son of God who was sent to die for our sin so that we could have a relationship with God. As a Muslim, one must earn God's favor and there is nothing that one can about this; the created has nothing to offer the creator.

The third conversation I had (with the three partying teenagers) was interesting as I mostly just listened. Their priorities seemed to be drinking, dancing and meeting girls to hook up with. When the conversation turned to belief, these kids were not sure. "Maybe reincarnation," they said. I asked them if reincarnation was a belief based on how they lived their lives. I talked with them about the type of life available as a follower of Jesus. They were challenged, but not yet ready for the redemptive power of Christ.

Overall, the night went well. The Danes are fun, interesting people with inquisitive and remarkably brilliant minds.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

PST Koge

There are two times a year that crew members join OM Ships, either in January or September of each year. Most people commit to being on the ships for two years; so for example, we've committed to being on the ship from September 2008 - 2010. The months of January and September are a time of change over on the ships when many people get on the ship and many people get off the ship. Each group of people that get on board together is called a PST as we all go through pre-ship training (PST) together. Since we boarded the ship in Koge, Denmark, our team that joined the ship together is called PST Koge. There are just over 70 people in PST Koge! Last night we celebrated our one month anniversary of being on the ship together. We had such a fun time all being together and sharing stories of all the wonderful experiences we've had so far! We feel so blessed to have arrived on the ship with such an awesome, FUN group!

Jennifer is loving trying sweets from all over the world! :)

More sweets!

Our good friend Bommel baked yummy banana cakes for the party!

Women of the Word

On Friday evening, I was invited by a group of women on board called the "Women of the Word" to their once-a-month social night. The group is made up of the married women on board and they plan socials once a month for the married women to have a chance to connect in a relaxed, comfortable setting. The theme of the evening was arts and crafts! We had a great evenings making all sorts of fun crafts! We made roses out of dried apples, beeswax candles and home made cards. I really enjoyed being able to express my creativity and connect with many of the other married women on board.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fun Friday!

Yesterday after work, our Accommodations Department threw a "Farewell Party" for two girls that are moving to other departments on the ship. My supervisor asked if I could coordinate the party and since I LOVE planning parties, I said "yes." John and I baked two carrot cakes which turned out great. Many of our teammates said it was the best cake they had ever had and one of our teammates said she wanted to fly us to South Africa when she gets married to bake her wedding cake someday! ha ha! As many of you know, John is an excellent cook, so we really enjoyed the opportunity to be in the kitchen!

John with his yummy carrot cakes!

My friend Jin Suk from South Korea who is leaving the "Angels."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sharing about God's Strength

Every morning before we start work, our Accommodations Department (the Angels) has a short time of sharing to get us started for the day. Each of the "Angels" take turns sharing in the morning. This morning was my morning to share, so after much prayer, I decided to share about God's strength. I wanted to share with all of you what I shared with them this morning. May it be an encouragement to you!

Isaiah 40: 28 - 31

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

God gives us the strength to overcome weariness in our lives to stay the course He has for us with endurance and vigor.

Gaining the strength of God, however, is not an automatic occurrence. According to Scripture, we tap into God’s strength by the following four ways:

-Seeking Him: 1 Chronicles 16:11: Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

-Observing His commandments: Deuteronomy 11:8: Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

-Loving Him: Psalm 18:1-2: I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

-Praising Him: Exodus 15:2: The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

Usually when I think of God giving us strength, I think of physical strength, but God gives us strength in so many different ways!

“The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25). God has promised that His strength will be available to us for all the days of our lives.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). Here we are talking about two kinds of strength—strength for our physical heart and well-being, and strength so that we don’t lose heart in facing the challenges that lie before us.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). God gives us the strength to handle our fear and dismay not only for today, but our fear for what the future holds.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). There are many places in the Bible where strength and joy are linked, and it is through the joy of the Lord that we are able to overcome the grief in our lives.

“You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet” (Psalm 18:39). There are many battles we must face. As long as we are living in obedience to the Lord, He will give us the strength we need for every battle we encounter.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Not only are we able to overcome obstacles through God’s strength, we are also able to accomplish God’s purposes for us on Earth.

Psalm 138:3: “As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.”

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One Month!

Today marks one month of being on the ship! In some ways it's flown by, but in other ways, it feels like we've already been living on the ship for a very long time. We are settling in very nicely and are so thrilled we still have many, many more months left on the Logos Hope.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Logos Hope Website

Many of you have inquired about the progress of the Logos Hope. The project is coming along slowly, but surely! ;) For those of you that are interested in keeping up with the progress of the ship, I would recommend visiting the Logos Hope website from time to time: The homepage is updated every few days with news about the progress of the ship. Check it out! There are lots of exciting projects being completed!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

American Get-Together

We had our first official "American Get-Together" on board today! We had a really fun time spending time with our fellow Americans and eating good ol' American box-mix brownies! :) There are about 50 Americans on board, so it was really great to all be together and connect.

Purpose Driven Life

Each weekday morning, we have an all ship's company devotion from 7:30 - 8:00am. What a wonderful opportunity it is for the entire crew to start their day praising God and learning from His Word. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings the entire crew joins together for a devotion, but on Thursday mornings, we break up into small groups. Every six weeks or so, we have a new series for our small groups. We've just started a new series this week on the Purpose Driven Life. Many of you probably read the book several years ago when it first came out. Both John and I have read it and loved it. Our church in Redwood City (PCC) was actually reading through the book as a congregation when John accepted Christ! We are really excited to read the book again as a couple and as an entire ship's company. This Thursday is our first small group to begin discussing the book, so we're really looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Awesome Day in Copenhagen!!

We just returned from an awesome experience in Copenhagen! A team of nine ship crew members (three Americans, two Germans, a Malaysian, a Colombian, a Spaniard and a South Korean) set out this morning to practice "open air evangelism" in downtown Copenhagen. J0hn passed his ship driver's test earlier this week to be an official "ship driver," so he drove us into town in one of our ship vans! This was the first time John has driven overseas so it was an adventure to say the least! When we reached town, our team met up with the Danish pastor that had trained us on open air evangelism the week before.

As you can see from the pictures, open air evangelism is similar to street performing. We found a spot that seemed to have very busy foot traffic and then set up our stretch board and worked to drum up a crowd. When several people were standing around, our Colombian friend began to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. John was the artist, so painted as our friend spoke. After the message, we had several interesting conversations and were able to invite many people to visit the ship. And the most exciting part is that through one of the conversations we had, a man accepted Christ as his Savior!! The gentleman is originally from Iran, but fled to Denmark over 25 years ago as a refugee. Our Danish pastor friend was able to connect him with a local Iranian Christian church, so we pray that he will visit this church to grow in his new faith. Praise God for using us to reach the Danes for Christ.

Buurrrrr! It's cold in Denmark! :)

Our Colombian friend Carlos speaking, John painting, and our Danish pastor friend giving moral support.

Gaining a crowd!

John is really enjoying having the opportunity to express his creativity!

Taa Daa! John with the Danish pastor that taught him the sketch.

Praying with the new Iranian believer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Day of German Unity

Every other Friday night on the ship, we have a "staff cafe" in which we celebrate a country's heritage, culture and food! Tonight we celebrated with the German's as it was the "Day of German Unity." The national holiday (October 3) commemorates the official unification of the former East and West Germany in 1990. Several Germans sang the German national anthem and one German fellow gave us a brief account of the history behind this holiday. We also enjoyed delicious German apple cake! For fun, John and I decided to dress up for the event! :)

Our German friend Bommel

Looking "oh so German"

Our German friend Rebekka

All of the Germans on board singing their national anthem

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baylor Connection

Earlier this week, I was wearing a Baylor t-shirt in the dining room. A couple visiting the ship from Texas noticed my shirt and came over to us to introduce themselves. As it turns out, their youngest daughter is a Sophomore at Baylor! We had such a fun time talking about Baylor and the conversation brought back so many fun memories for me. They had flown out for the official dedication of Logo Hope's medical and dental clinic. They played a big part in setting up the clinic and wanted to be a part of the big celebration. They were on board for several days so we had the opportunity to have a few meals with them during their stay on the ship. I was so blessed to have a little piece of home here on the Logos Hope. What a "God thing" that I was wearing my Baylor t-shirt! God is so good.

Customer Service Training

Last night we attended a very informative training lead by an Australian customer service expert. As a ship, we welcome hundreds and sometimes thousands of visitors on our ship each day so excellent customer service is imperative. As Americans, customer service is such an ingrained part of our culture, but for so many nations, this is a new concept. Just smiling and saying a friendly "hello" to a visitor can make all the difference in the world! We learned a few great new tips and were reminded of many more we have learned in the past. We're excited that the ship leadership is so dedicated to making all of our visitors on board feel welcome.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Photos from the Last Few Weeks

Enjoy our pictures from the last few weeks.

Our awesome ship docked in Koge, Denmark.

Our first day of work in the Accommodations Department dressed with our work uniforms!

Botanical Garden in Copenhagen.

Also the Botanical Garden with their green house in the background.

A modern art fountain in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Opera House.

Guards at Queen Margrethe's palace.

The altar at Frederick church in Copenhagen.

Colorful canal in Copenhagen.

Enjoying a "coffe" in a local cafe in Copenhagen.

We love being in Denmark!

The oldest halftimbered house in Denmark is in Koge! It was built in 1527!

Jennifer enjoying the crystal clear waters of the Baltic Sea.