Monday, March 30, 2009

Goodbye Netherlands, Hello Scotland!

We set sail this morning at 7am for Edinburgh, Scotland. We are so thrilled to go to Scotland! We’ll arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 6pm. Before we begin blogging about our adventures in Scotland, we wanted to give you a quick recap of Scheveningen. At closing last night we had welcomed over 17,000 visitors in Scheveningen and gave over 6,500 ship tours! God used the Logos Hope in such powerful ways in the Netherlands. We’re so thrilled to see what God has for us in the UK!


We spent a glorious day on Sunday at Keukenhof! Each year, gardeners plants over 7 million tulip bulbs in this amazing garden in Lisse, Netherlands. The park is only open from mid-March to mid-May each year when the tulips are at their peak. We thoroughly enjoyed it to say the least! I was almost moved to tears because of the immense beauty of God’s creation. By far, these were the most gorgeous tulips we have ever seen. You wouldn’t believe all the colors and the size of the flowers! Some of the petals were over 6 inches long! The garden claims to be the most photographed spot in the world! We took quite a few, so I wouldn’t doubt it! We'll add the pictures when we get into port (our bandwidth is quite limited when we're at sea!).

Amazing Saturday!

We had an AMAZING day on Saturday! We were asked to host an American guy and his family that are living in The Hauge on Saturday morning. He works for Christian Associates International in the Netherlands. We had a great time giving him and his family a tour, having lunch with them, and answering their questions about the ship. As we got to talking with them, an amazing connection was made! Turns out the wife and I were soriety sisters at Baylor University! She was a senior when I was a freshman, so neither of us recognized each other, but it was such a cool connection. Such a small world.

Then later in the day, we were invited out for a meal with another neat local family. Both the husband and wife had served with OM Ships back in the 90’s. We hit it off with them when they were visiting in the last port, so when they came to the ship this time, they invited us out for a meal! We ate at a beautiful restaurant right on the beach. What a treat!

That evening, we had the chance to be a part of a really unique outreach event. We partnered with a local church that is really focused on reaching out to the community in lots of creative ways. We were able to partner with then for a really unique and unusual event! A man in their church owns an “American school bus” (which I guess is an attraction since people see them in the movies!). He’s converted the inside of the bus to a cafĂ© with tables, chairs, etc. We invited people from the community to come on the bus and have a coffee or tea and cookies. Surprisingly to me, several people from the community came to check out the bus! We were able to have some neat conversations and share about our desire to connect with their community. We were so encouraged by the church’s creativity in reaching out to their community. What a full and wonderful day! We'll add some pictures when we get into port.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Women's Event

This morning, I had the opportunity to help host an on board event for local women. Over 100 women came on board the ship for an amazing program. The program included a great talk, two dances, a drama, singing, a testimony and more! We have an excellent events team on board that does a great job putting together powerful and meaningful programs for local people. I hosted a table of wonderful ladies. All were so interested in the ship and our mission. I was honored to be able to share my story with them and how God led us to join the Logos Hope. All our programs have one common goal: to take people one step closer to God. Whether people are already Christians or just seeking, our hope is that through our programs and the conversations they have, they take one step closer to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.

Youth Center

Yesterday, we had the privilege of hanging out with a group of youth from a local youth drop-in center. Similar to the Boy and Girls Club in the USA, young people can drop by the center after school for a bit of fun (and to stay out of trouble!). :) We had a great time hanging with them. We played pool, foosball, and also kicked around a soccer ball for a bit. We really enjoyed being able to meet and connect with some local youth. Most of them didn't speak English, so most of the communication was through smiles, handshakes, and high fives. There was such a wide mix of nationalities represented in the group - Middle Eastern, African, Carribbean and more! Netherlands is truly a melting pot just like the USA. Both of us worked with youth in our previous jobs back in the USA, so we were more than thrilled to spend some time with local youth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Hague

We had a GREAT day on Monday in The Hague! What a terrific city. Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands, but The Hague is the seat of the government and where the Queen resides. We really enjoyed exploring this amazing city. Enjoy the pictures!

Mauritshuis (Maurits' House) was originally Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen's private home in the 17th Century. Today it contains the Royal Cabinet of Paintings, as well as contemporary Dutch paintings.

The famous Hotel de Indes was the most luxurious hotel we'd ever been inside. Many famous people have stayed there throughout the years. What fineness.

A very interesting fountain outside a very ornate cathedral.

On our way back to the ship, we walked down this fun street strung with Easter eggs!

YUMMY! The Dutch are of course know for their delicious Gouda cheese from Gouda, Netherlands.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunset over Scheveningen

On Friday night Jennifer and I went for a walk along the beach next to where the Logos Hope is berthed. Enjoy these photos of this sublime evening.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

University Visit

I (John) went to Delft Technical University today and yesterday to raise awareness about what our ship is doing in the area. This included passing out fliers and spontaneous conversations. I had many great conversations about the purpose of the ship and this lead into deeper discussions concerning spirituality and faith. I think that many of the people felt challenged as to where they place their hope.

Life Lessons from the Heart

We had the privilege of having a pastor from Bermuda on the ship this week to share a few "Life Lesson from the Heart." He lead a four-part series throughout this past week. He covered the topics of overcoming temptation, dealing with our weaknesses, overcoming our past and the importance of prayer in our lives. The pastor has a real gifting for looking into the lives of Bible characters and being able to pull out life lessons that can be applied to us today. He provided such practical wisdom in these areas. What a blessing for him to be on board.

Monday, March 16, 2009


We had an excellent time exploring Amsterdam yesterday on our off day! We spend the day at the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. The Van Gogh museum was spectacular. The museum was having a special exhibit called Van Gogh and the Colours of the Night and the actual original painting The Starry Night was there! Wow, what a sight. We were both so moved and so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view such an amazing work of art. The painting circulates, but it's "home" is New York's Modern Museum of Art. Of course, we couldn't take pictures of the painting, but here's one we pulled off the internet to show you in case you aren't familiar with the work of art.

What an amazing structure to house Van Gogh's art!

The Anne Frank Museum was so incredibly moving. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to honor her and her family by visiting the acclaimed "Hiding Place."

We also had the chance to try a few Dutch food specialties!

Yummy "patat" in a cone. The Dutch are famous for putting mayonnaise on their fries!

For lunch, we tried the famed mini-pancakes, called "pofferjes." Delicious!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Exciting Ships Tours

Yesterday, John and I had the privilege of leading ship tours throughout the day. What fun! We really enjoy being able to connect with locals in this way. We had the chance to share the message of faith with each of our tour groups and pray with each of them. Really cool! We both love giving tours and being able to connect with people in this way. It's amazing how intrigued people are with ship life! Living on a ship with 400 people from 45+ different nations definitely drums up interest!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scheveningen, Netherlands

We've had a great first few days in Scheveningen. The first night we arrived into port (Wednesday), we (along with a handful of other crew members) had the great privilege of being guided by a local Christian in a prayer walk around the city. She lead us throughout the town and we were able to stop at many locations to pray together for the local people. What a neat opportunity to learn so much about the town during our first day in port.

Schevingen is located on the western area of The Hague and is one of the major beach areas of the Netherlands. Scheveningen used to be its own separate community but has been formally a part of the community of The Hague for many years now. To us, the town resembles a typical "beach town." For you Californians reading this, we could easily be in Santa Cruz! We've now seen many kite surfers and surfers out catching waves, even though it's only in the 40's outside! Wow, what dedication! We've been told by locals that Scheveningen is the most popular place to have a beach vacation in the Netherlands. People from all over the Netherlands come to Scheveningen to enjoy the beach. Along the beach there is a boulevard with a lot of restaurants. We've been told that Scheveningen has quite an international feel as there is a high number of expats. We look forward to exploring more of the town in our next few weeks here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Leaving Harlingen, Arriving in Scheveningen

Yesterday morning, we departed from Harlingen and headed to Scheveningen. The seas were fairly rough yesterday, so we both felt pretty miserable the whole day. John said this was the first time in his life that he has been sea sick! After a long, rocky voyage, we arrived in Scheveningen late morning. What a gorgeous sail in today! The sun was out and it was 53 degrees! Scheveningen is a beach town, so we enjoyed seeing the gorgeous beach on our sail in. We even saw one surfer! John was thrilled as you can imagine! :)

Before I starting blogging about our new port, I wanted to give a quick recap about Harlingen. We had a great two weeks in Harlingen. There were so many exciting highlights during the port! The biggest highlight for us was that OM Founder George Verwer visited the ship! What a neat priveldge to see him in person after hearing so many wonderful things about him. We also had our first short term mission trip arrive (we call them Vision Team) from Tyndale Publishing House in the USA while in Harlingen.

Over the span of the two weeks in port, we had 5,929 Dutchies visit the ship! Not bad considering Harlingen's population is just over 15k. Each of the visitors had the opportunity to meet crew, to tour the ship (we gave 3,736 tours of the ship!), to purchase quality books, and to sit and connect with a crew member while enjoying a coffee in the I Cafe. Watch the video about our Experience Deck for a reminder of what each visitor experiences when he/she comes on board! Click here!

We also had many great events on board throughout the two weeks, two of which we had the chance to help host (see previous postings). Overall, we had a great time in Harlingen connecting with locals and experiencing Dutch culture.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Abolition of Man: a Study Group

I (John) have been leading a very interesting study group investigating the ideas and arguments proposed in the three lectures delivered in 1943 by C.S. Lewis known as The Abolition of Man. This work has brought lively discourse concerning moral relativism, the destructive tendencies of the post-modern world view, and ideas regarding the foundation and definition of truth vs. fact. The study group will meet over the course of six weeks and we're currently two weeks into the study.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Thank You" Event

Last last, we had the opportunity to help host a "thank you" event on board for all of our local Dutch supporters. John and I were asked to host a table of supporters. We had a fabulous dinner and program to thank all of the supporters for their generosity in outfitting the ship to sail. What a wonderful time to be able to thank them and celebrate with them the launch of the ship into ministry. We had a fabuolous evening interacting with the guests at our table. We enjoyed the opportunity to be able to sincerely thank them for their generosity towards the completion of the Logos Hope.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alumni Event

We had the great opportunity today to help host 100 or so OM ship alumni that came to visit the ship. Each of the alumni had served on one of the other three ships that have been a part of OM, the Logos, the Logos II, or the Doulos. In each port we will visit, we will be inviting OM Ship alumni to come on board our ship for a special day. The alumni arrived this morning in time to join us at our ship church service. After church, the alumni were divided up into small groups and assigned "hosts" to escort them througout the afternoon. We had the priviledge of hosting six wonderful people. We had a really nice time connecting with them over lunch and during a tour of the ship. Later in the afternoon, we had a great presentation for the alumni to educate them more about the Logos Hope. What a neat opportuntiy to connect with OM ship alumni from the Netherlands!