Thursday, April 30, 2009

We're in Belfast!

We arrived into Belfast yesterday! Unfortunately, it was a very cold and rainy day, but I guess that's typical weather for Northern Ireland! :) We were greeted by an excited crowd and live music. Sailing into port is always such a special time! Last night, we had the chance to connect with a local guy named Gavin (I was very excited by his name as that is also our nephew's name!). :) He drove us and two others from the ship around the city giving us a short tour and the history of the city. What a history Belfast has. We had the chance to also pray over the city. We love getting off the ship and into the town on our day of arrival to get a feel of the port. What a neat experience to connect with such an awesome local guy on our first day in port. We're really looking forward to see what God does in our two weeks in Belfast!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goodbye Torshavn, Hello Klaksvik

We had a terrific seven days in Torshavn! The Faroese people are spectacular! What incredibly friendly, hospitable people. We have had so many incredible expereinces just in the last week. One highlight for me (Jennifer) was being invited to a ladies event at a local church. I've been a part of putting on many women's events on board for local ladies, so it was so neat that this group of ladies decided to put on a women's event for us! What a lovely evening of fellowship.

We have truly been spoiled rotten by the Faroese people! :) They are famous for their amazing cakes and we have certainly had our fair share! We have also had the opportutnity to try many varieties of fish and seafood. What a blessing this time has been. Our ship's company is feeling very refreshed and renewed by being here. Praise the Lord.

This afternoon, we left Torshavn to sail to another town in the Faroe Islands. The sail was just about three hours. We arrived into Klasksvik this evening at 6pm and had an incredible welcome complete with fireworks, a live band, a balloon release and more! What fun! We really look forward to spending more time in the Faroe's!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Pictures!

We have a great internet connection in the Faroe Islands, so we were finally able to add more pictures to our blog! Please look back through our last several blogs for the new pictures. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sailing Trip

We had the INCREDIBLE experience of going on a sailing trip yesterday throughout the islands. The scenery was truly awe inspiring. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it. The pictures won't do it justice! Seventy people from the ship's company had the opportunity to board an all-wood sailing boat (probably around 100 feet) for a five hour sail around the islands. About half way through the sail, we broke up into small groups and boarded zodiacs to go into caves in the cliffs. Majestic. Towards the end of the sail, the boat's crew boiled up fresh lobster and sea urchins for our dinner! What an experience. We feel so blessed to have had this unbelievable experience on our first full day in the Faroes! We are so grateful for this generous gift to our ship's company. This is a gift we'll remember for a lifetime.

Ready for the cold weather!

John looking like the pro-sailor he is. :)

The water was crystal clear!

See the small boat at the entrance of the cave? Gives you a bit of perspective on how big the cliffs really are!

A picture of our sail boat from the zodiac.

Pet or dinner?!?

Stop playing with your dinner John! ha ha! :)

We're in the Faroe Islands!

Wow, what a place! We arrived in the Faroe Islands on Friday evening and had a SUPER welcome! I bet there were several hundred people there to welcome us, including the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands and the mayor of Torshavn (the capital - where we're presently docked). What a thrill! Many of you reading this blog may not be familiar with the Faroe Islands. We certainly weren't before joining OM! We're incredibly far north -- according to our world map, we're technically in the North Polar region! ha ha! We're in the North Pole!! We're about the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. The Faroe Islands are an island group (18 islands) situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately half way between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are its own country, but they are under Danish delegation. They have their own language -- Faroese. The islands cover 540 square miles and the population is 48,000. Irish monks were the first to settle in the Faroe Islands in the 6th Century. We are so excited to spend 10 days in this amazing place!

The welcoming crowd!

What an AMAZING place!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Goodbye Edinburgh!

We had a great last day in Edinburgh yesterday. We hiked up Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park, walked the Royal Mile, browsed the shops on Princess Street and George Street (including Jenner's -- the oldest department store in the world!), and walked through the beautiful Caledonian and Balmoral Hotels. The day ended playing a bit of cricket with our ship family! What fun!

We truly loved Edinburgh. The people were so friendly and hospitable. We were very sad to say goodbye. The ship set sail at 6am today and we've begun to journey to the Faroe Islands. We're due to arrive on Friday evening. The seas have been fairly smooth so far, so please keep praying for smooth sailing!

The view from the top of Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park.

Takin' it easy after the steep climb!

Look what we just did!

I think I missed my calling in life... professional Cricket player. ha ha!

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Pictures!

Our internet connection has been really slow recently, so we haven't been adding many photos to our blog. So today we went to an internet cafe and were able to add more pictures to a few old postings - Amazing Saturday, Keukenhof, and Grand Welcome in Scotland. All those postings are on a previous page. We have more pictures to add to more recent blogs, so will try to add those soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We've had a GREAT last few days celebrating Easter! On Thursday, we had an incredible communion service on board to begin the celebration. Then on Friday morning, we had a wonderful service for Good Friday. Saturday, we had the privilege of attending the "Easter Play" in Princess Street Gardens in the middle of town. For several year now, a local charity puts on a spectacular outdoor play that takes viewers through the days leading up to Christ's death and resurrection. It was indescribable really. We've never seen anything so real and awesome. It was almost like we were right there with Jesus and his disciples. The play last 2 1/2 hours and had several acts all in different locations in the park. What a fabulous experience.

We've had a wonderful time today celebrating Christ's resurrection. We had a sunrise service up on our top deck at 6am this morning. So beautiful to see the sun rise over Edinburgh. Then we had a spectacular brunch, followed by a very meaningful church service. For lunch, we were invited out by the same family that we spent last Sunday with. What a treat again! We feel so
blessed. We'll finish the day off with a Scottish dancing tonight! What a wonderful day!

The Easter Play.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Exciting Day!

I (Jennifer) had quite the full day! I was blessed to be asked to speak at two separate events today. The first event was a Woman's Coffee. I was on a panel to discuss life on board as a woman. Four different ladies shared from four different life stages. I represented the "young married, without kids" life stage. :) I really enjoyed being able to share my story with the ladies -- why we joined the ship, what God is teaching me on board the ship, and what valuable lessons I've learned since joining.

The second event was a prayer night for Carrubbers Christian Centre (the church we attended on Sunday). The church has prayer nights every Tuesday and this week they had their prayer night on board the ship. Again, I was asked to share my story. I feel so privileged to have had these two opportunities today to connect with the Scots and to share how God has moved and is moving in my life.

The day was topped off by some good ol' Easter egg dying!! We wanted to share this wonderful American Easter tradition with our ship family. They thought it was a hoot! What fun. :)

Easter Sunday with our dyed Easter eggs!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wonderful Sunday!

We had a wonderful Sunday connecting with the members of Carrubbers Christian Centre. Our good friends on board, the Packwoods, attend this awesome church, so for a long time now, we've heard such amazing things about it. We were so thrilled to attend both their morning and evening service yesterday. Two of their head pastors are Americans, so that's pretty neat! A family that is very close to the Packwoods had John and I and another couple over yesterday between the two services. They prepared a fabulous meal for us! We really enjoyed being able to connect more with this wonderful family and enjoy some Scottish hospitality! What a city this is!

In front of Carrubbers Christian Centre with friends Colin and Su Kim.

This British phone booth was right outside their church! ha!

Host Allison and her daughter Emma with ship friend Su Kim.

Our ship friends Philip and Su Kim (Malaysia)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Logos Hope Video!

Take a few minutes to check out the latest Logos Hope video! The video does a fantastic job explained our ministry and we do we on board. Click here.

Interesting Facts about Scotland

Here's some interesting facts about Scotland:

-The population of Scotland is 5.2 million.
-Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it is not the largest city. The largest city in Scotland is Glasgow.
-Scotland is about the size of South Carolina.
-Scotland has some 790 islands; 130 are inhabited.
-Scotland is famous for its fresh water lochs (lakes) – there are over 600 square miles of them! One of the most famous is Loch Ness where a mysterious monster is said to lurk in the depths of the water.
-Until 1603, Scotland had its own King.
-As per the census conducted in 1909, the Scots were the tallest race in Europe. But due to World War I, the average height of the men in Scotland fell by 9 inches in 1930.
-Scotland lost the greatest number of soldiers per head of population in World War I.
The official animal of Scotland is the unicorn.
-The television, telephone, video cassette recorder, finger printing, golf, tarmac, tires, and penicillin were all Scottish inventions.

Wonderful Connections!

We had the opportunity on Thursday to help host a Pastor's Luncheon. Almost 100 local pastors came on board the ship for fellowship and to learn more about the ship's ministry. John and I hosted a table of four pastors from Edinburgh. We really enjoyed being able to discuss with them the differences and similarities between churches in the UK and the USA. They were all very interested to learn about our church back in Redwood City and how we structure our church services. We really enjoyed sharing with them, but talking about our church sure made us miss all our WONDERFUL pastors there! For any of you reading this, we love you and miss you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Later in the evening, a large group of ship's company went out to the seven hills of Edinburgh to pray over the city. The city is said it be build on seven hills, presumably in an attempt to liken the city with other cities supposedly built on seven hills such as Rome and Lisbon! The ship's company was divided into seven groups and we each went to one of the big hills throughout the city. We really enjoyed the unique opportunity to pray with ship's company and locals over the city. What a beautiful city this is!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jennifer's Job Update

I just wanted to give you a quick update on my job on board. I started in the Guest Relations Department at the end of December and have been training very hard over the past few months. As of this week, I'm officially taking over as Manager of the Guest Relations Team! Please pray for me!! I really need it. I'll be managing three people - from Mexico, Taiwan and India. Should be an interesting challenge! We have 86 guest beds on board, so we're truly running a mid-size hotel on the ship. We definitely keep very busy making all the reservations for guests, preparing for their arrival and hosting them while they are on board. Exciting to see how God will grow and stretch me in this new position.

Grand Welcome in Scotland

We arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland last evening and what a reception we received! You would not believe the welcome!! A local church planned a grand welcome for our ship as we sailed into the dock. There was live music, a bag piper playing, Scottish dancers and more! There must have been over 100 people on the dock waving us in. It'll be hard to ever top that! We were so incredibly honored by the Scottish welcome. We are so thrilled to be there the next two weeks!