Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goodbye St. Lucia, Hello Barbados!

We left St. Lucia yesterday evening and arrived in Barbados early this morning. Thankfully, it was a very short sail because it was quite rough throughout the night! :) We had a wonderful time in St. Lucia. John's parents were visiting for the majority of the port, so we had a good time exposing them to life on board the Logos Hope. They spend several days helping out in our book hold (where we store our thousands of books!) and helped John with some data-entry as well. We also were able to take them to several events that we offer to the public -- an international prayer night, a partnership dinner, and a youth event. They also had the chance to hear John share his testimony in church and attend several of our ship community events. We are so thankful that both parents have now visited us on the ship and have a better understanding of what the Logos Hope is all about!

Monday, October 26, 2009

St. Lucia

St. Lucia has a population of 160,000 and is about 239 square miles in size. The capital is Castries (where the ship has been docked) and about a third of the country's population resides there. St. Lucia is a volcanic island and is more mountainous than many of the other Caribbean islands. The highest point on the island is Mt. Gimie (3,120 feet above sea level). Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island's most famous landmark. We had the privilege of seeing them as we sailed into St. Lucia and then again when we went diving with John's dad! Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano; but unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to experience that. Maybe next time! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ashfords Visiting!

John's parents, Wes and Joanne, arrived into St. Lucia Saturday afternoon and will be visiting us on the ship until next Monday. Today is Joanne's birthday, so we're hoping to have a great celebration today! The highlight of their visit so far was taking Wes diving on Monday! The last time he went diving was the day after John was born (almost 30 years!) in Los Angeles. Since so much time has lapsed since he dove last, he took a little refresher course on Sunday and then we went together on Monday. What fun! The water was sooo blue and clear and we saw TONS of fish! What fun!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Goodbye Trinidad, Hello St. Lucia!

We sailed away from Trinidad on Wednesday afternoon and arrived in St. Lucia yesterday evening. What a beautiful sail! The water was so blue and so clear! The highlight of the sail for me was seeing dolphins swim alongside the ship and John's highlight was seeing a beautiful rainbow across the whole sky. Thank God for his incredibly beautiful creation.

Trinidad was a fantastic port for us. During our five weeks in port, we had over 96,000 visitors come on board and sold over 320,000 books (an all-time record for OM Ships!). The Trinidadians as a whole love to read, so were anxious to get their hands on as many books as possible! In the book fair, we sold one Bible ever 1.25 minutes. The top sellers were The Five Love Languages, Better English, The Purpose Driven Life, and the World Atlas. Pretty amazing. We also had 64 events on board for locals with almost 5,000 people attending those events. We are so thankful to God for bringing so many visitors to the ship over the past five weeks. Our prayer is that every single one of those people took one step closer to Jesus.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship

Last evening, we had the privilege of hosting a table at a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship dinner and event on board. The organization is worldwide with chapters in most cities throughout the world. Every month this group gets together for a nice evening with the objective of inviting other businessmen in order to share their faith. Their meeting this month was held on the Logos Hope! John was asked to share his testimony with the 50+ men and their wives. He did an excellent job. Many men approached him afterward to tell him how powerful his testimony is. All praise to God for changing his life so radically when he became a Christian almost six years ago. One gentleman even said that he should write it down and put it in a pamphlet so others could be touched as well. Praise God for speaking so powerfully through John.

Last Sunday at Great Commission

We have been so blessed by the community of Great Commission Bible Church while being in Trinidad. Below is a picture of the pastor Bicky and his wife Celia. What a tremendous couple. Thank the Lord for God-fearing pastors. Today is actually "Clergy Appreciation Day" in the USA, so today we are thankful for all the amazing pastors we have met throughout the last year and our dear pastors of our home church PCC.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

A Biblical Portrait of Marriage

We had the great privilege of attending Walk Thru the Bible's "A Biblical Portrait of Marriage" course today. The course was held on board the ship and was designed for local people, but a few crew members were also invited to attend. We are so happy that we were able to attend! The course leader had such great insight and spoke such amazing truth. Thank God for him really being able to speak truth into our marriage.

Small Groups

John and I both started new small groups today! Every six weeks, we start new small groups on board. At the end of each six-week season, some groups stay together and some groups opt to split up and begin new groups. It's quite an amazing system! In my new job, I have the awesome privilege of overseeing all the small groups on board. Everyone on board particpates in a small group on Thursday mornings, so this season we have 30 different small groups meeting! John and I both leading groups this season. John's group is studying Revelations and mine is studying the topic of "community." We're both looking forward to a great six weeks with our new groups!

Volunteer Training

John had the opportunity yesterday to lead a training for our local volunteers. In each port, we have local volunteers that come onto the ship to volunteer in a variety of jobs. Besides working on board, they also benefit from having the opportunity to participate in many training sessions. John lead a training on "How to Show God that We Love Him." John asked me to assist him, so together, we had a really great time connecting with the group. Thank God for this special opportunity.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great Commission Church

We had the great honor of going back to Great Commission Church this morning. We had taken my parents there two weeks ago and enjoyed it so much that we decided to attend again this Sunday. We thoroughly loved the service, even though the electricity was completely out! The sanctuary was pretty hot (as you can imagine!) and very dark, but the service was still do dynamic and alive. I started thinking back to the early church and how similar this probably was -- no air conditioning, no electric guitars, no power point, no microphone, etc., etc., etc. Just raw talking and singing. Amazing. The church body blessed us afterward by preparing an incredible Trinidadian meal for us. What a blessing. Think we'll be back again next Sunday. ;)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Young Adults on board Event

Last evening, John and I helped host a Young Adults event on board. What fun! We really enjoyed meeting several very nice people from Trinidad and really all throughout the Caribbean. Many young adults come to Trinidad for school or work as it's much larger than many other nearby islands. John and I hosted a table of young adults and really enjoyed getting to know them. The evening was centered around encouraging Christian young adults to become more involved in their church, missions and their community.