Sailing into Penang, Malaysia I though to myself “This will be my last port of call with Logos Hope”. It is a sobering thought. What will I make of this port? Who’s life will I impact? How will I make the days count. Friendships are a priority for me – spending as much quality time with good friends as I can. I have passed on my leadership role to another talented young man named Greg so now I can spend my work time making sure I do the best job possible, and making sure he has everything that he needs to carry on when I am gone. I am excited to meet Chinese, Indian and Malay people in Malaysia and listen to their stories and share mine. I am already enjoying the abundance of cheap Malaysian food. I plan to finish this race well, say goodbye on good terms, enjoy my time and look forward to being home.
This week I was able to visit a Malaysian church that felt just like home – moreso than the Sunday Service on board Logos Hope. Whilst we went there to share about the ship, for me it was a great time of refreshment, rest and good teaching. We were in a big group, and whilst I remained in the main service, Ruth and a number of others taught the different Sunday School classes.
I am excited about the next few weeks in Malaysia finishing my time well. I thank God for an amazing time on board and a bright future.
Whilst you our I might consider traveling for a short distance to see something exciting – people from Andrha Pradesh in India (and indeed people from other states) travel great distances in the hope of seeing this ship. After browsing our large selection of books, visitors are curious about how we live on board and what is on the other decks of the ship. Whilst we’d love to take people on a tour of our home – the numbers are simply too great, so we created the ‘open ship’ program.
After visiting the book fair, visitors come into one of our big conference rooms where they find many displays of the different aspects of life on the ship. There are stands for European, South-East Asian and Latino culture, Deck and Engine, Cleaning and Catering department stands and things like face-painting and drawing. Best of all in the wide open space visitors have the opportunity to talk with friendly crew members and ask them about their life on board.
My job was to direct people in and out of the conference room and for a while to tell people about the deck and engine work on board. I had many photos taken with adults and children and generally just answered ‘what is your name?’ and ‘what country?’ but I could chat breifly with two people about why I am a volunteer on the ship and they were very thankful for the opportunity.
On a day where the crowds were huge and somewhat overwhelming for us, God gave us the opportunity to connect with a few and to bless the many who come on board through our smiling faces and our willing hearts. I could not have continued to wish people well and to smile if not for God’s help, but he loves the people of India so much that he used me to show it.
“Wow! I can see now that you jungle animals are just as smart and clever as circus animals!” I exclaimed to the ship kids who had just performed very well in some fun games like twister, limbo, acting, dancing and singing a song.
I’ve asked God to help me to be better with kids and so lately a few opportunities have come up to have fun with the kids on the ship and with those onshore. This opportunity was called ‘kids club’. A general invite went out to the crew and I signed up with some other crew who were more experienced. The goal was to just have a fun time with the kids and to love them – no special agenda behind it.
I acted as a circus trainer and did a small skit, helped run some of the games and in general just interacted with the kids. It’s a stretch for me, but it’s actually quite fun. I thank God for answering my prayer.
Standing up in front of fourty sunday school kids, singing a song while turning around and sticking out my tongue – man that was a new expereince. For the last two sundays I have visited a church in Sri Lanka and a church in India. In both churches our small group of ship’s crew were able to encourage the Sunday School kids with a programme of around one hour.
We taught them songs in english, did a ship quiz, told a story from the bible and had time to sit with them and answer questions. God has been taking me on a journey of learning to interact with and encourage younger children – and in trusting Him I am slowly learning.