It's freezing in Kalamata, Greece
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12.03.07 - Monday
We arrived in Kalamata, Greece around 8am, although there was a time zone change - so in Greece it was 9am. I had to be at watch at 6am, so I went back to bed and slept til late afternoon. We had free WiFi on deck, so I was able to call Donna and pay some bills, check email, etc… Today was Jarod’s birthday. I created another video to show and afterwards we watched the Lord of the Rings - two towers.
12.04.07 - Tuesday
Today was a day off. The weather was cold and rainy. I decided to stay onboard and not go into town. I sat in the Nav office with Daniel checking internet. The connection was very slow so I went back downstairs and edited photos. Then I took an afternoon nap. After dinner we watched Superman returns.
12.05.07 - Wednesday
We had breakfast at 8am, then maintenance at 9am til 12:45pm. It was freezing today, so maintenance wasn’t very enjoyable… but then again it never really is. After lunch we went right into sail training. Geez… we have so much to learn. I don’t know how I’m gonna pass the certification test? Then I had work duties - “cleaning toilets” and emptying the trash (which is soo disgusting!). It’s the worst job on the ship and I have two more weeks of it. Gross!
After dinner I checked my email and posted this blog. J Luckily we have free WiFi that is accessible on deck --- although we have to sit in the freezing cold. Our ship is all metal, so we can't get internet inside where it's warm. It's freezing in Greece. Besides the weather, things are still going well. I am learning so much and definitely growing because of it. OK my fingers are falling off, so I will end this blog for now, besides we’re getting ready to watch Spiderman 3... Later.
Happy Holidays! I realize it’s Christmas day and I haven’t posted a new blog since December 5th. Sorry to everyone who’s been checking… I’ve been thinking and reading over my blog and well, I have to admit it stinks! Basically I just wrote out my schedule and agenda for each day which isn’t very interesting to read. I’m sure you’re sick of reading, “after lunch we had sail training, then work duties”… so I’ve decided to start writing from the heart. I plan to get down right personal and let you know my inner thoughts and feelings.
It’s obvious I’ve grown a lot during this journey. Four months ago I would not have been willing to be so vulnerable, so open. Hopefully the following blog will express more of who I am and what God is teaching me. Enjoy!
Dec. 6th - 13th
We started this week with a special guest: Saint Nicolas. A little early I thought, although in some European countries he visits on Dec. 6th every year. He brings treats and tells if you’ve been bad or good. This year Saint Nick asked me a significant question, “Do you know your memory verse?”. Every student was asked to memorize Colossians 3 - the whole chapter! Well I had no intention of memorizing the scripture we were given basically because I tell myself that I have a horrible memory and I can’t learn a new language or memorize the Bible. I flat out said I wasn’t going to even try, yet for some odd reason on Dec. 5th (the night before) I found that scripture when cleaning my room and decided to give it a try. The next day when Saint Nick asked me if I could remember it, I actually could quote 1/3 of it.
It was as if God was reminding me that I can do all things through Christ. The enemy’s lie had been exposed and I could no longer use it as an excuse not to try. I believe it was the Holy Spirit’s leading that I was asked to quote those verses. God wants me to write His words on my heart and get them in my head. Wow, how significant and humbling it was to be reminded of this and to hear God’s truth. Tears filled my eyes that morning. Imagine how I would have felt if Saint Nick asked me that question and I could not quote the scripture. I would have been discouraged and upset with myself, plus it would’ve just reinforced my wrong belief.
Also during the teaching, Jonny asked us about projects or ideas for ministry that God has put on our heart. It was easy for me to come up with a long list. I am a dreamer - a visionary, but my dreams are just that - dreams. Very often my dreams do not come to fruition for various different reasons. I could come up with a long list for that one too. There are many things that stop me - things that get in the way of my dreams. I wish Jonny would’ve talked about how to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of our dreams coming to life. That is a teaching I really need to learn.
Another thing that has been a significant teaching is that we are learning to hone in on hearing God’s voice and speaking into other people’s lives. I thought about two of my friends that were struggling and sharing their stories with me. I was reminded of what I said to them and wondered if what I said to them was helpful? I take this position of influence very seriously. The words we speak are powerful. I want to be certain my tongue is anointed by the Holy Spirit when I speak into someone’s life. I worry that maybe I could lead people down the wrong path, hurting them rather than helping.
Lastly I was deeply moved by the gift Jonny gave me and although he wasn’t here to see the blessing, his “generous giving morning” was indeed just what our community needed. We were to ask God what he’d have us give away to someone else on the ship. It would be an example of selfless giving and generosity. We wept; we gave; we received; we all were overwhelmed and in awe of the generosity that filled the room. My words don’t do the experience justice. Usually I see so much sadness in the world; so much suffering; so much hurt. Yet today my tears were not from grieving, but were tears of joy and hope for the goodness that filled the air. This experience of being present to witness community the way God had intended for it to be: loving, sharing, and selfless was so very special to me. It gave me a new sense of hope for our world.