He, he, he, he! I know the title is a bit provoking, but here it finally comes: The report of my visit to Croatia. It was a mixture of many emotions. Joy, concern, excitement, tiredness, memories, feeling at home, bewilderment, feeling special, feeling forgotten, new challenges, etc.
But let me start from the beginning. For a while I have been thinking of using the time Logos II was in Croatia for a combined visit of the two ships (Logos Hope is being rebuilt in a yard there). But caused by exams and some other issues I did not really have time to seriously consider a trip. Until Tuesday (13th Feb.) and there I realized my only option would be to go the following day. So I surprised everyone (and shocked myself a bit) by being in Croatia 12 hours after I first mentioned going. I really believe it was God helping me arranging everything.
So there I was in Trogir as a project worker on Logos Hope. It was great to finally see this HUGE ship that is going to replace Logos II. Wow! They gave me a tour and I was totally lost. Until the end of the visit I figured out how to find my working places (deck 5 & 6), the temporary dinning room, the bath room and the exit! :o)
What did I do? Painting window frames. There where 3 coats of grey and 2 coats of white to be applied. It was cool getting to know a few people while doing so (Steven, Tom, Donna & Stephan – thank you for making the work fun).
On Friday night, Saturday and Sunday I was on board Logos II in Split! Seriously it felt like being at home again. I enjoyed walking around, remembering experiences at various spots, praying and thanking God about this unexpected gift. Very special to meet up with those that I still knew on board and I even met a few new people. It was good to have the time to really talk with some of you. It’s amazing how God works in your lives and though sometimes you find yourself in difficult situations he is right there with you. Thank you for making me feel at home and part of the ministry. I had to be careful not to fall back into the “we” when talking about OM and the ships. :o) There where as well some surprises of people being onboard I had met but had not heard of them joining the ship.
A very special blessing for me was staying the last two nights in Croatia on board Logos II (I even had a cabin in A2!).
This time got me start thinking about a few issues and one or the other I want to share with you. Here are my lessons from 8 exciting days back with OM:
1. Logos Hope – there are great opportunities waiting for this vessel! The ministry side is amazing. And crew will have a much nicer life on board. Used to think life was pretty easy on Logos II. Well, Logos Hope brings even more luxury. Somehow my attitude towards this ship has changed (not really because of it’s luxury). It’s not any more the replacement of “my” Logos II, but a own reality. It has to be a totally new thing!
2. Good seeing or hearing of some of the problems on Logos II. Not that the problems are good in itself, but it helped me to remember that the ship is not perfect. Sometimes you forget after a while away. I do not want to put Logos II (or some people) as my ideal, but Jesus Christ himself.
3. I had time to remember where I came from. Some things changed in my life after OM. Some needed to change, but in some areas I got too relaxed. I had to ask myself again what my plans where when I went home. What where my dreams? Where am I now? What is my vision? Am I still growing? (Still working on these thoughts.)
4. Though Logos II felt like home and Logos Hope is filled with promises of a great ministry I can say now for sure: This was my final line! I can’t see God calling me back at this time. If this is the closure of a stage or if I will never return again, I can’t say for now. (Had some moments thinking about being onboard with an own family. But as there is no husband or children in sight, these thoughts where very theoretical.) It was not hard to say good bye. I went on boat deck just before I left and was praying and suddenly God filled me with such a joy, that I almost started crying. Logos II has been an amazing blessing to my life and its ministry is going on. Now there are other lives being transformed.
It’s good that the ships where in Croatia. Croatia, Water, Missions and Logos II stand in a combination for me. In Croatia, while on a day trip on a little boat, I made my first move in the direction of Mission. That was the first time I told God I wanted to be used by him. That was about 7 years ago. Stunning to reflect on the years past and to see how God had (and of course still has) a plan for my life, though I found it so hard to believe at age 16.
So here it comes: the next step! Don’t know where it will lead me, but as long as the direction is “nearer to God” I do not need to know.
P.S. If you want to know more about my trip or some people I met onboard feel free to contact me.
P.P.S. I’ll write about my trip to Switzerland as soon as I have some pictures.