I am getting 2 days of rest at the villages Hotel in Christmas Island. I know many of you have not heard from me since I left Kona over a month ago. This voyage has taken living by faith to a whole new level. We had a rock and roll 8 day reach from Kona to Christmas Island. The crew was fantastic. Our 4 days in Christmas Island were taken up with administrative tasks to make a quick turn around. 4 of the crew flew back to Kona including our engineer, then my DTS outreach team came aboard and we set sail for Fanning island. Thankfully I had been able to get some Local knowledge from Brad the captain of the Kwai, and we were able to follow him in through the channel into the Lagoon. the anchorage in Fanning is well protected, so most of us were able to go ashore each day for outreach. What an honor it was to be the first outreach team to ever visit Fanning Island. We did programs with singing and dramas at several churches. We also taught about hygiene and did some wound care. We had 3 nurses on the team and they were able to provide a lot of support to the medical clinic. They were able to pray with the nurse who had just been through a difficult time watching a patient die because there were no vessels to take him to the hospital in Christmas Island.
Fanning was uninhabited until the late 1800's when the British set up a copra plantation there. In the 1980's the government if Kiribati gave incentives to families to move to the line Islands because the main islands (Tarawa) were overcrowded. Fanning does not have the same feeling as other islands in Micronesia where everyone takes care of each other, because no- one is from there.
We left Fanning in the afternoon and used our new whisker pole for the first time making a fast down wind run to Washington Island. A little too fast. We arrived before dawn and discovered that our chart was not correct. We know God was taking care of us because we came way to close to the fringing reef! The people of Washington were waiting for us. they had a big Welcoming Celebration planned. Most of the DTS team and a few of the crew were able to go ashore and enjoy the celebration. It was too rough to anchor. There is no lagoon here so the only anchorage is on the fringing reef fully exposed to the ocean. We stood off for the day under sail, picked up the team before dark and stood off for the night. the next morning we sent a team of nine ashore for 5 days then took the boat back to Fanning. It took twice as long to get back to Fanning. We were motoring straight into the wind, waves and current. We had 3 days of crew meetings in Fanning then returned to pick up the rest of the team from Washington. I loved hearing the stories of all the ministry and teaching the team was able to do on Washington. This island is the remotest of remote because there is no safe anchorage. The conditions were very challenging but the team was so excited about how God used them on the island.
We had a slow, rough five days again motoring against the wind, waves and current to get back to Christmas Island. Fortunately our experience returning to Fanning convinced us to allow for extra travel time and we made it back in time for everyone to catch their flights on Jan. 22.
I was on an emotional roller coaster the last week because I was hoping to be able to fly with my DTS outreach team to Fiji. News about a relief Captain coming was on then off. The day before I was scheduled to fly, God made it very clear to me that I should stay with the boat. So I am taking my two days of rest and it looks like I will continue as Captain for the second outreach to Washington and Fanning islands. I am getting lots of practice in feeling my feelings, living one day at a time and trusting God. God is so faithful.
I have a new Granddaughter! Sophie Alice Waioli Kapahu was born on January 16. I am looking forward to pictures and maybe even FaceTime while I am here. I am sad I was not there for her birth, but I will have so many God stories to tell her when she grows up.
I look forward to hearing from all of you.