Saturday, April 12, 2014

Highlights from Majuro

Today is perfect writing weather rainy and grey.  It has been rainy most of the time since we arrived.

Some days stay overcast all day. Some days we get just enough sun to make it super hot and humid, then it rains so we have to close up the boat. Yesterday we had high clouds and no rain all day.  I was able to do some laundry and get it dried!

We were able to stay alongside the Uliga dock for a week. That was such a blessing. We we able to take on 600 gallons of diesel from a truck that drove up beside us. We had the major provisions delivered by truck and the DTS team was able to move aboard while we were still alongside.

The highlight of our time in Majuro was hosting the President and several of his Cabinet Members on board. We prepared all day. We even brought a set of matching cups and saucers from Honolulu. Brett brought his sport coat.  Government workers set up an awning on the dock beside the boat. A police car and one other car drove up 15 minutes before the scheduled time, then all of the sudden one of the crew is telling me, "that guy in the blue shirt is the President!"
I went out and started talking to him. He asked questions about the boat. He was casual and friendly. Then we invited the group on board and the whole evening was relaxed and friendly. 

Brett gave a presentation about Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and the Hawaii Aloha. The Sydney our youngest crew member presented the President with  a YWAM Study Bible and an autographed copy of Lauren Cunningham's book, the Book that Transforms Nations.

The President then gave us a warm welcome to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) expressing his appreciation for the work will will be doing here and offering any assistance we might need. He presented Brett and I each a hand made wall hanging with a canoe in the center.
We learned that the gift of a canoe is a symbol that they want us to return.

We hosted several other receptions on board, Government Departments, NGOs, a Women's group, Pastors and the Yachties.  The yachties are a very diverse groups and some of them are part of a tight knit group. They have the Cruisers net every morning at 0730 on the VHF channel 71, which is a great way to get information. We put the word out on some of our engineering problems and tools we need, and had people stopping by and offering help right away. 

A Personal highlight has been reconnecting with Lola Schutz.  I met Lola at the Marshall Islands English Church (MIEC) when I was in Majuro in  2010 with a program from the University of Hawaii. Lola then signed up for an online class I was teaching through UH for teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs). Lola and I communicated online on a regular basis for about a year. We had a joyful reunion at church last Sunday and she has come to visit the boat a few times. She also encouraged us to go to the church's groups. Last Friday evening I went to MIEC with the DTS outreach team.  The men went to the Youth Group and later shared stories of young men making life changing decisions. The young women and I went to the Women's group. Our circle slowly grew until we had 25 women from 12 different nations. I was really encouraged as the women welcomed us and shared from their hearts.  When the youth group joined us at the end for refreshments, one of the DTS men commented, "it looked like you YWAM women had been part of their group for a long time." Island hospitality and the love of Christ make a great combination.

We are waiting on a part to repair the anchor windlass. It feels like God is using this part to control our schedule.  When we are "ready" we will leave Majuro and make the downwind sail to Ebeye in Kwjalein Atoll.  We will stop at Lib on the way to drop off materials for a fence.  We will return to Lib for outreach 5 with a medical team on board and a leader to direct the fence construction. 

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I would not be here without that. I hope to be able to send more updates from Ebeye.

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