Cause I gotta have faith

Since being in Sydney, we’ve certainly begun experiencing more of our Australian winter. Most people on the ship are ‘suffering’ from the cold – particularly when they arrived in New Zealand – as they had predominantly been living in mostly ‘summer’ weather for a year – or had arrived while travelling in countries like the Philliphines where its often warm. Mum has been informing me of her ‘puddle’ status – currently I believe she still has some puddles existing – which make her glad. And Dad has informed me that they’ve been having a reassuring stint of rain to keep them hopefull that perhaps this is the year the drought will change. I hope wherever you are your lawns and gardens are getting a well deserved watering.

I have appreciated the cool weather as I more than understand we’re in a drought, but have ashamedly found it frustrating as our Café is exposed to the elements being on the ‘Car Deck’ which is practically the bow of the ship. Because we also haven’t had efficient weather proofing – particularly from the wind and rain, [having it open gives people much more picturesque views not obstructed by shelter], so we have been braving the bitter chilling cold instead. Our demands really are not many. We want something to stop the rain getting to us, and we’d like a couple of those heaters that café’s with outdoor areas have. Having the heaters would trick us to believe the wind isn’t as chilling, and with the shelter the rain wouldn’t affect our entire area like it does. But it might take us all getting sick before that happens…

Saturday I spent my first money in what feels like months by going to my first IMAX experience with Timothy [UK], Mikaela [USA], Tomas [Sweden], Naveen [India], Jeff [Paraguay] & Christian [Paraguay], dude and dude [Naveen’s friends]. Oh-my-goodness. I’m not even gasping bout the slightly pricey cost to watch a movie there [only a sweet $25]. No, I’m talking about the overly impressive screen we got to eyeball. This was such a MASSIVE screen! I joked to my Jeff & Christian [picture me jammed between 2 well-over 6ft guys] that it would be hilariously nasty if IMAX tease us with this massive screen and show the movie with black defining top & bottom lines. We laughed, but I think we were all thinking how low that would be if we cough out that much money for half an awesome screen. Luckily after previews and really bad advertising [seriously, Sydney, I am appalled in your terrible graphics and advertising in cinemas!] the movie started and we were comforted to see that the screen disappears in front of the people in the front row and goes all the way to the ceiling, and wide enough that you have to slightly turn your head to keep up with the action. Amazing… so worth it!

I also went to the Hillsong City church – which was a lovely way to spend Sunday. A group of 5 of us walked about 45 minutes through the city to a stop where a ‘courtesy’ bus collects attendees and drives them the 5 minutes to the campus. The group was Noelle [USA], Jen [Canada], Timothy [UK], Tersius [SA] and myself. When we arrived I was honestly truly surprised that we had people recognise we were new. Our first greeter was really informative and encouraging – and upon hearing that we all live on a ship and are from all nationalities in the world – informed one of the head Pastors about us and soon we were talking to him too. They really found the whole idea fascinating, which isn’t really a surprise. They also had never heard of OM – which also did not surprise me. And for Hillsong City – it was tiny. I had imagined a humungous venue – but it was so small. And I was expecting to be bored of the message because I wouldn’t find anything of value in it – when infact Robert Fergusson actually preached the Word. He was reading verses from all over the bible and actually using them. He said don’t come to church and focus on the speaker, the singer, or the place. Focus on the message, the worship and completely on Jesus. I was encouraged greatly by his sermon.

When we had finished we caught the courtesy bus back into the city [it almost felt like a wasted drive when we could’ve walked that distance rather easily], and had a really awesome lunch in Darling Harbour for under $10. Shock. I really didn’t think there would be anywhere to get food there for less than $25 – so I was impressed – particularly as my chicken, avocado & salad sanga was a great size in price comparison.

Life otherwise is exciting. I worked my longest shift on Monday, working from 12:30pm till 10pm. It was meant to be 1-11pm but the Bookshop closed early from having less than 100 people come through all day. But Mondays on the ship tend to be quiet anyway as most people have Monday as their day off, which means to keep departments running, whoever’s on shift that day works ALL day.

Tuesday was then my official Off day I left the ship [you have to – or you’d go nuts from never leaving] and wandered the city with Cara [Brisbane]. She’s a Salvo, so we were actually in the city for her to do some Salvo things at the head office, and I tagged along because I was free and we have rules about how many people have to go with you if you leave the ship. When I got back I changed and ended up at work [it’s the hang out place for Douloids that just happens to come with AWESOME coffee or hot chocolates!] and ended up in this great DnM with Crystal [USA], Liza [SA] and Tomas [Sweden] about knights in shining armour, do they exist, that most women want a manly man, that even though Tomas isn’t that much a blokey bloke we’re sure he’ll fight for the chick he loves when he finds her, and other really random but interesting things like that which drinking coffee’s and eating chocolate in the sun. Then to randomise the afternoon, I hung out with John-Lee [SA] who really is like my brother [kinda annoying] but he’s cool and we just laugh a whole bunch, the tripper. And last night I got to hang out with some of the Bookshop Douloids, particularly Semih [like Sammy] [Turkey]. He is SOOO funny! And random! He reminds me a lot of Monty – we can just say a whole bunch of whack stuff and laugh about it and its all fun and fancy free but totally random. Nothing from ‘Lilo & Stitch’ has been mentioned [personal joke with Monty & Ali…]… hahhahaha!

Today I have had the pleasure of just doing random things that appeal to me till I have to go to work @ 3pm – earlier than normal because I was REALLY late to our Barista devotions [completely had forgotten them actually so I totally missed them] and therefore get to go to work early – haha! Then I watch the drills take place which today meant all the lifeboats on starboard side were lowered with crew and drills were practiced. This evening I work till close and that basically will mean just hanging out with Elliott [NZ] and telling him I can’t understand what he’s saying… hahah so funny! One example is that he says “Chux” when speaking about “Chicks” – which puts me into giggles. We’ve not been able to hang out as much as with the rest of the Barista’s and STEPpers – so it’ll be nice to just muck around with him.

Tomorrow I swapped a shift to work early because Silvan [Switzerland] came and asked me if I would sing with him at Prayer Night – which was really cool! I think he only asked because for one of our programs in Brisbane they were playing “Hosanna” by Brooke Fraser/Hillsong and I’d offered to do harmony as I knew it from Church but due to time restraints they decided to go ahead without – which was fine. But it seems I opened the door to sing on the Doulos. Lucky I’ve done it a few times back home J.

So - that’s really the latest update that I can give! A couple of weeks more and I’ll be only 1 state away! I have no idea exactly how many Adelaidians are coming to see the ship [and me?], and I can’t wait to see whoever does arrive!!!! I think Pandy & Dee Dee might make an appearance which might make some spontaneous precipitation occur from my eyes… but we’ll laugh it off! Note to them if they read this: txt message me when coming if you know – then I can see if I’ll be around! That goes for anyone really…

But please pray for 2 ‘incidents’ that have happened in the past week, particularly that they be resolved quickly…

One of our van’s was involved in a car accident with a Jeep on Sunday evening going to Hillsong Church – Hills campus. Out of the three vans and one car that were going, the third van was hit. Please pray that the shock of the accident wont affect the children who were in the car particularly as well as the other Douloids involved. Pray also that the driver of the Jeep could realise that it was an accident and not carry out the threats she has made.

Pray also for one of the STEPpers [Karl] who today was involved in a car/bike accident. He was with 2 other STEPpers [Samantha [Brisbane] & Elliott [NZ]] when he and the car collided. It seems that neither parties saw the other, and because we have no fixed address on the ship, the driver took Karl’s camera as security and is expecting a call back from us [the ship]. Karl by the way is okay.

Just to add to all the excitement already happening.
Please pray for me for patience with a couple of other Douloids who require more energy and patience to work with. Pray also for the right words when speaking to these people and to remember that God loves them and the person they are so I too should give them that grace.
Pray for energy to work and for enthusiasm to do my studies everyday. Pray also for my relationship with God as I’ve been so busy and then tired, or consumed by life that I’ve started to not be as consistant in my talks with God.

Thankyou sooo much!