Sunday, October 13, 2013

Replacing a Faulty Ballast in a Fluorescent Light

There is always something to fix at my folk's place and a few weeks ago I was called upon to fix a fluorescent light that wasn't working despite having brand new bulbs installed. It turned out to be faulty ballast and Simeon, Johann, and I made a video about repairing it. Enjoy!


Transmission Fluid Change on a 1997 Honda Civic

One of my favorite activities is working on my good old 97 Civic. Just ask Naomi and she'll tell you I love keeping our little coupe in pristine condition. Well, as pristine as it can be anyway. I recently changed out the transmission fluid as preventative maintenance because I didn't know how long it had been since that was done and I made a video of the process. It's super exciting! Don't you think so? ;)



That's all for now. Take it easy!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Tethering Without Jailbreaking Your iPhone or Rooting Your Android

January 22 2012. That was the date of my last post on my blog. Ha, it seems like life does creep up on me and change my priorities! Anyway, today I felt like making a couple of YouTube videos about how to tether your iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It was kind of fun and hopefully someone will benefit from my extremely laborious video editing (in Windows Movie Maker). ;) I thought I'd throw them up on my blog just in case there is anyone who checks it out once in awhile. The content is probably not relevant but at least it's something different than what has been up for over a year!

So, without further to do here is the video on turning your android device into a Wi-Fi hotspot:

And here is how to tether your iPhone 5 without jailbreaking:


Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Personal Mission Statement


My wife and I have decided to read one non-fiction book each month in 2012. We are kicking it off with EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. One of the beginning chapters steps you through developing a personal mission statement and after many hours of thought this is the result:

I will live with integrity and strive to lead and encourage my family, coworkers, friends, and neighbors to follow my Savior Jesus Christ above all else. I will work in a way that surpasses the expectations of my employers and reflects my faith. I will love and lead my family spiritually and financially and raise my children to value education and work. I will run my finances God’s way and live and give with an open hand. In everything I do I will live with the knowledge that my life is for God’s glory and should reflect to others the hope that I have found in Him.

Going through and really thinking about who I am and why I'm here has been an amazing process for me. If you haven't already I'd encourage you to think about a mission statement for yourself. It is powerful.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Windows Live Writer

So I’m up late. Really late actually. Should I be up this late? No.

_DSC0019

You see, I’ve had a lot of caffeine today and it seems to have taken hold of me somehow. Anyway, I kind of got into catching up on a bunch of random things that I needed to update on my computer and the other day I had installed Windows Live Writer but hadn’t finished setting it up yet. I guess it is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread (What was the best thing before sliced bread?) for blogging so I’m giving it a try. I don’t know about you other bloggers but I always have MAJOR issues with my text size when I save/edit my blog posts with Blogger! I’m a little bit OCD about having things uniform sometimes so this bothers me. I’m hoping that Writer will help me make the posting process a little more streamlined. Hey! That’s a good excuse for not posting frequently! I have problems with text size! :P

Today was crazy. I got home from work past midnight. Working for my dad can be very unpredictable. I don’t mind it much though. It’s pretty exciting!

So, here goes post #1 with Windows Live Writer!

 

P.S. The beta for Internet Explorer 9 is pretty sweet! It is much cleaner and has Chrome-like speed. Awesome.

P.P.S It is cold outside…

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Am I Really Thankful?

What should I be typing right now. Why do I post on this web page about the little things I do in life? Does anybody really care? Sometimes my life revolves so much around me that I wonder how other people can have time to follow and care about facebook, blogs, and email. Maybe I need to be more involved but sometimes I just don't care.

Lately I've been working. Working long hours which is good but at the same time it makes it difficult to decide what really needs to happen and in what order. Today I was driving the backhoe home and my mind was spinning thinking of three things, all of equal priority, that needed to happen and I couldn't decide which to do first.

Most of the time I have a larger project that I break down into "chunks" which makes it easier to ultimately achieve one's goal. I think my "projects" and "goals" right now are so big to me that the "chunks" are also big and hard to accomplish.

I don't know why it all seems so hard right now. Naomi is in Egypt now and is going to see the Pyramids. I'm really excited for her of course but MN is duller than ever. I wish she was closer. Why are we oceans apart? I've had a cold for the past three days and this weekend is shaping up to be pretty crazy. I need working hours. I'm buying a house. I'm planning for a certain big event next summer. I need sleep. Time is money. Money isn't everything.

Last week Pastor talked about being materialistic. I am a bit that way even though I don't like to admit it. It is something that I need to pray about and ask God to help me with. My dad was saying the other day that, as he gets older, things just really feel temporary and he is right. This earth isn't going to be here forever. I'm not going to be 19 forever and at 19 I've already lived about 1/4th of my life. Am I using it the way God would want me to?

My personal devotions have fallen behind. Almost every morning we read the Bible together as a family but I haven't really been listening. It's almost like listening to the radio but not really "hearing" what it is saying. Just background noise taking the back seat to my thoughts. I don't think I've opened my Bible since Sunday and it is nearly Thursday.

I need to get into a better routine. Why can't I seem to find time to read my Bible? I work long hours and spend a lot of time talking to Naomi and writing emails but that is all I seem to be able to do. I can't use the excuse of not having time because that is a lie. If anyone tells me they don't have time for something it really isn't true. What they are really saying is that "it isn't important enough to change my schedule for". If I'm too busy for God and God says we are to love Him more than anyone or anything, how can I spend so much time earning money and fulfilling my earthly relationships but not even have time to open my Bible? It isn't right. Today, this is the real me. I'm not perfect and tonight I'll admit it.

I'm sorry that it has been so long since I've last posted anything. I "don't have time" these days. I need to get back to my Bible before any more blogging or anything else happens. I'm hoping to do a post or two on my house project so hopefully I'll get that done soon! I really want to keep people updated and it is especially important that I take time to get some updates through to a few far away places! ;)

God bless and happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three Weeks

I'm sitting in the airport right now. I feel a little numb and disconnected from the world. I'm just in shock that it has been three weeks already since I stepped off that plane and got to see my girl once more. It almost seems like a dream now. I'm at Starbucks just like I was before I arrived. All I have to say right now is that long distance relationships aren't fun. I'm completely confident that it will all work out but the time of separation is hard.

Here Naomi and I were at one of the "nice" beaches in Malta. We didn't get to do that many sight seeing/tourist things because our schedules were so tight. I wish I could tell you all about Malta but to be honest, I didn't get to see all that much of it. Okay, I'm pretty much just being random right now but I guess I really don't feel like being refined or polished. My battery is about to die now. I wonder if there is a power source somewhere. I don't see any here at Starbucks.

I'll post more if I find somewhere to plug in my computer.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Serving

I know that some of you want to know more about another aspect of my visit right now but I'd like to share a bit about working on the ship so far.

It just so happened that the time I came to the ship the ship photographer was on break! I didn't know or anticipate this at all but since this was the case Ruben (In charge of the Communications Department) has been having me take pictures of the ship and other things that are related to the ministry and work that are happening! I'm not just a plumber this time! Isn't it amazing how God works things out!?

Every Thursday is prayer night which starts at 7:00 and typically lasts 3 hours. This Thursday was different though because we didn't just stay on the ship as usual but instead went on a "prayer drive" all through Malta and went to various locations to meet and pray. We went to a little church that was up on the 3rd story of a downtown building. It was really cool and I was blessed to be the photographer!
Naomi has really been developing her photography skills (Someday I hope she will be my assistant!) while I was gone because she was able to finally have equipment with more control. One night we decided to go out with the tripod and take a few long exposure night shots! We had a grand time and enjoyed the calm evening together. We have to be back on the ship by midnight so this was probably at about 10:30. Naomi is very careful to never be late! She is good for me!
:)
A local Christian band came and blessed us with their performance in the Hope Theater on the ship and I was the photographer! I had a lot of fun going back stage and getting some unusual perspectives.
Naomi and I have been having a wonderful time together. Today she is off the ship with her family on break and I have to work unfortunately. She is taking 4 break days (Something Project Workers don't get) while her parents are here to catch up with them! She got to see her little sister for the first time in 1.5 years! Oh yeah, Noami's parents are pretty cool too! That's all I'm going to say about that now though! ;)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

On My Way!

Goodbye drenched Minnesota! You tried to keep me there so hard with your flooded rivers but somehow you couldn't. I'm headed to a little island in the Mediterranean Sea called Malta! Below is a view out the window of my air bus as I took off from the cities.

The flights went well and were pretty uneventful. Even though the flight went all through the night I didn't sleep a wink. My flight arrived 45 minutes early in Amsterdam and I had a 5 hour layover to wait for my flight to Malta.
After spending 3 Euros on 15 minutes of internet and sending out a few brief messages (15 minutes of internet doesn't last long) I lounged around and didn't accomplish all that much. I went to Starbucks and got a grande caramel frapp to wake me up, and eventually boarded the plane, waited some more, and finally was airborne headed for Malta!
I flew over the Alps and got a quick picture of those beautiful mountains. It felt just like flying over Colorado but thinking about Hannibal crossing these mountains with the Carthaginian army set it apart.
So, I'm not sure if you can tell but I was really really tired on arrival thanks to that girl in the above picture! I was so crazy excited I couldn't sleep on the plane and when I finally arrived in Malta I collected my luggage and walked out the doors to be greeted by the many people waiting to pick up the arrivals and then I saw her. I don't remember much else because I pretty much couldn't think from that point on. I had thought of all these things to say when I saw her but the only thing I could manage was a permasmile that lasted until, well, it's still there. Naomi is amazing! After being gone I realized how much I really missed her while I was gone!
Malta is really beautiful but to be perfectly honest I've been a bit preoccupied with catching up with people, work, and getting ready to "meet the parents".

TBC

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Text Only

Hey guys! It has been a long time since I've posted anything up here and I'm going to try to do better in the future. I wonder how many times ambitious bloggers have said that before... hmm, that would be a good Harvard study! Some of the studies that come out of America's top colleges disappoint me at times.

Anyway, the other day after church a friend approached me and told me she can't wait for me to leave again! Somewhat shocked I asked why and she said that she wants me to leave because that is the only time I post anything on my blog! :P After thinking about it I guess it is really true. I guess I should be blogging more about my life at home. My life just feels really mundane sometimes and I don't think anyone would really care to know about it but I guess most people that I think have very interesting lives think that way too.

So, be expecting "lots" of posts about random things soon! ;) I'll be posting mostly about my house and the remodeling project I think.

God bless!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Naomi and I

So here it is; today I officially have SP with Naomi Sue Nelson! I’ve wanted to tell the world about this for a long time now but without the permission of having SP nothing was truly official until now. I really can't believe this day actually came! It was a long hard road to traverse but we made it!


Okay so some of you are like "What in the world is SP?" and I'd like to explain. SP is something that Operation Mobilization has crafted in order to help keep interaction between people of the opposite gender restrained so that you can stay focused on serving God and be efficient in your work. The rule restricts all relationships for the first year of serving with OM and then after a year you can apply for something called SP or Special Permission.


So the problem is this; I joined OM and the Logos Hope in January. I've been informed that a typical year has 12 months (I tried to convince them that my culture believes in 1 month years but they didn't buy it...) and therefore I would have never been allowed to get SP while on board. That is the basic explanation of the ship policy on relationships.


I met Naomi about 10 days after I walked up the gangway in Aruba as a STEPper during the sail to Jamaica. It was my first sail and one evening while up on the upper decks of the ship I started talking with her and we hit it off! It turns out she has a big family too! The things we had in common were crazy and within two weeks we both knew that there was something different between us. We knew that it wasn't allowed during my first year (Her first year was already up.) and so we had to go talk with Personnel. They gave us good guidelines with how to act and where and how we could see each other. No time was allowed to be spent "one on one" at all.


Since then we've had ups and downs working with the frustrations of hiding all of the emotion and things we wished we could do for the other. We kept in contact mostly via email, chat, and phone (As if it was already a long distance relationship while literally in the same boat!) which worked but was frustrating knowing that the person was only a few steps away from being able to talk in person but it wasn't allowed. You can see how this would be trying at times.


After talking with Personnel multiple times they have decided to grant us “Leaving SP” for two weeks before I leave because we can never get SP because I can’t stay for an entire year. Even if I was able to stay for a year she would leave right before my year was up! The grace that they are showing us is one of the most amazing things that has happened while on the ship. The very best thing about all this is that God has been at the center from day 1. God has provided me with strength and perseverance to endure and excel in my work on the ship.

A little about Naomi:

She was born in Indiana and when she was 1 her parents moved to Hong Kong as missionaries and moved to China when she was a junior in high school. She is the oldest of 9 kids and they were homeschooled. After high school she became interested in the ship after the Doulos (Now retired) visited Hong Kong and after some prayer decided to apply to work on the ship. On the ship she has worked in two departments. For the first 7 months she worked in Accommodation. Her passion wasn’t for vacuuming and cleaning though and really wanted to work in Deck with Marine Operations and would spend her free time learning all about sailing and all sorts of things I would never care to know! She knew more about the department than most of the people serving in Deck knew! She finally was able to move to Deck which was a miracle because they don’t normally take many girls into the department because of the nature of the work. She is hard working though and probably gets more done than others that are much stronger than her. Everything went well for her until I showed up and turned everything upside crazy! :P


She has a blog that she maintains if you’re interested in checking it out.


So we now have 14 days before I leave. 14 days of SP. 14 days where we can sit and talk and not worry about being in a group or the people around us. 14 days before we embark on a long distance relationship that will be trying and rewarding. I believe that God has made it work thus far and I believe He will continue to guide us as we move forward.


“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Ephesians 3:20



“And that’s all I have to say about that.”


:)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Captain Speaking

Every day at noon the captain makes an announcement while sailing. Today as we were listening to the list of things he had to pass on to us he made one statement that stood out.

"No one should take showers from this point on."

Right now we are also on what hot cat (Hotel and Catering) calls "restricted laundry" which means on our weekly laundry day we are limited to washing only 7 items plus your underwear bag. You see, we've been having issues with our R.O. fresh water production plants. We have 2 units and about a week ago the first one stopped working and couldn't be fixed without resources from on shore. Now the second one is broken as well. It isn't a life-and-death situation because we will be able to bunker water tomorrow at a small island that we are stopping at for fuel. The city originally didn't have capacity to give us water but being that we have a ways to go yet we really need to take on water so the city is actually going to turn the water for the city off in order to give us the volume that we need. What an answer to prayer.

Okay, back to work I go! I just finished my lunch break for today. We get a generous 1 hour to take lunch and it is enough time to get a few other things done if you're motivated.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Atlantic Crossing

Nearly 5 months after leaving Minnesota I am still on the Logos Hope - almost 3 months longer than my original STEP program was supposed to end. It has been amazing to see how God has been working in my life since I left home to volunteer my time on board as a plumber. We are now embarked on the 14 day sail across the ocean headed for West Africa! Sailing is always more relaxed than being in port because the community really rests, trains, prepares, and grows closer together while sailing in preparation for the ports to come.
Below the ship was shifting berths early in the morning in Dominica. I got up early and biked to the other berth and was able to get some shots of the ship like it looks when it isn't tied to a quayside. You can see if you look closely the crew gangway suspended from the starboard side of the ship.

Like I said before the community has time to really relax and do some enjoyable things together. The other evening we were blessed by our galley and pantry team with a cookout with real hamburgers and all of the side items you would expect. It is so cool to go up to the top decks and look around at the horizon and see absolutely nothing. Only water and an occasional flying fish.
Every Thursday is prayer night. Last Thursday they put on something very different than normal that was supposed to give us a picture of what it is like to be truly poor. We reenacted what one family in Africa does for a living. They make paper bags all day every day and struggle to even pay for what they need to stay alive let alone think about sending the children to school or affording other such "luxuries" that we take for granted every day. We got into groups and we had to make paper bags and sell them. We had limited time and had to do our best to meet the minimum payments for food, water, housing, and trying to send a child to school. You could also choose to work for one of the shopkeepers and make money outside of the home and one of the options was to send our sisters into prostitution just to make enough money to live.

I wish I could say that it was just a simulation, a game, but unfortunately it is a very real representation of how people struggle for survival. We can provide some help to these people during our visit to Africa in the form of supplies but we want to supply them with the truth of Jesus. Give them water that will make them never thirst again. Please pray that as the Logos Hope every day comes nearer and nearer to Africa that the Holy Spirit will go before us and prepare a way in the hearts of the people that we will come into contact with. As you know the Caribbean is very poor in some areas but Africa even more so.
Thanks for your support and encouragement. I'm going to try to post a few past stories and pictures from the Caribbean during the remaining time of the Atlantic voyage so be expecting those. God bless.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Antigua

Antigua was a beautiful little island that was not too touristy. If you want to read about Antigua and more details I linked the title of this post to the Wikipedia article. I know I know, linking to Wikipedia is not cool because it could potentially be inaccurate but just deal with it. Sometimes when we're in a touristy port it is nice to be in an area that is very Americanized because the USD is always accepted and the stores are similar and it feels like home but sometimes it's cool for it to just be plain and simple. Below we are just about to arrive. People always come up to deck 9 and watch as we come up against the quayside.
This is a concrete platform strictly for the purpose of ships being able to anchor their mooring lines to the bollards. There are also shock absorbers for ships to come up against and not be damaged because of the giving materials that the absorber is made of.

People usually bring out their flags and act all patriotic. It's pretty sweet.
Here is the line up team that had been in Antigua for about two months getting things ready for the ship to come. Things like events, sponsors, coordination of an internet connection and other required things for everything to run smoothly.
On the other side of the quayside there was a research ship that had many specially designed devices for searching the ocean floor. Very cool.
All of that is interesting and all but best of all there was an ice cream shop right as you come onto the shore! This ice cream shop was no ordinary ice cream shop though. All of the waffle cones, ice cream, and chocolate are made right there in the shop. I'm pretty sure it's the best ice cream I've ever had. If you're ever passing through Antigua I'd recommend stopping through and having a medium cone. One scoop of chocolate coconut and one of pineapple. You won't be disappointed. ;)
Yes, I'll admit it. I'm very American. I love my ice cream. I love my food. I miss the freedom of driving. I don't even care what I drive I just want to drive something! I haven't driven anything since I left Minnesota back in January! I'm starting to forget what it was like!

Anyway, I only have a little under 2 months remaining on the ship and I know that it is going to probably go faster than I want it to. It's been awesome so far. Thanks for your support and prayer as I keep things "flowing" on the Logos Hope.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Hard Drives and an HDR

First off I just want to share about how I got my computer back up and running again! This is how everything came about; first the hard drive started making noise. Normally I don't hear it at all and I knew that it wasn't really a good sign and sure enough it wasn't long before my eyes were graced with that beautiful dreaded blue screen. I knew that the hard drive still worked a little so I rebooted and backed up everything I had on the computer which wasn't much because I keep everything on the external and back up to the computer. I then went straight out and bought a new hard drive and went to IT here on the ship to inquire about them being able to help me out.

They said that I had to come on Tuesday in order to get personal service and it was Wednesday when I asked which meant I had to wait an entire week. I could have tried to fix it myself but I thought it might be good to not have a computer for a week and spend more time reading, running, and spending time with friends.
Tuesday finally came and I brought in my computer. They wanted to try to clone my hard disk and therefore avoid having to re install Windows 7 because I don't have the install disk here. Not to mention all of the programs that I have installed.
They tried to clone the disk. They then tried again but it seemed that it just wasn't going to happen. At the end of the day I was left with a new hard drive that they had attempted to clone the old image onto that had failed. I had to look for a copy of Windows 7 to install. I found one from a friend on the ship and headed to my cabin to attempt to begin the slow process of getting everything back to what it was before. I put in the new hard drive and turned on the computer to install Windows and, to my amazement, the Windows 7 welcome screen came up! Somehow the clone had worked! The IT team said it had failed and here I am writing this post on a computer that (Besides the new hard drive.) is completely the same as it was before my hard drive died! I don't know how it happened but it really was an answer to prayer.
Above is an HDR of the ship that I took our first night in St. John's, Antigua. This port has been beautiful so far and I have been enjoying the people and scenery. Expect more posts soon!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Posts Delayed/Update

Well, I have some good news and some bad. We will start with the good which is that I'm posting on my blog right now! The bad news is that there are no pictures. The reason for this is because my computer is being recalcitrant. Particularly my hard drive. I should have it fixed in about a week so I'll have more posts then about my family's visit to Bermuda and some wonderful pictures I got at the beaches!

I just got in from a morning run with the LIT group that goes running at 5:45am every morning so I decided to join them. It was great fun actually although tiring. I'm going to try to keep doing this every morning while here in Bermuda.

LIT stands for Logos Intensive Training. It is a program where about 20 people who appear to have a lot of motivation and have been doing well on the ship are challenged to do a month long program that involves physical exercise, spiritual growth, and the opportunity to establish good habitual activities in their lives. The program starts every day at 5:45 with running and from there they have the entire day planned out for them. No extra time to socialize. This is just another one of the sweet opportunities that a person can take advantage of on the Logos Hope!

This coming Sunday I am also going to be leading a church team here in Bermuda! It's really exciting to be able to do this and at the same time it is going to be challenging. As a project worker I wasn't really expecting to be leading a church team! Pray that God will give me the strength and inspire me to be an encouragement to the fellow believers here in Bermuda.

Again, I'm sorry that I don't have pictures for you but like I said my hard drive is bad. I got most of my pictures saved because I have an external hard drive but it still isn't comforting.

Thanks for your patience with my posting schedule! :P

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Tiling

A few weeks ago there was an email sent around the ship asking for some help doing a tiling project in the galley to replace some badly damaged/missing tiles. I have done some tiling before but I've never been in charge of a project by any means but I thought I'd say that I'd be willing to help if needed. Apparently I was the only one who responded and so I was put in charge of doing the repair!
I knew I could do it I just thought there would have been someone else who would have had more skill than myself. I've come to find out that on the ship there are so many opportunities to learn new skills and to use the ones you already have and push yourself to get better at what you can do or learn new things altogether.

I did some research on tiling and gathered up the supplies necessary and got to work. I had to get the job done as quickly as possible in order to allow the continued use of the much needed pot wash. It went well and I think that I'll be doing more tiling in the future. The tiles that I installed are smooth and there are tiles with a rougher surface for grip on order. Most of the tiles in the galley are the rough ones but we don't have any more on the ship so this is sort of temporary.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter! Jesus is risen!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Jamaica

One day at a time. That was the motto for our stay in Jamaica. We broke the record for the number of people visiting the ship in one day and there were many days that deck 4 was at maximum capacity for most of the day.

This HDR of 8 pictures was taken in Kingston of the coal berth.

We were in two different ports during our nearly 2 month stay in Jamaica. The first port was Montego Bay which was the nicer of the two. Things were a little neater because of the cruise liners and touristy mindset. Here are some of the numbers from Montego Bay

Dates in port: January 20th - February 15th 2010

Total number of visitors to the ship: 83,474

Number of books sold: 213,064

Number of Bibles sold: 7,381

Number of free evangelistic items given out: 72,044


View from deck 9 in Montego Bay.

Kingston was our second port. When we arrived and saw the berth that we had to tie up to many of us were very surprised. Not only was the quayside small with many obstacles making it difficult for the arrangement and placement of the gangways but everything was covered with coal dust because coal ships would come and unload coal for the nearby cement factory. Dealing with this much coal dust was a huge challenge for the accommodation team and now that we’re not at that port any more they have been shampooing every carpet in the entire ship. This is a lot because the entire ship (Except for a few areas) is carpeted. Even with the difficulties, Kingston was such a great opportunity to serve the people of a country with the third highest crime rate in the world. God used the Logos Hope in Kingston. Here are the statistics:

Dates in port: February 16th - March 23rd 2010

Total number of visitors to the ship: 135,758

Number of books sold: 341,666

Number of Bibles sold: 14,150

Number of free evangelistic items given out: 118,672


HDR of the cement factory. It was tricky making it look beautiful for you guys! ;)

Today is Good Friday and I just want to take time to really reflect on what Jesus did for us. Without Him I wouldn’t be here today and you wouldn’t be reading this. If you haven’t already just take a moment to thank Him for the sacrifice He made that we may be saved. Praise the LORD for all He has been able to accomplish through the Logos Hope. Thanks for your support and prayers.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Continued Support

I'm working full time now on the ship as a plumber! I'll be staying on the ship until mid-July of this summer and I really would appreciate your support. More importantly, I need prayer that I'll be able to stay focused on the reason I'm plumbing on the ship.

Sometimes it is hard to see how I'm making a difference when every day I'm unblocking toilets and not out witnessing. Every aspect of the ship is important though, just like the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20 that says….

"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body."

So if I think of the ship in the same way, it puts what I'm doing in a different light. It's encouraging to know that what I do, even though I'm not the one actually out there, is enabling others to go and use the gifts God has given them to His glory.

I'm so blessed to have this opportunity and I thank God every day for what He is doing through OM and the Logos Hope.

I've been a STEPper on the ship but my title will soon change to "Project Worker". As a project worker I have almost the same privileges as normal crew but one of the differences is that the crew members get "pocket money" which they can use towards whatever they need from clothes, to toiletries, and even some recreational activities. However as a project worker you aren't allowed pocket money so you have to come up with your own personal money to cover for clothes, toiletries, and whatnot. If you choose to donate I'll be using some of the money for the things that I need for day to day living on the ship plus my expenses to be on the ship and my return flight back to the US. The remainder I will direct back to OM. I’m also hoping to purchase some tools for the plumbing department if the resources are available. I miss my tools at home! I have included a PayPal link for your convenience, otherwise donations can be sent to ……

OM USA
Attn: Kathy Pettinga/Ben Sahlstrom
PO Box 444 Tyrone, GA 30290-0444

The financial aspect of my mission trip is not the main point. God will provide, and truly what I would appreciate most is simply your prayers. If you feel led to give, that’s wonderful, but don’t feel obligated in any way. I am just amazed at how God has opened the doors right and left to make this happen!

In Christ,

Benjamin



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Challenge Team in Trenchtown

On my birthday (Feb 23) I had the chance to go out on a challenge team into Trenchtown in Kingston, Jamaica to work on the Baths of Joy. The project lasted 2 weeks and our goal was to repair and improve the facility. I was able to go along only because I am a plumber. Normally a STEPper wouldn't be able to go on a challenge team for that long but since a plumber was needed I got to go!

This is the first day we came and began to make plans as to how we were going to go about making the changes and improvements. As you can see above there was a lot to be done. There was only one place where you could still get water from and there wasn't even a valve. Just a piece of rounded wood pushed into the end of the pipe to stop the flow of water.
This bathroom (below) was across the street in an old theater that we worked on also. The theater is now being used as a classroom/meeting place for some of the local Christians. I installed 2 toilets, 2 urinals, and 2 sinks. Everything is very rough compared to the way we do things back in the states.
Almost every street in Kingston looks like what we would think of as the ghetto. There are only a few areas that are maintained in the way that is considered "normal" back home. Every day we would drive from the ship at 8:00am and try to be back to the ship by 5:00pm. The drive is about 30 minutes and one morning near the beginning of the first week the traffic was really slow. We finally noticed that there had been an accident in the opposing lane of traffic. I noticed one vehicle with the windshield and parts of the roof smashed in. People generally drive pretty fast on this road, probably about 50 - 60mph. I didn't see the other object which the car had hit until we kept driving about 100 yards. Then I saw it, or rather, him. There was only one officer present and he was taking pictures of the vehicle. It was like it was no big deal that there was a person lying on the road. Was he dead? Why wasn't he being attended to? The man was lying in the middle of the road. In a puddle of his own blood. Who was he? Did he have a family? Does anyone even care? But was he a Christian? I'll never be sure.

The rest of the bumpy car ride was mostly silent. Starting to work once we arrived was difficult. I couldn't keep my mind on my work. I just kept picturing him lying there. Uncovered. Alone. I really started thinking about and evaluating my life and how I think and do things. Next time you're confronted with a situation where you have the opportunity to talk with someone you think isn't a Christian do it! It may be their last chance.

This is normal here in Jamaica. Although this was an accident it isn't far away from what happens quite often intentionally. Jamaica has the third highest crime rate in the world. Jamaica needs hope. I pray that we, the Logos Hope, are making a difference.
(Below) During the project the people weren't able to use the building so they had to do their washing elsewhere. It is really neat to see that what we are doing is something that is such a need in the community.
The problem with the community and its condition is the attitude of the people. They think that they shouldn't have to take care of it and that someone else should help them maintain it. I was talking with one of the locals that we were working with and he thought that maybe 15% of the people that use the Baths of Joy facility will actually try to take care of it. The other 85% will most likely neglect, steal, and disrespect the work that we have put into the project. This community needs prayer and I hope that they saw something different in us as we worked around them for 2 weeks with no pay whatsoever.
One of the local ladies who uses the facility offered to do upkeep on it. I thought that it was awesome that at least one person would be willing to maintain something that was a gift to them but I soon found out that she wanted to be paid to maintain it. It just goes to show how much the community feels like everyone "owes" them.
After 2 weeks and a lot of hard work this is what we were able to accomplish. We poured a giant pad of cement that was all hand mixed, fixed all of the plumbing problems, straightened various parts of the shelter that were bent out of place, and finally touched everything up with some paint.
My challenge team experience was such a blessing and I hope to do more in the upcoming months. It is really nice to be able to get off of the ship and go out to work on projects that provide basic needs for the people.

Please pray for Jamaica.

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