Saturday, January 16, 2010

OM Aruba

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give you an update on my trip so far.

Here is just a little bit of info about how OM works with the volunteers.

I applied for the STEP (Short Term Missions Program) opportunity which is pretty much the shortest available option for serving on the Logos Hope which is typically about three months in length. If the trip is too short then the time that it takes to train a person in is not efficient for the short time period. Most of the people are staying on the ship for about 2 years (non-STEPpers).

Since the "STEPpers" are short term most of them get placed in something like "The Angels" (Cleaning), Galley (Kitchen), or something of similar nature. Very rarely does a STEPper get to do any of the more involved jobs.

But... God is great and somehow I got placed in an area called the iCafe on deck 4 where all of the people come on board and buy books and get to learn about the gospel message. I work behind the counter making ice-cream and selling all sorts of small snack food items. My working shifts are either in the morning from 9:00am to 3:30pm or in the afternoon from 3:30pm to whenever we finish closing/cleaning everything which is usually around 11:00pm. I am so blessed to be able to work in this position as it offers me so many opportunities to interact with the people that come on board and send a message of love to every person who walks through the visitors experience deck.

As I had mentioned to many of you before I wanted to do something with photography and therefore I brought almost all of my equipment along with me. Well, it turns out that their previous photographer left right as I arrived and the next photographer won't be here for a while yet and so it looks like they will be putting me to work behind the camera just like I wished for. Actually I just finished my first project which was photographing an event for a story the journalist is writing. God works in great and awesome ways doesn't He!

Now, I did inform the mechanics about the plumbing and heating aspect of my background and they actually wanted me to work in their department but it looks like my iCafe managers need me more in the iCafe because in Jamaica it is going to be super busy all of the time.

I stay on deck 1 of the ship right above the engine room with 5 roommates. I've been picking up the accent of the Scotts lately which is completely weird. I think by the time I come back I'll be talking very strangely. It will be some combination of pretty much every accent in the world.

My roommates:

Justin: American, 18

Josh: American, 30

Euan: Scottish, 18

Phil: Scottish, 18

Sylvain: Swiss, 22

My schedule for a typical* week goes something like this:

5 work days: Tuesday through Saturday

1 Eday (Events/Ministry day): Sunday typically

1 off day: Monday typically

Every morning there is a devotional service in the Logos Lounge as well as a church service on Sunday and small groups on Thursday.

All of your free time can be taken up by optional events if you'd like. So far I have signed up for only a couple of things but as I get more comfortable with things I'll be doing more.

I’m sure that everyone has heard about the earthquake that took place in Haiti and OM is currently working on the best strategy for providing as much aid as possible. We are still planning to go to Jamaica as planned while the details are coming together. OM has an official page about the upcoming plans.

The weather on the way to Jamaica is shaping up to be pretty rough so pray that I don’t get seasick too easily.

Your prayers are very important and much appreciated! I’ll be posting more very soon!

God bless,

Benjamin Sahlstrom

* There really is no such thing as "typical" on the ship.


Melanie said...

LOVE the post and all the pictures! I nearly squealed in delight when I saw you had posted (my sleeping baby is the only thing that stopped me). It sounds like you are doing so great on the ship, Ben. Praise the Lord for all the ways He is able to use you...and I think that it has something to do with your diligence in developing and using the skills He has placed in you. You inspire me, Ben!

Sam and Melissa Sahlstrom said...

Thanks so much for posting! How fun to read about all the details. We are praying for you faithfully, so expect God to do amazing things! We miss you, but we also know that you are in God's will which is worth it!

Keep up the great work!

Mindy Caron said...

We are so proud of you, Ben! Using your talents to serve the Lord in such exciting ways! We pray for you daily. Thanks for the post.

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