Blog 4 – 23 January (English)Ga naar de pagina van Natascha Bakker
It’s been quiet from my side for a few weeks. It was busy and full of all kinds of activities! A few evenings were spent with singing praise and worship songs, and chatting to different people. There are so many special testimonies!
What happened in the past weeks?
- We had a visit from VIPS! For hospitality, this meant that we had to prepare the bedrooms for our guests, but also that there were various meetings / events. We served loads of cookies. I took a picture with Jan van den Bosch (a well-known personality among Dutch Christians). After the VIPS left, we then had to prepare various cabins for new crew members, mainly medical personnel. Tours were also part of the program. As well as the paperwork.
- I rented a car for 2 days! On Saturday, together with 2 other ladies, we went for a walk in the mountains (Parque Rural de Anaga – Chamorga), it ended up being a 7-hour walk and it was tough at times! Super beautiful, really enjoyed nature and great views. After that I had problems with my knees for a few days and I was so stiff! The road to Chamorga was a real mountain road, narrow and many bends and beautiful views. It was fun to drive!
Sunday was a bit more relaxed, with a trip to Los Gigantos and to El Teide. Dorcas was able to experience what it feels like when it is 9 degrees. She had never been this cold before 😉 It was a lot of fun to go out with her and see how much she enjoyed it! Afterwards she cooked a delicious meal for me. Spaghetti with a Ghanaian tuna sauce.
We have all kinds of (mandatory) meetings, some of which are interesting and educational! One of the reflections was very special. Using the theme “God allows things to happen”, a lady shared that many years ago she was on vacation with her parents and they walked over a retaining wall close to the sea. A helicopter flew by and her mother looked up as she walked and then fell off the retaining wall onto her head. She died a few hours later. Shocking and an awful experience. She said she struggled for 10 years with the notion that God is good, because why didn’t He prevent this?
She shared some Bible verses. In the Bible we read in James 1 verse 2 and 3 that we should rejoice when we undergo all kinds of trials, because trials test our faith and can lead to steadfastness. Her message was that if you want to grow as a person in faith, maturity, wisdom, love, etc., then something has to happen in your life. It is important how you deal with challenges and unpleasant events. Trials are part of your life: let it be used by God. Don’t go through the trials alone, find people you can talk to and deal with it. In Romans 8 we read that God works all things together for good. She said she was never that empathetic, but after going through her trials, she found she could empathize better and could support and help others. I found this very recognizable!
In this blog I want to share something about deck 9. In terms of cabins, this deck is mainly reserved and used by families. The cabins are a lot bigger, they have a mini kitchen and three bedrooms. There is also a lounge above the café with games, puzzles and a TV screen. Occasional movie nights are held here (I watched National Treasure last week) as well as parties and gatherings. There is also an internet café. There is also an extra crew kitchen. There you can bake something delicious (remember to stay nearby, because we work with a time slot of 50 minutes for the use of the oven and stove), or simply cook your own meals. Furthermore, we also have the crew laundry room here with washer and dryer, scales, cleaning supplies and irons.
Photo laundry room
Next 2 weeks
Next week we will receive a film crew on board. A 3D movie of the Global Mercy is being made. So that it is made even easier for new volunteers to form an image of what the ship looks like. Hospitality has to prepare some cabins so they can film them.
In about 1.5 weeks we will sail to Senegal. Depending on the weather, we leave on February 3rd or 4th. The sail takes approximately 5 days. In the preparation for the sail, various activities will take place to get the ship ready to sail. All crew members will also be tested for covid. Once, a few days before departure and a second time before arrival.
Furthermore, I’ll have a day off on Wednesday and I also don’t have to work the coming weekend and I have a training day ahead of me. I wonder if I can sit on the deck on Wednesday. You could barely sit on the deck for the past week because it’s so windy here, you’ll be blown away 😉
Hope you enjoyed the long read! Till next time!