Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | May 29, 2010

Street children of Katmandu

In the last stages of editing a short film about the street children here in Katmandu, Nepal. Heres a few stills I’ve taken along the way…

Me and friend Subaz

Prakash at his home, a garbage dump

Brothers

home

father teaching son how to pick through trash

the future of children on the street

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | April 26, 2010

2nd trek in Nepal

Spending 9 days in the mid west of Nepal with one friend, heres a few photo’s of our journey. If you would like to receive journals that complement these pictures please email me at Jkellyucf@gmail.com

Enjoy the pictures and God Bless you!!

Me and Jyung Yuk departing for the mountains!

View from our first village stop

First group we come across and share our Great Story with

cooling down with a swim, with some new friends!

Unfortunately i had to turn down this kind man's proposition to marry his daughter

finally made it to the top!!

Fresh, cold, river straight from the Himalaya's

dinner...

our porters enjoying a break and breathtaking view, just another monday!

the kids are strong, what else can i say?

large town on top of a 2,500 meter mountain

To give you an idea of a villager's hard life, this guy is only 48 years old!

Take this Book!!!!

typical village we walk through

brushing those teeth 3 times a day, trying to be a good example!

a few young guys shouting the breeze

My new ride for the next 32 hours!

the inside view of our amazing bus ride, thank you for grace God!!!!

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | March 11, 2010

Back from 1st Trek (outside Katmandu)

Here are some pictures from my first trek to the Far west of Nepal, i hope you enjoy the beauty of our God’s creation…

The team heading out for 14 days in the Mountains

Leaving the city, riding on top of the bus

passing through this town on the way out west,the view from our bus roof

Our first day, with our porters, about to embark on a great adventure

the trail

the local way to get around

our porters carrying the Gospel for all to read!!

A Nepali women doing her daily laundry

Generations hearing the good news at once...

Good news being read

Sharing with the Men of Rhim village

The good news on tape, wind it and listen!!!!

doing laundry in the icy river!!

Nepali mountain house

Natives in this village are known for their big smiles!!!

60 year old grandad still chopin down tree's

taking a break after some intense straight up rock climbing...

a house we pass on the trail

This guy let us sleep in his barn for a night

our porters carrying our dinner still alive to the next town!!

a quick picture after morning devo's

encouraging "like minded" friends

back from the trek, alive and blessed, thank you Lord!!!

excited children lined up to watch our program and book giveaway

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | February 24, 2010

My first few weeks in Katmandu, Nepal

Below are a few of the things i have expericened and written about to you in my last email, my first 2 weeks in Katmandu, Enjoy and God bless you!!

My Neighborhood in Katmandu

Talking and praying with this Bhuddist monk was an encouragement

Enjoying the sanctuary at nepali church

Monkeys run the streets near a large Bhuddist temple

The roof of our house has been my prayer spot!!!

Hindu's burning a body of a loved one before dumping the ashes into the river

A hindu priest begs for money on the street

A Nepali man moves furniture down the street using this method, which ironically is quite common

my prayer journal for Katmandu, on the roof!!

Common for men to hold hands here in Katmandu, still getting used to it

local school here in katmandu, kids lining up for their daily stretches before class

ENJOY!!

Thank you lord for giving us Nature and its beauty to wake up to each day!!

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | January 11, 2010

Life after Doulos

With this new year many new and exciting adventures await me and I am privilege to have this medium to share them with you:

Christmas Day ’09

My christmas was much different than yours but still a great time of relaxation and focus on what its all about. The ship had several meals catered with brilliant food spoiling us after a long year of service for thousands of others. While it was extremely hard being away from Family for Christmas I realized I was spending this terrific holiday with family, people I have spent every waking hour with for the last 16 months. I guess you can have family from 50 different countries… on the 25th we opened all the cabins on the ship, spending hours with friends in the comfort of their decorated cabins, playing music, taking thousands of pictures and eating all their chocolate, a unique yet wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. I am really grateful for the opportunity to have spent it with these wonderful people for the last time, the environment was comfortable and laid back, a rarity much appreciated on board the Doulos.

Christmas Eve Ship painting

mmm Christmas Dinner

End of Commitment on board Doulos ( after 16 months)

I have known for a few weeks now that my time on the ship would end on January 8th 2010 which gave me a great chance to end my commitment well. Having great talks with important people that have spoken positively into my life was one of the highlights during my last days. Its so important to finish well after so much time, effort, and emotions were poured into my time on the Doulos. My close friends played an integral part in my leaving, showering me with encouragement on my future, reflecting on how we could learn from the past, and ultimately focusing on what God has in store for us in the future. I am so grateful for these close brothers and sisters and the positive impact they have had in my life since joining this crazy ministry, these friends are what I will miss the most.

Enjoying dinner with friends on Christmas Eve

One last adventure

On the night before I was scheduled to leave the ship, 7 close bro’s and I went for a late night swim at a nearby abandoned harbor. Jumping off 30 foot ledges into warm tropical waters, laughing at each other, and challenging each other for the future were the highlights of the night. These men have carried me through hard trials on the ship, laughed with me during  good times, and really challenged me through love to grow closer to God and use my time wisely while on board, exactly the kind of influences a mother would desire her son to have. Another example of God answering your prayers Mom!!

Last night Adventures with my Brothers

3-2-1 Jump!!!!

When looking through the possibilities of what to do next in my life, I was bombarded by many appealing options both within Operation Mobilization and beyond. I decided to dedicate hours in prayer and fasting, seeking God’s direction over my own selfish desires, which is never easy but ultimately the right decision.

At one point I was seriously looking through 9 realistic options on how I could spend the next year of my life, places like Turkey, Morocco, India, Nepal, the Philippines and back home in the states were some of the serious options I faced. All these options sounded good to me in some way or another, and I could see God using me in each situation which didn’t make my decision any easier. I stayed positive and fought for much needed alone time with God, desperately seeking to meditate on the Bible and be still in his presence listening for the answer. It didn’t come like the obvious loud audible voice I was pleading for but God knows how we need to hear things and it turned out to be just as effective.

Committing all these decisions into God’s hands gave me peace and assurance that he was in control and the right choice would eventually be made. I decided that I would be open to any of these options but would allow important, wise people that God has placed into my life to make the decision for me. These wise people being my home church pastor, my parents, and a few people that have been heavily involved with world missions for years.

HEAD DIP

The Decision

Well I asked and the results came back unanimous. After a few of the aforementioned options were eliminated through circumstances like visa’s, support costs, and practicality I was left with only a few realistic opportunities. It was during this time that I saw how God uses the things of this world in order for us to make the decision more obvious, on which path to follow.

It was decided that I will stay with Operation mobilization for the remainder of my commitment, (8 months) and work with their Ministry in Nepal. Having grown up in a town which sits at sea level and never doing any real hiking I have yet to develop a passion for trekking or being in the mountains. With nicknames like Surfer Dude and Beach boy, Nepal is the last place you would expect me to live, trust me so did I. Thats the great thing I am learning more and more about our God though, you cannot put him in a box or limit his creativity and power. He knew all along that the Doulos would not go to the Middle East, that it would fail inspections and that I would move on from the ministry there to work elsewhere. While this may be a big surprise to me and you, God is not in shock! It is only through complete trust in Him, (which is a gift from him) that He unveils these unbelievable paths to take in life.

The Details

Because of the sensitivity of the area and the workers in this country I cannot go into great detail about what I will be doing at this time but I can share a few things with you on what I plan to expect once in Kathmandu, Nepal. My commitment with Om Nepal is for 5 months, mainly due to the 5 month tourist visa I can obtain hassle free. I feel that 5 months is a perfect amount of time to get a great feel for the country, its spiritual needs, and find out if this is something God has called me to take up long- term.

I will join a group of 8 others who will join with me from various countries, starting as a team at the same time. We will all go through the same training and will be given specific orientation to Nepali culture, OM team life, and the specific ministry. As I am doing ministry I will be involved in training programs to develop my personal spiritual life as well as developing in the language, culture, and beliefs of the Nepali people.

I will begin with language study and orientation, but at the same time be integrated into a personal ministry. The ministry will include friendship evangelism, evangelistic meetings, ministry to children, discipleship time with a new Christian, compassionate outreach and social concern, or other creative methods of evangelism. Trekking, team outreaches including school programs, tracting, street evangelism, programs to encourage local churches and other opportunities are available.

I’ve been told to be ready for anything! The team will be a multi-national team. Team members will have the opportunity to cook for each other. Also getting the chance quite often to eat local food, the Nepali people love to cook to show hospitality and will often bless us with a special home-cooked meal.

Where am I now?

Having left the ship on the 8th of January and not starting with the team in Nepal until the 24 day of January has left me 2 weeks time to have a short break. I will use this time away from the field to process the last 16 months of intense ministry on the ship as well as prepare myself emotionally and physically for the upcoming 5 months in Nepal. This has really been a gift from God and so many things have gone into this in order for it to happen. I have a great, generous, American friend named lawrence Todd living in the business district of the Philippines, who has welcomed me openly to stay with him for these 2 weeks. A true friend who I have stayed with on numerous occasions in previous years and have been blessed by his friendship. Counting my blessings the other day I thought how wonderful it is to have a friend from University right around the corner in Asia, with a great open heart making this transition period a blessing in my life. I plan on staying here in the philippines until the 22nd of January and then fly from here directly to Kathmandu, Nepal to start the next adventure.

Jeff and Lawrence

Prayer requests for my time here in the Philippines:

  • Use this time wisely, 2 weeks can go very fast pray that God will bless me with great fellowship with Lawrence,  prepare my heart for the next step.
  • Be more people focused, that God would create a burning desire in me to spend time with people and care fr their needs in a servants way.
  • Finding time for spiritual growth, even though this is a time away from ministry pray that God will still reveal himself to me creating opportunities to do good deeds here for people.

    Leaving the ship in Singapore

    Good bye Doulos, Thank you!!!!

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | December 21, 2009

The future of the Doulos & Jeff Kelly

The Doulos during its yearly maintenance in Dry Dock

Official announcement to the Crew of the Doulos

Its hard to believe that life on this old ship is coming to an end and quicker than anyone ever imagined. Shock covered the crews thoughts as we were told from the ships Director Seelan Govender,  that The Doulos would not sail past December 31st.  Many factors contributed to the end of the ship and its ministry as we know it but the decisive factor was the amount of steel replacement and other repairs needed for her to continue sailing which turned out to be overwhelming. This absolutely necessary work would cost over €10 million and take five months to complete. The OM Ships executive leadership team and board deems it not appropriate to invest resources of this scale into the ship, since Doulos was planning to retire at the end of 2010 anyway.

Quite a number of work projects have been identified, but the primary one is replacing sections of steel on the main deck. An initial quote has been received from the shipyard in Singapore where Doulos has been in dry dock. This, together with other additional costs, would be well over €10 million. The work would take at least five months and, because of other commitments, this yard could not even start the work until September 2010.

For me personally the news of this had an immediate and tremendous impact on my future. Once hearing it my mind began to swirl with all kinds of thoughts,upon further reflection most of those thoughts were of selfish nature. Things like  “What’s going to happen to me? Lord I still have 12 months left on my commitment, how can you let this happen?”  The crew was adamantly looking forward to the upcoming months in the Arab peninsula that was only weeks away.

Some of the ships Americans during our annual community picture

Where this leaves me and how do I trust in God

Empty, alone, confused, and frustrated I came to the lord many times that week following the news.  I found a quiet, soundproof and available spot in the bottom of one of the book holds and met with God there 3 times a day looking for answers and most of all peace.  Some days I shouted at God, reminding him of His promises to us in the Bible, other days I was completely silent and just listened, every time though I made it a point to ask for peace from the holy spirit.  I desperately want my will to be done less and less and God’s will to be done more, this is far from my fleshly desire however so each day I take up my cross and die of myself and let God take control.

doing some work on the ships side, had to pull ourselves up those ropes afterward

As I practiced this everyday i began to see results and the Lord answered my prayers and deep desire of having his peace during such a difficult and uncertain time.  This has taken place for the last month and even as I write this I have no confirmation on my next move from God.  So often in my christian life I pray about things but ultimately just do my own will or be too impatient to wait for final confirmation on things from God.  I believe I have not fully developed on blessings and other maturation tools such as patience and being content directly because of this.  While Going through this my eyes have been open to things I never noticed before, and I am blessed to be around such mature christians who offer advice, prayer and support for us, being in place to watch and learn how veterans handle situations is invaluable and for this I am so grateful to God for guiding me along this journey.

Rebuilding the ships 8 room school

The attitude of the Ships coommunity

The biggest testimony to God’s grace through all of this has been how people on the ship have handled this possible devastating news. 65 people had just joined the ship 2 months before the announcement of retiring including five families. The community is so strong and united now over this issue its amazing to see the faith and trust that these christians have. Only through God’s grace could so many people be so content and trusting in an otherwise chaotic situation. For some their commitment was near an end and they were prepared to leave the ship and start a new chapter in life, but for the vast majority of the 350 crew including myself this comes as an absolute shock.

The end of a day

One last stop in vivo city

With still hundreds of thousands of books and other items on board for sale, leadership has struck a deal to have one last opening to the public here in Singapore. From December 15-27th the Doulos has been granted permission to be alongside a beautiful berth just next to a large and rather fancy shopping mall on a harbor right in the heart of Singapore. This has a been a miracle in itself, due to the very strict marine politics throughout this city, several times we have had huge favor from God in allowing us to do things that no other ship would be allowed to. Christmas on board the ship is a special time and a lot of work is put in to the week allowing us to make the most of this special time even though we are on the other side of the world.

Doulos at anchor a day before heading alongside Vivo City Singapore

Enjoying fellowship with Dirty friends after stabilizing the anchor back on the ship

Spraying off the forward deck after the mudding anchor was brought back on board

Future possibilities and a call for prayer and support on the next things

As I have previously mentioned I do not have clear direction from God on where he wants me next. I still have 10 months left on my original 2 year commitment with Operation Mobilization and I would like to honor that. There are many options inside this organization and I have been going through the many possibilities seeking peace about one for the remainder of my commitment. I would really appreciate your prayers concerning my future and that I am open to to hearing and listening to God on this big decision. I plan on keeping you all involved and informed on the decision process and I a really excite to see where God will put me. I can guarantee that any place that I will go to next after serving on the Ship will be very different and challenging in its own right.

The ship has not put a date in which we must be off the ship which allows a lot of time to think, listen, and decide patiently what the next step will be. I am really grateful that the ship’s leadership has been so open and helpful in this manner, it has made the community atmosphere light and open to creativity and a good safe place to be in a difficult time.

The Mosque @ Arab Street.

Still Ministries going on here on the ship

While many of the leaders have their hands full here on the ship, there have been many ministries opportunities for us to share with non believers and do good deeds in the community here in singapore. While we were in Dry dock for 2 months during heavy duty maintenance many of the yard workers( over 50 ) gave their lives to jesus and I was able to share to many through God’s grace.

One afternoon while walking through the arab section of Singapore called Little Arabia, I met a man from Iran who sells carpets. At first the conversation started when he tried to sell me a rug, but as we talked more he realized I wasn’t interested in buying a carpet but wanted to hear what life was like growing up in Iran and how he got here in Singapore.

Ali, a Persian Carpet salesmen and proud owner of a new Bible.

We talked for close to an hour about Carpets, Iran, and then he asked me the question, ” so why are you in Singapore”? Now the Holy spirit had put on my heart from the very beginning of meeting this man, that he was a Muslim and I was careful not to offend him with any trigger words or christian phrases but at this point I thought to myself, “well you asked for it buddy so here it is”. I began to share my testimony with this guy right out front of his carpet store as people came and went right in between us and asked questions about different rugs, after every interruption he would look me in the eyes and say, “tell me more about what you were saying”. I finished telling my story and learned that he spends 7 days a week here at this job from 10am- 10pm most often just people watching as business has been slow lately. Immediately i told him that I would be back soon with a gift for him, I felt he was a little nervous and unsure about what I was saying but he bashfully told me to come back he would be there all next week. As I returned to the ship I prayed for guidance on which book to give to this man, something more impact-full than just an english dictionary.

Ali's Carpet store

3 days I returned to the same store but my friend was gone, I asked a guy who was standing at that same place I was just 3 days prior and he said he was down the road at another carpet store location,( This street in little arabia has over 50 carpet stores) I thought oh great, thanks for the clear directions buddy. As I walked down the street with a Bible, the purpose driven life,The Jesus film in his native language, (Farsi) and 5 other books in hand I felt sense of fear and panic inside.

Doubt started to overwhelm my thoughts and I was convinced that this guy would not want a Bible or even want to see me again, all of a sudden my mood changed and i began thinking I had offended him greatly on my last visit and it would be better to not even see him today or ever again. Of course these were all lies, that Satan was trying to fed me so that I would not be bold and deliver this man the truth, realizing this I immediately stopped, sat down at a cafe, took out my journal and wrote this. ” Lord give me your boldness to share your love with this man whom you love and cherish more than I could ever know, Holy spirit guide my way, my thoughts, and my actions with this situation. Give me encouragement for this man beyond earth but only of heaven, your kingdom. Give me peace, your peace, and allow me to speak life in a way that nobody else of this world will speak to him. I dedicate this man to you Lord and submit this process into your spirit, Amen.”

Right after writing this prayer to the lord, 2 muslim men siting next to me asked me what I was writing in this book. Shocked, I looked up and smiled, blanketed with peace I explained to these two strangers the gospel and what I had just prayed for. The men smiled and kept asking questions until they both understood, Jesus gave me the words to share, I don’t even remember what I told them.

I ran across the street and found my carpet salesman friend, he was smiling huge and surprised I actually came back. I took out the books one by one explained them to him and asked him if I could pray with him right there. Next thing I remember he was trying to give me a hand made persian rug as a gift, I didn’t take it and told him I won’t be forgetting about him anytime soon, please take some time to pray for this man, his name is Ali.


Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | October 26, 2009

A month in Hong Kong

Hong Kong island

Apart from the fantastic skyline of huge sky scrapers over looking the city, one that blows away any I’ve seen to date including new York, L,A Singapore, or Paris. The city of Hong kong is terribly busy, and even though were in China many times i struggle to see a person of chinese decent amongst all the westerners.  Europeans and whites are the majority in this place and most of them are here for business so they are all donning they’re favorite suits. Advertisements rule the eyes of the streets, Prada, guchi, armani, all saying to us that were not good looking, smart, or content without their product. Well the people are all buying in to that mind-frame because this city is all about status, what kind of car you drive, what clothes you wear, and most importantly how much money do you make from you very important job. Family life isn’t the priority here, I guess its hard to put family first or even spend time with them when you work from 9 am- 10pm 6 days a week.If your a boss, making all your employees stay and work until you leave. Sure its a great way to have increased productivity yet also enslave your employees to a point were suicide is a common solution.  The city is also very expensive, things cost a lot more here than in taiwan and since we are all volunteers, sometimes i wonder why we pulled up to a berth at an expensive shopping mall for 4 weeks.

Busyness

Our church team was quite different this past Sunday. We were invited to the oldest western building in Hong Kong, the church which was built 180 years ago was still in good shape and maintained about 1800 visitors per week via several different services.  Usually when visiting a church, we are asked to come the main service and are given a large amount of time. This time however we came at 3 p.m. and held a roundtable discussion with 6 people from the church in their library.  It was really informal, cakes and juice were presented and shared amongst us all. The members were eager to hear about the ship and our lives, 7 of us each from a unique country far away from their own.   I shared a lot with them about the struggles i face on the ship and more importantly how god has given me peace while working through them.  Discomforts, anger, frustration, and the food were all amongst the topics discussed. I tried to lead the conversation back away from the ship and us at any point in which i could, inquiring about trials they faced and things that they needed prayer for, unfortunately things kept coming back to us and this 95 year old ship.  Being all christians, the gospel message wasn’t the point of the visit but i did strongly emphasis how much christians struggle in this world but how god uses even a sinful world to unite us with him and his love. After our meeting the ” father” took us on a tour and shared all the information previously mentioned, along with lots of great things his church was doing at the moment. Im still trying to understand the difference between Anglican and Catholic, I digress.

Street Ministry

The streets of Hong Kong are alive, anytime. Fake fluorescent light-bulbs puts a glow to the busy streets that seem to suck people into their frenzy. if you stay on the main streets you will be overcome by the melting pot of colors, nationalities, food smells, and of course the always entertaining indian guy trying to sell you a suit/jacket/watch on the sidewalk.  If you venture off down a side street, alleyway, or through, some shops that open up into apartment dwellings you will find heaps of pure foreigners peaking thier mother tongue amongst scores of their countrymen. Africans, indians, pakistanis, and philipino’s dominate the “inside” of the city. crammed into tiny 1 bedroom apartments, that consist of only a bed, T.V., and toilet; prisoners live better than these people even though they work for 13 hours a day.  This is the price of living in a big city, a plce that doesn’t care about its inhabitants but only that money is being made and that it is. At the base of these dwellings are stands of local african food, fufu and curry chicken. Indian tailors every 15 feet literally making it their job to not let you walk past them until you here their business pep talk that is exactly like the guy you just herad who just so happens to be his best friend or brother. Indian muslims walk past african christians unaffected by each other in the land of tolerance were everyone is intersted in themselves to care or hate what the other guy is doing. Its amazingly different yet an awesome place to watch people . Yesteday i spent 3 hours with a group of 15 africans who now live on hong kong, they gather at a local park everyday and talk about their days in their thick african accents.

middle class living

From a tourists perspective the city of Hong Kong doesn’t look like it has a homeless problem, but once you get an inside look, things change a great deal. We traveled by bus to the outskirts of downtown, sure their were still huge buildings but the lack of tourism gave this area a totally different look. Dark, dirty, disheveled and chaotic were the characteristics of this side of town, opposite of the hong kong we were used to seeing. We were brought to a small church that met on the 2nd floor above a chinese restaurant and each of us from the ship were paired up with a local church member/translator who valuably already had a connection with the families we were there to meet.

Door to door ministry

The impression that I first had concerning this night was we would be randomly walking the streets and speaking with people who were literally sleeping on the hard stone street, once again i was wrong.  The people we visited did have a roof over their head, however it was a family of 4 that all lived in a single room, about the size of my bathroom back home.  The parents and 2 children that we visited shared a bunked and everything else for that matter . While I didn’t spend much time speaking to the parents, i did get to talk, answer questions and laugh with the 2 fun loving, smart children. They had many questions about how schools were in the United States, questions a normal 7 and 10 year old would never dream of asking back home. We shared with the family for about 2 hours then after saying our goodbyes we stopped at every single apartment in the 10 story building and invited hundreds of people to the church in the upcoming Sunday and passed out tracks. The two men i went with were quite amazing, very bold and determined yet friendly and loving and dynamic combination if you can get it, since my first visit i have since returned 3 times to help with this outreach.

A walk through the market

Today me and 8 people from the Doulos organized a ministry in the busiest street in Downtown Hong Kong. i was chosen to lead and organize this team as well as the event that consisted of me and 8 women. I decided from the start that i was not going to try to rule the group with an iron fist but rather guide this group along make decisions when i had to. At the last minute we were joined by a member of the audio/visual team on the ship who brought along a huge camera to capture us doing the basic evangelism ministry to successful yet broken, empty, lost people.  To the make even more powerful and dynamic we were joined by 15 youth members of a local church including their pastor. Perviously in the day these members took part in a training on the ship on how to do open air ministry and after completing this training they were really excited to practice their newly acquired skills on the streets of their very own city.  As all 25 of us got off the train together we were immediately hit by bright lights, huge bill boards, and a salmon like flow of thousands of people coming and going out of shopping malls and restaurants down this main street. Following the pastors advice we set up right in the middle of the street, a few pieces of construction equipment kept the street off limits to cars but people flocked all around it, perfect!! amazingly and without hesitation the pastor took out his guitar and we all began to sing ” Lord i lift your name on high” at the top of our voices in the middle of this chaotic street. Passerby’s looked at us inqusikcly and it became obvious to me that this has never in this street before.  the reactions amongst the people were mixed as our program started, some were smiling and really enjoying it while others gave dirty looks and the majority walked mere feet from us completely oblivious from our existence. We decided to have stations set up along the road on both sides of the street each doing a different type of action hoping to grab the attention long enough for one of us to come up and speak with the stranger.

PIC_0677

A group of 6 people stayed the entire night in the front singing with a guitar and praying for our audience and program as a whole, this was highly beneficial as spiritual warfare was all around us. I orchestrated a small group from the church to use a large sketch-board and draw out the basic illustration of sin, man, God, and Jesus in a cool and artistic way. Further along we had a few handing out tracts and flyers just casually talking with people and inviting them to the ship.  Clowns and mimes were entertaining children while prayer warriors and mothers spoke with parents. The popularity was no doubt God’s intervention through us but also seeing foreigners during drama’s in the street attracted some to our event. i spent most of the evening walking through and praying for each event, encouraging our group to stay positive and focused and letting them know how much of an impact they were making. Before heading out i distinctly remember asking god for his boldness in sharing about God’s love and the true reason for being here, he gave me several opportunities to share this with different passerby’s. We performed  a specific drama that i felt really applied to the life here in hong Kong, indicating that their is more to life than just eating, sleeping, and working. Towards the end of our program it began to rain hard without any warning, as people took shelter and waited for the rain to stop, they kept watching us who hadn’t missed a beat since the rain had started. Scores of people lined the streets under the over hang as i caught glimpses of their lonely eyes. We wrapped up our program and came together and prayed powerfully for the youth with us, in the city, and the people that we had talked with earlier. A dynamic, encouraging, and real evangelism day that had me looking forward to the many more that are to come.

IMG_7585

Today i spent the whole day with Chinese brothers and sisters, as they hosted me and 4 others at their church and invited us to share with them our testimonies and other thoughts about our lives on the ship.  the church was located an hour from downtown hong kong and i didn’t complain as we rode the train to the outside of the city and i saw tree’s for the first time since arriving in Hong Kong three weeks prior.  The meeting with 40 youths challenged me to be fresh and let God speak through me rather than relying on my own strength and trying to impress them with my words on life and God.  I spoke on letting God use you for his glory and doing what your passion is for god and not just money or comfort.  I shared with them how God has changed my life and how much more difficult it is now than ever before but how God has granted me peace through it all and that has made all the difference. Most times I feel we are to share about how great life is on the Doulos and how this is the only way to do ministry, but lately I’ve felt I should encourage others to find their nitch and use the weapons God has given them to fight for His glory in this war we find ourselves in each day.

Great fellowship with our local Chinese pastor

We broke down into groups afterward and this was the highlight for me. I thought for some strange reason that I was supposed to be the encourager and positively reassure each of my group members but in fact the opposite took place.  In my group their was a Young doctor, a banker, a gifted musical artist, and a school teacher.  What a blessing it to see such successful professionals, so committed to Loving god and following his will for their lives.  The Dr. to my left was concerned because he can only spend 5 minutes with each patient, seeing more than 80 patients a day, and this inhabits his ability to share the gospel and spend time reassuring his patients about God’s love for them. Another was concerned because he was a statistics major and worked at HSBC bank but spent little time with people amidst his busy daily routine of crunching numbers. The constant complaint or bother was that due to Hong Kong’s busy-ness and task focused way of life, these men were feeling lost in the shuffle and were failing to hear God’s will for their lives. It seemed that people of Hong Kong are less shy about speaking english and their struggles, much like Americans in this way. This I found refreshing and different than Taiwan and a better way for me to understand really what was happening in this culture among Christians.

Night skyline

Hong Kong is burdened by a dark powerful grip of spiritual warfare. While the Doulos was in port, the distractions, injuries, and attitudes were far more negative and apparent than any other time I’ve noticed on the ship in the last 10 months. While docked in Harbor City we had 2 serious injures to out crew, both involving the face and brain and both needing the assistance of an ambulance crew and Hospital overnights.  27 out of 30 children’s visits were cancelled during our month long stay due to the extreme fear of swine flu. The attitude of people on the ship was very different than anything I’ve noticed in the past 8 months.  Being a Christian and spending time with Jesus everyday has allowed my eyes to be opened by His spirit to things I would normally not see.  For instance seeing how obsessed people our with material possessions and such now disgusts me in a way that it never has before. I could always justify it for other people and myself before but now God has really opened my eyes to the hopelessness it brings.

Docked at the mall

Day time dock view of hong kong island

Best Photos Hong Kong038friend and 1st engineer Johan filled with Joy

The carpenter Shop alive and well

ship friends in a random photo studio

at anchor in Hong kong harbor

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | September 20, 2009

2 weeks deep in the Jungles of Borneo

As you all know I just returned from the Jungles of Borneo very close to Indonesia, here is the details and account of my travels, please enjoy and if you have any deeper questions please email me and I can go more into detail for you! On September 1st 2009 Jeff Kelly and his team of 5 volunteers from 5 different countries had the privilege of uniting together through Christ despite strong differences they faced in age, culture, and native language. We were picked up from the large malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu and driven 600 kilometers (375 miles) deep into the jungles of Borneo to live and learn from the Murut tribe. Guided by KK local pastor William Lo with strict instruction on not to be picked up again until the 10th of September. From that point forward the team was guided through the jungle and many villages by several malay pastors and native Murut Tribesmen. On the 6 hour journey into the jungle we were briefed by Pastor William Lo on what to expect, how to conduct ourselves, and the history of the Murut People. Much to our relief we found out that all of the tribe members were practicing born again christians, and that we could share openly with them unlike their Muslim cousins living in the city, were the ship was battling Government politics. The team was eager and willing to listen as pastor William Lo helped to alleviate many of our fears, anxieties, and questions regarding what life will truly be like during the next 12 days.

Quiet time on the river

Quiet time on the river

Palm Oil plantation clearing

Palm Oil plantation clearing English class

We spent the first 2 and a half days in the village of Sapulut with our guide Pastor Steven Mogulintang. This guy was always smiling and encouraging us to have some tea and coffee no matter what time of the day or night, such a blessing to us as he welcomed 6 stangers into his home, fed us, guided us, and encouraged us to share our stories with his congregation.

Expecting to have an abundance of practical work and things to do the team was caught off guard by the ease of life among the Murut people. In our first 3 days we were only able to clear a small palm oil plantation, and repair/tune a church piano. While this seemed to be minimal work for us in the team, the pastor was especially excited about our work and eagerness and thanked us repeatedly. A sense of Island life was starting to become apparent amongst these people, perhaps the 95 degree weather with no electricity has a say in that matter. As leader I wanted our team to use this time and focus on what God was telling us. Many times on the ship we are so busy with life and work that we miss out on many blessings because we are so distracted (great trick by the enemy) I didn’t want this to happen here.

From Sapulut we traveled by car 30 minutes to nearby Balaron village were Pastor James Oling opened up his home for us to stay in and translated for our evening program as well. Pastor James had encouraged us earlier at dinner that these people are very basic and still treat their women as just child bearers and cooks. Luckily for us in our group was a married couple who God used to share their story of marriage and how they follow the Bible as a guide in their lives. The village seemed to be encouraged by this and as we ate the traditional dinner after church (at 11pm) I sat with pastor James and shared stories of how God was working in our lives. He told me a story of a few months back when his church was raided by Muslim government officials confiscating all their Bibles, throwing them all in a pile then setting them all on fire in the middle of the church while the service was going on. I ask him what the congregation did as this was happening and he told me they openly prayed for them and rejoiced, giving God praise!!!

fellowship with local youth believers

fellowship with local youth believers Drama during one of our nightly programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The next morning was Sunday service dressed in our 1 pair of good clean clothes, we sat in the bed of a 4×4 pickup bags on our laps ,riding on to our next village location. 3 hours later and with dusty faces we hoped out of the truck and walked right into the Sunday service. I was asked to preach and so I prepared a short message, finding out minutes before they expected me to share for 2 hours! Well I talked slowly and with translation it was well over an hour, a compromise I guess.

 

riding in the back of a 4x4 with pastor steven on the way to preach

riding in the back of a 4x4 with pastor steven on the way to preach

Sunday service

Sunday service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 After our program the 3 men were able to do practical work in the afternoon by digging out a 6ft hole in the earth to be used later for a toilet while the women taught english and entertained the villages 45 children. Pastor Steven accompanied us during our time in Labang and was able to show us some caves nearby as well as an adventurous ride up and down the river via canoe all at night. The next morning we traveled from villages Labang to Pagalungan via Truck which took 5 hours, stopping only briefly to pick up a dead wild boar off the road. We didn’t realize till after we ate our lunch that we had just eaten that rotting carcass, funny it tasted just like the wild boar we had the night before.

Just picked up off the road

Just picked up off the road

Sharing, encouraging local christians

Sharing, encouraging local christians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 From this point on we were guided by two local Marut guides named Geny and Goy both under the age of 30 and students at a local church’s Bible school. We would visit 4 more villages in the next 3 days, all by boat!

Girls doing a program for kids

Girls doing a program for kids

digging a ditch for a new Latrene, yes they still use out houses here

digging a ditch for a new Latrene, yes they still use out houses here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was so many chances to explore and go on adventures with each other or on our own. Usually at some point in the middle of the afternoon we would all go swimming, fishing, hiking, or just float down a cold water spring coming from the mountains. I really got to enjoy God’s nature, praying openly and out loud to him throughout the time, and really enjoying his presence.

Fun in the river

Fun in the river

RANDOM BRIDGE WALKIN

RANDOM BRIDGE WALKIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Faced so many low points during this trip. The group was so different and as team leader I was constantly drained of energy trying to keep us focused and encouraging one another. Many times I felt at the end of my rope but God provided physical, emotional, and mental strength and love for others that I would just never be able to find on my own. My Bible is now written throughout from promises and pleas for help to praises and direct answers to prayer, I’ve never been more dependent and close to God in my life.

 Contrary to knowledge received during our briefing in which we were told that our main objective would be to do practical work our hosts valued our ability to perform drama’s, mimes, testimonies, children’s stories, and rope tricks. These programs quickly became the staple of our ministry and together as a team we put more energy and focus into how we could make each program better and better for our intended audience. Each night our guides would gather the entire village together and we would share all this with them for 2-3 hours or until they began to fall asleep in their chairs.

DRAWING STRENGTH

DRAWING STRENGTH

DAILY BATH IN THE RIVER

DAILY BATH IN THE RIVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling to a new village each day drained energy from us and we really relied on prayer, being honest with each other, and most of all spending time with God in order to renew our strength. The heat and lack of water or cold drinks also had a negative effect on the way we lived in these remote locations. Im still not 100 percent sure why we were offered boiling hot coffee when its boiling hot out??

 

Hot Drinks for Hot weather, we are thankful though!

Hot Drinks for Hot weather, we are thankful though!

children of Supulut village

children of Supulut village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While traveling took its toll on us in some ways, it also kept things new and fresh. In 12 days we lived in 10 different villages and visited some 14 in total. Seeing the differences and similarities of each village as well as taking time to ask questions about each tribe was refreshing and renewing in its own right. In some instances when we were sleeping on the floor of a house that was full of snakes, spiders, rotten wood, and awful smells, it helped us psychologically knowing that the next day we would be somewhere totally different and perhaps more comfortable and this gave us hope to press on during these “challenging times”.

Guest house

Guest house

Different day, same architecture

Different day, same architecture

Traditional Malay longhouse

Traditional Malay longhouse

Beat

Beat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This trip was such a great time of learning, loving, adventure, teamwork, and giving. The ability to live amongst the Ancient Marut tribe for these 12 days is something I will never forget and I am so privileged to have been God’s vessels during this trip. One thing that meant so much to me throughout this journey was before I left I quickly checked my email inbox and found about 30 emails from all of you packed full of acknowledgement, prayers, support, and tons of encouragement. I began to cry tears of joy as I read through them all, and during really tough times I drew upon those words for comfort and joy.

 Thank you I am blessed beyond belief!!!!

 

 

 

 

Story time with the kids

Story time with the kids

 

 

Sunday Service in Labang

Sunday Service in Labang

Our river guides Geny and Goy

Our river guides Geny and Goy

Local river kings

Local river kings

Group devotions

Group devotions

Great students

Great students

Not hard to see God's beauty here

Not hard to see God's beauty here

Pushing our Canoe back up stream at 11pm

Pushing our Canoe back up stream at 11pm

Finally a rest on the last day

Finally a rest on the last day

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | June 8, 2009

Koashuong, Taiwan

There is an impeccable difference between the Philippines and Taiwan. My eyes do not burn from the rampant pollution in Taiwan because there isn’t any. Instead of giant mountains of garbage there are actual mountains complete with national parks; I am stretched to find a single piece of litter thus far.  As I stepped off the ship for the first time here, I could here a pin drop. No loud buses, jeepneys, or cars without mufflers. Here in this country, scooters rule the road. I would venture to say that the ratio of scooters to cars is 4-1 and bicycles even higher.  There’s a silent eerie vibe to the air here, while everything is written in Chinese characters, I mean everything.  Good luck finding a bank, restaurant, or anything else unless you just so happen to speak mandarin Chinese.  My friend Jeremy and I wandered off the ship looking for a nice park to relax at and talk about the time and ministry that happened in the Philippines.  A picturesque river cuts through the heart of Kaohsiung called the “Love River”, lined with purple lights and clean streets. Locals paddle around peacefully in their kayaks. If I had to compare this city to one in America I would go with Portland Oregon.  The prices of things do take some getting used to though after the Philippines. For starters one cannot buy cell phones, DVD’s, or a 1st born child on the side of the street for fewer than 3 dollars like the Philippines.  Never the les Taiwan seems to be cheaper than most places in the U.S. The Peaceful, submissive ambiance adds a certain value to this place that is hard to describe.

Clean, Beautiful, Downtown

Clean, Beautiful, Downtown

Downtown at Night

Downtown at Night

Doulos from a far

The Christian Church here is warm, hospitable, benevolent, and gracious.

Punctuality is very important in this culture; we were told 3 weeks ago that today we would be picked up at 940 am. As we were greeted by our hosts and ushered into their van, the clock struck 9:40 am; literally, we all shared a laugh as this is quite different from the Philippines.  The two host drivers didn’t speak any English at all, luckily I had the name of the Church we were scheduled to attend written down on a piece of paper in Chinese characters to make sure we made it to the right church.

A drama during a visitation to a local church

A drama during a visitation to a local church

Greeted by our host ad pastor Ms Chang, we introduced ourselves and discussed how the service was scheduled to unfold.  I was not going to preach today but a friend named Kyle Maio from Canada was.  Ms Chang was fluent in English having spent more than 13 years in the U.S. living and attending Moody Bible institute, her translation was fast and fluid.   The congregation was all smiles as I thanked them for allowing us to worship the Lord with them in their Church.  As I was told a few days prior, you can never be too polite or courteous with Taiwanese people.  The information that I had received concerning the church just a few days earlier had told me that the church was full of mostly younger people, maybe 20 something’s, this turned out to be very far from the truth.  The long narrow chapel, on the 3rd floor of a strip mall store front was lined on both sides with Christians over the age of 60, mostly women.   All the same Kyle challenged them not to just get involved with missions but rather to find God’s peace and power right where they are and then follow his lead.  Worship was rather interesting as we tried to follow along with the traditional Christian songs, the problem for us was that their was no words but only Chinese characters projected onto the wall.   Usually I can sound out other languages and at least make an attempt to follow along with the pitch and tones, this was a impossible. How does one sound out a symbol they have never even seen before? I decided to make up my own lyrics based on how I felt and praise God that way.  The point of worship is to praise God, not necessarily with song or words.  I was much more honest, singing from my heart and what I was going through at the time than what someone else had written down years ago, and ironically this was a whole better worship experience altogether.   I stood up again and thanked the church for everything they had done for us, reiterating that even though we were from a totally different culture, language, and place we still appreciated the fact we could worship and learn from God’s spirit together in the same building, being united in the body of believers.  After the service we were invited to the floor below for the after church lunch buffet and of course we kindly accepted.  The tables were bursting with Sushi, chicken, Octopus, noodles, soups, yellow watermelon, dumplings, and much more, as we were given chopsticks we were told to dive on in.

Fellowship with Chinese Believers at a local Bible study

Fellowship with Chinese Believers at a local Bible study

Sharing my Testimony with Visitors onboard the Ship

Here in Koashiong, Taiwan the most common form of exercise and transportation is the bicycle.  I’ve been thinking about buying a bike for quite sometime as a means of getting around the ports we visit and also to help with the lack of exercise in my life while on the Doulos.  Here the air is fresh, the roads are hardly crowded and bikes are treated with the same respect as cars; everyone yielding in a common homogeneous swarm.

My New friend

My new friend

The freedom a bike gives you while living on this ship is unbelievable; the fact that you can leave the ship and get around for free, with no language barrier restrictions or view limitations is superb as well.  While a taxi is convenient, you miss out on the smells and sights of a city, all the while being trapped in a moving box.   Your bike is open, you get a true taste of a city or culture for that matter, with the great liberty of moving at your own pace, going your own direction, all the time singing and talking to yourself with out a care.

I found a used Bike store today and after trying out 6 different bikes, testing them for durability, style, and comfort, I settled on a green gem for under 20 U.S. dollars.  I found a ledge on the outskirts of town overlooking a brown sandy beach and read for hours, my own leisure the only thing dictating my future.

Easter Sunday Dinner with Local church members

Easter Sunday Dinner with Local church members

Singing praises on the Cardeck

Easter Sunday

The church was small and crammed, as we entered the pastor and elders were gathered in a circle praying for the service in Chinese. We made our way over to the front of the church and put our belongings down where we thought would be a good place.  The men on the team wore suits to honor the Easter tradition and made small talk as we waited for further instructions from the church leaders.  The church reminded me of the house of churches in China I have heard so much about.  Tables were lined up through the “sanctuary” in the shape of a cross, later to be used to hold food.  Again nobody spoke any English we brought our own translator and introduced ourselves to the early members gathering for the service.  It was hard for me to keep a fresh attitude about Easter and the greatest story ever told. Maybe because ever since I can remember I have gone to church n this day, so I have heard a lot of teachings about this day, feeling like I have heard everything there is to hear about this particular subject. I know how great Easter is and the significance of the day, but with the ship being open for business and even sending us out to do “work” its hard to relax and reflect on the importance of this day.  Its during these special holiday’s that I really miss my family, the relaxing time spent at home with Mom and Dad over a great Easter dinner, just enjoying each others company.  I miss the Ham Mom prepares along with the potatoes and asparagus, she asks me, “what vegetable I would prefer to enjoy on this special day”?

We do a great drama as a team about basic salvation and how Satan introduces sin in our lives dividing us from Christ.  Our team leader speaks about the application of this in our present day life.   After the service we are divided into fellowship groups, each with a translator in a round table discussion which mostly concerned questions about the Doulos.  I wanted to hear about their lives, where they work, how long they have been following Christ for?  I keep reminding myself how unique this ministry actually is. “God gave me grace and patients” we have great fellowship; learn Chinese words, mostly for the food names that we were scarfing down. Before we left the church the pastor insisted on us taking a gift with us, unaware of what it was we politely thanked him and agreed on taking the gift. He disappears for a few minutes and brings out a gigantic watermelon from his office. We were all thinking what are we to do with this huge fruit? Our team leader volunteers to carry it, almost breaking his back, and we split It open for the ships company to enjoy.   This was an awesome Church team and great Easter day that I thanked God for the opportunity to be a part of, I feel blessed.

A Tasty delicacy at the Night market

A Tasty delicacy at the Night market

Street festival

Since my last update, much has changed in my life as well as my role on board the Doulos.   Recently I have had the privilege of Joining alongside a Swiss brother named Alex and assist him in the Carpentry Shop on board.  Before joining the ship Alex worked as a carpenter and Architect in Switzerland and brings much knowledge and experience to the position.  We have had great talks and I have learned so much about design and wood working because of him, I praise God.

My design for a life boat box

My design for a life boat box

As I’ve come to realize working as a carpenter on board there is never a dull moment or lack of work to be done.  Being busy with projects and repairs keeps us busy making the day fly by but I can’t help but receive requests from nearly everyone I see whether during working hours or after.  This test has taught me how to form healthy boundaries in my life and trying to please everyone is not healthy.  This has been a very demanding job where I’ve been learning to yield Gods peace and Joy no matter what is happening around me.

Alex and I after designing and building 3 Boxes

Alex and I after designing and building 3 Boxes

Dinner

Dinner

IMG_6314

I have never felt such connection from the verse In the first chapter of James which reads, “Consider it pure Joy mybrother whenever you face trials of may kinds, for those trials will shape your character and test your endurance”.  This new role has definitely been a test of many things, including character and patience.  After going through the trial I can honestly say that I am a better man, I praise Jesus for never leaving me, even when I cannot feel him.

A break after Work

A break after Work

A fast moving City

A fast moving City

Posted by: jeffkellyonaship | March 24, 2009

Cebu, Phillipines

As Doulos approached Cebu, Philippines, the ship was greeted by several small paddleboats. For us new crewmembers coming to Cebu for the first time, seeing these people in need of food, of money, of hope, even before the ship had docked was a shock. But it is for those people that Doulos returned to Cebu. Girls in blue dresses and boys clad in black shorts and white shirts from the day-care centre built by crewmembers during a previous visit welcomed the ship to the quayside with singing and dancing

Jumping for Joy

Cebu is riddled with corruption and poverty; I will never forget the scene as I went for a walk down a random street outside the port at which we were docked.  I was with friend and chief cook Phil Cooling on our first night in town; it wasn’t more than 30 steps off the ship that we were barraged by street children ages 3-14. Grabbing for our hands to hold, jumping on our backs, smiling, and asking what our names were in their visayan language.  At first I wondered if I was dreaming, Could this really be happening, do people really live this way? Where are these children’s parents? All these thoughts bombarded my head at once, along with the stale, stagnant, smoke filled air of Cebu City. This was vastly different than our port just 3 days previous in 1st world, job filled Kuching Malaysia. 

welcoming party

Towards the end of our 5 week stay in Cebu I was assigned as leader of a program done in the streets for common people that might not be able to actually step foot on the Doulos. This was both a challenge and honor to put together such a program with 15 of my fellow shipmates.  I decided from the very start that the emphasis of this program needed to be the presentation of the gospel, and furthermore a challenge to those in attendance. The great thing about doing Ministry here in the Philippines is the openness and freedom to speak your mind and believe what you want. Much like the United States, tolerance for Religion is popular here and as long as you have a microphone and passion, people will gather.  Armed with 2 translators, large speakers, and props for dramas, we headed out on a drizzling Friday evening to share the great hope of the Gospel with the street kids and working class people of Cebu, Philippines. The venue we choose to use was close to the ship an open air stage located in the back corner of a popular park.   We started the event we dubbed, “Street Jam” with drama’s and testimony applications. I recall the children’s intent and focused faces as they watched the skits and dramas.

 Afterward we went into a teaching about Sin, who we are, and were we are going after death. Using the prodigal son as a theme for his teaching, it was a basic sermon but to the point and filled with truth. After ward once about 175 people were gathered around us we ask “If anyone here would like us to pray with them?” Much to my shock at least 100 people raised their hands; I scrambled about setting up different prayer stations around in a circle.  We put the Cebuano’s into groups of 15 and the translator made his rounds making sure everyone understood what we were speaking.  I wondered what God thought, looking down at these groups of children holding hands and accepting Him as their savior and Lord. Tears filled my eyes, and I Gave up control allowing God to take over and minister to these people right were they are, I Began to intercede in prayer on behalf of these new brothers and sisters, for protection in the future and spreading the blood of Jesus over them.

img_47991child feeding outreach

(Journal entry)

It seems it is not very often that we can do a large service to the public with such a basic need being met, even in fulltime ministry on the Doulos. I now understand the importance of Politics’ in ministry and how much things can be manipulated and controlled without the consent of God’s will.   I organized a team of 5 people to come with me for the day as we went to a local community gathering and did a feeding ministry for children.  We had told our local contact person who was a pastor in the village that we had enough food for about 100 children, after telling him that he quickly replied that word will get out quick around the village and there will be more than 300 children there expecting a meal from us. After hearing this we revised our plans and made a lot more food, gathering a lot more donations. Both cooks of onboard Phil Cooling from England and Joyce Van Doornik from Netherlands, prepared 275 meals of chicken, rice, and cabbage, placing it in plastic bags and storing them in large plastic crates.  Soccer balls, Baby formula for teething infants, and donated lollipops were gathered to give away as well.  

childrens feeding ministry

Heading out in a Doulos Van we quickly made it to the gathering center and there stood about 100 children patiently waiting in a single file line for their meal.  As we started to distribute the food to the 100 kids, 150 more started to swarm the place we were located. The food started to go so quickly as I made my way around the children taking photo’s of their excited faces in line and again after they received their meal and sweets.  There was no program, drama, or even verbal testimonies but I believe Jesus was their ministering to all involved. What a blessing it is to give unto a community, especially kids that are so grateful for every little thing. I thought about how children would react back home in America if we put on this same type of program for them. We left after just an hour in this location and began thinking about the next time we could put something like this together again, the consensus was very soon; I looked forward to it with excitement.

 swimming with new friends

Having your one off day on Sunday is usually relaxing, comfortable and boring if you stay on the ship for the day. For me the Last Sunday in Cebu was anything but that as I traveled to Danae City. One of the port security guards I have befriended named Gary, invited me  to his house for the Day and how could I say no to such a unique offer. We left early Sunday morning around 630, heading out on a few local buses until finally catching a large bus for the remainder of the trip. A 2 hour bus ride in total, we stopped half way through at a local market in order and bought pork, fresh fish, and hanging rice for our afternoon feast. I took my camera into the open market and got great footage of all sorts of different meats being butchered. Everyone in the market thought I was doing a documentary so they posed and asked me to take their picture while they were doing their Job.  After arriving at Gary’s province in Danau, he began to cook lunch for us over a plastic bag filled with charcoal (they usually just light the bag on fire) as I did some exploration of his “neighborhood” on my own. A few of the men were gathered in the local cock fighting ring training their highly valued roosters against each others. Food was ready in an hour and we took a tricycle ride to the beach to relax and eat in huts right on the water.  For the next 5 hours we ate, joked, and relaxed at a private beach as children splashed around in the water. The water was clean and clear with smooth rocks lining the bottom on the entire walk out.  Out here there was no agenda for the entire day it was great, everyone knew each other in this village and respected each other, very warm and welcoming to visitors. As we made it back to Gary’s house we all took a bath around the Public water pump, yes we actually had to pump the water out. There were 7 of us taking turns dumping water on ourselves and pumping water out from the cool ground below. I said my Goodbyes and thank you to all those around the village, boarded a Bus heading back to Cebu and thought about how great a day I had. We only get 1 off day a week, and the way I look at it is, you must make the absolute most of each one.

a local boat puling up alongside for food

seems like a trusting Guy to buy Meat from

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