Thursday, January 17, 2008

back on the ship

Well, I’m officially back on the Africa Mercy. My missing bag has been returned, my bunkmates coming back from vacation tomorrow, and we will be sailing back to Liberia in about two weeks. After a much needed break, it’s time to get back to work.

I was home for three weeks, in which I got my fair share of driving, drinking coffee, wearing cute shoes, seeing old friends, sitting in Joe Focht Bible Studies, and laughing terribly hard. I ate Christmas dinner with almost 40 members of my family and was again amazed at how wonderful they are. The three weeks home were busy but reviving. I extend my thanks to everyone for their encouragement, humor, fellowship, and friendship. And if I didn’t get to see you…we’ll have to do coffee when I come home.

After flying back to the Canary Islands from the states I spent about 36 hours on the ship before departing again for a week long vacation in Spain and Morocco. Our group of five Mercy Shippers left at 5 am with our backpacks and a very fluid agenda. We spent time in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville, Terife, and Balboa, as well as spending a night in Tangier, Morocco. We rode planes, trains, metros, shady Moroccan Mercedes taxi‘s, buses, and ferries; and spent our nights in hostels. (there are photos linked on my blog I even spent an early morning in a Spanish ER with my poor friend Red who was passing a transatlantic kidney stone. Ouch.

So, I will be returning to the United States in June and will wait and see what happens next. I have a few ideas….

While I was in Spain I was able to spend a day at the Guggenheim Museum. There was an exhibit that made of huge pieces of curved rusty metal in an extremely large space. Visitors are able to walk through metal structures which formed various ellipses and circular shapes. They are designed in such a way that the visitors perception is constantly challenged and sometimes distorted. Inside the structures you cannot determine the shapes they form, however, from the balcony of the museum’s second floor you can easily tell that the seemingly shapeless metal masses are actually arranged in fluent, specific patterns.

It was a wonderful illustration of our lives. Sometimes life feels a little shapeless, a bit non-specific. Sometimes our perspective fools and distorts our vision. But our eternal God sees the specific plans and the specific way He is forming our lives; and He wants to give us “exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.” He sees what we are becoming; what He is making us to be.

It really makes life so exciting.

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