Letters from Captain Chris Wren
Letters written to those offering prayer support

Support Letter Mar 03

By Chris Wren
Sunday, 16 March 2003

Since first arriving in May 2002 I had been building up a list of work for the winter. At the end of the summer, there was no funding available to carry out repairs and maintenance, and the trustees of the boat were not available for a meeting until January 2003. They granted the cost of parts and materials needed which left the task of finding volunteers to carry out the work. I estimated in the summer that we would need about 12 people for 6 months to do the work, and indeed, even when there are no major modifications or projects to complete, a full time maintenance team of at least four would be needed.

 

One brave volunteer arrived on her own in February, followed by the first team of 10 who worked in very difficult conditions indeed for a week. For the first few days there was sleet blowing horizontally past the portholes that meant that it was not practical to do any work on deck. With the lack of heating, we decided to go to the Bible camp each evening, where there are two blocks of flats, for showers, evening meal and overnight stay, returning each morning to the boat.

 

The second team of two continued in rather better conditions thankfully. The third team of three had much better conditions: one even went swimming! It just shows how the winter weather here can vary!

 

With less than 3% of the work completed and so little time to go this gives cause for concern. Not that we could have expected more from so few volunteers, because they worked extremely well. No more have planned to come.

Please pray for help before our first trip mid-April.

 

Whilst we have been struggling to find permanent crew, we have had no offers of help for a long-term work team at all. In view of the weather and shortage of help this year, I shall be seeking volunteers to help next year at the beginning and end of the winter lay-up period. So I hope to target November to mid December, and March to April. If you know of anyone willing to help please encourage them to contact me. Preparation of the boat before the season is vital to a successful season free of breakdowns.

 

Let me end with an extract from an encouraging letter from a guest who came on board last year and organised a reunion for the guests of that trip: -

 

A Reunion

 

"We went swimming together and we spent the whole evening talking about 'Genevieve' and the trip. On the weekend it turned out that the trip changed something in all of us. Now after some months you can see what it really did to our lives and one person said that it gave her the courage to think of starting something new in her life.

"What we enjoyed most was the open atmosphere between all the people on the boat. It was possible to tell the others your greatest fears and things from the depth of the heart without being afraid of getting hurt.  It gave me an idea how Christians should deal with each other.

"I hope that you find new strength to overcome all the obstacles you found on your way during the last weeks. I was really shocked when I read your prayer support letter, because I did not suspect that you had that big problems.

"Today I mailed Theo the exact times when I will arrive in Greece and I am really looking forward to this week.

"At the end of December when the plan for February was made, it seemed like it would not work out. I prayed to the Lord, because I thought that helping on the Genevieve may be just something that I wanted but nothing He wanted for me.

"I read a book at that time about doing Gods will and there was a verse mentioned again and again talking about God calling us to do something for him.

"The day I heard that it would be almost impossible to get a week off in February, I opened the “Losungen”, a small book, which has bible verses for every day of the year... and found that verse from the book I read.  Just a short time later I got the phone call that I would get 10 days off in February (which is more than I asked for).  I am thankful that God confirmed me to be on the right way.

"Ok, I have to finish that email because I am working night this week and I have to leave home in half an hour. Last night I was very tired between 2 and 4 o’clock even though I drank far too much coffee...  I am on my own with two units so it would be great if you could pray for me. I experienced many times that something serious would have happened if God wouldn’t have led me to the room in that moment. In the night I always know how dependent I am on God (guess I should be through the day as well, but I am feeling much weaker in the night.)

"Hope to hear from you soon."

 

 

Requests: -

 

1.         Please pray for help with maintenance and that the essential items will be completed on time.

 

2.         That my life will not become unbalanced as work takes over.

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