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

Support Letter Oct 02

By Chris Wren
Sunday, 06 October 2002

I have suddenly realised that even though I do not visit grass skirt wearing African natives carrying a bible and wearing a topee, I am never-the-less a “missionary” and so should seek support to be effective in what I do! I feel it essential to build up a prayer base to work in the power of the Lord.


I ask: -


1.                  That you pray for me and the work on ‘Genevieve Challenge’ so that those who withdraw from the world by coming on board may discover what God may be trying to say to them at this time in their lives.


2.        That you consider taking the opportunity to support me financially to continue working as a voluntary skipper. 


‘Genevieve Challenge’, a 95-foot Gaff Schooner, was built by Tony Turner at his firm in Zimbabwe with the intention of using her for Christian purposes on the East coast of Africa. However after completing her, he felt called to give her away and she is now run by the Release Foundation supported by Kings Community Church in Bedworth near Coventry [www.releasefoundation.com or www.kingfisherproject.org].


She is booked by individuals or groups of up to 13 throughout the summer who join the permanent crew of skipper, cook and 1 or 2 deckhands. There is a separate spiritual leader who may come with the group or be supplied by ‘Genevieve Challenge’. The itinerary is currently the beautiful Sporades islands and Halkidiki in Northern Greece. Most of the guests this year have been Christians with a quite a number of missionaries on retreat. No fee is required but guests are encouraged to make a donation with a guide of 45 Euros per person per day.


Missionaries vary considerably. They can be individuals called to go out to other countries or they can be groups targeting  particular areas of mission. Some groups of teenagers aim at spreading the gospel in schools often though drama and song. I find the commitment with joy of some young people particularly a witness. One regular group spiritual leader organises his own group of individual missionaries from all over the world - especially Eastern Europe. It is a privilege to hear their individual contributions to spiritual discussions. The feedback I have had at the end of each trip indicates guests feel ‘Genevieve Challenge’ a resounding success every time. They often comment it was much better than expected and a valuable resource that should continue. Even those with many years experience find new direction to their lives.


Popular pursuits whilst on board apart from the obvious sailing include swimming at the many beaches, snorkelling in caves, cliff jumping, being towed at speed in the ‘doughnut’, windsurfing, wakeboarding, visiting the top of the mast, barbequing in isolated tiny bays, exploring the underwater city of Halonnesos, sleeping under the stars on deck, hiring scooters [very cheap] to tour the island of Skopelos, walking over monastery island, learning to be a competent crew, and enjoying a meal out. The quietness and solitude of the smaller uninhabited islands inaccessible by ferry is a particular benefit.


The shortage of available crew this year has been very apparent, and we have been taking on people with no qualifications or experience whatsoever. Even so we have only been able to run with 3 crew instead of the usual 4. Please pray for a cook, engineer/deckhand and deckhand for next year. Please also pray for help for the winter maintenance here in Greece [accommodation available on board].

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