Now I'm sitting on dry land. A compromise I did like to make for Ymea and moved from the North of Germany to the South near Stuttgart. But the desire to be on the sea still remains. Ymea's colleague tells me, that there is a sailing ship in greece called "Encounter" from the Torchbearer Centre Austria. And they are looking for crew. 2 years later we ask if they still need help and shortly after receive the answer: "Yes".
Tired from getting up early, we are waiting for the bus that takes us from Thessaloniki airport to the port of Volos. Excited, we walk as fast as we can with full backpacks, to the harbor and watch out for the big sailing yacht. With English and a few chunks Greek (tried to learn by app), we ask people how to get to the port office. There someone would know which boats are in the harbor (according to German rules of course). After running to and fro, we see the 27-meter-long Schooner, coming round the corner, into the harbor entrance.
Our 2-month internship begins with instructions for the procedures of the deckhand (occupational designation). Chris, who has been on board for four months, will be replaced by us for the last seven-week sailing trip. Tasks include all work carried out on deck during being underway or in the port as well as watches, maintenance and repair work.
So, much practical work. But it also includes caring for everyone of crew and guests that they are doing well.
We, as a so to say - craftsman couple - Tom (39, sailing teacher, male nurse & everything-repairer) and Ymea (29, cabinet-maker & passionate hobbyist) would like to share our skills and god-given talents together for the ministry. Our heart beats for young people - we both experienced it- Tom as leader of a small youth group of his brethren church Zwota / Vogtland, Ymea as a bridge builder in the youth group of the Baptist church in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. Our desire is that young people will takw hold of hope. A hope that does not float away the next moment, but has a foundation: Jesus! He met us as young adults. He has accompanied us in the many different situations and living conditions. We want to pass on this hope in a practical way – by setting an example, tackling and encouraging. To the young students, some of whom come directly from school and look for a direction or orientation for their now independent life. But also to all who look forward to a 10-day sailaway.
How do you do this in a confined space? What problems could occur? I (ymea) have not thought much about that before. And that was good - no expectations were disappointed. The close communal life and the teamwork in the test phase showed us, it also works very well over a longer period of time. Nevertheless, it is still exciting and challenges will be waiting for us when we share our home with 14 other people seven months a year. The rest of the year plans for a all-season bibleschool centre shall be implemented on the property of Kingfisher.
So we want to be part as long term staff of what is the mission of the "Encounter" - to make known the changing presence of Jesus Christ through Bible teaching and experience-oriented learning, to equip young men and women for the worldwide service.
Our departure date is fixed, a few days at Tauernhof in Schladming, the registration place of the sailing ship "Encounter" and partner of the Kingfisher Project Greece and afterwards we´re going to start the preparation of the sailing season in Skopelos, Greece. We are very busy with organizational and thus to get enough monthly donations for our service. But in the end it is only about one thing: Encounter with people - getting to know Jesus better together with them. Encounters are adventures, but decisive, that`s why we want to meet people! And you?
Tom & Ymea