Winter Update 2021

Winter Update 2021

Change! Would have to be the most defining characteristic in our lives at this moment.  Last Fall 2020 it seems was the last time Sandra and I will sail aboard the “Encounter”.  

Since the start of 2006 this yacht has been our home in which we’ve had the privilege to host hundreds of guests and students, sharing with them our love for the sea and seafaring life, and our passion for Christ Jesus and the things He’s passionate about.

A parent recently wrote, “We have loved continuing to hear of our daughter’s session with your program. Her growth and desire to seek God is such a beautiful thing as are the relationships she built. She is in almost daily contact with her classmates and we are very excited for a time when we can meet them….”, “We pray and hope you are well. Thank you for all you and Sandra have invested in these « kids » as they transition to independent adults. We are so thankful for all God has done through the Kingfisher project and all the Torchbearer’s programs.”

It’s not always that we read of such an impact made, nor is it always made. But it sure encourages us, to know that all the effort made is not for nothing.

Looking over my shoulder to the past, I’m saddened in a way that I may miss the excitement and at times intensity of nature challenging man, or was it the other way around:)  Looking ahead I’m energised by the opportunity to see again God at work in transforming lives, – Who motivates by His love and enables by the power He supplies.  So with anticipation and many questions, we look ahead into 2021.  

Two new programs have been created, – modified versions of our previous retreat and discipleship training school.  These being CASTAWAY and STEPS… Each of these is run out of our island property the “Olive Grove – Christian Center”. 

Due to Covid, building plans for the 6 apartments and kitchen/dining/meeting hall, are now pushed back till the Fall.  Meanwhile, we’ve acquired the approval of the architectural committee and just need the building license which is presently in process and I trust will be in hand by Fall to start the build.

Unfortunately, funds are being whittled away, with refunds given for cancelled programs and still needing to financially support the team through this Covid period of restricted activity.  So we hope for support from friends and supporters of this ministry around the world and even the sale of our ship the Encounter, to help in this regard that we may be fully operational as soon as possible.

At the moment we are working to create programs for two target groups.  One is for local families and youth, making available to them the lower part of the property which has the ropes course, climbing wall, volleyball court, playground and crafts workshop area as well as BBQ and picnic tables and lounge deck up in the olive trees.  The second is for international students and guests, providing a place for retreats and training courses in spiritual development and ministry.

This Winter period Dimitry our property manager is hard at work creating and building facilities needed and would be grateful for anyone able and willing to come and help especially this Spring from as early as mid-March.  Further, any financial help would be most helpful to get things operational for our first courses and community programs starting in April.

If coming as a volunteer or helping financially is something you’d consider, please contact me for details.  Meanwhile, your prayers are most appreciated.